Covering unreleased and cancelled games and prototypes on both 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.

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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Various ZX Spectrum and CPC assets

Thanks very much to an unnamed contributor who has flagged up this blog post showing some interesting graphics from what look to be some abandoned Amstrad CPC and ZX Spectrum games:

http://www.habisoft.com/irmia/comentarios.asp?id=349

Recovered off a 3″ disk, nothing more has been shown or recovered of the games, so its hoped that we can find out more soon about them. Thanks to James Dunn (@namco_) , it seems the Alien VS Predator screen is based on a PD Sam Coupe demo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ok8iUzPS_FQ

So was it an attempt at making a proper game, or a conversion of the demo?

The archives seem to be of developer Paul Griffiths, including an interesting mock up of a Dragon Ninja style game with large characters, and a game called Castle Capers which seems to have been designed by Genesis Software’s David Clarke.

Via the comments, the artist himself for the Dragon Ninja and Alien vs. Predator screns – Gordon Wallis got in touch, and who shared the following details:

“I worked with Paul Griffiths on the ZX Spectrum conversion of Mike Berry’s C64 game ‘Reckless Rufus’ (the logos from that would likely be from the Amstrad conversion, which Paul also handled). I’d sent a tape of some of my Spectrum graphics to Alternative Software, who published the game so, either Alternative passed the tape onto him, or I may well have included some of my personal projects on one of the tapes I sent Paul during development.

Material for the Spectrum version of AvP actually predates my SAM Coupé demo, but not by much. I’d imagined it as an Ocean-style, multiload, multi play-style game. When I got the SAM, I reworked and recoloured everything I’d done on the Spectrum (usually by loading the Spectrum SCREEN$ into Flash!, converting to Mode 4, adjusting the palette and filling in colours) but the SAM version is the only one that turns up, since it’s on loads of PD libraries now. That, and several others, are still downloadable from my own website. Wasn’t aware it’d been uploaded to YouTube though!

The Dragon Ninja stuff really only happened because I loved the arcade game and so, being happily unencumbered with any understanding of coding or memory constraints, I couldn’t understand why the Spectrum version was so bad (tiny, monochrome sprites in a small window of the screen). I set about trying to draw everything as close to full (arcade) size as possible, transcribing some of it, as best I could, from screenshots of the arcade game published in magazines… Though I think it all ended up slightly larger, in an attempt to fit things within the 8×8 attribute blocks.

My original version of that SCREEN$ had the two player characters in full colour (one with cyan jeans, the other white) and (I think) a rudimentary cityscape in the background at the top of the screen – probably just differently coloured blocks of PAPER colour. I’ve still got the paper copies of some of it, hand drawn onto Pixel Pads I’d bought at a ZX Microfair, and may have bits and pieces on SAM disks I’ve yet to fully explore, but the original stuff on tape is probably in a box somewhere at my parents’ place.

Neither were in any way official or in development, but graphic and game design was a hobby of mine, growing up. Reckless Rufus on the Spectrum remains the one commercially published game I’ve ever worked on, but I’m trying to remain active on the SAM Coupé scene.”

So there we have it, those two games were at least not proper developments and were done mostly for fun. It’s a shame, as the Dragon Ninja graphics looked brilliant!

Gallery

Posted in Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum | 3 Comments

The Last Ninja

1987-1989 System 3

Platforms: Atari 800/130XE, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore Amiga, Tandy Colour Computer 3 and ZX Spectrum 48K

As part of the launch and release of The Games That Weren’t book, we are  adding assets and content that didn’t make it to print as bonus content to share with you.

Within the book is a detailed 12 page full story about the various unreleased 8 and 16-bit conversions of The Last Ninja by System 3. We speak to ZX Spectrum developer Phil Churchyard, ZX Spectrum artist Nick Cook, Atari ST developer Marc Rosocha, Tandy Colour Computer 3 developer Rick Adams and get extra input about the aborted ZX Spectrum development from Mevlut Dinc, who was asked to take over the project.

last ninja crash hiresshot
Crash magazine preview of the game.

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Posted in Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari 400/800, Atari ST, Bonus, Features, Tandy Colour Computer 3, ZX Spectrum | Leave a comment

Conquest

1982 Vid Kidz

Platform: Arcade

As part of the launch and release of The Games That Weren’t book, we are  adding assets and content that didn’t make it to print as bonus content to share with you.

Within the book is a detailed 8 page full story about the unreleased Conquest by Vid Kidz. We speak to developer Larry DeMar about the development, with additional input from Eugene Evans and Sinistar developer Sam Dicker and help from Jeff Vavasour (who took screenshots from the compiled sources). Continue reading

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Dark Tower

1983 General Consumer Electronics

Platform: Vectrex

As part of the launch and release of The Games That Weren’t book, we are  adding assets and content that didn’t make it to print as bonus content to share with you.

Within the book is a detailed 10 page full story about the unreleased Dark Tower for the Vectrex. We speak to developer John Hall about the development and what happened, with contributions from senior electronic project engineer Gary Bergmann, Robert Hoffberg, Helmut Müller, Chris Romero, Jim Francis, Mark Indictor, Paul Allen Newell, Sean Kelly and Thomas McDonald. Continue reading

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Soccer Nation

1995-1998 Crush / SunSoft

Platform: PC

An intriguing football title which was one of the most ambitious football gaming projects of its time. Kicked off originally by UK based developer Crush in 1995, originally under the name of “Live Soccer” / “Live! Sports” and in collaboration with Japan’s SunSoft.

The game would combine arcade, management and online functionality all within one package. It was tested out in Spain with great success and everything seemed to be going well with the development overall, even though there was a lot of work still to go.

snation snip Continue reading

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Vindicators

1992 Atari Games

Platform: Atari Lynx

As part of the launch and release of The Games That Weren’t book, we are  adding assets and content that didn’t make it to print as bonus content to share with you.

Within the book is a detailed 10 page full story about the unreleased Vindicators for the Atari Lynx by Atari Games. We speak to developer David Kurensky about the development and the troubles that occurred, which led up to the cancellation. The book also includes specially re-pixelled Lynx screenshots from grainy magazine scans that you can see below.

2 1
Later screenshot taken from the Italian edition of Atari Log magazine.

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Posted in Atari Lynx, Bonus | Leave a comment