Sabian Island


Status: No Download, Findability: 1/5

Sabian Island seems to be yet another game that was advertised to buy through mail order from a software company, without actually having ever being released. I don’t know how many games were ‘released’ as such in the 1980s but it certainly provides Games That Weren’t a rich vein of material to search through!

In the game you recover a missing ‘time device’ to save New York from destruction. The cover shows a man in front of an island, holding a gun aloft above his head, while behind the island a nuclear explosion can be seen, which also sums up the plot of the game pretty well!

The game was due for a multi-format release but seemed that it didn’t make its way onto the market for the CPC, Spectrum or C64 for whatever reasons. Presumably it reached far enough into its development for Skyslip software to put out an advertisement for it.

The advertisement also shows other games that don’t seem to have been released so I do wonder if the company suffered a sudden collapse or was bought out by another company who quickly scrapped all the planned games and moved the programmers onto other projects.

A review of the text adventure game A Simple Case of Espionage for the Spectrum by Crash Magazine states that Skyslip were a new software house created by Rock City Music, who at the time were a leading music distributor. Whether Rock City Music were/are connected with the famous Nottingham rock club ‘Rock City’ is unknown but the striking similarity in their names suggests its possible.

Looking across other platforms, it seemed Skyslip never managed to release anything on the CPC, though there was an entry for Sabian Island on CPC Zone, which states the release date as N/A. On the Spectrum they released three games, two of which are currently MIA on World of Spectrum, which fits in with the scarcity or non-existence of so many of their other games. On the C64, according to GB64 and Lemon64, they also released nothing.

Thanks to Fabrizio Bartoloni in March 2023, we have learnt that the Amstrad CPC edition did at least manage to sneak out and you can check a video of it in action here:

A top down game which seems like Ikari Warriors mixed with Into the Eagle’s Nest. It is created by Jason Falcus, who did a number of games for companies like Codemasters. We are trying to get in touch with him to see if we can learn more about the game and potentially other conversions for C64 and ZX Spectrum.

If you know anything more, please do get in touch!

Contributions: Peter Weighill, Fabrizio Bartoloni

Supporting content

Update history

14/03/23 – Details of Amstrad CPC edition added

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