Puzzle

Dwagons [SNES, Mega Drive – Cancelled]

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.

Dwagons is a cancelled maze-puzzle game planned to be released on the Super Nintendo and Sega Mega Drive (Genesis). It was in development by UK based company Imagitec Design. As noted in a magazine preview found by the spanish board SEGASaturno, Dwagons shared similar ideas with Pengo (a 1982 arcade game by Sega) and Sokoban (a japanese puzzle game from the same time).

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!

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Katamari [DS – Cancelled]

In 2005 the Katamari series was on a roll (pun intended), and speculations about the series hitting Nintendo consoles started to emerge. In March 2005 Nintendo Power listed the game as in development for the DS. On the same month that year IGN approached Namco to ask about the possible title to which they simply replied “At this point we haven’t made any announcement for the future development of this franchise.”.

Unfortunately that was the last note regarding the title before disappearing.

Some say that this game ended up being dropped in favor of the PSP Katamari game Me & My Katamari which was released on December 2005. Sadly, Nintendo consoles still haven’t managed to get a Katamari game of their own aside from the DSiWare spinoff Korogashi Puzzle Katamari Damacy.

In 2016 the franchise came back from it’s 5 years hiatus with Tap My Katamari for iOS and Android so maybe the future might hold something for Nintendo platforms after all.

Article by Silvio Carrera

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Flux [Playstation / PC – Cancelled]

Flux was basically a very sophisticated 3D puzzle game involving a salesman in a suit as its main character, that was in development for the Playstation and PC. The player had to find his way through a maze of cubic rooms that could be flipped in 90 degree angles by pushing switches on the walls. The game was in development by Pulse Entertainment and was picked up by Microsoft but canned after awhile for unknown reasons..

Scan from PlayMag issue 8.

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Monkey Ball Touch & Roll [DS- Unused Levels]

Monkey Ball is an ongoing series of action-adventure games published by Sega, new installments frequently being developed for a variety of consoles. Monkey Ball Touch & Roll, played on the Nintendo DS, contains 120 adventure mode levels and various others for the 6 minigames. However, looking at the files inside the game, it may seen odd that there are over 70 more level files than there should be. Most of these files appear to be levels ported from Monkey Ball and Monkey Ball 2 for gamecube. Among the minigame levels, 6 unused Survival maps and 7 unused Golf maps can be found, as seen below.

Article by Skelux

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echochrome [Beta – PSP / PS3]

As we can read from Wikipedia, Echochrome  is a puzzle game created by Sony’s JAPAN Studio and Game Yarouze, which is available for PlayStation 3 and PSP. Gameplay involves a mannequin figure traversing a rotatable world where physics and reality depend on perspective. The world is occupied by Oscar Reutersvärd’s impossible constructions. This concept is inspired by M. C. Escher’s artwork, such as “Relativity”. At Siggraph 2007 Art Exhibit Sony shown a beta / concept version of Echochrome, with a nice level-debug editor.

Post by The Monokariba (AKA Monokiba), thanks to bruto77 for the video below!

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