The 10 Most Intriguing Wii U Indies for 2015

When I wrote about the exciting games coming to the Wii U in 2015, I didn’t spend much time on indie games simply because it wasn’t clear which ones would really make it to the Wii U this year. Now that Nintendo has released a 2015 indie calendar, it’s time to look at the most promising indies confirmed by Nintendo for the Wii U this year. Based less on personal experience than on pedigree, reviews from other platforms, and the impressiveness of the trailer, here are my nominees for the most intriguing indie games coming to the Wii U this year. (As games come out, I will update entries with my reviews.

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Affordable Space Adventures

affordable space adventures
One gets occasional glimpses of the promised beauty of Spectaculon, but Uexplore has some explaining to do. Nifflas/Knapnock

What it is: A spaceship emulator that uses the touchscreen to emulate the ship’s system display. Exclusive to the Wii U.

When it’s coming: April 9

Why it’s notable: This one is a winner on pedigree alone, a joint enterprise between Nifflas, which made the gorgeous and imaginative Knytt Underground, and Knapnock, a company that specializes in tailoring games, like Spin the Bottle: Bumpie’s Party, to specific hardware. Bound to be one of the most original and unusual Wii U games to launch this year.

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What it is: A frenetic-looking action and racing 2D platforming game. Exclusive to the Wii U

When it’s coming: Q3

Why it’s notable: This party game can support up to 9(!) people in local multiplayer, with one of those players using the gamepad to control the background color that makes like-colored platforms disappear. 

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Swords & Soldiers II


What it is: A side-scrolling strategy game and a Wii U exclusive.

When it’s coming: May

Why it’s notable: Honestly, I only played a little of the Swords & Soldiers and couldn’t really get into it, but that game got excellent reviews and this sequel is a Wii U exclusive, so it deserves a slot on this list. 

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What it is: A puzzle platformer in which you can change a surface by painting it.

When it’s coming: Spring

Why it’s notable: Well reviewed on previous platforms, the Wii U version adds a cooperative mode in which one player controls the avatar while the other does the painting.

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Ninja Pizza Girl

ninja pizza girl

What it is: A parkour-themed platformer with an anti-bullying message.

When it’s coming: June

Why it’s notable: I played the PC demo during the game’s kickstarter campaign and thought it was tremendous fun. I was happy when it got funded, and happier still to learn it’s coming out this year.

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The Swindle

The Swindle
Curve Digital

What it is: A heist game that combines stealth, action and platforming.

When it’s coming: Summer

Why it’s notable: I like genre-mixing games, and this one has a cool look that instantly draws me in, but I’m also expecting it to be good simply because it’s being released by my favorite indie publisher, Curve Digital.

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Trine: Enchanted Edition

Trine Enchanted Edition

What it is: The original Trine action-puzzle platformer recreated using the game engine from Trine 2.

When it’s coming: March 12

Why it’s notable: was one of the Wii U’s first games, and one of its best looking. The original Trine got reviews commensurate with the excellent ones for the sequel, so this game should be as fun and as beautiful as Trine 2.

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Badland: Game of the Year Edition

badland Saws.jpg

What it is: A side-scrolling flying-dodging-rolling game, from the looks of it.

When it’s coming: Q2

Why it’s notable: After reading a few reviews, I’m still a little vague on this one, but it looks crazy and beautiful, as you lead one or more creatures through a series of death machines silhouetted against gorgeous backdrops. The original iOS version received rave reviews.

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Don’t Starve: Giant Edition

don't starve

What it is: A survival game in which you simply try to not die in a brutal, randomly-generated world.

When it’s coming: Spring

Why it’s notable: The game has an unusual, grim cartoon look and a slew of favorable reviews for the PC version.

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Never Alone (Kisima Ingitchuna)

Never Alone
Upper One

What it is: Puzzle platformer about a girl and her fox in a very snowy Alaska.

When it’s coming: June

Why it’s notable: A very pretty game that got solid reviews, its main claim to fame is that it was built around indigenous Alaskan folklore with the help of a native Alaskan organization.

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Honorable Mentions


Nova-111 (summer), a puzzle game published by the always-reliable Curve Digital; Windup Knight 2 (April), an endless-runner game that looks similar to Bit.Trip Presents Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien and was well-received on the iOS; Back to Bed (May), a sleepwalking game that got only fair reviews but has a wonderfully surreal aesthetic; Octodad: Dadliest Catch (Summer), a game that seems to be designed to be purposely awkward as you control the protagonist's floppy limbs.