Welcome to Games That Weren't (Also known as GTW), a site dedicated to unreleased/incomplete/cancelled games and prototypes on both consoles and computers. As well as news, reviews and features, we have platform specific projects with downloads, photos, scans, screenshots, videos, reviews and interviews. Our main platforms consist of the C64 and Amiga, where there is a full digital archive of games being preserved for both machines.

Please note - we are a non-profit digitization project, aiming to digitally preserve history of unreleased/incomplete/cancelled software 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.

Latest news

Coming soon!

Games That Weren’t has been running for almost 20 years now, with its first on-line presence appearing way back in early 1999. After years of research and preservation work done in our spare time, we are now about to mark to our 2000th archive entry. To celebrate the milestone, we have a special full game for you which will launch for our Christmas update coming soon. No, it is not ‘Murder’ before you ask!

UPDATE FOR BELOW (20-12-16) – The Alternative games will not be included as part of the Christmas update, and will hopefully be added to the archive in the new year.  There are one or two final details that need ironing out before we can proceed with permission.  Apologies for this, but we will have some new games for you to check out still.  Update looking good still for before Christmas! 🙂

That is not all, but recently we have preserved a number of disks which contained two full Alternative Software games that didn’t quite make it, due to the dwindling 8-bit market. The disks were heavily decayed (a familiar story these days), and the data was only just recovered. No doubt, if it had been any longer – both games could have been lost forever.

Alternative Software are still going very strong today, and have recently celebrated 31 years in the industry – a remarkable achievement. It only feels like yesterday when I used to regularly purchase their C64 games from my local sweet shop and Boots. Their most recent release is Rugby Union Team Manager 2017, and you can also check out their other titles via the link above.

We contacted Roger Hulley at Alternative Software, and he has very kindly given permission for us to add both games to the digital archive. So we will be pleased to be adding both mystery games as part of our Christmas update and as part of our milestone celebration. Both games are (c) 2016 Alternative Software.

Barring any hiccups, we should hopefully launch our update just before Christmas. So watch this space!

Posted in Commodore 64, GTW64 news, News | 2 Comments

Nemesis (C64) early prototype screens

It seems like Commodore User magazine were a little naughty with their Nemesis review back in the 80’s.

nem6

Featuring screenshots from what seem to be an earlier version of the game – just look at the brown/orange score panels, which were dropped for something that looked a lot better in the final release.

The released game with tidied up panel.

The released game with tidied up panel.  Screenshot thanks to Gamebase64.

At least they reviewed a working version of the game, compared to sister magazine Sinclair User, who reviewed mock up screenshots.  Seemed to be a theme at the publisher though…

Here is the review and all the screenshots, thanks to Martin/Stadium 64 for highlighting it!

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Different Emlyn Hughes gfx (c64)

Thanks to Martin/Stadium 64 – Emlyn Hughes was reviewed/previewed with very different panel graphics, which you can see below:

Was there maybe other differences tucked away that were never used in the final version?

 

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Bugs Bunny early preview added

A rather different early preview of Bugs Bunny – Private Detective has been found on Ash and Dave’s work disks recently.   This was done around 1991 time, and seems to have undergone some major changes that led up to the 1992/93 full game that we saw some years ago.

bugs1

The map is very different, with different graphics, and the digging element of the game is gone – where you must climb up walls to get around.   No doubt changes were made due to elements not working or Warner not being happy.   It’s a great curiosity worth checking out here along with the full game:

https://www.gamesthatwerent.com/gtw64/bugs-bunny/

Eagle eyed visitors may have noticed that we are close to our 2000th GTW entry.  Watch this space for something a little special (no it’s not Murder… 😉 )…

 

Posted in Commodore 64, GTW64 news | 2 Comments

Charlie Chaplin fully recovered!

We are pleased to announce that the long lost C64 conversion of Charlie Chaplin has been recovered in its final state.

A mystery for many years, after the release of the Amstrad, Spectrum and PC versions – the full story can now be checked out and a download of the final version of the game played via the link below.

chaplin5

It has its glitches due to being unfinished in places, but it is a nice glimpse at what was going to be.  Enjoy!

https://www.gamesthatwerent.com/gtw64/charlie-chaplin/

 

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Two previews recovered + more

Thanks to Paul Clansey, we have fully preserved two of his unfinished games in the form of RPG game Freebooter and ambitious Elite style sim Exodus.   Hoping for Paul to share more soon about how they both work, but check them out in the meantime here:

ExodusFreebooter

exodus3 freebooter1

Also we have the following updates since our last news post…

2 new entries added

Breakthru V1, Transmuter

5 updates added

Black Hawk, Fantasy, Iron Hand, Legend Of Kyril, Play and Learn series

Posted in Commodore 64, GTW64 news, News | Leave a comment

GTW September digest

Sorry it’s been a while!  Currently working on other projects, but GTW64 has been ticking over in the background – and since our last major update – the following has been added and updated below.

