We were lucky enough to have Robin Meijer, producer for Swords & Soldiers 2, take some time out of his super busy schedule to answer a few questions about the upcoming Wii U eShop release of Swords & Soldiers 2.

PN: Swords & Soldiers for the Wii was, from what I remember, the first review I personally received back in 2009. (It will always have a special place in my heart) At the time the game received pretty strong praise. What made the decision to release Swords & Soldiers 2 now; almost six years later?

A: The original Swords & Soldiers was the very first game we did and will therefore always have a special place for us. When Awesomenauts was finished we sat down to talk about what to do next, and we quickly starting throwing around some awesome ideas for a sequel to Swords & Soldiers. We were excited to return to that IP, and felt like there was so still so much crazy, light-hearted stuff left to do with it. It’s a lot slower and more story-driven than Awesomenauts, so it’s a really nice change of pace for us as well.

PN: For those new to the series. What is the basic idea and story behind Swords & Soldiers 2?

A: Swords & Soldiers 2 is, at its core, a side-scrolling real-time strategy game. You have a base on one side of the map and need to build units to attack your opponent, who is at the other side. It’s very colorful, cartoony, and accessible, but once you start playing the campaign or go head-to-head with your friends, you’ll find it’s actually a very challenging and competitive game.

PN: Swords & Soldiers 2 seems to give players a little more control over what’s going on-screen. What gameplay changes were made over the original?

A: Just as in the original, units move forward on their own accord when they’ve been built, but there are now a couple of units you can interact with directly. Every faction in the game (Vikings, Demons, Persians) has a ‘Super Unit’ that has a special ability you can activate when they’re in the field. This can turn the tide of battle, and enables some exciting new strategies.

Every once in a while, crates with Gold and Mana will spawn on the battlefield. You can only recover these by sending one of your workers from your base onto the field to pick them up, and carry it back home. If you succeed in hauling them back to your side of the map, you’ll receive a boost in resources that will help in overcoming your enemy. One crate more or less won’t make much difference, but if you consistently manage to capture more crates than your opponent does, you’ll be almost guaranteed to win. This encourages players to try and claim as much of the map as they can, rather than hang back while saving up for one massive attack. If you snooze, you lose ;)

PN: Can you describe how Multiplayer will work? Is it just local or Online?

Swords & Soldiers II has local multiplayer in which both players play on their own screen: the player using the Gamepad plays on the screen embedded in the controller, while the other player uses the TV. Both players have their own view, which eliminates the ‘screenwatching’ problem that most other on-couch competitive games have. This works really well, and it’s a ton of fun!

The multiplayer mode comes with a bunch of cool settings to tweak, which you can use to spice up your matches, and there is also a ‘Custom Army’ mode in which both players can select the units and spells they want to take into battle with them.

PN: Does the game use the Wii U functionality in any special way? 

You can play the entire game on just the Gamepad, just with touch. You don’t even need the TV! It actually works really well, and I can’t really explain how good it feels to cast lightning just by touching an enemy on the screen. It’s awesome!

PN: Last question is how I like to end all my interviews. In 7 words or less, why should someone purchase Swords & Soldiers 2?

It’s the best side-scrolling RTS … ever!