Tribal Lore is a cancelled “tribe-building resource management” strategy game that would have been published by Gremlin Interactive in the late ‘90s. The team used a sophisticated mix of polygons and sprites for the game’s graphics, which looked quite impressive for its time. Gameplay would have been similar to Command & Conquer and Age Of Empires, but with a Celtic mysticism twist.
“Tribal Lore is a 3D magic ‘n’ combat strategy game, with a mind-blowing AI, set in a mystical pseudo-Celtic environment. Set in the mythical ‘Land’, Tribal Lore explores the relationships, alliances and frequent squabbles among four arcane races: the Cruithná, the Shamanka, the Bruann and the Nammad.
Players can choose to take control of any one of the four tribes, each with its own distinct graphic and gameplay nuances. The careful management of the environment will allow growth of wealth & technological resources, allowing the construction of an array of temples, armouries, strongholds and fortresses.
Exploration will give access to magical sites allowing accumulation of major power. In Tribal Lore, magical power comes from your surroundings, and can be ‘tapped’ via dolmen, menhirs and other standing stones. Your druids can channel this energy in a variety of ways: morphing the terrain, affecting weather conditions, devastating foes or empowering heroes.
Further options including a scenario game (with missions & a slowly unfolding plot experienced from four perspectives) and full four-player network capabilities put Tribal Lore in a league of its own.”
Fantasy novel authors Jay Northearn worked on the game’s story, and shared some memories on the game’s cancellation:
“All seemed well, then wham – out of nowhere the publisher pulled the plug and the project, and all my work, was forever consigned to the slush pile. I was later told it was a financial decision made by people far removed from studio development. It was the straw that broke the camel’s back.”