Welcome to Games That Weren't (Also known as GTW), a site dedicated to unreleased/incomplete/cancelled games and prototypes on both consoles and computers. As well as news, reviews and features, we have platform specific projects with downloads, photos, scans, screenshots, videos, reviews and interviews. Our main platforms consist of the C64 and Amiga, where there is a full digital archive of games being preserved for both machines.

Please note - we are a non-profit digitization project, aiming to digitally preserve history of unreleased/incomplete/cancelled software which would otherwise be lost for good. If for any reason there is anything that you do not wish to be on the website, please contact us for removal.

Latest news

GTW book pre-orders now open!

I’m pleased to announce that pre-orders for our Games That Weren’t book are now open at http://www.gtwbook.co.uk

To give a bit of background to regulars of the site (as well as new visitors)… Primarily my aim was to produce something special to mark 20+ years of the Games That Weren’t archive. Originally I thought it may only take a year to write such a book way back in 2013, but I had completely underestimated. It was really important throughout the creation to try and make something special and enjoyable to others, and not just rush it out for the sake of it – so 7 years later here we are today. Continue reading

Posted in GTW64 news, News | Leave a comment

The Heist – Released on Atari / IBM PC * jr?

A quick post after receiving an email today from a Robin Gravel who has highlighted the classic title “The Heist” – a title I remember well on the Commodore 64.

In the advert which you can see here, the game is additionally advertised for the Atari and IBM PC + jr platforms. However, neither of those versions seem to be out there at all.

So the question is, were these two ever released at all? Or did they just sneak out in limited numbers?  Let us know if you know anything more and thanks to Robin for flagging this one up.

Posted in Atari, PC | Leave a comment

Commando War

1990 Titus Software

Platform: Commodore Amiga, Atari ST and PC

Commando War was to be a very ambitious title from Titus Software back in 1990, a sort of cross between Populous and Cannon Fodder. But what was particularly ambitious was that the game was introduction of a concept called Action Concept. More on that in a bit.

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Ocean C64 assets

Just a quick post to share some odd Ocean related C64 assets I found as I was tidying through some archived disks from Dawn Hollywood (Nee Drake) and Paul Hughes when backing up some old CDs:

These “Time Out” and “Game Over” screens I don’t recognise from anywhere and they were on an unlabelled disk, recovered as deleted files. Not fully sure what format they are, so its possible they may have colour data not showing.

UPDATE: Contributor Hank (see comments) has confirmed that the screens are from Pang!  Added how it should look to the above gallery. Mystery solved, though they are slightly different overall, so earlier screens or possibly even from another build.

Then on one of Dawn’s disks is an unfinished/unused loading screen for Vindicators, which attempts to do some hires colouring. In the end it was kept to just a monochrome screen for the final release.

A set of curiosities which we hope you find interesting. Hopefully we’ll find out soon what the Timeout and Game Over graphics were intended for.

Download disk

Posted in Commodore 64, GTW64 news | 3 Comments

Space Junk

1993-1994 Imagitec

Platforms: Atari Falcon and Jaguar, Sega Mega CD, Amiga CD 32 and PC

As we moved into the 1990s, games were becoming far bigger and bolder – especially with emerging new data storage options for consoles and computers. Space Junk was to be an ambitious title by Imagitec, who were asked by Atari to produce a space adventure game for their new Falcon platform. We pull together information from various press sources from the time about the game and try to piece together a little of what it was about, and what happened in the end.

Due originally for release back in June 1993, the game was to feature over 200 locations with digitised backdrops, between 60-100 fully animated characters and each complete with speech samples. What made this game quite uncommon at the time was the use of puppets/masks to create the characters and animations – giving an almost life-like feel to the game. Certainly the digitisation would require some decent storage capacity, meaning it had to be CD for storage – otherwise the Falcon version would require a mega-ton of floppy disks or at least a cut down edition produced.

Although it seemed to be lined up initially as an exclusive for the Falcon, Imagitec decided to hedge their bets on more than one platform (which would turn out to be wise). They would add the new Sega Mega CD to the line up early on when discussing the game with Sega Force magazine in 1993.

