It's been a long time since we heard anything from Two Tribes. After releasing the fantastic Toki Tori around WiiWare's launch period, they haven't really done too much on the digital download front - Toki Tori was recently ported to iPhone, but aside from that things have been pretty quiet.
Of course we had a feeling they had to be working on something. It turned out to be true, because last week they announced that they're not just working on one new WiiWare game - They're working on a whole series of WiiWare games based on the Rubik's Cube! Each one will share the same name, but will have a different subtitle - The first game will be called Rubik's Puzzle Galaxy: RUSH.
Two Tribes agreed to give us an exclusive interview, and they released some new screenshots and a gameplay trailer (Both on the game page) as well - Perfect timing! Below you can find what they had to say about the upcoming games:
Nintendo Life: What made you decide to make this game? Why do you feel a Rubik’s Cube game is a logical fit for WiiWare?
Collin van Ginkel: Rush was born out of our desire at Two Tribes to create great games. It may sound cheesy, but there is more to it so bear with me while I explain. Late last year marked the release of our first retail Wii game, called Rubik’s World. There was a DS version as well and each version had up to eight unique compact games in it. I say compact games and not mini-games, since each of them could keep you entertained for hours. When you actually develop16 games at once, there are a few corners you have to cut to get it out in time.
We felt that some of the concepts included inside the Rubik’s World title deserved to be explored even more, and get the proper Two Tribes treatment. And this is when we decided to make it into a series of which Rush is the first release!
Nlife: When did you start work on the game? Was it already being worked on after Toki Tori's release or is it more recent?
Collin: We started working on Rush in the first quarter of this year. Since it builds on the foundation of Rubik’s World we could get a running start with the development. In the mean time we also produced a cool version of Toki Tori for iPhone and we’re also working on some other Wii-related projects.
Nlife: In most countries (Except, unsurprisingly, the Netherlands), Toki Tori sadly fell off the top 20 best-selling WiiWare games list quite fast - Did the game still sell well or are you disappointed with its performance? How do you think Puzzle Galaxy will fair?
Collin: I think we dropped off the top 20 once there were 21 games available Seriously though, we have learned a lot about being an online publisher with Toki Tori. We have now set up Two Tribes Publishing, as a separate company, and Rush is co-published by The Game Factory and Two Tribes Publishing.
We’re very eager to put into practice what we’ve learned with Toki Tori, and Rush can only benefit from that. The online community often labels games with licenses as shovelware, which is something that we are very aware of. We stand by the quality of the product though and we’re very much looking forward to hearing what people think about what we have created.
Nlife: You’ve already announced that the game will receive some sequels. Exactly how many are you thinking of? Are they planned to be released in regular intervals or will there be some time between each?
Collin: We are planning on several games in the Rubik’s Puzzle Galaxy series. Rush is the first one out of the gate, but it’s too early to tell when the next in the series will be ready. Instead of being tied to a schedule, we’re taking our time ensuring that whatever we put out there is worth the price of admission.
Nlife: You previously made Rubik’s World for Nintendo DS and Wii, which featured multiple mini-games based on the Rubik’s Cube. Rush seems to stick with one type of gameplay - What inspired this change?
Collin: As I mentioned before, we wanted to pick one of the games included and really flesh it out into a proper stand-alone product. We have been able to improve on every aspect, something that would not have been possible had we gone the multiple game route again
Nlife: The game seems quite challenging, because not only do you have to turn the level around to see everything, but you'll also have to make sure the timing is right and the blocks don't collapse. What are some of the more interesting obstacles we'll encounter?
Collin: We start out easy, with a series of tutorial levels, then followed by levels with a slowly increasing difficulty. Earlier levels are mostly flat, but we have full 3D levels with warp points as well. As can be expected of us, the later levels are very challenging, but always fair. Rush is all about forward thinking and logic, so any puzzle can be solved by thinking just a little bit harder!
Nlife: In the video we've seen, there are 20 selectable levels. Will this be it or will there be other modes and unlockable levels?
Collin: There is a lot more than that! The game features over 70 levels, which are unlocked in such a fashion that you won’t get stuck if you cannot solve that one nasty level. In addition to that we also have the different Rubik’s Cube modes which feature; four sizes of Rubik’s Cubes to solve, a score mode where you have to create patterns with the Cube and a tutorial for solving an actual Cube. The Rubik’s Cube modes can be played in two-player mode as well, and you can upload your scores to the online leader-boards.
Nlife: The game has only just been announced, but you've already talked about submitting it to Nintendo for review. Does this mean it's already done?
Collin: The game has indeed been finished quite recently. We have been tweaking and changing it for as long as we could, so it took a while before we were ready to capture footage of the game in action and send that out.
Nlife: We know that it's generally not up to the developers to decide, but how many Wii Points do you think Rush will cost? Is there any planned time frame for release?
Collin: I have to give you the standard answer unfortunately. Both are not yet decided, but we do have a strong preference for the game to be a bit cheaper than Toki Tori is.
Nlife: With Toki Tori, you were one of very few WiiWare developers who actually took regional pricing into consideration – The game was 900 Wii Points in Europe, while North Americans had to pay 1000 points to make up for the fact the Euro is worth more. Will this happen again for Rubik’s Puzzle Galaxy? Is the game even planned for North American release yet?
Collin: Since we’re submitting both versions at the same time, the releases should be pretty close together.
Nlife: Of course we have to ask - Is Toki Tori preparing for a grand comeback yet? Perhaps on DS?
Collin: Another comeback?
There is nothing to report on Toki Tori at the moment. We are working on an original Wii game though, so perhaps you could look forward to that for the time being, hehe.
In closing I’d like to add that we’ll be keeping a close eye on the comments section, should anyone have a question about Rush!