Next Level Games has made some quality titles like Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon and Super Mario Strikers, but lately they've been in the news a lot for games they didn't make. As an independent studio, they're reliant on support from other companies, so many of their game ideas never see the light of day. A& Metroid concept and a Mario title that combined volleyball, wrestling, and a game show were shot down in recent years, and now another cancelled concept has surfaced.
In 2011 Next Level Games was working on a puzzle-platformer called Clockwerk, but it never made it to the prototype stage. The concept was apparently pitched to several publishers (including SEGA and Nintendo), but eventually scrapped when the company they had partnered with (unnamed) decided the gameplay was too similar to another game they were publishing. Here's the description of the game:
It was conceived as the story of two old men, Otto & Herman, who work as Hausmeisters (caretakers) in a magical floating clock tower suspended in the clouds called ‘The World Clock’, that governs the flow of time throughout the universe. On their final day before retirement, a faction of evil gremlins attack the tower, dismantling its innards and disrupting the behaviour of time. In order for the grumpy twosome to finally retire, they must defeat the invaders and repair its inner workings.
Sometimes game ideas get put on the back burner for a while and resurface later. Would you like to see Clockwerk become a reality?