Un-jumble the launch line-up for the Wii U and here's the fact that emerges: This fall, the Wii U is actually going to be a good console for... downloadable indie games.
This is weird, folks. We're in Nintendo-Does-What-Nintendon't territory.
Take a look:
Chasing Aurora This game has made the rounds at the Penny Arcade Expo where, back in 2011, we saw it on PS3. It's from Austrian studio Broken Rules, which previously made indie hit And Yet It Moves. Chasing Aurora's creators describe it as "a game about the dream of flight." It looks lovely. Out for the Wii U in November (presumably downloadable).
Cloudberry Kingdom This game is made by some Americans who call themselves Pwnee Studios, but don't hold that against them. Back in May, they were scrounging for money on Kickstarter to make this thing. They pitched it as "the hardest platformer ever" and made their $20,000 funding goal. Now they're a Wii U launch game. See the trailer here? Think Super Mario World but wayyyyyyy harder. Out for the Wii U in November (presumably downloadable).
Little Inferno Take the friends who were involved in making cult favorite DS game Henry Hatsworth and the Puzzling Adventure and the beloved multi-platform World of Goo and let them make a new game. It's also coming to computers, but that's not the point here. Downloadable on the Wii U in November.
Mighty Switch Force HD This is the console version of the 3DS game of the same name (sans the "HD"). It's a side-scroller/puzzle-platformer from the American studio WayForward Technologies. These folks mostly make licensed games, including the recent, good DS games based on the Thor and Aliens franchises. They occasionally turn out an original old-school game like this one. The trailer here is for the 3DS version. Downloadable on the Wii U in November.
Nano Assault Neo This is a twin-stick shooter from the small German studio Shin'En. Is it the Wii U's Geometry Wars? Downloadable on the Wii U in November.
Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien This sequel to BIT.TRIP. Runner is coming to a bunch of platforms, but given American development studio Gaijin Games' push for the series on the original Wii, it's fitting that the new one is also coming to the new Wii. Out for the Wii U in January (presumably downloadable).
Toki Tori 2 The tiny Dutch development studio TwoTribes put out the first Toki Tori on the Game Boy Color in 2001. Finally, a sequel in 2012! It's a puzzle-platformer requiring the smart command of several animals. Downloadable on the Wii U in November.
Trine 2: Director's Cut This is an extended version of a gorgeous side-scroller created by the small Finnish development team Frozenbyte. This new version contains the original game, the recently-released Goblin Menace expansion and a new exclusive level called Dwarven Caverns. It has online and local co-op. Downloadable on Wii U in November.
More at the source, including videos for all games (no clue why I cannot embed the videos, tried several things). Have to say, this is a pleasant surprise to see support for these types of title right out the gate. The WiiWare channel had a few decent games, but looks like they are really going for it this time around. The fact some of the games actually play on the WiiU's controller, pretty kick ass indeed.