Gaming Dead has attended Anime Expo, the United States’ largest anime and manga convention, hosted in Los Angeles annually, for the past several years. Like many other cons, the name hardly belies the kind of content you’ll find; there are plenty of game-related sights and sounds, including 3½ Samurai Studios’ forthcoming mobile game, Cake Nana, set to debut in Fall 2012.
On demo at Anime Expo’s Exhibit Hall, Cake Nana is a cute tower defense-style game, with Yommy the Gingerbread Man as your protagonist. One day while out on a walk, Yommy discovers the pathway to Cake Nana, a magical world in the clouds, filled with delicious sweets and candies. The problem? The evil ant General Zodd wants to destroy Cake Nana! Yommy decides to defend this newfound world by shooting licorice vines, gumdrops, and bombs at Zodd’s approaching forces and utilizing cotton candy barricades and sticky-sweet puddles to slow them down.
3½ Samurai Studios, despite the name, is actually made up of five guys: three programmers, an artist, and a business manager. Almost all of them were on hand to solicit feedback from the exhibit hall visitors to improve the game before its scheduled release later this year.
There are already plans to expand upon the simple three levels that were on demonstration at the con; everything from additional platforms to all-new weapons is on the drawing board to make the game more challenging and fun for all.
3½ Samurai Studios plans to release the game as a paid app for both iOS and Android devices, including a hopefully-Universal game for iOS users who may own both an iPhone or iPod touch and an iPad. However, they’re hoping to release a “Lite” version to entice gamers and fans of “cute” alike to try out the game before they buy.
In the few minutes that I got to sample this delicate treat, Cake Nana was challenging, considering I’d never played a tower defense game before. But it was incredibly easy to catch on to the controls, utilizing iOS’ Multi-Touch to fire, reload, select new weapons or drag defenses to the playing field. The bright and colorful game should draw kids and candy fans of all ages, as well as those looking for a fun tower defense game with a twist. I, for one, am looking forward to seeing how 3½ Samurai Studios utilizes the feedback they got at the convention and will follow up with them as we near closer to the fall!