Documenting unreleased, cancelled and prototype video games.
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.
Jack Attack as a game title for the Commodore 64 (and C16/Plus 4) was a well known dig at Jack Tramiel and his so called “Jack Attacks” that he used to give out to his staff. The red main character sort of looking familiar to the Commodore boss at the time, or so we thought. But did you know that the game had originally been produced back in 1982 by Kevin Kieller and John Traynor, and was originally a 4K cartridge game written for the Commodore Vic 20? Cubic Critters was the game, and Commodore absolutely loved it. Continue reading →
Mutant Speed Demons was to be yet another title the Mutant League series on the SEGA Mega Drive, following on from the likes of Mutant League Football and Mutant League Hockey and created by New Wave Graphics.
Over the years, little has been known about the title apart from a few very brief press clippings about the game. Gamepro magazine described the title as a “rip-roaring motorcycle” game, but that was about it. The game subsequently disappeared without a trace and no more was heard about it.
In 2009, something of the game was almost found – when a prototype was unearthed. Tragically the game had long been wiped after the batteries were found to have failed that were keeping the game alive. Then in 2013, a detailed 100-200 page manuscript surfaced in an online auction, but has yet to have been digitally preserved and made available.
Then in February 2021, @IsaiahVinson1 got in touch with Games That Weren’t to flag up some assets that were found on an older version of Mike Kennedy’s website. Mike was one of the artists working on the game at the time and had once showcased some of the art he had produced. The sprites give a great glimpse of roughly how the game was going to look and feel – showing a racing/beat-em-up game in the style of Road Rash. As Mutant League Football was reportedly built upon the Madden 93 engine (though Michael Mendheim has said it wasn’t), we felt there was a strong chance that this game was built upon the Road Rash engine.
I’m surprised that we hadn’t had this one listed earlier on the site. Monster Muncher was to be a simple Pac Man clone released for the Commodore Vic 20 by Spectrum Games back in 1983 and was even advertised. The ZX Spectrum version did see release however.
Unfortunately it seems that for whatever reason, the game may not have seen a full release. Possibly as Spectrum Games may have got into trouble with their unlicensed clones, disappeared and then resurfaced as Ocean Software.
What is particularly interesting about this conversion is that it was written by Matthew Smith of Manic Miner fame and took only a day or so to write. According to Matthew, he sold the game to a few people himself, but that was it. We are not sure if Spectrum Games ever sent any copies out, but no copy has been forthcoming to try and preserve.
Some years ago (2014 to be precise), David Selwood kindly loaned GTW a copy of Road Frog for the Vic 20 which hadn’t been preserved and was the only copy we had seen. It is likely therefore that there are copies out there to be found of Monster Muncher, so we live in hope.
This came as a bit of a shock when Chris Poacher first highlighted on the Vic 20 Facebook group that Melbourne House had advertised a Vic 20 version of Hungry Horace in Personal Computer Weekly back in 1983.
Sure enough, within the set of small inlay covers advertising the different Horace games, there is a green + yellow variation of the cover advertising a Vic 20 edition. Just underneath the platform, it suggests that the game needed an 8K memory expansion.
Oddly though, although the cover is shown – on the order form there is no option to actually pick the Vic 20 version. So was this a mistake, and had Melbourne House decided early on to drop the title?
It would be amazing if a conversion was found to have been started, and we will try to get in touch with a few ex-Melbourne House developers to see if they know anything about it. Chances of finding something are slim, but who knows!
By 1998, things were looking extremely bleak for the Amiga platform, but there were people still trying to keep the dream alive. None more so than Black Flag and Vulcan Software with the development of Caveman Species.
Following the success of Starwing, Argonaut sought to find a new title to utilize the Super FX chip once more and prove that the SNES still had plenty of life in it yet against the newcomers of the Sony PlayStation and SEGA Saturn.
Super Play magazine reported in 1994 that Argonaut had signed the Transformers licence, and this was to be their next big title on the platform. It was felt that producing large scale robots would work perfectly with the Super FX chip and something special could certainly be created. Continue reading →
DISCLAIMER: 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.