Documenting unreleased, cancelled and prototype games.
Covering unreleased and cancelled games and prototypes on both consoles and computers. We are a large archive dedicated to preserving games that were never released to the public. Sharing history and stories from the developers, assets and more before it is too late.
A non-profit digitisation project, aiming to digitally preserve software and history 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.
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 →
This is a smaller piece intended for inclusion in The Games That Weren’t book that didn’t make the final cut. As a result, please note that it hasn’t been professionally proof read compared to the published pieces in the book. As part of our Bonus material series, here is the full raw article for your enjoyment.
Mention Elite Systems, and you may instantly think of Capcom 8-bit home computer conversions such as Commando, Ghosts n Goblins and also the cult classic shooter 1942. If you hadn’t already guessed, 1942 is set during World War 2, controlling an American plane fighting against swarms of Japanese fighter planes across 32 levels – oddly set in a reverse order.
Capcom are a Japanese based development company, and so the theme of the title had caused some controversy back home at the time. Regardless of any political issues, it still became very popular and made for a perfect title to port to all of the home computers of the time. Elite were the company to step up to the plate and grab the rights for the major 8-bit home computer platforms.
Nintendo Life have published a chapter from The Games That Weren’t book, which takes a look at the unreleased Virtual Tank game by Boss Game Studio.
As well as talking to the developers involved in the game, there are screenshots of the game running which have never been seen until now. Bonus materials relating to the game will be coming soon in a separate post.
Platforms: Commodore Amiga, Atari Jaguar and Atari Lynx
A long running Atari Jaguar mystery for some years now, and a game starting out on a completely different platform. Originally Green Thang was shortlisted to be covered in The Games That Weren’t book when discussing possible Jaguar titles with David Wightman. This led to an exciting early discovery which we will share with you shortly. In the end it was decided to cover Deathwatch, so now as part of our bonus book content series, we share what we managed to find out during our brief investigations.
Green Thang originally started life with a working title of Frogs, developed by two University students – Michael Pollard (code) and Alan Burns (graphics). It was demoed to Creative Edge around 1994, and CEO/Head programmer David Wightman absolutely loved it. The game (and team) was signed up as a result, with the proper title of “Green Thang” subsequently assigned. Continue reading →
A mysterious 3rd person title which was only in development at Ratloop for just over a year. The game was started in early 1998, and was cancelled after a publisher couldn’t be found.
With nothing much at all known about the game, gaming historian Massimiliano Camassa has meticulously been piecing together details about the history of the development. Giving a detailed insight about what could have been. Only briefly covered in some magazines, Massimiliano describes Hab-12 as not being your standard third person shooter:
“Offering a mix between a classic cinematic jump and run, third person adventure game and a third person shooter, Hab-12 was unlike any game of its time.
The protagonist of this would be adventure game, named Miray, would be forced to fight his way through gigantic habitations inside the research ship called “The Sentient”.
In his adventure, Miray grows from an underachieving every-man to a full blown survivalist after beating the odds over and over again in each habitation he finds himself in.”
Massimiliano (with help of the original developers) managed to get remains up and running on modern hardware to bring you footage. Overall, a very impressive and thorough documentary that is well worth your time:
Within the book is a detailed 10 page full story about the unreleased Attack of the Mutant Zombie Flesh Eating Chickens from Mars (AOTMZFECFM from here on) – talking to Matthew Smith, John Darnell, Keith Ainsworth, Ste Cork and Steve Leyland. There is also a specially created artist impression showing how the game may have looked, based on recollections of Matthew, John and Sinclair User. Continue reading →
As part of the launch and release of The Games That Weren’t book, we are gradually adding assets and content that didn’t make it to print as bonus content to share with you. The book contains a detailed 6 page full story about the unreleased 1970’s Atari arcade, Time Bomb – talking to those involved in the development, with input from Chris Downend, Lyle Rains and John Ray. Check out our growing Bonus Content page for more materials added over time.
When discussing the game with John Ray, it was established that archivist Scott Evans was now the keeper of the prototype. Scott has created a video of the game in action, which you can see below. Special artist re-pixelled versions of the screens from the video shots were made and printed in the book. Continue reading →
Contributor Niklas Lindholm has been trying to solve a mystery about a football management game that would just disappear completely without a trace.
Krisalis had already previously had released a title called PFA Player of the Year back in 1996, and tried to make extra use of the PFA licence by creating yet another management title called PFA Soccer Manager. This would be a management game built to run in Windows 95, making use of the codebase and interface style. However, they state that console versions were to be planned. Continue reading →
“I do miss having so many imaginative people around me, though, and I certainly regret never producing the 1930s football game we designed after signing up Sir Stanley Matthews.”
We got in touch with Peter, who confirmed that the game only ever got to a concept stage, when the project was put on hold. They didn’t get as far unfortunately as deciding what platforms the game was going to be on.
So sadly, the game was very much at the very early stages with nothing to find.
As part of the launch and release of The Games That Weren’t book, we are gradually adding assets and content that didn’t make it to print as bonus content to share with you.
The book contains a detailed 8 page full story about the unreleased 1979 arcade, Oops – talking to Larry Rosenthal and Dan Sunday about the development, and how it evolved over time. As there were no gameplay screenshots to show, the piece features artist impressions of how the game could have looked. Continue reading →
By the creators of UFO: Enemy Unknown and being led by Julian Gollop, and was a 3D evolution of the previous X-COM strategy games produced by Mythos Games. The press at the time were very excited about the game, and one even felt it could have been one of the greatest turn-based strategy games ever produced. Continue reading →
A short post to highlight two Amiga titles that never were (thanks to Karl Kuras) which were mentioned in the pages of Commodore User magazine.
