The classic shooter Ikaruga came to PS4 and Nintendo Switch last year as a digital release. For those who prefer a physical disc or card to hold, though, Nicalis has announced that retail versions are in the works.
The announcement is sparse, simply showing boxart and mentioning that more release details will be shared when they’re ready. Given the timing and that these copies are in active production, it seems likely that they’ll come in the first half of 2020. Pricing was not announced, but the game is regularly priced at $15 on digital storefronts.
Physical copies of #Ikaruga for #NintendoSwitch and #PS4 are currently in active production. A release date will be announced when all the details are finalized. https://t.co/3033ZGfspF pic.twitter.com/lVOs6T6btQ
— Nicalis, Inc. (@nicalis) November 22, 2019
Ikaruga is inspired by classic vertically-oriented shooters, but with a puzzle-like twist. Bullets are color-coded between two different tones, and your ship can absorb one or the other. That makes playing a constant exercise in determining when to dodge bullets versus managing which kind your ship absorbs, while also firing back at enemy ships. It’s known as a pioneer of the “bullet hell” subgenre of shooters. The vertical orientation makes it an ideal game to play with a Flip Grip on Nintendo Switch.
“Fans of space shooters owe themselves the opportunity to play Ikaruga, a game that was designed both to impress their sensibilities and to challenge every ounce of their being,” Greg Kasavin wrote in GameSpot’s review. “Yet anyone who appreciates what makes a truly great game should be able to recognize Ikaruga for its elegant design and aesthetic beauty. Make no mistake, it’s not some wistful nostalgia for a bygone era of gaming that makes Ikaruga so appealing. Rather, it’s the knowledge that Ikaruga takes 20 years of great ideas in game design and somehow manages to put an entirely new spin on them, not for novelty’s sake, but only for the sake of making a game that’s both familiar and utterly unique.”