Dawn Whitehead-Binns working on the sculptures, as Nick looks on wearing the mask of main protagonist Randolf.

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Starfighter Ace (PC)

1993 Maelstrom / Mirage

The next entry to go into the archive is a title which has been in my blurred memories for many years. I always recall sitting down and watching an episode of Gamesmaster on Channel 4 in the UK and seeing a 3D special, where contestants played a cool looking Star Fox style game. The contestants (and viewers at home) would need to wear a pair of classic 3D glasses to view the game properly.

Thanks to the power of the internet and all the magazine archives out there, I was discover that it was a title called Starfighter Ace. Planned for release by Mirage back in 1993 on PC only. What was surprising was that the title was being developed by Maelstrom, the Liverpool based team which had Mike Singleton at the helm.

 

Continue reading

Posted in Features, PC, Reviews | 1 Comment

Monster Demolition and Impossible Mission (Atari Lynx)

A quick post showing two early Atari Lynx developments which would eventually turn into something completely different. Thanks to Ross Sillifant for highlighting both.

The first is a title called Monster Demolition, which has some video footage online of the game running. Here is a screenshot from an Italian gaming magazine which shows another scene from the game, and from a town/city scenario:

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Dino Crisis (Fluid Studios) CGB assets added

The PlayStation Dino Crisis is a well known title by Capcom, and was designed by the very same team who had created Resident Evil. However, there was also to be a GameBoy Color conversion of the game as well. But overall there were not one, but two separate attempts at trying to bring the game to Nintendo’s handheld.

The first was being developed by Fluid Studios, which after cancellation, would move over to M4 Ltd as a completely new development and design direction. More details about both developments are already well covered and documented at Unseen64.

An anonymous contributor got in touch recently to provide some real pixel assets from the brief development, which you can see here and below. These include what we believe to be a previously unseen screen and dinosaur sprites.

The contributor crucially (and sadly) revealed that the Fluid Studios development of Dino Crisis never got beyond the design document that was created. The idea was that their development was to follow a similar engine/style as their Resident Evil development that was already underway – properly commencing once that development shipped in March 2000 as planned.

However, Fluid Studio’s Resident Evil was cancelled by Capcom in early 2000, due to them not wanting a conversion trying to closely replicate the more powerful PlayStation edition – fearing players wouldn’t actually enjoy it at all. This would ultimately condemn Dino Crisis, as it was about to follow pretty much the same path.

The images that you can see here were merely just mock up images produced by Fluid Studio’s artists in Color GameBoy palette and resolution (with the exception of one Dinosaur image which seems to be in the process of being converted to CGB format). They show roughly how the game and some of its key assets could have looked. Nothing playable had yet been produced at this stage, though it is remotely possible that assets could have been chucked into Resident Evil’s engine briefly for testing – but its unlikely.

At best, it is hoped that more mock up assets will surface in their raw form – especially some of the grainy images included in the design document that are missing from here. If anything more comes our way, we will add it to the page and let you know.

Gallery

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Super Barbarian (Amiga, ST, PC, C64)

1992 Palace Software

Note: This is heavily based on the original C64 archive entry.

Originally starting off and named as Barbarian 3, this was originally to be a straightforward sequel to Barbarian 2, following a very similar structure. This was an early period of development when both Steve Brown and Richard Leinfellner were involved in the development.

Basically whilst the sequel was in development, Steve had already decided that the game would benefit being turned into a trilogy. So the once planned ending to number 2 was changed so that Drax escaped through a mirror at the end of the game to leave it open for a 3rd title.

The main major change was that the 3rd game would now scroll instead of being flick screen based. When an action sequence occurred, then the game would switch to a larger and zoomed in fight view for the 16-bit editions. The C64 would keep the characters the same size throughout.

Continue reading

Posted in Amiga, Features, Reviews | Leave a comment

Silly Putty early screens (Amiga)

Thanks to Ross Sillifant for bringing a number of unreleased Amiga game screens to our attention, we also spotted some early Silly Putty screens and thought we’d add them to the archive.

