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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Moto-X

1994 Trimark Interactive / Software Creations

Platform: Super Nintendo

As you’ll soon begin to discover, there are many times where games are fully completed, but strangely never allowed out of the doors. Moto-X was one such casualty that was completed and then trashed. Often you’d expect this to happen when a game is particularly poor (well, sometimes!), but there doesn’t seem to be too much wrong here.

Moto-X was developed for Nintendo by Software Creations’ Ste Ruddy (Bubble Bobble C64 fame) with a hand from the Pickford brothers over a period of 8 months. This was one of the first titles being developed by Ste Ruddy, after setting up the new Software Creations studio in America.

The game is best described as an update of Nintendo’s Excite-bike on the NES and was actually the second incarnation of the game. An earlier version was canned back in 1992/93 which was to be a mix of Excite-bike and Powerdrift (An interesting combination). Ste used some of the older games routines to create a much-improved title, and with the game play more focused.

The game, although playable, lacked depth according to Ste Ruddy. The game had three skill levels, each of which had five different tracks and a bonus level to get through. The lack of depth was down to the distinct lack variety between the levels. For a machine kicking out titles such as Mario Kart and Donkey Kong Country, Moto-X was distinctively lacking. However things were improved with some superb accompanying heavy metal tunes by audio master Geoff Follin.

So with a fully complete game and full approval by Nintendo, the game was ready to go; but the publishers weren’t so keen. Trimark Interactive suddenly caught cold feet in the console games market, deciding that Interactive Movie games were the future. Their interest wandered away from consoles and the games release was cancelled as a result. Software Creations were fully paid , so the developers didn’t miss out; but sadly gamers did.

Ste Ruddy still has the game on a prototype cartridge, but cannot release it due to legal ties with Nintendo. However you can check out video of the game to see what you are all missing. There are rumblings though that a physical release of the game could be on its way in the near future though, so watch this space.

For now, we recently dug out a folder of screenshots that Ste once provided many moons back for the Retro Gamer article. They are unfortunately a bit compressed and small, but are a bit clearer than the video at least.

Gallery

Posted in Nintendo, Reviews, SNES | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Meantime – a top RPG lost game

We’ve seen countless many games disappear into the abyss without a screenshot or even a title left behind. This is not the case of Meantime (you may remember this title from GTW64’s coverage), one of the most popular vapourware (not so whimsical actually) according to gamers expectations.

This Interplay RPG evolved from Wasteland engine while sharing same development team, yet its not a follow-up. It came to a halt when the 8 bit market collapsed, bringing the end to the Apple II and C64 editions. It was then later revived in DOS just to come to the same conclusion. With the debut of advanced engines like Ultima VII , the competition would have been very unfair we guess!

Sources

 

Posted in Apple II, Commodore 64, Features | Leave a comment

Westwood Studios GTWs

Along our web travels an interview with Australian Gamer Joseph Hewitt, a man involved in Command & Conquer, Dune II, Kyrandia and Lands of Lore, to name a few classics, was discovered and which informed readers about three Westwood games that got cancelled or unreleased. Here are just a few of those titles:

  • Vindicators (unreleased) PC, Apple IIGS
  • Body Count (cancelled) Genesis
  • Ancient Glory (unreleased) PC

 

 

 

 

Hopefully more information on these titles soon, but check out the interview via the link above.

Posted in News, PC | Leave a comment

Starpath Prototypes discovered

Fifteen Starpath cassettes were discovered in Dallas, Texas last week, along with three Supercharger units. The Supercharger was in add-on module that expanded the RAM of the 2600 from 128 bytes to 6,272 bytes. This module, which connected to a cassette player to load games from tape, added high-resolution graphics and larger games for eager players.

Many of the tapes in this discovery have already been dumped. One of them is Excalibur version 36, another is a very early work-in-progress of Labyrinth whose third maze can be completed. Of the others, there is an earlier version of Excalibur with no number. There are also versions of Communist Mutants from Space and Suicide Mission that, so far, appear mostly complete.

