Rainbow Arts

Status: No Download, Findability: 1/5

Also known as: Winetou

A very obscure title, and one we knew very little about – though ‘Anonymous Contributor’ (referenced as ‘AC’ in the rest of the page) has helped to shed some great light on the title. Much of the information written below is from the great findings of AC.

During the early days, it was found that Rainbow Arts and Time Warp were working on a title for the C64 called “Winetou”, however, nothing was seen or heard of the game, and as a result we had very little to show for it.

Zzap 64 in issue 46 had mentioned that Rainbow Arts were due to publish the game sometime in 1989. AC found however that the game could be a misspelling of the name “Winnetou”, a Native-American character that was created by German author Karl May in the late 1800s and the popular hero of a series of books.

We think that AC is on the money, and so we have updated the title of the game, and kept the old one as the alternative. It was when AC then searched for results with the new name that had come to light, there were many more hits.

German magazine Happy Computer would promote the game in its March 1988 issue, where more details were revealed about the game and said:

“Winnetou is coming!

Rainbow Arts has secured the computer game rights to all Karl May books for the next five years. The first »Winnetou 1« is scheduled to be released in the summer. It is planned as a role-playing game. Further Karl May games in the areas of strategy, action and skill are being planned. Winnetou 1 will be released for Amiga, Atari ST, C64, Schneider CPC and Spectrum.”

So, we now know that the game was a RPG and was to be a series of games planned – plus for many different platforms as well! Just how many of these were ever started?

As AC rightly pointed out, a 5-year option would suggest that the last game would have come out in 1993. Copyright would have likely disappeared in the 1980s, as Karl May had died in 1912. However, his Wikipedia page suggests that his works were being updated and renewed, so that could have something to do with it, and perhaps the estate had some kind of copyright over it.

Oddly, at a later date only the Amiga, ST and new PC DOS editions would be listed as coming soon in French magazine JoystickHebdo. Then Swedish magazine Datormagzin listed the game as forthcoming in 1989, but only for the Amiga, and that would still be the case in February 1990.

Oddly the game is listed as for sale for the C64 in German magazine Aktueller Software Markt issue 9 1989. However, the advert does come with the caveat: “Some of the titles in this ad are still announcements for the next few weeks – you should reserve these latest games now.”

After that, the trail went dead – though AC did find that there was another Winnetou game being developed in 1993 for the Amiga, which was actually reviewed. This game too was never released and only a demo snuck out – so that is going to be a separate entry for another time! We don’t think just yet that the two games were related directly.

As for the Rainbow Arts game – what happened to it, and can anything of it be found?

Contributions: Anonymous Contributor

Supporting content

Update history

  • 02/05/24 – Crucial information about the game thanks to Anonymous Contributor.
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