Wild Country is a digital competitive card game from developer Lost Native coming to the Switch in 2024. It features cute little critters, plus an entire city-building aspect to sink your teeth into.

There have been plenty of card battling and city building video games before, so you be wondering which ones inspired the team behind Wild Country. In a recent interview with Nintendo Life, Lost Native CEO Becky Matthew answers that question. The answer is… a lot!

For the overall ethos of Wild Country, we have primarily studied Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle and Sparks of Hope, taking notes on how they took inspiration from a conventionally hardcore franchise, XCOM, and expertly redesigned it to appeal to a new audience that may otherwise have yet to try the games. It’s a shame how many fantastic game mechanics and features are bound to traditionally hardcore games and genres, many of which we take for granted as conventions.

Beyond the Mario + Rabbids series, Wild Country is very heavily inspired by popular card games (Magic the Gathering, Legends of Runeterra, Hearthstone), board games (Machi Koro, Settlers of Catan, Everdell), and simulation games (SimCity, Civilization, Rollercoaster Tycoon) for the card interactions, building interactions, and random events within the core gameplay.

The campaign mode was entirely powered by our nostalgia for adventure games we played as kids, most notably Spyro, Zelda, and Croc. Childhood nostalgia is a huge aspect we dip into for inspiration. Our innovation on card packs was heavily inspired by Pokémon foil packs we collected as kids, and we modelled the online play menu after the original Banjo-Kazooie.

Outside of games, Parks and Recreation and Zootopia [known as Zootropolis in the UK] have been pivotal to the tone and aesthetic direction of the game. The world Disney created with the Zootopia IP encouraged us to turn Wild Country from a card game to an entire universe.

[Becky Matthew, Nintendo Life]

Game creators tend to take inspiration from many sources, and it’s always fun to get some insight into exactly what those are. From video games, to physical card games, to movies and TV shows, there’s probably something that went into the DNA of Wild Country that you’re a fan of.

Click here to read the full interview, in which Matthew talks about what makes the game stand out from the crowd, and its Switch development. Wild Country will launch sometime in 2024.

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