Covering unreleased and cancelled video games, plus prototypes and early versions of games on a variety of consoles and computers. We are a large archive dedicated to preserving games that were never released to the public. Sharing history and stories from the developers, assets and more before it is too late.

We are a non-profit digitisation project, aiming to digitally preserve software and history which would otherwise be lost for good. If for any reason there is anything that you do not wish to be on the website, please contact us for removal.

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Pac-Land V1

1989 Grandslam

Platform: Amiga

Ok, before you start shouting – yes, Pac-Land was indeed released on the Commodore Amiga, and it was pretty terrible too. However, it seems that things could have been very different indeed, when contributor Hank highlighted a video on YouTube showcasing a very different and much improved version.

We also made a quick video to show you it in action here:

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Posted in Amiga, Prototype, Reviews | 4 Comments

Return to Fractulas

1991 Rainbow Arts

Platform: Amiga

Just a short entry for now, with thanks to Karl Kuras for the heads up. Many years after the original 8-bit titles, it was announced in The One magazine (issue 29) that after its recent conversion of Ballblazer as Masterblazer, they were to give similar treatment to Rescue on Fractalus with Return to Fractulas.

Details at the time were very vague and nothing more was heard about it. The Retro Hour spoke with Julian Eggebrecht of Factor 5 in February 2021, and clarified up what happened.

Basically, the development detailed in 1991 was abandoned after they couldn’t get the Amiga to produce the fractals properly. A second attempt was started for the next generation of consoles, but it morphed and became the classic Star Wars: Rogue Squadron.

Very cool to know that those early beginnings would lead to that. It would be amazing to some day see some of the early concepts attempted on the Amiga, and even Return to Fractulas before it became Star Wars: Rogue Squadron. Maybe some day!

Posted in Amiga, Reviews | Leave a comment

Benefactor

1994 Psygnosis

Platform: SEGA Mega Drive / Mega CD

Many of you may fondly remember the wonderful puzzler Benefactor from Psygnosis back in 1994 for the Commodore Amiga, with its tiny main character that would have parallels with titles such as Lemmings and Load Runner.

The success of the title makes it no surprise that a SEGA Mega Drive conversion was in the works back in 1994, but what may have surprised you is just how that conversion was apparently shaping up:

benshrunk

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Posted in Mega Drive, Reviews, SEGA | 2 Comments

Q*Bert

2009 Brighty

Platform: Commodore Vic 20

Often there is a sad story behind most unreleased games, and this 2009 homebrew development of Q*Bert for the Vic 20 is certainly one of them. A very promising development that was first announced on the Sleeping Elephant forums by a chap called “Brighty”.

The aim was to try and vastly improve on what was felt to be an underwhelming conversion by Parker Bros and get something much closer to the arcade classic.

qbert1

Brighty seemingly was getting very close to that, and apart from almost losing his development work on a faulty flash drive, it was around 90% complete when Brighty went underground. In 2014, he started to sell off his Vic 20 collection to make some money and sadly hasn’t been seen around since.

Forum member Saehn (also known as Shane Fell) had been helping with graphics at the time, but tragically was in a car accident in 2011 and is still registered as a missing person to this day. It is still hoped that Shane will be found some day.

qbert2

It is hoped that Brighty will see this post in the future and will get in touch to shed some light on what happened overall. For now, here is a preview of the game (requires RAM expansion) for you to check out and see the promise for yourself:

Downloads

Download Qbert

Posted in Commodore, Reviews, Vic 20 | Leave a comment

Trivia UK

1985 Anirog Software

Platform: Commodore Vic 20

A short entry for now on what was probably to be Anirog’s last Vic 20 release, and which seems to have never surfaced. A simple quiz game that looks as if it was written completely in BASIC.

This is the Vic 20 (+16K) version of Trivia UK that was advertised at the time on a number of platforms. The game was released on the C64 (http://www.gamebase64.com/game.php?id=16164&d=18&h=0), C16 and Amstrad platforms. Atari, BBC Micro and Spectrum editions, like the Vic 20, also seem to be missing too.

At the time the C64 was really picking up a head of steam, and sales no doubt were poor for the Vic 20. It’s likely as a result that the game was dropped for that reason. However, with the other versions missing – it could be to do with poor sales of the released editions perhaps.

The question is whether anything was ever started and if anything may still exist out there. We assume the code base would have been easy to port, so perhaps it was even finished

More research needed, but please get in touch if you know anything more.

Gallery

Posted in Commodore, Reviews, Vic 20 | Leave a comment

Space Vultures

1982 Commodore

Platform: Commodore Vic 20

Commodore had released many clones of arcade games on the Vic 20, and this was to be no different. A clone of Phoenix, but one which was never to be.

It is believed to have been developed by Andy Finkel, and rumoured that Atari stepped in and stopped Commodore before they could release it, much as Namco did with Jelly Monsters. In the case of Space Vultures though, it never made it out of the door.

Was anything ever started? Andy couldn’t recall much at all about the game or what it was going to be. It suggests the possibility that it never got too far before its cancellation.

Interestingly, a label number was given as VIC-1936 and it was listed in an advert as a text listing (I am sure of this – but cannot find the scan to clarify). It is hoped that Andy may find something of the game in his notes to shed more light, but any hopes of finding something playable could be dashed.

Credits: GarryG.

Posted in Commodore, Reviews, Vic 20 | Leave a comment