Two Tribes

Rewind (Two Tribes) [DS – Cancelled]

Rewind is a cancelled on-rails shoot ‘em up in the vein of StarFox that was in development in 2008 by Two Tribes for Nintendo DS. After their work on Worms: Open Warfare 2 DS for THQ in 2007, Two Tribes started to plan their next game and wanted to create an original Sci-Fi shumup for the same console. IGN reported the announcement of Rewind DS in July 2008, but even they did not have much info on the project:

“[…] ReWind, described as an on-rails shooter with a twist. What this twist is hasn’t been revealed yet, but Two Tribes says it is taking full advantage of the DS’ abilities. ReWind is set in a “carefully scripted game world” where players have one objective: blast everything.[…] It will use the DS microphone and feature a CD-quality soundtrack.”

By looking at the title, we can speculate that Rewind’s “twist” could have been a way to rewind time during the game or to go backwards during its on-rails levels. Unfortunately not much more was ever revealed about Rewind and it soon vanished among many other lost DS games: it’s possible that Two Tribes never found a publisher interested to support them for this project.

After releasing such a clever hidden gem as Toki Tori 2 in January 2014 Two Tribes had to close down for bankruptcy because of low sales of the game. Their parent company Two Tribes Publishing B.V. formed another small team to develop their last game, under the working title “RE:Wind”, later published in September 2016 as Rive for PC, Wii U, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Rive is a side-scrolling shooter and not an on-rails shooter as Rewind DS was planned to be, but we can still speculate that the released game is an evolution of their original, unreleased concept for the portable console.

Update: thanks to Maik we found an interview on N4G featuring Martijn Reuvers (co-founder of Two Tribes) that confirm some of these details:

Martijn: When we started with RIVE, it was about 2005, so a long time ago. Its original name was “Rewind” and it was meant to be a small game reusing the level designs and artwork that we had. You would shoot a couple of enemies, rewind back in time, and then go to a point slightly before where you started. This way we can just reuse assets and every time you rewind, you’re replaying the same content, but it’s become a little more difficult. So, that was the original inspiration for RIVE. We actually started with the concept, but when we were play-testing it, we found out that it really sucked, so we dropped it. The energy orbs that drop in RIVE were meant to allow you to travel back in time with Rewind, but we don’t know what to do with them anymore, because the whole rewinding system is out of there. We still have a warp system in there, but it has nothing to do with time travel. It’s a very iterative process. We start with something, decide it doesn’t work, and move on from there.

In addition to RIVE being built from the remnants of Rewind, we played a lot of Gradius and Metal Slug back in the 90s, especially in arcades. Collin and I played a lot of those, and we always wanted to make a game like Gradius. So, when the company went bankrupt two years ago (2013), we had been making a lot of puzzle games and we wanted to make something with shooting and explosions. We said to ourselves, “Why not go back to that original design from 2005 and do something with that?” The real inspiration for this game is our passion for those types of games.

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Three Tribes [GBA / DS – Cancelled]

Three Tribes was announced in November of 2004 in a press release by its Dutch developer Two Tribes as an action puzzle game in an overhead perspective designed for all ages. I could only retrieve the Dutch version of the announcement, archive.org unfortunately didn’t cache a page of the English version. The game was designed for the Gameboy Advance and possibly the Nintendo DS; no release date is given for the game and the company had no publishing partner for the game at the moment of the announcement.

Three Tribes sets the player in control of a shaman whose purpose is to help out the natives he meets with their problems. Interaction between the characters, animals, objects and tools found in the game and with the environment itself would be a central part of solving the various puzzles. The game would be set in the same visual perspective as the 2D Zelda games but with a lot more freedom allowing the player to climb, swim and fly anywhere they wanted to. The game also promised a wide variety of mission objectives. The NDS version would differ from the GBA version in having a multiplayer game editor. The editor would allow players to design their own multiplayer levels and create their own objectives and later share them with friends.

Unfortunately Three Tribes was quietly cancelled; the company never found a publisher for the game. The main cause could have been the declining GBA market but I also cannot retrieve how far development of both versions was. I could find only a couple of GBA screenshots and two promotional videos (see below) and absolutely no information on the Nintendo DS version. On the current site of Two Tribes the game is briefly mentioned:

„In the meantime, we’d spent two years developing a physics puzzle adventure game called Three Tribes for Game Boy Advance, though it turned out to be impossible to find a publisher for such an ambitious concept.

The game was stated way into 2010 on the Two Tribes website as a Gameboy Advance title “In development”. After a refreshment of the website later that year the game vanished of the radar and was no longer mentioned. The game still hasn’t vanished completely as its promotional website is still (partly) online. But I think we can consider it cancelled.

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Two Tribes teaser trailer – 2004 – GBA:

Three Tribes – GBA video: