2002 James Boulton
Platform: Game Boy Advance
Perplexus Diodomin was a Game Boy Advance title that was in development back in 2002 by James Boulton (code), with graphics done by James (tile graphics), James Barnard (tile graphics and music) and Jamie Bamborough (character sprites).
James Boulton was (and still is!) a huge fan of Puzznic, enjoying the title form its release on the Atari ST back in the day. He had started writing a version of the game on the Atari ST originally when he was 15, but didn’t get very far. He always had the idea of doing a Puzznic style game in the back of his mind though.
In later years, he eventually did it and wrote a Puzznic style game for the Palm Pilot, which was then ported to the PocketPC and released (not selling many more than a few hundred copies). After that, James (along with his friends) decided to try and break into the handheld console market by producing a new puzzler for the Game Boy Advance.
After a few months of various evenings, and based on the game code from the PocketPC version, Perplexus Diodomin was born. The loose premise for the game was to rescue the Diodomin (some kind of space creatures) which had been captured by solving the puzzles.
Once a decent enough vertical slice with reasonable presentation was produced, the team attempted to pitch the game to various publishers. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a lot of interest, even though the team did go up and see one publisher up north in the UK (though it couldn’t be recalled who this was).
James feels that the lack of interest was due to there being no licence attached to the title, and the cost of production of cartridges meaning there wasn’t a great margin of profit. Sadly it would mean that the game was laid to rest around 20% complete, with around 3 creatures or so to save.
In hindsight, James suggests that given the style of the game, he doesn’t think there was ever much chance of the game ever being published. Contributor Nathan Tru via our YouTube video noticed that the music was re-used later in Monopoly on the Game Boy Advance.
Thankfully, James has been very kind to allow us to share the final version of the development with you all, so you can check it out for yourself.
With thanks to James Boulton for answering questions and his kind submission, plus Nathan Tru for flagging up about where some (if not all) the music ended up.