Nintendo Wii U lineup stars fan favorites from PS4, Xbox One, PC

Nintendo's digital store is beefing up with some top-notch independent titles in the coming months, and the company showed off a few familiar games during a presentation at GDC 2015. We're talking games headed to the Wii U eShop that have already launched on other platforms, including Klei Entertainment's Tim Burton-esque survival game, Don't Starve: Reign of Giants, Young Horses' PS4 launch title Octodad: Dadliest Catch and the beautiful, educational platformer Never Alone from Upper One Games. Our list below includes the freshly announced Wii U games and a bit of information about each one, so you can make platform decisions in peace.

  • Octodad: Dadliest Catch (summer): A game for the paternal cephalopod in all of us. Octodad is funny and super silly, best played with a group of friends watching as you attempt to control the titular character's flailing limbs. It's already on PS4 and PC, but now that the game is coming to Wii U, Young Horses founder Phil Tibitoski is already brainstorming more places for Octodad to infiltrate.

  • Don't Starve: Giant Edition (spring): The title is a good start, but there's so much more to Klei Entertainment's quirky survival game. This is specifically the Giant version, which is sold as a separate expansion on other platforms -- and the Wii U version will follow suit, Klei clarified for us. That means Don't Starve is coming to Wii U, and the Giant expansion is along for the ride, for an additional (but generally worthwhile) price. We checked it out briefly on Wii U and found the second screen made for a handy map.

  • Never Alone (June): It's tricky to create an educational game that allows its audience to enjoy the larger message and gameplay in equal measure, but Never Alone does so beautifully. The game tells a legend of the Iñupiat, a native Alaska tribe, and puts players in the shoes of a young girl and her fox as they brave snow, ice, animals and monsters while attempting to save her village. Gameplay includes discovering short documentaries about the Iñupiat, and these films will be viewable on the Wii U gamepad, while the game continues running on the main screen, Upper One Games said.

  • Swords & Soldiers 2 (May): The second installment of Ronimo Games' strategy franchise is exclusive to Wii U, and it's a treat to play locally -- one person gets the Wii U gamepad and the other controls the entire main screen. Rest assured that the gamepad's touch controls are intuitive, though players can turn them off and play with buttons, too. Studio founder Jasper Koning is aware that, as a Wii U game, Swords & Soldiers 2's install market is limited: "Chances of it becoming a million-seller are very low," he said. But, he noted that it's easier to stand out on the Wii U eShop than on a platform like Steam, which has nearly 4,000 games and more added each day.

  • Race the Sun (Q2): Race the Sun is a minimalistic, addictive, twitchy kind of flying game where you try to out-fly the sun. Yeah, it's hard (and it's a bunch of fun). This one comes from tiny studio Flippfly, and it got its start in the gaming market through Steam's user-voted system, Greenlight, back when that was just taking off.

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