Gremlin Interactive

Tribal Lore (Gremlin) [PC – Cancelled]

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.

We can read some more details from the original Tribal Lore PR, preserved by the Gremlin Archive among some concept renders:

“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.”

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Hogs of War 2 [Cancelled – Wii, PS2, PC]

The first Hogs of War is a turn-based strategy game developed by Infogrames Sheffield House (Gremlin Interactive), released for the PlayStation in 2000. While the game received average reviews at the time, it soon became a cult-hit and many years later (2008) Infogrames officially announced a sequel for Wii, PlayStation 2 and PC, titled Hogs of War 2. A Nintendo DS version was also announced, but we can assume it would have been much different from the others.

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Hogs of War 2 artwork was preserved by the Gremlin Archive in their awesome book, with some more details about the project:

“Hogs of War II was started as a concept by the Infogrames Sheffield House team, but never materialized. Was cancelled at Gremlin by Infogrames, passed by Sumo Digital and then cancelled again by Atari (Infogrames) after Blitz Games (Oliver Twins) had started a DS version I think.”

Some images from this cancelled sequel are preserved below, to remember its existence. At the moment we don’t have any screenshot from the lost Nintendo DS version.

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Switchblade 2 [NES – Cancelled]

Switchblade 2 is side-scrolling action title originally developed by Core Design and published by Gremlin Interactive for Amiga in 1991. A Famicom / NES port of the game, created by Kemco, was slated for release in november 1992. The player controlled a soldier, nicknamed “Switchblade”,  who had to save planet F-S5 from an alien invasion. As in similar action titles, he was able to double jump, use blades, guns, and collect power-ups for the latter. More weapons and upgrades could also be bought in the store.

It’s unknown why Kemco never released their version of Switchblade 2 or if it had any major difference compared to the original Amiga version, graphics aside.

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