By chance, Pirate Pop was shown to a publisher over a few beers and they wanted to run with it (they put the “Plus” in Pirate Pop Plus). That part was serendipitous and smooth, thanks to their enthusiasm, but this game had only been tested on a few Game Boy nerds, it needed to face the public’s all-too discerning eye! We took Pirate Pop Plus to Bitsummit 2016 and it was greatly received by visiting gamers, even by one of the original creators of “Pomping World”.
Further shows included BIC (Busan Indie Connect) and in the Nintendo booth at Gamescom.
Playtesting by gamers allowed us to tweak the final and prepare for the US/EU launch.
Unbeknownst to us, the launch day was the same day of the Switch reveal! Would this mean that the game would sink into the night without attracting enough 8bit geeks to make itself known?
Quite the opposite: the game’s video on Nintendo’s YouTube channel was right next to that of the Switch reveal! Passing traffic gave Pirate Pop lots of views.
This is a proper retro nerd-gasm – nintendolife
Nintendolife.com gave Pirate Pop Plus 9/10 – we seriously could not ask for more.
It’s really the 8bit lovers that are going to get the most mileage out of this game. Miiverse users give it a solid 4 or 5 stars.
In February of 2017–after much toing and froing–we finally released the game in Japan. Famitsu magazine held an interview with Hawken (creator of Pirate Pop) that they published on the launch day… as stated earlier, much of this game’s development was serendipitous. But the best was yet to come, during the interview, Famitsu said they were going to review the game. In their magazine! (Which came out on Switch launch day!)
Miiverse also exists in Japan and some of the player reviews are heart warming, both full of praise about the technical attention to detail and gameplay loop.
People on there talk of fond memories about the GameBoy, youth spent in the 80s/90s and even offers to take the developer out for drinks to talk about 8bit days gone by.
Precisely the result we hoped for.