Puzzle

Tornado Alley [GC/XBOX/PS2 – Cancelled]

Tornado Alley is a cancelled action game that was in development by Atomic Planet in 2002 / 2003 for the Playstation 2, GameCube and Xbox. As we can read from the official press release, in the game the player would had to take control of one of the most powerful forces of Mother Nature, a Tornado, and guide it to do as much damage as possible, without running out of wind power.

To keep the twister alive we would had to follow the contours of the landscape, watching for thermals and building up the power of the cyclone with the right balance of warm and cold air. Cars and trailers could have been picked up to give ammunition to the vortex, to be churned around inside before being spat out with huge destructive force. Probably the gameplay would have been somehow similar to Katamari Damacy and Thornado (DS), but even with this interesting concept, the project was never released for unknow reasons.

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Henry Hatsworth [DS – Beta & Concept]

Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure is a Nintendo DS action-adventure and puzzle game created by Kyle Gray, who founded the “Experimental Gameplay Project” with Kyle Gabler, the creator of World of Goo. Gray led a seven-man team at EA Tiburon to develop the game.  While the game is an action-platformer on the top screen, once enemies are defeated by Hatsworth, they are sent to the bottom screen as puzzle blocks. [Info From Wikipedia]

In the beta version of the game there were some differences in the HUD, levels and gameplay:

  • The Puzzle Meter was in the top screen.
  • Different icon for the Rifle weapon.
  • “Young” Henry had a full series of “silver hearts” to consume before return to the “old” Henry. In the final game, only half of the hearts are silver ones.  It was like to have 2 energy bars at once (making the game easier).
  • Some of the puzzle blocks had a different design / face.
  • Henry’s animations were still incomplete.
  • A couple of parts in the beta videos seem to be from a removed level or an early design of a final one.
  • The bouncing baloons were pink, instead of yellow.

Also, in the concept arts we can notice many Bosses that were cut from the final game, as the ones that look like Benjamin Franklin or the 3 muscle men from the circus. In the artworks we can even see early and unused designs for  the normal enemies, Henry’s ship (from one of the secret levels) and puzzle blocks.

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Manhattan Project (Blood Lines) [PSX – Beta]

Manhattan Project is the early working title of Blood Lines, an action / puzzle game developed by Radical Entertainment in 1998, for the original Playstation. In the game the player needs to touch the light sources that are placed in the levels, to change them in his own color. At the end of the time, the player that owns more lights wins the match.

From these early screens we can notice that the characters in the beta version were different and even the light effects are not like the final ones.

Thanks to Celine for the contribution!

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Phear (Tetrisphear) [Jaguar – Unreleased]

Celine as make us to notice about a couple of interesting posts over at NFG Games (you can read them here and here) in which they talk about their visit to CES 1995, where they were able to play Phear.. the Jaguar game that later became  Tetrisphere for the Nintendo 64.

Tetrisphere is a variant on Tetris in which various shapes are shifted across a sphere and destroyed. The objective of the game changes depending on the mode, but generally depends on removing layers of shapes to reach the core of the sphere. [Infos from Wikipedia]

As NFG Games wrote in their posts, it seems that “Nintendo saw it running in Atari’s booth, walked over to the developer and offered $madcash for the rights to it”. A couple of pages from the original Jaguar’s Phear (aka Tetrisphear) brochure can also be see in there. Also Celine found a scan from EGM 98, in which we can see a Phear in-game screen from the early Jaguar version. Other screenshots could be admired in CdConsoles issue 4 and Game Fan issue 5-3.

Thanks to Celine for the contribution!

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Lemmings [Arcade – Prototype]

Lemmings is a puzzle  game developed by DMA Design (now Rockstar North) and published by Psygnosis in 1991, originally for the Commodore Amiga.

The popularity of the game on the Amiga led to its rapid porting to many other platforms, and is considered to be one of the most widely-ported video games of all time. [Info taken from wikipedia]

The Lemmings Arcade prototype was never released in arcades, though a playable version for PC was found and dumped many years after 1991. It seems that they had planned on using a trackball and buttons to control it, though my friend optiK and I have been discussing that it seems to be based more off the genesis build than anything. Still, it feels somewhat incomplete…

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Old Lemmings Into found in the original demo.

This is an original concept art of lemmings made for show Psygnosis how the game was going to look like.

The disk the ORIGINAL demo shown to Psygnosis was on, SAVED when DMA's Dundee office shut down, and donated back to Russell Kay.

The original photo of the old intro.