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Wednesday, May 22, 2024
HomeMost wantedCaptain Velvet Meteor: The Jump+ Dimensions by Momo-Pi deserves more players 

Captain Velvet Meteor: The Jump+ Dimensions by Momo-Pi deserves more players 

Captain Velvet Meteor: The Jump+ Dimensions is a game by Swiss indie game studio Momo-Pi. The tactical action adventure has much going for it. It looks great, bright and colorful and has gameplay that is both taxing and entertaining. Plus it features a cast of well known manga characters, straight out of the Shueisha universe. What more could you ask for? Well, players! 

Back in 2019 the team of Momo-Pi felt like they had just unwrapped a Wonka chocolate bar and found a golden ticket inside. They won Best Game at the Google Indie Games Festival for their debut game Persephone. A great honor and a good indication that the young studio had what it takes to make it in the games industry. The golden ticket came in the form of a special prize presented by one of the largest manga publishers in the world, Shueisha. The prize allowed the team of Momo-pi to take their pick of iconic manga characters from Shonen Jump+ to star in their next game. 

Momo-Pi Co Founder and Creative Director Rinaldo Wirz remembers how delighted the team was winning the prize. “We felt great!”, he says. “We worked hard on our game and it created this opportunity. Sometimes you just need a little luck as well.” At first they made a list of characters they wanted to build the next game around, but soon found out that the prize wasn’t exactly an All Access Pass. “Obviously we picked really famous characters from mangas like One Piece, Dragon Ball and Naruto, but they quickly let us know that it would be way too hard to actually get the license from even one, let alone multiple characters. So we settled for less well known, but still very cool characters from the Shonen Jump+ universe, like SpyXFamily and Kaju no 8.” 

Powerful imagination

To unite all these different characters from all these different worlds, Rinaldo reached back to a universe he himself created years ago. Captain Velvet Meteor was a short animation he created as a graduation project, that dealt with how a child’s imagination can really transform the world around them. “As with any creation by one or two persons, it quickly becomes a bit biographical”, he says. “Childhood really creates an adult, so looking back at my own youth, I didn’t have access to TV or video games until late. And that’s fine, because it made my imagination very prolific and now I use that for my creations.”

The story of the game is about a young boy, Damien, who has to come to grips with moving to Japan. He copes with his newfound loneliness by creating an imaginary hero named ‘Captain Velvet Meteor’. The world of Damien’s imagination is the Jump+ Dimensions, where he sets off on an adventure with his favorite heroes to fight enemies, but really tries to adjust to his new home and find himself. “As I am thinking of moving back to Switzerland with my wife and kids who were born here in Japan, the story is kind of personal for me”, shares Rinaldo. 

Respecting the IP

With the base of the game in place, the Momo-Pi team had to create eight different storylines for the manga characters they had picked. To make sure that their stories didn’t interfere with the greater narratives of the source material, Shueisha provided a middle man, an editor with intimate knowledge of all the series. “He read my ideas and proposals and then told me what could stay in and what had to go”, explains Rinaldo. “In the end I’m really proud of the eight different stories, all respecting their IPs and in return all these different IPs really fit in our game.” 

Momo-Pi worked for two years on the game that was first released on Nintendo Switch in 2023 and on Steam a year later. With a core team of four and several contributors based around the globe, Creative Director Rinaldo was the man in the middle. “I was trying to connect everyone, but I’m not the boss or anything. We encourage everyone to pitch in ideas. I set up certain story beats we need to hit to progress, but everything in the middle is free to explore.”   

Bittersweet 

Now the game is out. But the release went by without much fanfare. The game seems to be stuck in limbo between Western audiences who think that this is too manga for their taste and Japanese audiences who don’t seem to know the game exists. “Shueisha, the powerful manga publisher and Shueisha Games, the starting game publisher are really two different entities”, explains Rinaldo. “Sadly the two don’t seem to communicate very well and so we don’t get cross promotion with the shows that are featured in Captain Velvet Meteor. I’m really proud of the game, but looking back, that golden ticket was a little bittersweet. Although we’ve crafted a great game, it hasn’t received the visibility it deserves. We’re eager for players to fully immerse themselves in our creation!”

Interested in Captain Velvet Meteor: The Jump+ Dimensions? Play the game on Steam, Nintendo Switch and Xbox.

Eric Bartelson
Eric Bartelson
Editor-in-Chief of PreMortem.Games. Veteran game journalist for over 20 years. Started out in 1999 for game magazines (yes the ones made of paper) such as PC Zone Benelux, PlayNation and GameQuest, before co-founding Dutch industry paper Control Magazine.
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