Miyamoto’s Project Robot and Project Guard Dare to Test the Wii U Gamepad

By Robert Ward . June 12, 2014 . 1:43pm

The two games that endeavor to utilize the Wii U GamePad in new and creative ways can be found on the far east side of Nintendo’s booth on the E3 show floor. You might even walk right by them if you didn’t know what you were looking for—but that’d be a shame, because the two televisions there display Shigeru Miyamoto’s most recent creations: Project Robot and Project Guard.


On paper, Project Robot is simple: build and customize your own robot, and then defeat other robots in fights by knocking them over. In action, it’s much, much more complex. You can customize every part of your robot using the Wii U GamePad. The head, the chest, the arms, the legs. Everything. You can also change the length and width of each piece. Doing so, however, will change how your robot balances, which brings us to the gameplay.


In battle, the Wii U GamePad displays the view from the cockpit, from which you can fire a laser at your enemies. The left shoulder button moves backwards, the right forwards. The analog sticks slowly extend your arms forward. The Gyroscope in the gamepad is used to move pivot your robot from the waist. In order to punch, then, you have to duck twist the gamepad to the side, tilt it, and extend the analog stick in just the right way.


At first, it feels like an updated version of the infamous QWOP running simulator, but after some time, when you actually start to imagine yourself as this incredibly heavy hunk of medal, the slowness of it all makes sense. I faced off against enemies of all sizes—enemies made of tires, frantic ones with a gunner on top, things that looked easy but things that easily obliterated me. Whatever. I just enjoyed falling over and shooting things with my laser.


The next game was Project Guard, a sort of tower defense game. Different robots will try and infiltrate your base to destroy its assets, and your turret cameras have to stop them. The television screen displays all 12 cameras, while the gamepad displays an overall map. When you see an enemy on one of the numbered screens on the television, you click on that camera and fire away.


There are several enemy types. Tanks, for example, will blow up your cameras. Bird-bots will dismantle them and carry them way. You have to be quick to dispatch of these threats, which isn’t easy, since some cameras can cover the same area, making the same enemy pop up on up to three of the screens at once. In short, it was chaotic fun.


These games remind me of the Miyamoto who brought homemade puppets to Nintendo to describe the games he wanted to create. If anything, it’s nice to see that he’s thinking of new ways that the gamepad-television screen dynamic can go beyond just being a Nintendo DS.

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  • Spirit Macardi

    If the robot game doesn’t have a giant drill as one of the optional arms, I’m going to be incredibly disappointed x3

    • idrawrobots

      Did you see that you can make your body a head?

      • Spirit Macardi

        Now we need the ability to attach it to the top of a larger head-body robot x3

    • Uso Ewin

      I’d rather have wings of light than a giant drill.

    • KoRLumen

      I saw a drill component during the demo, so I’m fairly sure you can have drill-arms. Heck, you can have drill legs and a drill face if you want! Or a drill torso! Drill all day erry day

    • Postnjam

      Just who the hell do you think I am?

    • Mrgrgr and Unacceptable World


  • subsamuel01

    I know he’s trying to show off the gamepad which make sense with Star Fox because its a major IP. I don’t really see people getting excited to buy a Wii U to play the other two titles. They look more like tech demos for the gamepad, I thought Nintendo Land was created for that purpose.

    • idrawrobots

      I think they are more or less tech demos.

      • subsamuel01

        Maybe an eShop title, I really don’t see these games becoming full priced titles.

        • idrawrobots

          Very true, but Wii Sports was just a tech demo too, and those sold the crap of some Wiis.

    • Göran Isacson

      Pretty much this, yeah. Neat little minigames, but not something that will sell WiiU’s…

      Unless these are just part of some until know unknown collection of a bunch of different projects, and this thing takes off like Wii Sports for some crazy reason.

  • Rob

    these games look like they would belong in the nintendo land. the worst games shown at e3. everything about them is just stupid, i can’t imagine who is going to buy those games? or there must have been something i didn’t get and it was just a tech demo.

  • James Enk

    imo those 2 projects look like tech demos, fun ideas that may evolve into something great

  • LunarKnite

    I’m really intrigued by Project Guard. The multiple cameras on the TV with just the one camera angle on the gamepad to aim and shoot I presume sounds like a great concept. Frantic and exciting. And like they said, sounds even better when you have an audience helping (or hurting) you. With some polish and expanded content, I could totally see this as a high profile eShop title.

  • WyattEpp

    I’ll bet Sandlot is now going to make an AMAZING followup to R.A.D.

  • Seth Rich

    Love the security camera game, but I don’t get the robot one. Gameplay seems to last ten seconds a round. You either fall or walk like your robot has a back problem. Still, I’ll wait and see.

  • Ying

    These seem like fun little time wasters for the eshop, but nothing more. I don’t know how long anybody would spend playing a full game of these concepts unless they add more to it. I heard these were just tech demos for what could be done though

    • J_Joestar

      Well in the digital event, the people making Splatoon mentioned how Nintendo approach to game design is often to start with the core gameplay and then build up on to that.

      Games like Kid Icarus Uprising and Super Smash Bros weren’t originally what we know them as now when development of the games began.
      So it is highly likely the final product will look very different.

  • XyzzySqrl

    Miyamoto. Call the Robot Alchemic Drive dudes. Get them on this.

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