Lost arcade gem Clockwork Aquario by legendary developer Westone is set for a digital release on Nintendo Switch and PS4 in Europe on 30th November, followed by North America on 14th December.
The title began development in 1992 and is the last and never released arcade game by Westone, best known for their Wonder Boy / Monster World series. Designed by the company’s co-founder, Ryuichi Nishizawa, Clockwork Aquario is the company’s swan song.
Large character sprites, beautiful animations, vibrant colors – the game had everything an arcade game fan could dream of. But in the early 1990s, 3D and fighting games were booming in the arcades, so 2D games like Aquario, that relied on beautifully drawn pixel art, were no longer regarded as commercially viable so it was never released.
Designer, Ryuichi Nishizawa, said: “In the 90s, when game centers were dominated by fighting games, there was one title which had never been released, even though it was completed after more than two years of development and repeated changes. This title is Clockwork Aquario.”
“Who would have thought that it would be restored and playable again? I would like to express my heartfelt respect and gratitude to those who have worked so hard to restore it. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that this work is a great piece of 2D art, where the pixel artists of that time put their hearts and souls into.”