Also, yesterday was a year since Daffy Duck was released to the world.  Where did the time go?   Sadly no “Murder!” just yet to follow things up, but keep the faith! 🙂

15 new entries added

Abyss Zone, Aliens, Blaster Twins, Bomb Mania 2, Bongo King, Commando Libya – part 2, Final Lap, Freebooter, Heroquest V1, Karate, Mythos, Pet Person, Race with the Devil, Scarabaeus 2, Space Invadaz

38 updates added

Armalyte V1, Astaroth: Angel Of Death, Attack On Centralis, Baja Buggies, Beavers, C64GS cartridge titles, Chicago, Custodian, Cyber Tank, Dork’s Dilemma, Dynablaster, Edward Randy, Enterprise, Escape From Colditz, Flashpoint, Forbidden Planet, Gargantuan, Graeme Souness Vector Soccer, Habitat, Hydrogenese, London Exchange, Maelstrom, Mag Max V1, Mario Bros, Paddle Mania, Piper Software games, Purple Saturn Day, Quadrillion, Quondam, Restrictor, Roadstar Xri, Robin Hood, Tangram, The City of ‘Ehdollah, Tour De Force, Tycoon Tex, Up Up And Away, Zorro In Wonderland

Posted in Commodore 64, GTW64 news | Leave a comment

Contra and Gryzor (Amiga)

This summary of yet another lost Amiga conversion comes from contributor, Termie Gen, who talks about the unreleased Gryzor and Contra conversions for the Amiga.

CONTRA:

Developed between 1987 and 1988, but never released it seems. Screenshots of an Amiga version found their way onto various print material, including the box art of other home computer versions of the game, shown below.

The September and October 1988 issues of Amiga World magazine make multiple mentions of Contra. They even provide 2 price points for the game, as part of a list of Amiga software that are available through phone or mail order.

Like the DOS and Commodore 64 versions of the game, a putative Amiga Contra would not be developed by Konami themselves, but another company. It could have been handled by a European developer, such as Ocean Software, given the Commodore 64 Contra is simply a North America regional release of Gryzor, also handled by Ocean. This is less likely, however. Interesting side note: Contra for DOS would in turn be released in Europe by Ocean, re-dubbed as Gryzor. Talk about a real mix-up with their conversions.

The fact that a smaller developer house, and not Konami, had likely worked on Amiga Contra means that getting a lead on this title will be much more daunting of a task. Judging by the screenshots, this looks to have been the definitive home computer conversion, graphically at least. It is one that definitely needs to be brought closure. Out of all the home computers that Contra was converted for, the Amiga could have handled Contra the best.

GRYZOR:

Less concrete information is available for this title than Contra. Most of the references to it are in magazines that advertise or cover the versions of the game from Ocean. It’s possible that this would have been the same case as the DOS version, where the North-American developed Contra was simply renamed to Gryzor when localized to Europe.

The following advertisement is present in many computer magazines, such as ACE and Amstrad Action:

aceissue11p65conami

Although focused on Ocean Software’s Gryzor releases, it also mentions that the title is available for PC and Amiga. The latter 2 are even interestingly grouped together and separated from the CPC, Spectrum and Commodore 64 releases.

In their article reviewing the DOS and Commodore 64 versions, German magazine Power Play lists Gryzor as being also available for Amiga (as well as Amstrad CPC and Spectrum):

gryzor4td

A less credible reference is/was on a few websites, where they claimed that there is a Gryzor game for Amiga that was developed by Ocean Software and published by Sega. A game such as Gryzor for the Amiga computer would not go unnoticed if Ocean Software was indeed the developer.

An Amiga version of Gryzor could have fared pretty well compared to the other 4 available ones. Perhaps more information about this game may be unearthed if its counterpart, Contra, is recovered first.

Here are some additional scans thanks to Ross Sillifant – suggesting that Gryzor was not going to be outsourced.

Posted in Amiga | 25 Comments

Dragon’s Lair sample release

A massive thank you to Tom Roger Skauen, who passed on a copy of this very obscure and rare sample release of Dragon’s Lair – which he fully preserved in TAP format.

dragonsv1

Tom cannot remember how he obtained the game, but was probably in some kind of package deal.

The tape data is different, so there was the possibility of differences to the final game – however, contributor Hank (see comments) has confirmed that apart from the loading screen – the game is identical.  Possibly there are some minor bugs, but its essentially the same game.  The only major difference is that the game ends at the Falling Disc 2 stage and has no further levels to load or ending.   So it is really a unfinished sample like it says!

Check out this curiosity for yourself here:

Dragons-Lair-Preview

Posted in Commodore 64, GTW64 news, Prototype | 2 Comments