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A Belly Dancing Hair-Whipping HD adventure from WayForward: makers of Ducktales Remastered, Adventure Time, & Contra 4!
A Belly Dancing Hair-Whipping HD adventure from WayForward: makers of Ducktales Remastered, Adventure Time, & Contra 4!
18,558 backers pledged $776,084 to help bring this project to life.

Sand Worm, Backer Builds, & More!


Greetings and salutations to all of our backers! We’re here with another update after several weeks of heads-down time as we prepare for E3 and beyond. We’ve got some big challenges ahead, and you’ve got a front row seat to witness the vigorous process of bringing all of the separate pieces together. At this point in development, we’ve made a TON of content. It’s time to connect the dots and start filling in the gaps!

Meet the Worm Boss!

First, let’s look at something new: the Sand Worm Boss! This guy dominates the “Fire and Forget” chapter of the game, which you may recall as being one of our stretch goals. This persistent enemy will be making multiple appearances throughout the level. We don’t want to flat out spoil it, so we’ll just let you enjoy the concepts for now. This is our first attempt in Half-Genie Hero to make a rotating action scene, where the camera orbits the battle rather than being a direct side-view stage. With this boss appearing roughly halfway through the adventure, it will be a great way to break up the visuals.

More concepts!

Have you ever wondered what Scuttle Town looks like at night? If you played the original Game Boy Color game you’ve probably seen it first-hand. But in the Shantae games that followed, the town has always been depicted with a happy high-noon color scheme. Unless the Pirate Master is visiting. OK, forget what I said. Just enjoy these amazing new Scuttle Town concepts.

Screen Grabs!

Now that we’re further along, you might begin to see fewer concepts and more screen grabs. That’s because we’ll soon be moving out of the phase where we’re designing outside the game, and we'll be making much more of our visual progress inside. Check out some of these screen shots, including some with Shantae transformed into the Monkey and the Crab!

Early Beta Builds are coming soon!

For those who backed the game at the EARLY ACCESS Reward Tier, we’ll need your help to prepare for our first playable build of the game! It will contain 3 levels at Beta quality. We’re trying to keep the final product fresh and spoiler-free when it launches, so we’ve gone ahead and hidden some features, like dialogue and some transformations. Now then, your body might be ready, but it’s possible that your WayForward Account is not. Please follow the instructions below, and make sure your information is up to date!

  • Go to the Website
  • If you haven't already, make an account using the same e-mail address that you used to donate with. This will connect your donation account and your WayForward account.
  • Login to your account on the website
  • Go to My Account > Pledges & Rewards > Manage Pledges
  • Be sure to fill out the survey if you haven't already

If you have changed your e-mail address or used someone else's to make the donation, please be sure to update it. The e-mail address you used to donate is what we will be using to contact you and is also how you fill out any other information we need in order to get your your prizes and game codes!

If you have any problem with this information, please contact

Community Biz!

We’d like to thank everyone for the support they've shown regarding Shantae’s inclusion in Smash Bros! Your fan art, move sets, and overall enthusiasm has been overwhelming! Will she make it? Who knows? We certainly don’t. But we do know this!! Never, EVER underestimate Shantae fans! After all, you worked together to fund this entire game, right? You bet. Speaking of funding stuff... Check out these awesome new Kickstarter Campaigns that have gone live recently. Both of them funded already, but rest assured, extra dollars go a long way, especially down the line when they’re in as deep in production as we are today!

Arduboy - Card Sized Gaming

Arduboy, the game system the size of a credit card. The easiest way way to play, make and share 8-bit games! Powered by Arduino!

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night

An exploration-focused, side-scrolling platformer featuring RPG and crafting elements all created the legendary Kojia Igarashi!

A Smashing Good Time in Scuttle Town


Hi Tinkerbackers!

Things are  moving at breakneck-speed over here, and Shantae: Half-Genie Hero is looking more and more amazing with each passing day!  Don't believe us? Check it out for yourself below!

Scuttle Town

Scuttle Town’s going “full circle” in Half-Genie Hero. We’re building out new concepts that take the Game Boy Color's circular town layout and recreating it in 3D. If you look closely, you might notice that every vantage point from past games is faithfully represented! The front and rear gate, the scarecrow fields, and even the old Lighthouse bay. We can’t wait to start building the new Scuttle Town!

