Welcome to Games That Weren't!

We are an Unreleased and Cancelled Video games archive with prototypes, developer history and assets for many computers and consoles of all ages. A non-profit 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. GTW has been preserving video game history since 1999.

Latest news and posts

Super Monkey Ball

2006 Unknown

Platform: Mobile J2ME

A short entry for a Java Platform mobile de-make of the classic Super Monkey Ball. It is not currently known if the development ever got further than just a few mock up screens.

screen1

In 2024, ex-Ocean Software artist Bill Harbison would provide Games That Weren’t with a series of mock-up screens that were produced to show how the game could look on the platform, depicting a very Marble Madness’esq design overall where you would have to collect a series of bananas. Continue reading

Posted in: J2ME | Tagged: | Leave a comment

Frame City Killer

2006 Namco

Platform: Microsoft Xbox 360

Frame City Killer was announced back in May 2005 as a next-generation action adventure game for the Xbox 360, utilizing the new upcoming Unreal 3 engine and consisting of immersive and non-linear gameplay. The intention was to try and release the game in time for the system’s launch – but things were not to go to plan.

fck1 650
Press release screenshot courtesy of Gamersyde.

GTW takes a look at the title, thanks to help and input from gaming historian John Szczepaniak. The game story had you controlling a secret agent named ‘Crow’, who has to hunt down a criminal drug lord. A press release from Namco at the time gave a bit more detail and background overall:

“Set in a futuristic metropolis in East Asia, ‘Frame City Killer’ casts players as Crow, an assassin sent to Frame City to identify and eliminate Khan – a mysterious terrorist and head of a deadly new-age drug cartel.

As a hit man, players track and profile targets, while utilizing numerous methods to execute the perfect hit. ‘Frame City Killer’ offers players a dark and gritty storyline, thrilling car chases and a variety of ways for players to achieve their goals.”

Continue reading

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Arganos

1992 Intec

Platform: PC Engine

Our next title is an interesting looking side-on action RPG title that was due for release on the PC Engine by Intec around 1992 time.

Araganos 650

A few mentions were made in PCEngineFan over the years, which included two screenshots showing a forest scene where you fight against some bad guys, and then face a large wolf-like boss. Continue reading

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Oil demonstration program

1983-1984 Archer Maclean

Platform: Atari 800

Whilst working to recover the late Archer Maclean’s work disks, we discovered a few things which surprised us. As well as games, Archer also did a bit of freelance development work outside of games – including this oil demonstration for old British Oil company Carless.

oildemo (4)

According to Archer’s C.V,  it was November 1983 that he decided to become a freelance programmer to earn a reasonable income. The very first job he would secure was to produce an animated graphics demonstration program for Carless. Continue reading

Posted in: Atari 400/800 | Tagged: | Leave a comment

Nebulus

2006 Player One Limited

Platform: Mobile J2ME

A short entry for a Java Platform mobile conversion of a classic platformer title that many of us know and love. Nebulus (or Tower Toppler as known in other regions) was about to be playable on the go thanks to Player One Limited, who announced the game in 2006.

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Being developed in J2ME, unfortunately the conversion would disappear quickly without a trace and never surfaced for reasons currently unknown. Continue reading

Posted in: J2ME | Tagged: | 3 Comments

25 years of Games That Weren’t

Games That Weren’t has been running for a quarter of a century this year, which is not only staggering, but also a bit scary if I’m honest. For 25 years, we have been documenting and preserving as much unreleased software as we can for a variety of platforms. Though it all began with just the Commodore 64 at the start, the machine I grew up with and still play today.

When first starting out, I never quite expected this to be a project with no end in sight (which isn’t great for someone who has ‘completist‘ elements to their personality), but that is indeed exactly what Games That Weren’t is. No matter how many games we manage to save and preserve their stories, we will never capture them all, and tragically there will be many that are forever lost.

There are so many unreleased games out there, and quite often I get people get in touch and ask “Why haven’t you covered X game on the site?“, and probably always will do. Regardless of scrambling to try and cover what we can, it has been a fun and exciting 25 years of trying to do as much as possible during our free time to preserve gaming history.

To mark this milestone, I thought I’d share how everything started and gradually progressed over the years, including some of our highlights and major findings along the way. Separately I’ve done a video covering the same sort of thing in a more visual way, if you need boring monotonous ramblings to send you calmly to sleep.

zzapart
The article that started it all (click to view on archive.org).

As has been well documented in the past (and to death!) on our About page, it was Ian Osborne’s “That Was The Game That Wasn’t” article that first inspired interest in the area of unreleased games to a young 11 year old version of myself. I was surprised to learn that there were games being made, and sometimes even completed, which we apparently had no chance of being able to play. The fact that we supposedly couldn’t play them, made me more curious and wanting to know exactly what those games were like. Were we missing a potential classic of our time, or had we been spared for instance? Continue reading

Posted in: Features | 12 Comments

GTW64 April 2024 update

It is a big week, as we celebrate our 25th Anniversary of Games That Weren’t. It’s also our monthly update to the Commodore 64 archive, with plenty of new and updated materials for you to check out.

2,500 entries now in the GTW64 archive!

To tie in with the 25th Anniversary celebrations which are due on the site this Wednesday, we have also hit a significant milestone with 2,500 entries now available within the GTW64 archive. Since 1999, we have been building the archive and recovering many unreleased games for the Commodore 64 for you to check out!

6 new entries added

Ok, I admit – to get up to that magic number, I may have made sure that I added at least 6 new entries this month. This includes news of a possible US version of Strider and some other promising titles which sadly seem to have been abandoned.

BacillusBeat Em UpBruce Lee 2Galencia Khaos SphereInfaredStrider USA

24 updates added

Then we have quite a few updates and changes to 24 titles, with a lot of updates thanks to Anonymous Contributor. Each page has a “History” segment which explains what has changed.

ABCArthurBreakerBushido WarriorChart BreakerEuchre for FourField of FireGoremiumHabitatHorror DriveKoshimoLotyaMindsmearOrbital RunPiracyQuest for CyrusStarfighter OneStarglider 2Super EliteSuper PinballSuper StardustTime Scanner V1TwintrisUltra Games

See you all next month, and look out for the 25th Anniversary post coming up in a day or so!

Posted in: GTW64 news, News | 8 Comments

Spellbound Dizzy Lite

1991 Codemasters

Platform: ZX Spectrum 128k

Also known as Diz564, our next entry isn’t technically an ‘unreleased game’ – but an ‘unreleased cut down version of a released game’.

Spellbound Dizzy Lite
The Commodore 64 version of Spellbound Dizzy Lite

Spellbound Dizzy was one of Dizzy’s last adventures on the ZX Spectrum back in 1991 (with Crystal Kingdom Dizzy still to appear) – first released through the Dizzy’s Excellent Adventures pack (which is how I first played the game in January 1992). Unfortunately, Commodore 64 owners felt a little bit short changed when they finally got playing their copy… Continue reading

Posted in: Prototype, Reviews, ZX Spectrum | Tagged: | Leave a comment