Ikaruga coming to Switch on May 29

Cult classic vertical shoot 'em up returns.


Publisher Nicalis and developer Treasure will release the 2001-launched arcade shoot ’em up Ikaruga for Switch via the Nintendo eShop on May 29 for $14.99, Nicalis announced.

Ikaruga was first released for arcades in Japan in 2001, followed by Dreamcast in Japan in 2002, Gamecube worldwide in 2003, Xbox 360 worldwide in 2008, and PC (Steam) worldwide in 2014.

A PlayStation 4 version of Ikaruga was rated in Germany back in March, but has yet to be officially announced. (We have e-mailed Nicalis requesting information and are awaiting a response.) (Update: Nicalis has told Gematsu, “Nicalis has only announced the digital version of Ikaruga for Nintendo Switch. For questions about other platforms and versions, you’ll need to check with the developer.” We followed up asking if that means Nicalis is not involved with the PlayStation 4 version, to which the company replied, “Nicalis has announced Ikaruga for Nintendo Switch. Regarding other versions, no official announcements have been made.”)

Here is an overview of the Switch version, via Nicalis:


Shoot! Dodge! and… Get Hit!?! Ikaruga is a “cult classic” vertical shoot ’em up that features unique, polarity-switching gameplay. The game’s story follows a rebel pilot named Shinra, as he battles an enemy nation using a specially-designed fighter called the Ikaruga, which can switch between two polarities: black or white. This polarity mechanic is the game’s key feature and the foundation for its stage and enemy design.

All enemies and bullets in the game are either black or white. Bullets which are the same color as can be absorbed by the player’s ship, while the opposite color will do damage. As the amount of absorbed bullets increases, so does the player’s homing laser attack. When maxed out, this special attack can be up to 10x more powerful than a standard shot. Attacks can be chained together to earn bonuses that will achieve higher scores. Ikaruga on Nintendo Switch features both single-player and a two-player (local) cooperative modes.

Key Features

  • Players pilot their sleek Ikaruga fighter and face off against enemy ships, while they maneuver to avoid obstacles and other dangers.
  • Switching the polarity of the ship between black and white will let pilots absorb bullets of the same color, while opposite colored bullets do damage.
  • As bullets become absorbed, the player’s homing laser attack becomes up to10x more powerful than a standard shot.
  • Spectacular 3D graphics showcase this vertically scrolling shoot ‘em up cult classic.
  • Five stages feature elegant, yet tactical, level design and include challenging boss battles.
  • Two game modes include Arcade and Prototype, with support for single player and two player cooperative modes.
  • Vertical screen mode support allows for the game to play like a side-scrolling shooter!

Watch the announcement trailer below. View the first screenshots at the gallery.

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