puzzle

Dancing Eyes HD [PS3 Move – Cancelled]

The original “Dancing Eyes” was a quirky puzzle game developed by Namco for Arcades in 1996. You move a small monkey on a grid around 3D girls to cut out their clothes piece by piece while avoiding enemies, somehow similar to the concept behind cult classic QiX.

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An “HD Remake” of Dancing Eyes was announced in 2011, to be part of the Namco Generations digital releases, along with Pac-Man Championship and Galaga Legions. As wrote by Siliconera:

“Namco announced three “models” for Dancing Eyes on the official site – Crisitia Saietta, Francoise Mystere, and Musaki Kikka who appears to be tied to Japanese voice actress who played Alicia in Valkyria Chronicles.”

It seems this Dancing Eyes HD would have been a PS3 exclusive (with PS Move support) but in the end the project was canned for unknown reasons.

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Madstix [PS2 – Cancelled]

Madstix is a cancelled “cinematic racing puzzle game” that was conceived by director Koichi Yotsui & producer Takehiro Ando, possibly in development at Sol, the studio behind PS1 cult puzzle game “Suzuki Bakuhatsu”. They wanted to create original games for the recently released Playstation 2, and Madstix was one of their favorite pitches.

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Their concept was to develop a racing game with no steering wheel, accelerator or brake. The more you turn the right analog stick, the more fast and dangerous the car action becomes on the screen. Instead if you turn the left analog stick it would make driving safer. According to Ando Madstix was meant to be played like a cinematic ​​”Chicken Race” to show off driving skills and high-speed action, turning the left and right sticks appropriately while changing course at the last moment to avoid accidents.

The advantage of this mechanic is that the camera was free to be changed by players in many different ways. In a standard racing game the camera must be placed in the driver’s seat or behind the vehicle to drive. However, in Madstix the car would follow its predetermined path and players could choose the best cinematic angle to watch their actions.

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While the game was never officially announced, it was revealed during a presentation at BitSummit 2017 in Japan. As always we can only imagine how many interesting and weird cancelled games by Japanese studios still remain unknown by the public. 

Eden [PS2 – Concept]

Through GameSetLinks, Robert Seddon linked us to the International Hobo website, where they talk about one of their unreleased project for the Playstation 2, known as “Eden”. Eden was going to be a simulation / puzzle game in which the player would have been able to explore and grow his personal garden, but for various reasons Eden was shelved before they even started the  development. Only the concept design remains and you can read it all on ihobo:

When circumstances in the market changed and Play with Fire ceased to be a PS2 project (with a commensurate fall in budget), Eden was effectively shelved. Plans were tentatively made to resurrect it later, and inventive Belgian developer Tale of Tales were considered as an option for developer.

However, over the following years the project was to suffer further blows. The Japanese gardening game Shiki-Tei (“Four Seasons Garden”) was released in June 2008 for download on the PS3 and featured time-lapse as part of its gimmick – it was apparent that the technology for this is still very expensive, and the quality of the time lapse in Shiki-Tei was nowhere near the standard we had hoped to use in Eden, suggesting we could not have delivered this part of the design pragmatically. Then, the following month, Dylan Cuthbert’s Q-Games released Pixeljunk Eden for download on PS3, which meant the name “Eden” would have to be shelved.

Finally, in February 2009, Jenova Chen’s thatgamecompany released their game Flower for download on the PS3 which had so many fundamental similarities to Eden that this project was officially shelved. Flower is a magnificent piece of work, and more beautiful than Eden could ever have been on the budget we were intending to use for it. Although the play of the two games is very different, it’s apparent given the issues with time lapse technology that Eden was too ambitious for its time.

 

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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