The Legend of Billy Boulder
This title was actually due for release on PC and Atari ST, as well as Amiga. Although fully reviewed by two magazines, it never surfaced for any platform it seems. The reviews were fairly poor, but when would that give U.S. Gold an excuse not to release a game? Continue reading →
A short entry for a title due for release by Renegade on the PC and Acorn Archimedes (thanks to Kevin Tilley for flagging this one up to cover). This was to be a conversion of the 3rd game in the Turrican trilogy, which had already been released on the Amiga and other platforms. Continue reading →
A short entry for a title due for release by Thalamus on the Amiga and PC late into the publisher’s life (thanks to Kevin Tilley for flagging this one up to cover). This was a cool looking strategy game set underwater, and had previews released for the Commodore Amiga that can be checked out. Continue reading →
As part of the launch and release of The Games That Weren’t book, we are gradually adding assets and content that didn’t make it to print as bonus content to share with you. Check out our growing Bonus Content page for more materials added over time.
Whilst covering Captain Seahawk, developer Mike Albaugh kindly shared a joke asset that was to be included in the cancelled Last Starfighter arcade that he was a part of, and which is one my favourite films of all time. Continue reading →
As part of the launch and release of The Games That Weren’t book, we are gradually adding assets and content that didn’t make it to print as bonus content to share with you. The book contains a detailed 6 page full story about the unreleased 1970’s Atari arcade, Captain Seahawk – talking to those involved in the development, with input from Mike Albaugh, Dave Stubben and Dan Moss. Check out our growing Bonus Content page for more materials added over time.
At the time, no-one sadly had anything relating to the game (based on part of the VCS title Air-Sea Battle), or at least wasn’t able to find anything at the time of writing. Instead, we included some artist impressions to show how the game could have looked. Just before publication however, Mike managed to find the mock up produced for the banner art that was to be produced for the cabinet (Click for full size): Continue reading →
Platforms: Atari ST, Commodore Amiga, SEGA Mega Drive and Super Nintendo
As part of the launch and release of The Games That Weren’t book, we are gradually adding assets and content that didn’t make it to print as bonus content to share with you. The book contains a detailed 14-page full story about the game’s various developments, talking to many people involved in the different iterations undertaken. Check out our growing Bonus Content page for more materials added over time.
Below are a selection of character concept sketches, sprites and screenshots, most never seen until now, which have been kindly provided thanks to artists Mike Marshall, Ray Coffey, John Lomax and John Reitze to share with you. Continue reading →
With many thanks to Martin Inter, a number of early screens from actual released C64 games such as G-Loc, Dragon Ninja, Batman The Caped Crusader and Hammerfist have been added to this page. These show different sprites (in the case of Dragon Ninja), panels (Hammerfist). in game graphics (Batman) and vastly different and unused scenes (G-Loc). Continue reading →
With thanks to Ross Sillifant, it has been highlighted from a MEGA Power interview with Steve Turner that a PC Engine edition of Paradroid was once in production, as well as a unknown console edition of Total Recall.
Paradroid 90 was being produced right up until Hewson sadly collapsed, and then Total Recall would get the same issues when Mirrorsoft/ImageWorks went under in a bad sequence of events for Graftgold. Eventually, it was their conversion of Bitmap Bros’ Gods to the Sega Mega Drive which would result in their breakthrough onto console platforms in the early 1990s. Continue reading →
Platform: Nintendo Entertainment System, Atari Lynx and Sega Mega Drive
Just a short entry for a cancelled film title that was due for release on the Nintendo Entertainment System, Atari Lynx and Sega Mega Drive. It was to apparently feature an ambitious Wolfenstein style engine.
However, it was to be achieved using a special SuperCartridge on the NES that would have an extra processor and allow for better graphics and sound capabilities as well. The Lynx and Mega Drive were no doubt already powerful enough to do the game that Color Dreams had anticipated. Ross Sillifant kindly dug out an advert for the game, as well as a brief article that talks about the Super Cartridge technology. Continue reading →
Due originally for release in Q4 of 2005, this was to be a sequel to Republic: The Revolution. “Blue Vault” the working title of the game. The development would consist of an 18-strong development team, and had been under way for around 6 months at the time of PC Zone magazine showing off the game in May 2004. Continue reading →
Graphic artist Craig Stitt has recently been putting up a lot of brilliant unseen materials from his SEGA days, and has today just added a video showing screens from another Sonic related title called “Treasure Tails”, featuring Tails as the main protagonist:
Unfortunately Craig doesn’t recall much about it. Just how far it got, we’re not sure – but it would be wonderful if something playable could be found of this isometric puzzle title. However, the screens shown are confirmed by Craig to be mock ups, so they probably never progressed any further. Continue reading →
A short entry for now on what sadly was to be an abandoned conversion of Star Control III for both the Sega Saturn and Sony PlayStation platforms. The game was eventually released on the PC and Mac. There is a pretty decent article about the game at http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/star-control-3/
There was some brief press at the time talking about the conversions, and here are some scans for now from Sega Pro magazine (August 1996) that talk about the conversion to the Saturn (thanks to Ross Sillifant). Continue reading →
A short entry to share some screens showing a much earlier version of Alien Resurrection, featuring a 3rd person perspective for the game that was eventually dropped for a 1st person viewpoint in the end.
A short post to share various screens from the pretty much complete but unreleased Universal Monsters that was due for release on the Amiga and Atari ST platforms. Sadly hitting development and design issues which would ultimately see it cancelled.
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.