As you can see the game was looking quite different at one stage in terms of its level designs:

 

Posted in Amiga, Prototype, Unused materials | Leave a comment

Pursuit Of The Pink Panther (Vic 20)

One of the holy grail titles for the Atari 2600, Pursuit Of The Pink Panther was also due for release on the Atari 800 and the Commodore Vic 20. Being converted by Roklan Corporation at the time.

Preservationist and collector Ken Van Mersbergen (known to many as Dutchman2000) found a very early prototype of the Vic 20 title within the archive of a retired programmer who used to work for Roklan. Ken released the title late last year in 2019 on the AtariAge forums after dumping the eproms.

Before you get too excited, the prototype is extremely early, and just showcases a one screen demo. It sadly isn’t playable and nothing moves, and just seems to be testing out the graphic display at this stage. A shame, as the Atari game was an interesting looking title that could have translated well. At this stage, we are not sure if the game ever progressed any further than the demo you can see here.

However, it is yet another important piece of gaming history preserved, and wonderful to see a Vic 20 title added to the site as well. Below is a short gallery, showing the game and prototype cartridge (thanks to Ken) and also a download too.

Hopefully some day we will learn more about the development and from those behind it.

Download link:

Preview_PinkPanther

Gallery

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Joust full game released today after over 30 years

Games That Weren’t is proud to present the long lost AtariSoft conversion of Joust, which was due for release back in 1984. You can now download and play the game as originally intended.

It is with massive thanks to Ken Van Mersbergen for the amazing discovery of the source code and compiling the game into a form that can be played. Originally Ken had planned to first show the game at the VCFMW event in September, but unfortunately it has been cancelled – hence the earlier release on Games That Weren’t today. You can read more about how Ken came to find the game and preserve everything within the main page itself:

Enjoy!

https://www.gamesthatwerent.com/gtw64/joust/

Posted in Commodore 64, GTW64 news | Leave a comment

GTW64 update for July 2020

This year has certainly flown already (and the sooner its over the better), and it is time for another GTW64 update with a number of new entries and various page updates that have been added over the past month. Enjoy!

6 new entries added

Apocalypse, Early Days, Mad Mission, Mirage, Molar Madness, Sidewinder

28 updates added

Advanced Soccer Simulator, Alliance, C64GS cartridge titles, Catacombs, Circuit Man, Earth Mover, Escape From Colditz, Findit, Forestland, Habitat, Iron Hand, Living Dead, Make My Day, Mastertronic Loader 3, Mega Games, Megatanoï, Miner Willy Meets The Taxman, Mishun, Nighthunter, Orpheus in the Underworld, PHM Pegasus – Advanced Battle Disk, Race Drivin’, Rainbow Educational Software, Red Arrows, Shoot Out!, Slap Fighter, Thunder Hawk, Unknown Tony Crowther game

Posted in Commodore 64, GTW64 news | Leave a comment

Yves Grolet Amiga archives released

Yves Grolet, programmer on Amiga classics such as Agony and Unreal (so not the Epic game!) has recently archived and released remains of his Amiga hard drive and various floppy disks to the public domain.

These include the full sources for Agony and various other prototypes, and bits and pieces. People are free to do whatever they like with the sources, as long as it isn’t for commercial use.

A fantastic treasure trove which you should definitely check out:
https://m.facebook.com/yves.grolet/posts/1022286895865594

Thanks to @AmigaL0ve and Fabrizio Bartoloni for flagging up the release.

Posted in Amiga, News | Leave a comment

Vectrex: another lost redesign

Whilst doing research into one of the Vectrex titles covered in the upcoming Games That Weren’t book, there was a surprise in store when Gary Bergmann (Senior Electronic Project Engineer at Milton Bradley) put us in touch with Tom McDonald. Tom used to work in the model shop at Milton Bradley at the time of the Vectrex, working on models for the likes of Dark Tower and more. Continue reading

Posted in Prototype | Tagged | 2 Comments