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

The Magician’s Castle

1994 Psygnosis

Platforms: Commodore Amiga and PC

We’ve covered a few Miracle Games titles over the years, including later incarnations of Dick Special and also Bouncy Bat game. In 1994, another title from the studio was due for release via Psygnosis in the form of The Magician’s Castle.

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The game was to be an adventure/puzzle game where two brother magicians (each jealous of each other’s skills) are at war. Brother A has cast a spell over Brother B (yourself!), who is now a prisoner in his own castle, drained of all magical abilities. Fortunately before this happened, he was able to activate his hat, gloves, shoes and cane into a magical assistant. This assistant is your only hope of gaining freedom. The story is much darker, as you will find out further on. Continue reading

Posted in: Amiga, PC, Reviews | Tagged: | Leave a comment

Avalanche prototype for the Atari 400/800

A quick news post to highlight an Atari 400/800 prototype that has gone under the radar, as reported by Bertrand / Atari Frog.

http://www.atarimania.com/game-atari-400-800-xl-xe-avalanche_42784.html

Seems to be essentially the same game, but with some slight differences including:

  • No year displayed on the prototype
  • Ending screen shows “THE END” instead of “GAME OVER”
  • Tighter code possibly on the released game.
Posted in: Atari 400/800, News | Leave a comment

MegaTraveller 3: The Unknown Worlds

1992 MicroPlay Software / Empire

Platforms: PC and Commodore Amiga

The MegaTraveller series were a set of sci-fi role playing games that were produced by Paragon Software for MicroProse and Empire Software. Reviews were however mixed, though the series did have its fans – so much so, Paragon must have thought that a 3rd game was necessary.

Well, ACE magazine (issue 50) spoke with F.J. Lennon about Paragon and various titles in November 1991, where it was mentioned that there was so much background material and information not touched, that Paragon could see no end to the series. Continue reading

Posted in: Amiga, PC, Reviews | Tagged: | Leave a comment

Missing Train Simulations

1984-1995 Ashley Greenup/Dee-Kay Systems

Platforms: BBC Micro, C64, ZX Spectrum and Amiga

It is thanks to Ivan S that it has come to light that a series of Train games created by Ashley Greenup/Dee-Kay Systems are currently missing and not yet preserved. Many of the ones preserved you can find on the likes of CPC-Power, Gamebase64 and Hall of Light.

In February 2024 – all the Amiga titles that were missing were found and recovered thanks to Belgarath from the EAB forums. Thanks to Ivan S for flagging this up and passing on the files.

Continue reading

Posted in: Amiga, BBC Micro, Commodore 64, GTW64 news, Reviews, ZX Spectrum | Tagged: | 10 Comments

The Endless Maze algorithm

Speaking recently with Paul Allen Newell, who helped with the Games That Weren’t book due to his Vectrex connections, Paul flagged up with us recent stories of how his endless maze algorithm (developed for the Atari 2600) caused a bit of attention. Where researchers tried to figure out how it worked and who did what, as well as resolving mythologies uncovered in the process. It made for fascinating reading and I loved how everything came to light over a period of time.

AMAZE cartridgeArt
Initial physical prototype version of Amaze that was built by Paul in 1981.

Rather than re-tell the entire story which is covered elsewhere in great detail, we are sharing links to the various papers, podcasts, and pages that have been published in chronological order, so you can see and read through the journey which would eventually lead to the original prototype code being made available.  If anything else comes to light which is new information, we will add it here. Continue reading

Posted in: Atari 2600 / Atari VCS, Features, Prototype | Tagged: | Leave a comment

Tantalus

1991 Electronic Arts / Maverick Developments

Platforms: Commodore Amiga, Atari ST, PC

Tantalus was to be a complex 3D space simulation for a variety of platforms back in 1991, where you could play solo or in a multiplayer mode. The team behind the development was Maverick Developments who wanted to push things to the limit with their game that was heavily inspired by classics such as Elite.

tant10

Within the game you would control a young pilot without any money or a ship, where you must work for others to try and get money to trade and eventually travel from planet to planet doing trade. Profits generated from the activity will allow you to improve your ship and increase chances of survival. Continue reading

Posted in: Amiga, Atari ST, PC, Reviews | Tagged: | Leave a comment

Chevy Tech 1987 disk

A slightly obscure title now for the archive in the form of a Chevrolet advertisement disk, which has a series of prices and specifications for different Chevrolet vehicles.

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8-Bit Show and Tell have previously covered the disk and its various formats, and look at an 1986 edition of the disk, which even contains a game called Depreciation Derby. This particular disk seems to be a 1987 edition with a different loading screen and music.

It is with huge thanks to Allan Pinkerton for preserving, so that we can make it available. It’s an interesting curiosity, and at the very least another SID tune for HVSC :-)

With thanks to Allan Pinkerton for preserving and sharing!

Download
Gallery
Posted in: Commodore 64, Features, GTW64 news | Tagged: | 2 Comments

Ice Palace

1983 Xonox

Platform: Commodore VIC-20

There has been a little flurry of late with regards to VIC-20 recoveries, and towards the end of 2023, yet another was found thanks to ItsAllDougAndGames, who brought a set of cartridges from an auction in the US. The auction was from the estate of an individual who had been a programmer and worked for various companies including Coleco.

Doug reported the odd prototype cartridge of Ice Palace, which had been released on the Commodore 64 and had seen a prototype surface for the Colecovision. After a little while would test and dump to make available. It wasn’t sure at first if the game was a prototype or a complete game, but it seems that it is thankfully the latter and quite a nice and fun game overall (if a little tough!).

It begs the question as to why the game was never released. Was it due to dwindling sales and people moving onto the Commodore 64 or for other reasons?

For now, check out the complete game for yourself and see yet another lost VIC-20 title saved. With thanks to @itsalldougandgames for the recovery work for this game and making available.

Download
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Posted in: Reviews, Vic 20 | Tagged: | 2 Comments

Kayleth unused title screen?

We had a recent submission from Baracuda of a screen which is potentially related to the game Kayleth by U.S. Gold on the C64 in 1987. The question is whether it was intended for the game, or just a tribute image?

Kayleth Head upload by Baracuda

We personally think its just a tribute image done for somewhere like Compunet (by a DRR) in 1986, and based off the book (as it was a year before the U.S. Gold release). Thanks to BugJam, it seems DRR might be this person.

If anyone knows – please do get in touch or leave a comment.

Posted in: Commodore 64, GTW64 news, Unused materials | Tagged: | 2 Comments

GTW64 Christmas update 2023

Only feels like yesterday when I was doing the last Christmas update for GTW64, but here we are and we have a bumper update as always for you, including some very special prototypes from the disks of the late Archer Maclean, who sadly passed away last December.

We also have a series of commercial titles that have been preserved thanks to the efforts of Allan Pinkerton and a series of lost Hungarian titles dug out by Csaba Virag. This and a number of new entries added to the archive and a load of updates too for pre-existing entries. We hope you enjoy! Continue reading

Posted in: Commodore 64, GTW64 news, News | 6 Comments