Released in the August of last year, Tanglewood was an enjoyable, endearing and inventive platformer to see a physical release for the long-discontinued Sega Genesis/Mega Drive. This came about after a successful Kickstarter campaign, in which 892 backers raised £54,830 ($69,294) total.
Tanglewood follows a young, red fox named Nymn who, after being separated from her pack, must face the perils of the wilderness to get back home using only her noggin. The puzzles are fun, the graphics are pleasing, and the story certainly tugs at the ‘ole heartstrings on occasions. Not to blow my own horn or anything, but I was fortunate enough to receive a review copy of the Steam port and thoroughly enjoyed it. So, to hear this news of the Dreamcast version personally saddens me.
Announced on the original Kickstarter page, Matt Phillips writes “It is with very deep regret that I am unable to continue developing the Dreamcast port of TANGLEWOOD for now, and the project is currently suspended.” The Dreamcast version was originally a stretch goal in the Kickstarter campaign – and even though that goal wasn’t technically reached (by less than £200) Phillips and his team decided to pursue its development regardless.
“We had reserved funds for the Dreamcast port, but the delays to the Mega Drive version drained them – the running costs of the studio, the contractor costs for reworking assets, storage costs for cartridge parts ordered in advance, the costs of moving release schedules (logistics, marketing), plus many unexpected costs we hadn’t factored into the original budget (our contingency fund wasn’t even close) – as well as the fallout from not having a released game on sale beyond its initial planned date.”
Phillips goes on to state that he’s currently performing contact work to keep his studio afloat, and that he has little time for the DC port. Once he’s satisfied with the money flow and can hire staff again, however, he’ll look at giving the port the time it deserves. He adds, “I’ve been very careful to use the word ‘hiatus’ instead of ‘cancelled’ here”. It’s a sad fact of life that money rotates the clogs of the world and having it to keep the lights on is of utmost importance. But I’m glad to hear that he hasn’t ruled it out completely.
For those that paid for the Dreamcast version, your current options are either the Mega Drive cartridge or a full refund. Phillips encourages you to email him at firstname.lastname@example.org to find a solution.