Glover (video game)
North American box art for the Nintendo 64
|Release||Nintendo 64, Windows|
Glover is a 1998 platforming video game developed by Interactive Studios and published by Hasbro Interactive for the Nintendo 64 and Windows in 1998, and for the PlayStation in 1999 (branded under Hasbro Interactive's Atari Interactive label). The game features a magical, four-fingered glove named Glover in his quest to restore the Crystal Kingdom by retrieving crystals that were lost. The Nintendo 64 and PC versions gained mainly mixed reviews while the PlayStation version received negative reviews. A sequel titled Glover 2 was planned but was eventually cancelled.
Players control a glove named Glover. The main objective is to maneuver the ball toward the goal in each stage. Once all three stages and the boss stage are cleared, a crystal ball can be restored back to the castle. There are a total of six worlds, each containing three stages, a boss stage and a bonus stage which can be accessed by collecting all the magic cards known as "Garibs" in a given world. When Glover is in contact with the ball, he can roll, bounce, throw, slap, dribble, walk on top of the ball, and use the ball as a trampoline. Without the ball, Glover can do both regular and double jumps, cartwheel, fist slam, locate the ball and garibs, and grab the ball. While walking on the ball, the controls are reversed. On the easy difficulty, walking on the ball is automatic while moving the ball across water. However, bonus stages are unavailable.
The ball can also be magically transformed into one of four main ball forms: rubber ball, ballbearing, bowling ball, and the ball's original crystal form. With a cheat code, the ball can be transformed into a power (high-bounce or super) ball. The rubber form gives the greatest amount of abilities for the ball. It can easily be bounced, slapped, thrown, and even float on water. The bowling ball form allows the ball to not break easily, sink in deep water, and kill enemies by slapping it. The ballbearing form gives precise control over the ball, can be used to throw and slap the ball more carefully and is also magnetic. The crystal form floats on water and is very fragile, but gives Glover double points for each obtained Garib. The power ball can be used to bounce to higher places, and Glover can slap and throw it farther than in any other forms. Throughout the stages, there are also plenty of magic potions that help Glover by giving him power-ups for a certain amount of time.
If the ball gets destroyed or Glover loses all three hearts, Glover loses one life and must start from the beginning of the stage or from the last checkpoint.
In a fictional land known as the Crystal Kingdom, a wizard rules from his large castle known as the Crystal Castle. The life force of the kingdom is made up of seven crystals that rest on the spires of Crystal Castle. The wizard is accompanied by a pair of magical, sentient gloves to aid him in creating strange potions and spells. One day, the wizard accidentally mixes the wrong batch of potions in his cauldron, causing a large explosion that sends his gloves flying and turns the wizard into a statue. The right glove, named Glover, flies out the window and lands safely onto the ground, while the left one lands in the cauldron, turning him into an evil glove known as "Cross-Stitch". The explosion also causes the land to become distorted and shakes the crystals from the spires, hurdling toward the ground. Glover notices the falling crystals and casts a spell to transform the crystals into rubber balls to prevent them from shattering. Six of the seven crystals bounce away in all directions, entering different areas of the kingdom.
Glover realizes that he must find the seven crystals and restore them to the fountain underneath the castle. He traverses from realm to realm and must protect the rubber balls at all costs. As he does, Cross-Stitch attempts to thwart him by setting traps and creating monsters. Glover, however, is able to overcome the obstacles created by Cross-Stitch with his magical skills and retrieve the crystals. The world is gradually restored to its former state as each crystal is retrieved and returned to the castle. In the end, Glover fights Cross-Stitch in an outer space–themed realm, and recovers the last crystal. The wizard is brought back to life and uses his magic with Glover's aid to purify Cross-Stitch, thus restoring everything to the way it was.
Glover was developed by Interactive Studios and published by Hasbro Interactive. The game was originally announced at E3 1998, later it was reported that the game was 60% completed on August 1998. Two months later in October, the game was reported to be 70% completed. During late in development, it was reported that Glover would have required the character to cross water.
For the Nintendo 64 version, Glover received mixed to positive reviews by critics. Matt Casamassina of IGN praised the Nintendo 64 version, specifically on its gameplay and sound. They wrote that the music matched the levels "perfectly". John Broady of GameSpot recommended the game for patient players in search of a challenge. Paul Hales of PC Zone gave it a 67% stating, "It's all good, clean, harmless fun in reasonably 3D rendered landscapes." Edge magazine gave the game a 7 out of 10 stating it wasn't all that original but also stated that the game provides regular surprises that makes it an entertaining game.
Next Generation reviewed the Nintendo 64 version of the game, rating it three stars out of five, and stated that "with interesting level designs, a challenging structure for item collection, and bright, competent visuals, Glover does manage to provide a refreshing angle on typical platformers."
Despite positive reviews for the Nintendo 64 version, the PlayStation version was heavily panned by critics. Matt Whine of IGN gave the PlayStation version a "Terrible" 2.6. They wrote that the game "looks bad" in comparison with both the Nintendo 64 version and other PlayStation games. Miguel Lopez of GameSpot also criticizes this version, stating that "Glover, despite its interesting play mechanics, seems to have lost its soul in the port from the N64." PC Zone gave the game 56% stating, "There's no denying Glover is bizarre, but at the same its not particularly interesting. The standard trudge through obligatory ice world, water world and space world, flicking switches as you go, hardly constitutes as enthralling gameplay."
On July 1999, Interactive Studios announced a sequel titled Glover 2 was being developed after the first one was released. The game was set to continue where the story of the first game left off and would have a more complete story that would unravel as the game progressed. Gameplay features of Glover 2 would have been similar to the original game with enhancements for hand/ball physics, enhanced graphics, and a new multiplayer mode. The game was expected to release in mid 1999 for the Nintendo 64, then PlayStation and Dreamcast the following year, but it ended up getting cancelled along with another N64 game from Interactive Studios, Frogger 2. On October 2011 it was reported that Nesworld.com acquired a prototype cartridge of the game and had released a rom hack and a video of the game. On February 25, 2015 James Steele, a programmer formerly of Interactive Studios, released a blog entry detailing the reasoning of the cancellation of the game. Publisher Hasbro had plans on acquiring 150,000 units of N64 cartridges for the game. At the time, Nintendo had a special deal that would give a discount when purchasing more cartridges. An employee of Hasbro in charge of ordering the cartridges bumped the amount to 300,000 units. Hasbro was left with approximately 150,000 units as retailers didn't want any additional stock, costing Hasbro roughly half-a-million dollars worth of stock that could not be sold. Hasbro was forced to take a hit on all of the extra cartridges it ordered and decided to cancel the project due to its financial situation along with the bad reputation the situation had caused. The game was around 80-85% completed before development ceased.
In 2017, Piko Interactive, a game company focused on re-releasing old video games, physically acquired several properties from Atari, SA including Glover. The company has since stated their intent to produce a re-release of Glover for newer platforms such as Steam, as well as finish and release the Nintendo 64 version of Glover 2.
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- Jackson, Gita (April 19, 2018). "The Studio That Announced Glover 2 Didn't Actually Have The Rights". Kotaku. Retrieved August 7, 2019.
- Piko Interactive [@Pikointeractive] (August 2, 2019). "Glover 1 revival is under works. Prepare your wallets" (Tweet). Retrieved August 7, 2019 – via Twitter.
- Workman, Robert (April 17, 2018). "Piko Interactive Planning Revival of N64 Platformer Glover, Sequel". ComicBook. Retrieved August 7, 2019.