What does the creator of one of gaming’s most iconic video game characters do once the series leaves his grasp? He chases whales, obviously, as hinted in Yuji Naka’s most recent game, Real Whales.
The game takes you to locations all around the world, and when there, you can swipe to look for whales and dolphins playing and breaching around your boat. When the timing is right, you snap ideal pictures. Photography games have always been popular in Japan, especially when it comes to sea life.
The Sonic the Hedgehog creator left SEGA in 2006 to found his own studio called Probe, and in that time, the company has released a cute puzzle platformer called Ivy the Kiwi? and a fishing game for the Wii. Real Whales is also simplistic game, but this is the trend of the Japanese video game market. Legendary creators from popular series in the past are fed up with their company overlords and have been fleeing in mass numbers to the indie market.
Keiji Inafune at Capcom left to make his own company called Comcept. Several of his cohorts left Capcom to make Platinum Games and Tango Gameworks. Tecmo’s Team Ninja studio leader Tomonobu Itagaki is also doing his own thing. Yu Suzuki is no longer at SEGA.
These simple games are the product of these great creator surroundings, great ideas with less funding. All the while, they are hoping to feed the indie movement in Japan to get it off the ground. Baby steps, I suppose.
Real Whale is free on iOS, but it costs $4.99 on Android. Give it a try and let us know what you think.