Former members of Sonic Team get their hands on GBA hardware and put together one of the prettiest 2D platformers of all time.
The Magic Box reports that Pinobee's creator is named Dr. Genius. The news item also mentions that Pinobee is charged with protecting the forest from enemy insect armies...it's unclear whether the original "Pinocchio"-type plot still remains or if it has been replaced with this forest-defender scenario. Pinobee is still set to launch with GBA in Japan on March 21.
Last updated: 01/12/2001
With the Game Boy Color being quite infamous for its many "me-too" platforming games, you'd think there would be quite a few of them lined up for the GB Advance launch. Oddly enough, Pinobee will be one of the few, if not the ONLY, platformer at the GBA's Japanese launch. Thank goodness it looks so great! You may not have heard of developer Artoon, but I can almost guarantee you've played some of the games these folks once worked on: Sonic the Hedgehog, NiGHTS, Panzer Dragoon Saga...the list goes on. Yep, most of the people in Artoon come straight from the very famous Sonic Team! Their expertise is shining through in the fledgling developer's first game too. Pinobee: Quest of Heart (subtitle will almost surely change for the North American release) is a gorgeous 2D platformer with a style seemingly not unlike the classic Sonic games on the Genesis. The main character, Pinobee (think Pinocchio) is a robotic bee who wants to earn his heart...sounds kinda like the Tin Man in Wizard of Oz. The gameplay will consist of the standard side-scrolling fare, plus the ability to do a Flying Dash move, which will let you access places and things out of normal reach. Pinobee will eventually be able to do multiple Flying Dashes in a row. You can probably assume some type of stinger attack will be available for offense, as well as the Flying Dash. A diary feature tells you if you missed anything in a stage, and lets you replay the stage to perfect it if you want. The graphics are simply stunning, with very rich and vivid colors. Foreground sprites are computer-generated a la DKC, and the backgrounds are hand-drawn in great detail. The game gathered a lot of attention at its full unveiling at the Tokyo Game Show last Fall, and it will probably be one of the more sought-after launch titles in Japan. Nothing has been said of a worldwide release, but it seems quite likely. Stay tuned for more info as GBA's launch approaches!