Brandon Boyer

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Hudson’s Wii platformer Shadow Tower has been quietly kicking around behind the scenes since it was first revealed in early August in Japan’s Famitsu magazine, but at the ongoing GamesCom conference it was finally announced for the West via new publisher Konami, now known as The Tower of Shadow, due for Wii release in 2010.

The most remarkable thing about it isn’t so much its gorgeous Ico-like design or the ingenuity of its mechanics, so much as its abject similarity to the Shadow Physics demo Steve Swink and Scott Anderson showed off in March at the Game Developer Conference’s Experimental Gameplay session:

The timeframe here is obviously far too tight to expect foul play at work, so I’m filing this one under that “all the monkeys in the world learn to wash their sweet potatoes at once” phenomena, and wholly expect both games to achieve entirely separate ends.

Konami’s press release struggles bravely to introduce exactly how its own light-manipulations will work, telling us that:

Gravity, for instance, does not apply in normal ways. Instead, when the source of light in a stage is parallel to the ground, the shadow is pulled towards the light. Similarly, if the angle of the light changes, so the gravity also shifts as the shadow is extended or reduced.

Which makes me feel the same way I did watching Julius Sumner Miller’s wild-haired physics demonstrations (you know who I mean, see this YouTube) as an elementary school tyke: “I’m almost totally with you.”

The press release also tells us that, rather than attempting to both control light and your character simultaneously, as with Shadow Physics, your manipulator here is a “winged sylph known as a ‘Spangle'” — which I’m fairly sure will equate to the Wii pointer — who can “manipulate physical items that the shadow boy cannot.”

Here’s to looking forward, then, to seeing more of both games, actually — the more experiments to go around the better.

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