Desert World

In our last update we showed you Desert concepts.  What you see below is those concepts made real in-game!  It now has a darker look and hints of a lost age in the background. Totally swank! 

 We've also got new desert-themed enemies to show you, including some new and returning faces! Check ‘em out!

Shantae in SMASH BROS?!? VOTE NOW!

Is anyone else losing their mind over this? Nintendo president Mr. Iwata has opened up voting to add your favorite character into SMASH BROS! As the original indie darling, we can’t think of anyone more suited to the task than our own hair-whipping heroine Shantae! She’s got the legacy, having Nintendo exclusive game launches dating back to Game Boy Color -- but her costume swaps and move sets are a perfect fit as well! More girl power, more magic, more music, more moves! VOTE NOW! 

North America Smash Ballot -
EU-UK Smash Ballot -
Japan Smash Ballot -

After you vote (you voted, right?) check out these awesome costume variations from our art team! We want Shantae in SMASH BROS., but it’s up to YOU! We already know what happens when you combine your collective might! Make some noise and VOTE, VOTE, VOTE!

North America Smash Ballot -
EU-UK Smash Ballot -
Japan Smash Ballot -

Slime, Sand, and Silver (Anniversaries)!


Greetings and salutations Shantaerians and Tinkerbackers!

Say Hello to SlimeGal!

While for most of you it’s been a while since our last update (sorry about that), a smaller group of Backers has been working with the dev team intensely on backer-created content for several weeks now. Today we’d like to reveal the first of our Backer-Designed enemies, the SlimeGal!

The SlimeGal was designed by backer A.J., with his idea being a slime-based enemy capable of changing shape. She’s not overly malicious, just a creature looking for her next meal. A.J. walked us through several design iterations, with him writing additional thoughts, moves, and adjusting to the game’s needs. We worked on dozens of possible designs and color schemes, with A.J. directing us towards the version you see here. We couldn’t be happier with the results, and feel that she fits wonderfully into the existing universe.

We had a ton of fun working with A.J. but we’re not done yet! Animation will continue to draw up key poses while the programming team proves out her base behaviors. Then we’ll get her working in actual environments designed to maximize her move set. And when that’s over, visual effects and sound design team will step in to perform their magic. A.J. sends his regards, and hopes you’ll love SlimeGal as much as we all do! Thank you A.J!

Your Face in Game & Your Art in Game!

We’ve been making progress on “Your Face in GameBacker NPCs as well, although we do need your help! We’re still missing photos from two of our backers. If you backed at the “Your Face in Game” Reward Tier and did not receive an email, please check your spam filter or email us at!

Yesterday was also the deadline for our "Your Art in Game" Backers to submit their fan art for the in-game Museum.  We're still missing a large number of submissions from our artists so if you haven't submitted your art, please submit it ASAP.  We're extending the deadline until 3/16/2015 at 11:59 PST, but after that we can't guarantee your art can be included.  If you backed at the “Your Art in Game” Reward Tier and did not receive an email, please check your spam filter or email us at!

Desert World Concept Art!

The team has left Mermaid World behind to work on the Desert World, the Race World, and some revisions needed for the Intro section of the game. The underwater areas have been given a lot of attention in the past months and look absolutely stellar! Here are a handful of images to enjoy.

 WayForward turns 25!

Lastly we’d like to invite you to celebrate WayForward’s 25th birthday, which just landed on March 1, 2015. We’ve been doing this for a quarter of a century and love making games for you. To help spread the love, we’re holding some epic sales in the coming weeks on fan-favorite games. Prices range from FREE (this is for you, Vita owners!), to 25%, 50%, and even 75% off. Some sales are restricted to certain territories, so check out our Facebook page for more details. As backers you’ve done plenty for us already, so we’ll say it here – DON’T MISS THE FREE STUFF!!

Crab Form Voting Results, Concept Art, and More!


Hey there Tinkerbackers!

We promised more regular updates, so here's latest scoop on Shantae:

Crab Transformation Voting Results!

The votes have been tallied and we have a winner! It was a close shave, with the very pointy Version A taking 2nd place and Version B claiming the top spot. So here’s your winner, CRAB VERSION B! 

Let’s give her a round of applause! We can’t wait to get her animated and put into the game! And a big thank you to everyone who participated. We're really enjoying the voting process and look forward to having the next one soon!

