1993 Miracle Games
Platform: Commodore Amiga
Miracle Games Team were ambitiously trying to do a number of developments at one stage for the Commodore Amiga, which also included a revival of Dick Special.
Sadly many titles mentioned would never see the light of day, and Bouncy Bat game (later known as Miracle Bat) was one such title. The title itself was just a working title, and was described as being a tribute to Mario and Sonic The Hedgehog.
As you may have guessed, the main protagonist was a bat that could bounce around a large multi-directional scrolling map.
When previewed by various magazines including Amiga Power and Joystick, the game was at a very early stage of development – with coding by Delvin Sorrell (now Patricia Curtis). It isn’t certain who was behind most of the graphical work, but likely to have been Gordon Leggatt.
Amiga Power described the early stages having the main character just running around a contoured landscape, collecting coins. Miracle specified that they had got the game running at 50 frames a second. Although they felt it was as fast as Sonic, they wanted to do something more like Super Mario World.
The game would have featured parallax scrolling, with the foreground and background having 8 colours each, with sprites having 16 colours. Ambitiously the game was to include around 100 levels or so, spread across different worlds with loads of hidden rooms and bonuses.
There were also to be fully animated boss characters and the levels would be linked up via tubes – where the bat character would curl up into a ball and spin, just like Sonic. The speed would be 16 pixels at 50 frames a second, so pretty fast overall!
Originally the game included a “Candyland”, “Duploland” and “Iceland” set of themed levels, but when Zool came out – they decided to scrap them to separate themselves as much as possible from Gremlin’s game.
The One magazine published a news snippet on the game, where now it was being referred to as “Miracle Bat”. It was now being described as “cooler than Zool, harder than James Pond, faster than Sonic and the game is more complex than any of Mario’s adventures.”. Patricia revealed at the time that the game had been in development for around 2 years now.
100 levels were still the aim, now spread across 12 countries across the world, with now all the graphics done from scratch too by a different artist (after temporary shelving of the title). The game would also feature “the biggest end-of-level baddies ever seen on any machine”. From the screenshots, it was looking pretty good!
At the time, Miracle Games were still trying to find a publisher for the game, and by this point it was Renegade who were reportedly an interested party. However, not long afterwards – the group would split apart and move onto pastures new – leaving projects such as Bouncy Bat/Miracle Bat in complete limbo.
When researching into Dick Special, Patricia confirmed that she no longer had anything of her old code work. Graeme Ashton however offered more hope by saying that he still had everything archived on some old hard-drives. It is hoped that Graeme may uncover something in relation to this title. Watch this space!
With thanks to Karl Kuras for highlighting, Grzegorz Antosiewicz for flagging up additional screenshots, for Stephen Stuttard for scans and Abandonware Magazines for scans.
Some additional screen-shoots can be found in Joystick magazine issue 36 on page 54, 55 (1993-03)
Ah fantastic Grzegorz! Just adding now with a credit to yourself!