- JP release: N/A
- NA release: N/A
- PAL release: N/A
- Developer: Interactive Studios
- Publisher: Hasbro
- N64 Magazine Score: N/A
I had quite a few issues with the first Glover. The levels felt disjointed, being random platforms in voids of bottomless pits, and the entire game being an escort mission for a ball that was far to east to lose or pop. It was still a nice concept, and could have been something good with another attempt.
After playing the prototype of the unfinished Glover 2, we very nearly got a game that alleviated my issues with the first and would have been a great game. In the prototype, the first hour and a half of the game is fully playable, while a level select lets you see the rest of the game, with levels in varying states of difficulty.
Glover 2 starts with Glover helping his brother make a spell, by grabbing ingredients and rolling them over to a cauldron. As the game is no longer about escorting a crystal transformed into a ball, it fees it up to be more of an adventure. Gathering ingredients to create spells are one of the main method of progression in Glover 2.
After the first spell goes wrong and the pages of the spell book are taken, it’s up to Glover to try and save the day. The first part of restoring spells is gathering runes, which are hidden across the map and rewards from helping NPCs. After this, the ingredients are revealed and you need to locate them and take them to a cauldron.
The first spell creates a bouncy ball, like the first game. You collect magical energy and can use it to spawn this ball whenever you want – losing it is not longer an issue (you can lose/break ingredients and have to return to get a new one).
Glover can also use other objects he finds – a shovel to dig up onions, an axe for chopping trees, a lawn mower for racing, and a speedboat. This gives Glover a wide array of abilities to find and use throughout the game on top of all the spells he can learn. One of these spells is a possess spell, which lets you throw an enemy into a cauldron to become them and use their powers (not dissimilar to Space Station Silicon Valley or Super Mario Odyssey).
One of the last areas you can get to naturally in the prototype is a gambling den, where you can play pool and snap to unlock goodies. Walking out of this area crashes the game, so it’s then up to using the level select to explore the rest of the game. Some of the later levels are very early versions, with placeholder textures and many buttons and objects not working, but others are near complete. You can get a good idea about what the rest of the game would have been like.
After the Gambling den, you would move onto a boss in a sewer (who just bops up and down in the prototype) and lead to a farm. You need to reach a high up area by flooding the farm by making a large wall cry (the farmer is not happy about this). This lets you reach parts of the runes and more objects to use as ingredients, too. A harbour with a boat you can sink follows next, then a boss fight/race which is only partially complete.
A little town-like hub world comes next, which is where the rest of the game stems from. Here there’s a large moving/twisting robot that you need to use to access different areas, and some NPCs with quests to complete. The textures aren’t finished, but everything seems to be working. There’s a museum area you can access, as well as a factory that seems to be a gauntlet for near the end of the game.
Another fairly complete area is a snow/village area. This is a group of maps where you get to transport bombs, take someone’s eye to a telescope and rebuild a snowman, although there is a lot of empty space and more runes were likely planned to be hidden. There’s a minecart ride into a mine where the objective is to get a crystal and transport it for a spell.
One fascinating level starts with Glover being kidnapped and attached to a ball and chain. You can use Glover’s throw (which is much easier to use than the first game) and the ball will pull Glover up. After escaping a cell, you use a guillotine snap the chain and revert back to normal. It would have been nice to use the ball and chain mechanic a bit more, but it’s just another example as to how the gameplay changes up throughout the game.
The final area of the game has you preparing a space ship to get to the moon, where you would encounter the final boss. There’s lots of markers in the boss room to give an indication as to what the fight would be like, but no actual fight.
The game also has a multiplayer mode, with an area and races. You can also load into the main levels with extra players, although I’m not sure if that was something they were planning. It works fine with two people, but the physics go a bit crazy with four.
Glover 2 was shaping up to be a great platformer. The parts that work are a lot of fun and the progression sounds interesting, as you’re always working to gain new powers, rather than getting a number to unlock a door. I do think that if it was finished, it would have been among the best N64 platformers – and I didn’t like the first game that much. I felt that the concept had a lot of promise and needed another attempt – and this is exactly the kind of attempt I wanted.
So why was Glover 2 cancelled? Well the reason is both stupid and tragic. When the first game out, 150,000 sales were a good amount for a well received first party title on the N64. Nintendo pointed out an offer where the cartridges were slightly cheaper if they bought 300,000 and an executive went with that. A year or so after the game released, Hasbro Interactive were stuck with 150,000 copies and Glover was deemed to be a financial failure because of this, so when they were looking at gutting project, Glover’s bad name caused it to get the axe, even though the development of Glover 2 was going nicely.
Should it be finished?
Yes, this game really deserves it. Sadly, Piko Interactive hold the rights to it and, while they promised to finish the second to boost sales of their terrible PC port of the first game, progress doesn’t seem to be happening and they seem to be too busy being rude towards others on social media than actually making it.
Previous: Transformers: Beast Wars Transmetals
Next: Knockout Kings 2000
N64 Games by Date