Adam Caveman

Databyte

Status: No Download, Findability: 1/5

Updates made

19/12/19 – Magazine details added thanks to Fabrizio Bartoloni.

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By the creators of Polar Pierre, comes Adam Caveman, another platform game in the same style.

Bizarrely this title never had a release, and still remains at large today. What happened?

We are desperately without information on this title, and therefore hope to dig up a lot more on the game. We assume that the game was by the same developers as Polar Pierre, but we need to chase up this possibility first. The game style looks a little different.

An advert was shown in issue 19 of Zzap 64, but then never appeared again. It appeared alongside Polar Pierre and was advertised as being available for both the C64 and Atari. You can check out the advert here.

The game itself seems like a BC’s Quest for Tires style of game, mixed with a bit of Frak for good measure. Maybe it was for that reason that the game was canned?…. Not even the Atari version exists. Maybe Databyte went under just before this one could get a release? (This and Mumbles Super Spy didn’t quite make it.. and only Polar Pierre did).

Art Huff confirms he had nothing to do with this game – so he was removed from the credits.

Thanks to Fabrizio Bartoloni, the game was found to have been reviewed and listed as available for both Atari 800 and C64 in MC Microcomputer (See scans – interestingly showing Galivan as a screenshot and also Mumbles Superspy), which Fabrizio reports was a usually reliable magazine.  The magazine suggests it was good graphically and played well.   Apparently the game was available from Mastertronic, an Italian distribution of the UK company.   Computer Boss International also listed the game as available on both cassette and disk in an advert within Swedish magazine Dator Magazin (see scans).

So it seems quite possible the game was actually completed.  So what happened to it?  And who was behind it as well?

Contributions: Art Huff, Fabrizio Bartoloni

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12 Responses to Adam Caveman

  1. The game got reviewed and listed as available for C64 and Atari 800 at page 88 of MC Microcomputer, an usually reliable Italian magazine, issue 59/1987: https://archive.org/details/MC_microcomputer-059/page/n87 It says it’s extremely refined from the aesthetic point of view and quite playable. A bottom note says all the game reviewed in the same page are available from Mastertronic (it was an Italian distributor founded in 1986 by John Holder, a local branch of its British counterpart).

  2. Just to clarify; I meant the “box art” style was different in style to the reused US-release artwork one would typically expect.

    But the in-game graphics themselves are different too, yes. They look like they *might* be impressively cartoonish, though it’s hard to be sure given the lowish resolution of the printed image.

    FWIW, I had a game for my Atari 800XL called “Nuclear Nick” by Ron Rosen, which was (AFAICT) only ever released via US Gold’s “Americana” label, i.e. a UK market budget release. This is odd given that his other games appear to have been originally published in the US as full price releases (some later distributed in the UK by Databyte). Maybe they decided not to release an Atari-800-only game into the fast-changing US market?

    So it’s possible that Databyte might have picked up a game that wasn’t already distributed elsewhere, but… it’s all still somewhat odd!

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