Three Tribes was announced in November of 2004 in a press release by its Dutch developer Two Tribes as an action puzzle game in an overhead perspective designed for all ages. I could only retrieve the Dutch version of the announcement, archive.org unfortunately didn’t cache a page of the English version. The game was designed for the Gameboy Advance and possibly the Nintendo DS; no release date is given for the game and the company had no publishing partner for the game at the moment of the announcement.
Three Tribes sets the player in control of a shaman whose purpose is to help out the natives he meets with their problems. Interaction between the characters, animals, objects and tools found in the game and with the environment itself would be a central part of solving the various puzzles. The game would be set in the same visual perspective as the 2D Zelda games but with a lot more freedom allowing the player to climb, swim and fly anywhere they wanted to. The game also promised a wide variety of mission objectives. The NDS version would differ from the GBA version in having a multiplayer game editor. The editor would allow players to design their own multiplayer levels and create their own objectives and later share them with friends.
Unfortunately Three Tribes was quietly cancelled; the company never found a publisher for the game. The main cause could have been the declining GBA market but I also cannot retrieve how far development of both versions was. I could find only a couple of GBA screenshots and two promotional videos (see below) and absolutely no information on the Nintendo DS version. On the current site of Two Tribes the game is briefly mentioned:
„In the meantime, we’d spent two years developing a physics puzzle adventure game called Three Tribes for Game Boy Advance, though it turned out to be impossible to find a publisher for such an ambitious concept.
The game was stated way into 2010 on the Two Tribes website as a Gameboy Advance title “In development”. After a refreshment of the website later that year the game vanished of the radar and was no longer mentioned. The game still hasn’t vanished completely as its promotional website is still (partly) online. But I think we can consider it cancelled.
Two Tribes teaser trailer – 2004 – GBA:
Three Tribes – GBA video: