This week Nintendo put a definite twist on the creature catching genre when they announced Kurikin Nano Island Story for the Nintendo DS. In Kurikin, instead of cute critters with funny names, players will collect bacteria.
Players will take on the role of a young inhabitant of Nano Island, an island home to one hundred different types of bacteria. As you explore the island you can capture these bacteria, raise them, and then use them in battle. The story mode is divided into twenty-four mission-based chapters. Naturally, to complete these missions you will have to do battle with opposing bacteria.
In battle, players will control an army of bacteria, each the size of a single pixel on the lower screen. Players can give commands to the bacteria by drawing a circle around a section of the group and then a line to where they want their bacterial troops to move. Blowing into the microphone will cause the group you've circled to disperse. During battles the upper screen shows a closeup of the action, and allows players to get a better look at their tiny troops and the opponent's minuscule minions. The bacteria will also continue to replicate during the course of the battle.
Victory conditions change from battle to battle, as does the shape of the battlefield itself. Some battles will require that players annihilate all their opponent's bacteria, while, in other cases, simply having the largest number of surviving bacteria counts as a win.
Kurikin Nano Island Story is due out in Japan on May 24. It has not been announced whether it will make its way to North American shores.