Mortimer in the Big City is a cancelled action adventure that was in early development by Imagitec Design for Super Nintendo and Sega Mega Drive / Genesis. The project is mostly forgotten today, but a short article about it was published in 1992 on Hobby Consolas magazine (issue 10), with a few details on it’s gameplay (translated with Google):
“Mortimer, who is the “protagonist”, must do everything possible to rescue his girlfriend Maria Mouse from the clutches of Rufus the Rat. There are six levels to explore in which you can find everything: from animals of all kinds to an infinite number of objects, platforms, some humans, puzzles, traps and, above all, bomb-proof action and exasperating gameplay.”
At the time Imagitec developed some fun games such as The Humans and Viking Child, so we can just wonder if Mortimer in the Big City could have been another interesting project. The only Mortimer image published in Hobby Consolas is a concept art, and we don’t know if they ever created a playable prototype before its cancellation.
The 16-bit era is often mentioned as the Golden Age of Gaming. A graced period that gave us hundreds of awesome classic games. It was a time when 2D game development was maturing and lots of ideas from the 8-bit generation would be revamped with new technology and graphics. Some old concepts and gameplay would still do pretty well in 16-bit, others had to be reworked and adapted, while still using similar and already successful mechanics. The latter is the case for Dwagons, our featured game.
In Pengo the player must navigate through a maze and push ice blocks to defeat every enemy on screen in the shortest time possible. In Sokoban a more strategic approach is needed: the player have to move and fit blocks into specific areas to open the next level. Both had very simple but very successful formula for the 1980’s gaming market.
Dwagons would add a little more depth into the “static-screen block pushing” type of game in “a combination of adventure, strategy and arcade“. It would feature multiple-themed levels, co-operative multiplayer, multi-layered puzzles and a lot of secrets to uncover, everything wrapped in a cartoon-like medieval fantasy theme.
Developers even thought about other gameplay elements like magic spells, teleporting blocks, rafts to move through water places and trap doors that could make the player backtrack. By that time, gameplay variety was a central idea among gamers and developers and core mechanics for puzzle games were evolving (see Capcom’s Goof Troop for the SNES for example).
We don’t know how close Dwagons was from completion or how much of the game had actually been made, but judging from screenshots and detailed previews it seems it was already in a pretty advanced stage. It even had a whole scenario and a plot of its own. Two dragons (Dwagons) named Snort and Snail set on a quest to retrieve the Magic Talisman of Power and rescue their brother, Snarf, captured by the evil Lord Flame.
Imagitec was responsible for a variety of arcade game ports released mostly on Atari and Amiga platforms. They worked with other companies such as Atari Corporation, Gremlin Graphics, and Electronic Arts until early 1997 when Imagitec was purchased by Gremlin and renamed Gremlin Interactive Studios.”
Thanks to Marçal Mora Cantallops and Grzegorz for the scans!
Ragnarok is a cancelled RPG that was in development in 1994 by Imagitec Design for the original Gameboy. This project should not be confused with the Ragnarok Online MMORPG created by GRAVITY, but it’s possible that the scenario of the GameBoy title could have been related to “King’s Table: Legend of Ragnarok”, a fantasy chess game developed by Imagitec for PC in 1993. Only a single screenshot of Ragnarok GameBoy was published in Total Issue magazine 25, but the game was never released.
Thanks to Pentarou Zero for uploading the scan and to Whitestrider for the link!
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