Aqua Ippan
Image: Division

The sprite artist and animator Division yesterday announced the demo release for its upcoming Metal Slug and Nazca Corp tribute Aqua Ippan.

The promising project has been in development for a number of years already, with Division being its primary artist and programmer, working alongside contributors like the musician Hakurou, the programmer Soldier Rebel, and the item designer YinYangGio. It sees one to two players take control of the student divers Itou and Yena as they try and escape an armed militia and rescue prisoners along the way. The project contains pretty much everything you'd expect from a Metal Slug tribute of this kind, boasting a truly fantastic score, brilliant pixel art, and plenty of runnin' and gunnin' action.

A short description of the project and its story from its website reads:

"After retrieving an artifact buried at the bottom of a lake, student divers Itou and Yena find themselves being hunted by a local armed group called 'Vigilanti' looking to steal their treasure. Now the pair must escape the region and bring their artifact back to their school!

"Aqua Ippan is heavily inspired by the Metal Slug series, and pays homage to the lost prototype of the Metal Slug: SV-001by reinventing ideas that were scrapped during its development."

If you want to give the demo a try, you can download it for free or name your price over on You can also find a wealth of information (and concept art) over on the project's website, which is well worth taking a look at. Here's the trailer for the demo. Let us know what you think!

[source, via]