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.
Our publisher Bitmap Books have just released a bit more detail in their latest newsletter about the upcoming Games That Weren’t book, including a sneak peak at how its shaping up, so here is a bit of a preview for you:
Giving an illustrated snapshot of a wide range of unreleased games from 1975 to 2015, The Games That Weren’t includes titles across a variety of arcade, home computer, console, handheld and mobile platforms spread across 644 pages. Many games are expanded upon in detail, with those involved sharing their untold stories and recollections, as well as attempting to solve some mysteries along the way. Assets and screenshots are shown for most titles, some never seen until now. In the case of games that don’t have anything to show, there are specially created artist’s impressions, giving a unique visual interpretation of what could have been.
For more updates, you can subscribe to Bitmap Books’ newsletter here.
Posted in Amiga, BBC Micro, Commodore 64, Dreamcast, GTW64 news, Megadrive, PC, Playstation, Prototype, Sega Saturn, Vic 20, ZX Spectrum
Great news, but collector Ken Van Mersbergen (known to many as Dutchman2000) has found and preserved the long lost AtariSoft conversion of Joust, which we have had an entry on for some time here.
Ken got in touch with GTW yesterday and informed us that the game was recovered from the archive of a retired programmer who used to work for Roklan. It was found on an 8-inch CP/M disk that was labelled “Popeye” and had the full source code and hex image to be able to create a CRT image.
We learn that the game was coded by Joe Hellesen at Roklan Corporation, and Ken plans to show the game in public for the first time since 1984, at the VCFMW/ECCC show in September (if it goes ahead). The CRT will be released after the show, or earlier if the show doesn’t happen and will be added to the GTW64 site.
For now, enjoy the screenshots and a massive thank you to Ken for preserving another piece of gaming history.
Thanks to contributor Ken Knight, it has been highlighted that the preview of puzzler Cubic, called Cubic Maxi contains some differences in the game play compared to the final release. Otherwise it looks pretty much the same as the final game, but worth checking out:
Another month and another update, including some preservation work for some released titles and a number of new entries.
7 new entries added
Bailiff, Ophir, Raiders of the Valley of the Kings, Secrets of Science, Steam Powered Computer Company titles, Treasure Hunter, Vampyr Motel
13 updates added
Argonautica, Batman Returns, Breakdance 2, Devious Designs, Freddy Fish, G.I. Hero, Giana 2 – Arthur And Martha In Future World, Judge Death, Karnov V1, Legend Of Fairghad, Monster Museum, Piper Software games, Zone Of Darkness
Early version posts
V pre-release shots, Troll pre-release shot
Other general C64 presentation work
Various C64 preservations
Kevin Wilson has very kindly sent some obscure titles to be preserved fully for the C64, so here they are:
The Game (Simple early Pacman clone)
TAP files, DC2N dumps and Scans
Dinosaurs (Early BASIC educational title)
TAP files, DC2N dumps and Scans
Action Biker Sampler Only
TAP files, DC2N dumps and Scans
With Action Biker, there seems to be no real differences to the final retail version, but interesting to check out anyway.
Thanks to Dan Warren, here is yet another pre-release screen, this time from Palace Software’s 1988 Troll game.
There are some very minor graphic differences compared to the final version, including the score being on the opposite side and some slight differences in the main area. Scan courtesy of Stephen (Mort) Stuttard.
Thanks to Dan Warren, here are some pre-release screens from Ocean’s “V – The Game”.
Very small differences overall, just showing an earlier score panel. The game graphics seem to be at this point pretty solid. Scans courtesy of Stephen (Mort) Stuttard.
A few more updates to the site, which includes a number of new entries and various updates. Batman Returns in particular has been tidied up a bit, and i’ve added some much better and high quality screenshot scans, thanks to the amazing Stephen Stuttard.
There are some concept sketches from Ned Langman too for a few entries and details about yet another Lemmings conversion that was intended. Full updates are below:
4 new entries added
Catch’em, Lordlings of Yore, Reader’s Digest Software, Underland
16 updates added
Batman Returns, Big Top, Civilization, Elevator, Enemy, Exodus, Labyrinth, Legendary Deed, Lemmings V1, Nuker, Pet Person, Quest for Eternity, Star Force Seven, Stellar 7, Warcraft 64, Worms
Thanks to Dasse Evertsson for the heads up, but at the end of the fantastic Amiga game Traps ‘n Treasures, there is a little hint of a sequel with “Redbeard’s Revenge”.
Due for release it seems in 1996, we are guessing that Starbyte had left the Amiga scene by that point. The last Amiga games from the company were in 1995.
@DillyDylan on Twitter commented that there was a Super Nintendo version of the game planned and was being programmed by Simon J. Francis. Below is a magazine article, but showing a screenshot from the Amiga version unfortunately:
Developer of the Amiga game Roman Werner was not aware of any SNES materials existing, and wasn’t involved directly. When asked about the sequel, Roman suggests the sequel was more of a “good will” mention rather than actual plans. They had ideas and graphics left over that couldn’t be implemented in the 1993 game, so there was potential for a sequel. Sadly though, it never happened and nothing was ever started.
Flicking through the last issue of Zzap!64 back in late 1992, I rediscovered an early screenshot and the first to be shown of the Commodore 64 version of Lemmings. It would be a year until the final game saw release.
Scan courtesy of Stephen (Mort) Stuttard (Click for full size)
Looking at the constructed screenshot, it seems this was a test level, as I think there are more lemmings on the screen than the C64 version eventually allowed, plus usually you only get the floater icon on this level. Also at this stage the shading is quite simple, and the graphics may have been quickly wired at this stage from the Amiga. Or is it even just a quick mock up?
Contributor Mathew Chakko flagged up that “The Sporting News Baseball” game by Epyx Software in 1988 was advertised with a panel area that had a number of differences compared to the final game. Here it is:
Now compare to the screenshot from Gamebase64:
There is a MPH meter and also what seems to be a wind direction line too? Very minor differences from what was probably just a slightly earlier build used to screenshot. Interesting though to see 🙂