Not to be confused with CRL’s officially planned release, which was also cancelled. This was to be a completely different War of the Worlds game, but thankfully is one which has been out there all along.
When recently trawling through some old Mastertronic games for some developer hints, we scanned through Mastertronic’s City Fighter.
Deep within the code is a mention of “The War of the Worlds” and “1984 MicroClassic”, which were both the intended title and the original publisher.
You see, City Fighter was written by PDH, who was Peter Hodkin – the same person who wrote “The Chess Game“. The Microclassic reference in the code would bring us to this game, and reveal who PDH was.
We believe that Peter had tried to get the licence, but lost out to CRL, and as a result of this and also maybe the Microclassic label failing, it was re-branded as City Fighter and sold to Mastertronic.
Looking at the game, we doubt little has changed from the original title – apart from the logo and maybe a few sprites, which could have been tripod-esq. There seems to be no traces of any unused sprites in the code. The skyline is clearly in London too.
It would be great to try and find a version in the original form, so we hope to track down Peter in the future to see if this might be possible, but also learn more about what happened to the original plan and why it was dropped.
If you know anything more, please do get in touch – but thankfully at least we have something to play already.
Contributions: Gamebase64, Vinny Mainolfi