It was back in 1985, way before the days of Doom or Wolfenstein, when a young Antony Crowther began working on a 3D game which you ran around a 3D maze blasting various bad guys. Some progress was made, but unfortunately Tony was never happy with the general look of the game and left it – deciding never to complete it.
The first mention of the game was within the pages of Zzap 64, and this was it and no official product was ever announced. There was no official publisher in mind for the game, but was a product of Antony’s creative mind which likely would have been pitched around. It didn’t really end there though, and in 1990 Tony resurrected the general concept in the form of the Sizzler ‘Captive’ game for the Amiga/ST (Published by Mindscape).
Looking at ‘Captive’ you have a kind of Dungeon Master style game with clickable arrows to move your player around the maze and blast things. This is kind of what the C64 version may have been like and is believed a little of which Captive evolved from.
Thanks to Ross Sillifant, there was an interview with Tony in C+VG’s Computer Cabin section (Dave Kelsall aka Microgoblin) – where he mentioned the game and gave it a name called Shelter! Here is what Tony had to say:
“I did a game called SHELTER that I spent a week on. It was a 3D game on the C64 (a bit like Doom) with chunky graphics where people hid behind barrels.It was done in the machines character mode and at the time i felt it was’nt going in the right direction…so we shelved it.After that i’ve released every other game i’ve written…”
Sadly we doubt that Antony will ever release anything of the early C64 prototype, so this is likely an open and closed case…
Contributions: Antony Crowther, Andrew Fisher, Ross Sillifant