It's been exactly one year since Nintendo first launched its WiiWare downloadable-game service for original titles. In that span, WiiWare has provided gamers with a handful of notable hits, including Bit.Trip.Beat, Mega Man 9, and GameSpot's Best Game No One Played for 2008, World of Goo.*
Nintendo patted itself on the back today for a year that saw 81 games from more than 40 developers released on the service, but it also turned an eye toward the next year of releases. Among the highlights that the publisher wants gamers to keep in mind are Square Enix's nine-part episodic spin-off Final Fantasy IV: The After Years; Bit.Trip.Core, Aksys Games' follow-up to its first hit WiiWare game; and Icarian Kindred Spirits, an Over the Top Games project following a winged girl in search of the fallen Icarus.
The coming WiiWare lineup also features two revamped platformers from the free-to-play independent PC game scene. Nintendo will welcome to the service a new version of the 2004 classic Cave Story, as well as Team Meat's Super Meat Boy, a follow-up to the original Meat Boy. The latter game has ties to another indie platformer that secured a console downloadable release, given that Team Meat's Edmund McMillen designed Tim, the protagonist of Jonathan Blow's critically acclaimed Xbox Live Arcade and PC game Braid. According to the developer's blog, Tim will also be an unlockable, playable character in Super Meat Boy.
* World of Goo was also released on the PC, and Mega Man 9 is also available on 360 and PS3.