Old School Gamer Magazine chats with Chris Totten, Founder, Pie for Breakfast Studios, who discusses the release of Kudzu on the Nintendo Switch.

About Kudzu:

Take control of Max, a serious go-getter and the best student of master gardener Zoen, who has just gone missing in the kudzu labyrinth. The wisdom that Zoen imparted on Max will be put to the test as you use your wits and gardening tools – machete, rake, garden hoe, and others – to navigate the vines!

During your journey, you will find a host of weird and helpful characters, as well as kudzu-controlled creatures who will stalk you through fields, gardens, forests, and even a haunted house!  

Will you survive long enough to find Zoen and unravel the mysterious origins of the kudzu itself?

Old School Gamer Magazine: How does it feel to be on the Switch?

Chris Totten: Amazing! I teach, and a lot of my students want to try solo game development. I always tell them that there’s no such thing when you are doing this at the level of something like a console release, because it really does take a village to get something like this across the finish line – even a retro homebrew project! It was a lot of work for everyone involved, but it was well-worth it.

Old School Gamer Magazine: How has the game been optimized for the console?

Totten: One of my favorite things is how the game includes multiple frames to put around the game, just as in 8-bit Legit’s other Switch releases and have added a full digital copy of the game’s manual. We’ve also fixed numerous bugs that we found throughout the testing process and made sure everything aligns with Nintendo’s official language for the Switch’s controls.

Old School Gamer Magazine: For those who haven’t played it yet, what’s the biggest draw for you to get them to play it on Switch, rather than other versions?

Totten: I really like the convenience of choosing whether to play on the handheld or the TV. I have an Analogue Pocket with a Dock at home, and that’s been a lot of fun, so I’m really excited that the Switch version is going to make that flexibility more accessible. The ability to flip through the manual on the fly is also a huge draw. I’m definitely one of those people that used to read a game’s instruction booklet in the car on the way home from buying a new game at Toy’s R’ Us, so having that feature was a big deal for me (this is why I wanted to make sure I made cool artwork for all the enemies, characters, items, and gameplay mechanics!)

Old School Gamer Magazine: Is there a sense of finality with this project now that’s gone from Game Boy to Switch? What kind of impact has it had on you as a creator?

Totten: There is and there isn’t. It definitely comes in stages – there was a sense of completion when we put out the first run of boxed cartridges and folks could get the physical game (those are on sale on the Mega Cat Studios website again, btw!), so this is another sense of completion in that it’s on a major console marketplace. At the same time, a bug we might want to fix could pop up, so there’s some support to do on it. With this out though, I my other game project, Little Nemo and the Nightmare Fiends, can have my undivided gamedev attention, so the projects never end! 

Old School Gamer Magazine: What’s next?

Totten: We’ve already got Little Nemo and the Nightmare Fiends – a hand-animated 2D comic adventure – well underway, and a lot of the level design and metroidvania-style progression lessons that I’ve learned in Kudzu are going to be applied there. I also have a book going to CRC Press soon on 2D action adventures, which will also have tutorials for GB Studio, the engine that Kudzu was made in.

Old School Gamer Magazine: Anything else you’d like to add?

Totten: I hope folks really enjoy the game – it was a labor of love for the Game Boy and for non-linear action-adventures, but also for my wife and I – since this came out of jokes and stories we would tell one another. A lot of the characters are based on friends and family members, so this was a really important project to us for those reasons.

Old School Gamer Magazine: Where can people go to find out more?

Totten: The US Switch eShop version can be found at https://www.nintendo.com/us/store/products/kudzu-switch/ and physical editions can be purchased from Mega Cat Studios at https://megacatstudios.com/collections/handhelds/products/kudzu


Patrick Hickey Jr. Patrick Hickey Jr. (324 Posts)

Patrick Hickey, Jr., is the founder and editor-in-chief of ReviewFix.com and a lecturer of English and journalism at Kingsborough Community College, in Brooklyn, New York. Over the past decade, his video game coverage has been featured in national ad campaigns by top publishers the likes of Nintendo, Deep Silver, Disney and EA Sports. His book series, "The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews With Cult and Classic Game Developers," from McFarland and Company, has earned praise from Forbes, Huffington Post, The New York Daily News and MSG Networks. He is also a former editor at NBC and National Video Games Writer at the late-Examiner.com