WayForward Technologies is an American Video Game developer founded in 1990 by actor-turned-programmer Voldi Way, and named for a joke in a novel by Douglas Adams. The company first established itself as a reliable maker of product licensed to them by other companies — they began to make their mark with an adaptation of Sabrina the Teenage Witch, which made the astute decision of treating it as a game first and a licensed game second. They've become a notable example of No Problem with Licensed Games in much of their subsequent work - so much so that when Konami decided to contract out to an external developer for Contra 4, they went with WayForward.
The company's true labor of love, however, has been its original properties, most of which feature input from creative director Matt Bozon and legendary chiptune composer and sound designer Jake Kaufman (a.k.a. virt). Among its original titles is their flagship series Shantae.
Original works by WayForward include:
- Shantae, published by Capcom for the Game Boy Color in 2002. It's also available on the Nintendo 3DS' Virtual Console.
- Shantae: Risky's Revenge, a sequel self-published by WayForward on DSiWare, and available in the Nintendo 3DS eShop. Also available on iOS and Steam.
- Shantae and the Pirate's Curse, a follow-up for the 3DS, Wii U, and Steam.
- Shantae: Half-Genie Hero, another entry in the Shantae series for all major consoles of the eighth generation as well as PlayStation Vita, and PC via Steam.
- Shantae and the Seven Sirens, the fifth entry in the series.
- Sigma Star Saga, published by Bandai for the Game Boy Advance in 2005.
- LIT, published by WayForward themselves on WiiWare in 2008; licensed and published (as School of Darkness) by Square Enix in Japan.
- Mighty Flip Champs!, published by WayForward on DSiWare in 2009.
- Mighty Flip Champs DX, a PSN port/remake released July 12, 2011.
- Mighty Milky Way, the Spiritual Successor to Mighty Flip Champs, published again by WayForward on DSiWare, released on May 9, 2011.
- Mighty Switch Force!, another spiritual successor for Mighty Flip Champs, published by WayForward for the 3DS eShop, released in 2011 and on the Wii U on November 18, 2012, and later got another release on Steam.
- Mighty Switch Force! 2, sequel adding water-hosing mechanic.
- Mighty Switch Force! Academy is a semi-sequel/spin-off made exclusively for PC via Steam. It goes back to the first game's mechanics while expanding the stages to full-screen (so you see everything in the stage) and features four player multiplayer, with both Competitive Multiplayer and Cooperative Multiplayer.
- Cat Girl Without Salad, an April Fools' Day joke turned real as a part of the Humble Bundle's June 2016 offerings. Currently only available for PC.
- Vitamin Connection, a Co-Op Cute 'em Up for the Nintendo Switch released on Feburary 20, 2020.
- Spidersaurs, a 2D cooperative run n gun action game exclusively for Apple Arcade, developed by the same team behind Contra 4. It is available for free with subscription to the Apple Arcade service.
Licensed works include:
- Godzilla Domination, published by Atari for Game Boy Advance in 2002.
- Justice League Heroes: The Flash, published by Warner Bros. Games for the Game Boy Advance in 2006 (notably a side story to the main Justice League Heroes game, released for PlayStation 2, Xbox, Nintendo DS and PlayStation Portable).
- Looney Tunes: Duck Amuck, published by Warner Brothers Games for the Nintendo DS in 2007.
- Contra 4, published by Konami for the Nintendo DS in 2007 (US) and 2008 (Japan).
- A Boy and His Blob, published by Majesco for the Wii in 2009.
- Batman: The Brave and the Bold: The Videogame, published by Warner Brothers Games for the Wii and Nintendo DS in 2010.
- Barbie as the Princess and the Pauper, a companion to the 2004 movie of the same name (on DVD released by Universal City Studios in 2010) published by Knowledge Adventure for Game Boy Advance in 2004.
- BloodRayne: Betrayal, a spin-off action-platformer published by Majesco for PlayStation Network and Xbox LIVE Arcade on August 2011.
- Aliens: Infestation, co-developed by WayForward and Gearbox Software, published by Sega for the Nintendo DS on October 2011.
- Silent Hill: Book of Memories, an Action RPG Spin-Off published by Konami for the PlayStation Vita.
- Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why'd You Steal Our Garbage?, Nintendo DS and 3DS game.
- Regular Show: Mordecai and Rigby in 8-bit Land for the 3DS.
- Double Dragon Neon, a remake of the original Double Dragon game for PlayStation Network, Xbox LIVE Arcade, and PC.
- Hotel Transylvania, a Nintendo DS and 3DS game.
- DuckTales: Remastered, a remake of the original Capcom Nintendo Entertainment System game. Was released on August 2013 for PlayStation Network, Wii U eShop, and PC via Steam; the Xbox Live Arcade version was released the following month.
- Wonder Momo: Typhoon Booster, a remake/sequel of the original arcade game by Namco for Android. Based on the webcomic at Bandai Namco's now-defunct ShiftyLook website.
- The SpongeBob Movie Game (2004)
- SpongeBob SquarePants: Lights, Camera, Pants! (2005)
- Sponge Bob Square Pants Creature From The Krusty Krab (2006)
- Spongebob Squigglepants (2011), a game for the UDraw tablet for the Wii U.
- The Mummy Demastered, a retro-styled game based off of the movie franchise of the same name, where an elite Prodigium agent is tasked to take down Princess Ahmanet's army of the undead in order save the world.
- The Scorpion King: Sword of Osiris for the Game Boy Advance.
- The Smurfs 2, based on the 2013 film of the same name, published by Ubisoft.
- River City Girls, an authorized sequel to River City Ransom, published by Arc System Works, September 2019.
Other Games published by WayForward:
- Mystik Belle (PlayStation 4 and Xbox One ports; game was originally self-published by Last Dimension on PC in 2015)
Tropes associated with WayForward include:
- Action Girl: Chances are that whichever game they're working on will usually feature at least one of these. Bonus points if the active girl is the main protagonist.
- Animesque: The vast majority of their original properties have a distinct Japanese-influenced character art direction. Even some of their early licensed games had in-game graphics similar to Xtreme Sports and Shantae.
- Black Comedy: Their original games tend to have a liberal amount of cruel humor (even Mighty Switch Force! and Shantae aren't exempt, albeit to a lesser degree).
- Fanservice: You can expect most of their original major female characters to be generously-endowed, up to and including when they're not scantily-clad.
- No Problem with Licensed Games: They've earned a positive reputation for developing licensed games that are genuinely fun, and not carelessly mishandled for the sake of profit.
- Retraux: Their modern licensed and contracted games generally use a pixel graphic style.