Kenta Cho has been making nifty little freeware games for years, filling them with clever gaming ideas, abstract design, and lots and lots of bullets. Tumiki Fighters was a cute little side-scrolling shooter with a toy theme, and now it's getting upgraded to the Nintendo Wii as Blast Works: Build, Fuse & Destroy. Not that you'd know from the official press release, which leaves out any mention of Kenta Cho or Tumiki Fighters. Seriously, that's just bad form.
While official details are scarce, it's looking like the basic gameplay of the original remains intact. You play as a little prop airplane flying across the screen, letting loose a continual stream of firepower. Defeated enemies tumble through the air and off the bottom of the screen, but catching them adheres them to the plane, adding their firepower to yours. Small enemies toss out a weak bullet or two, but the pieces knocked off larger enemies can send out huge streams of bullets. It's important to catch the falling enemies properly, though, because they don't re-orient themselves once they've attached to the growing mass. Snagging a major boss piece, but having it point straight down, isn't going to do much good except as a bullet shield. Each piece, once attached and no matter how large, can be destroyed with one hit, but there are usually enough enemies that there's a replacement coming soon.
It's a fun little shooter and absolutely worth the download, but a full-fledged console release requires a bit more. In this case, that means all sorts of customization in addition to a new game mode made with the Wii remote in mind, plus 2-player co-op. The biggest addition will be a series of editors, allowing creation of everything from the player ship to complete levels. Whether you can share your creations online is unknown as yet, but it seems like a no-brainer. User-generated content is a thorny subject for Nintendo and Microsoft, though, so there's really no telling at this point.
The other new mode, using the Wii-mote, is scarce on details at this point. You defend a hangar from attackers using the remote “like an anti-aircraft turret”, but what that actually means is a mystery. There's nothing for it but to stay tuned as more details become available.
In the meantime, though, we've got the potential for a great shooter here. Tumiki Fighters was both charming and creative, and Blast Works is preserving that while adding a nice variety of bells and whistles for the trip to retail shelves. If Majesco can keep the price in line with the content, this should turn out to be a winner.