Bombing Bastards. What a name.

Sanuk Games announced it was bringing its Bomberman-inspired puzzle-action game to the Wii U eShop a couple weeks ago. Sanuk is a name you may not yet be familar with, despite the team releasing numerous games over the past few years. Based in Thailand, Sanuk are a reasonably small team of twenty, but theie experience in the games industry speaks for itself. The team have shipped more than sixty games accross iOS, Android, PS3, Vita, DS, Wii, and many more!

Despite just being announced, not much is yet known about Bombing Bastards, so Nintendo Enthusiast got in touch with Sanuk Games’ Managing Director, Yan Marchal, to find out more.

Who are Sanuk Games and what games may we have played from you before?

Sanuk Games is a ten-year-old casual game studio based in Bangkok, Thailand. Consoles were scarcely available in Thailand, therefore most of the team was raised on PC gaming — or mobile gaming for the younger teammates. We created dozens of games in the past on Nintendo DS and Wii. You’ll not likely to know any of them unless you have extensive knowledge of the platforms’ history, though: most were low-budget, work-for-hire projects for value-oriented publishers. We did, for example, a number of crossword games with various brands (USA Today, The Sun, The Times). More recently, we released Spot The Differences: Party! on Wii U.

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What can you tell us about Bombing Bastards and have you had any questions about the name?

Bombing Bastards is our most ambitious self-funded project to date. It is our take on the classic maze-bombing gameplay. You can either play solo and bomb swarms of nasty creatures and bosses or play with friends in merciless battles. We’ve been developing it so far for six months. The art style was decided by our art director. He chose a style that’s visually nice and that our team is good at doing. You play as a robot built by Dr. Wallow, an arrogant scientist-turned-warmonger who dreams of conquering the galaxy.

Some journalists have speculated that Nintendo might not accept the game name. However, we got the project sheet approved and the ratings provisionally done (ESRB E10+ and PEGI 12), so we shall see what happens.

What kind of variety, scale, and difficulty can we expect to see in the final build?

There will be five worlds, thirty mazes, multiple kinds of nasty creatures. There will also be five bosses and multiple collectible items — whether power-ups or power-downs. The battle mode accommodates up to five players: one with the GamePad and four with other controllers (Wii Remotes, Pro Controllers, Classic Controllers). We had a closed beta with volunteers to measure and adapt the level of difficulty. Newbies may find the game rather tough, although not dishearteningly so, but for players experienced with the genre, the first half of the game should be pretty easy. The end of the game ought to be tough for everybody. The game’s soundtrack consists of seven famous pieces of classical music arranged electronically by Samuel Safa. There’s also voiceovers from Dr. Wallow, voiced by David Goldfarb, who voiced a few characters in Mario Kart 8. We know that not everybody likes voiceovers, though, so they can be deactivated.

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Have you considered making use of any of the Wii U’s unique features and when do you see it releasing on the eShop?

To be honest, we cannot make a business out of publishing the game solely on the Wii U. Even if the Wii U gets it first, other platforms are on the way. Therefore, the use of the second screen is not a key element in the game. Also, for the sake of releasing the game quickly, we preferred to concentrate on local multiplayer. The game has already been submitted and we hope for a quick release. We haven’t finalized the pricing yet.

You’ve released several games on Nintendo platforms over the years. How do you find working with them? Did the Unity licensing deal play any part in your decision to bring this to Wii U?

We have bee a Nintendo developer since 2005. Yes, we know them well; I regularly meet them at trade shows, and yes, they are very helpful and supportive. The availability of Unity 3D free of charge to developers is the main reason why the Wii U gets the game first. I am very thankful to Nintendo for that.

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Once the game is released what’s next on the cards for Sanuk Games? 

We will keep targeting Nintendo consoles as long as it makes business sense. And of course, we’ll keep making games. It’s too early to make any specific announcement, though.

Thanks to Yan for taking the time to answer our questions and we wish the team the best of luck with the release of Bombing Bastards. The game will launch in North America on July 3rd for $6.99 USD / $7.49 CAD / 89 MXN with a European release following a few weeks later. To keep up with the latest news from Sanuk Games, check out their Website, Facebook & Twitter.

Written by Andy W.

I’m the Developer Liaison at Nintendo Enthusiast, and when I’m not working my butt off at the toy store I manage, I’m talking with developers from around the world, promoting crowd-funding campaigns, conducting interviews and also offering advice and support to developers looking to bring their games to Wii U & 3DS.