New Concept Artwork 

We’d also like to show off some great concept paintings for our levels, which are moving forward at a brisk pace. Take a look and enjoy.

And here's a look at another area of our Mermaid World.

Your Face in Game

If you backed at the “Your Face in Gamereward tier, you should have received an email from us. As honorary Sequin Land citizens, you will be required to live within the game for all eternity, wandering back and forth or perhaps leaning on a wall. If you did not receive your email, please check your spam folder, or email We look forward to immortalizing you in Half-Genie Hero

Enemy Designer

Five of you are currently deep in design on our “Backer created enemies”. So far we have a handful of designs moving forward, and we will be sharing visuals with everyone in a future update. Longtime Shantae fans will be happy to hear that great ideas are flowing from your fellow fan-folk. Each fan-made concept fits right in with the existing universe very nicely. 

That's all for today, see you next update!

Shantae sure seems crabby...Transformation Vote!!


Hello Tinkerbackers!

We thought we'd kick off a new year with a lot of Shantae: Half-Genie Hero info, so let’s jump right in with some sweet new game content!

Gameplay Video! 

The video below shows some more work-in-progress of the Mermaid world. The storyline here involves an evil counterfeiting operation, but we’ve opted to keep the video spoiler-free.

 project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with

One area features some platforming over Greek style pillars, with water hazards and some enemies that might feel familiar to long-time Shantae fans. The next shows some assembly line style machinery inspired by the classic TV show opening of Laverne & Shirley. Shantae’s going to have a tough time navigating the dangers of a machine operated cannery, and there are new alligator-style workers to contend with, and some (now temporary) electric bats as well. There’s also an action packed escape portion where Shantae slides down a chute at high speeds. Enjoy! 

More Visual Design!

Here are a few of the design elements that went into making the levels in the video above: 

A few, like the young maidens & enemy mermaids are yet to be animated. If you’ve played Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse, you might recognize a rather sinister soul lurking amongst the concepts. Near the bottom are some more poses for the Giga Mermaid, the boss of this Chapter. The game is really coming together and is oozing with personality.

Transformation Vote!

It’s time to kick off another VOTE! If you backed at the “Contributor” reward tier, you’ve got a week to peruse these designs for one of Shantae's transformations and weigh in on your favorite! 

Our current plan has the player getting the Mermaid Transformation later in the adventure, which allows for unlimited exploration underwater. But earlier in the game players will use the Crab Form to plunge into the depths. While “falling” underwater, the crab can glide side to side (much like the Hat Gliding move in Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse – but, under the sea). The Crab Transformation can also duck to hide in its shell. And while all four of our crab designs look very different (not all have large, visible shells) we can pop the Crab into a protective state easily, defying conventional logic because, hey, it’s a cartoon! So choose your favorite, and we’ll get it animated and in game! This Vote will be open until 3:30pm PST 1/22/2015 and is live...NOW!

Remember, to vote you must be a Contributor level backer ($60 Reward Tier) or higher. If you are, simply go to and login to your account. Select WayForums and click on the Shantae: Half-Genie Hero Kickstarter Contributer+ Board

Once inside find the "Shantae: Half-Genie Hero - Vote #2: Crab Transformation" topic and you will have 4 options to choose from. Click the box next to your favorite and that's it!  You only get one vote, and once you've voted it's locked in, so make it count!!

Enemy Designers! 

If you backed at the “Enemy Designer" reward tier, please check your email inbox right away! We’ve reached out to the 5 Guest Designers to gather up their designs and begin the process of putting their own personal stamp on the game. We’ll be guiding these designers through several steps, ensuring that their foe fits into the world of Shantae, and has a proper home in one of the themed lands in which it will dwell. We’ll all be watching the process through future updates, and it promises to be an entertaining journey for everyone!

Your Art in Game!

Backers at this reward tier have been contacted as well. Now we’ve got a place for you to upload your original Shantae-themed artwork. There will be specific instructions for you as well, including general guidelines and formatting...stuff we can discuss with you outside of this update.

Your Face in Game!

We’ll be reaching out to you next, so please get a couple of photos ready! You’re about to become an NPC in Scuttle Town

Ok, that’s all for now... it’s busy, busy, busy over here at WayForward and we can’t wait to show you more in the next update. See you then!