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Hello Kitty Island Adventure Interview: All about the new animal life sim for the Switch

At the Summer Game Fest last week in L.A. we got to play Hello Kitty Island Adventure on the Switch and to talk with Sunblink's game director Tom Blind, but we couldn't say a thing until today, when the new version has been just announced at the Nintendo Direct. Here's all you can expect from the adventurous life simulator under the Sanrio license.

Audio transcription

"Hi friends, we're in LA for the Summer Game Fest and we're taking a look at a very exciting announcement. This game released on other platforms previously and now it's going to release on the Switch where I think it will feel like home. Thank you so much for joining us. What can you tell us about the experience, the social adventure experience that you guys have with Hello Kitty? Well, Hello Kitty Island Adventure is what we call a cozy game which means low stress, kind of like casual, just have a good time kind of experience but we've also mixed it with adventure gameplay so there's an open world with lots of like puzzles and quests and various types of kind of adventure gameplay to engage in so it's kind of a mash-up of two different genres that I think clicks really well together. I think it's on the title already, you have Island and Adventure. Let's talk about Island, let me compare it to Animal Crossing. What's the social, sort of the social activities that you get here? What type of characters are you going to meet and how can you socialise with them? So socialisation with the characters in the game is actually a core tenant of the gameplay so it includes Hello Kitty and her many Sanrio friends and each one of them you can craft gifts for, give those gifts to them to level up your friendship with them and by doing that you actually unlock new stories, new quests, new areas to explore, new puzzles to complete and that's the core driver of how you experience the game. What about like the places and the customisation that you can use to build your stuff around your island? So the island has eight unique biomes to it, everything from a seaside resort to an underwater like Atlantis area to a lava-filled volcano so they're very diverse and full of unique characters. You need to go throughout the island to find these different characters and meet them so that you can level up your friendship with them and access more content. And then they give you like the missions for you to go out and explore and find these more, you know, adventure-like puzzles and things to solve? That's right, there's a mystery across the entire island about why it was abandoned and fell into disrepair and so you are on a quest to try and fix everything up and discover the true secret behind the island and why it is the way it is. And so by meeting the characters and exploring these biomes that you're able to continue that quest and solve the mystery. What type of puzzles can we expect to solve here?
There's a variety of different kinds of puzzles from like simple logic puzzles to like platforming challenges, races, there's many games where you do like matching and that sort of thing, so quite a variety. Who are you in the game?
Who's the player going to be in the game? Is Kitty or some other character that you customise and create on your own? So that's right, it's a character that you create at the very beginning of the game of your very own. It's a character that can take on many different body types so that it blends into the other characters in the Sanrio universe, but we have cats, dogs, birds, bunnies and even more like specie types that you can take on the role of and customize in a variety of different ways. What can you tell me about the conversion of the project to the Nintendo Switch? This is the announcement that you guys are releasing on the Switch as well, it came from Apple Arcade if I'm correct. What can you tell me about that process and if there are major differences that we can find in this new version? I think the big announcement here is simply that it will contain all of the content that already existed on iOS. Hello Kitty Island Adventure will be a complete game and nothing will be missing. Is it a single-player adventure experience or do you guys also have any sort of multiplayer feature to it? So the game is actually fully multiplayer, you can invite a friend at any time into your game and they can participate in all the different activities with you, from playing minigames to collecting items, they can even set up their own space on your island and decorate it in their own way. And when we play multiplayer, is there any progression to it or any way players can engage, further engage in the multiplayer experience in the long run? Absolutely, just like with the Sanrio friends in the game, you can also level up your friendship with your real-world friends, so when your friend comes into the game you participate in activities together, build up a friendship level and unlock rewards and abilities with each other. So for example when your friend has joined your island you might be able to move faster throughout the world or collect items together and get duplicates of those items because you leveled up your friendship enough to do that. And that's online only, not locally, right? That's right, that's online. And tell me about the use of the license and how you guys use the Hello Kitty license here and what fans can expect from that side of things. We were very excited to work with the Hello Kitty brand and Sanrio has been an absolutely fantastic partner and working with us to really flesh it out into a magical experience. We actually get to use a lot of different characters from the Sanrio world, not just Hello Kitty or even some of the more well-known ones like of course My Melody and Badtz-Maru, but we've been able to bring in a lot of other characters like Hello Kitty's family, Cinnamoroll and all his friends and integrate them into the game as well. We even have Aggretsuko from the Netflix show. Yeah, yeah, she makes an appearance as well, she's one of the friends. I'm more excited, all the more excited now. Absolutely, yeah, yeah, she's definitely a fan favorite and she may or may not do some of her metal karaoke at certain points during the game. Okay, that sounds fantastic. What can you tell me about the release details? I don't know if you guys have them finalised as of yet, but what can you share now? We're still finalising all the details but it will be exclusive to the Switch in 2025 for consoles. Thank you so much for your time, enjoy the show. Thank you very much too, it was a great chat."

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