The earliest versions of Excalibur and the Labyrinth tapes in this set both have second loads to them, however, it is unknown at this time if those loads are previews or if they contain additional levels from their respective games. All of the games dumped thus far have been NTSC.

Several AtariAge forum members are digging into these prototypes to see whats new (actually, its “whats old” in this case), so stay tuned! You can read about the original discovery of these games here and can download all the binaries and keep up on the latest updates in our Prototypes Forum.

Original source: http://www.atariage.com/

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Soccer Kid (Atari Jaguar)

1995 Krisalis

Platform: Atari Jaguar

Soccer Kid is your average platform affair where you control a young lad who plays soccer and uses his football skills to get around various levels. The story is that the World Cup has been destroyed by an asteroid and you have to find all the pieces. Not exactly Lord of the Rings, but there you go.

The game did fairly ok on various platforms, including the Amiga; so well in fact that a Jaguar conversion was produced. However, reviewing this game in this feature can only be for one reason. Sadly the Jaguar never really took off as well as it should have done, and Soccer Kid was one of those conversions done towards the end of its life.

As losses were made, Atari had to cut back releases, and only really 3D titles seemed to be the main priority releases to try and attract one last batch of supporters. Soccer Kid was caught up in the cutbacks and sadly didn’t quite make it before the Jaguar faded into obscurity.

The conversion was essentially forgotten about until one man came across the game, Carl Forhan. Carl was an Atari fanatic since the age of 10, and was a instant fan of the Jaguar platform when it came out. Like many fans, he was disappointed with the amount of games cancelled and the lack of released titles for the Jaguar, so Carl did something incredible and opened up Songbird Productions to save various cancelled and released games and give them a new lease of life by acquiring publishing rights and selling them for people to enjoy.

In 1998, Carl came across the company who had been a candidate for publishing Soccer Kid on the Jaguar, and they still had the ROM of the game. Carl obtained the ROM, and once he realised that this was indeed a complete game (or virtually at least), he contacted Krisalis and negotiated the rights to release the game on the Jaguar as intended.

In 2000, Jaguar fans were treated to the game they should have had back in 1995. Although not fully a commercial release, Carl made sure it looked like one with professional packaging, labels and cart production done for the game. A fantastic effort by Carl was met by support from fellow Jaguar owners purchasing the game, and enjoying the efforts of a programmer who would have wished his work to be enjoyed by others.

A playable rom wasn’t available to comment on the game, though reviews from various sources give a mixed opinion about the game. Many jump to praise the game and its publisher, and talk of fluid game play and graphics throughout which put the Amiga version to shame, where as others feel it is a standard platform affair.

To enjoy Soccer Kid you have to be a fan of platform games, and the game is a great example of how well the Jaguar can handle 2D as well as 3D. Check out the video clip of the Jaguar version, kindly supplied by Carl.

If you want to check out this great finding, then check out http://www.songbirdproductions.com/soccerkid.shtml and order a copy if you’ve got a jaguar.

Overall a great finding for the Jaguar community, which is now being enjoyed by those as intended.

Posted in Atari Jaguar, Reviews | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Rick Dangerous

2000 Thalamus Interactive

Platform: Gameboy Colour

With the amount of sequels emerging today after many years of the original being in the wilderness, its a wonder why no one has touched this classic Core title from the days long before the money spinning Lara Croft came onto the scene.

With its humorous and tricky Indiana Jones style traps and puzzles, the game was an early hit for Core, and even spawned a popular sequel a year later.

One company did however see the potential in Rick Dangerous, and attempted to bring him out of retirement and give him a new lease of life on the buzzing Colour Game Boy platform None other than Thalamus Interactive, the guys behind the also doomed Putty and Sanxion conversions.

However, even though named Rick Dangerous, the game was essentially the sequel. It seems that Thalamus favoured the improved sequel with its UFO landings and multilevel scenarios. It would have been odd to release the game as Rick Dangerous 2 on the CGB when the first one would never see the light of day. Maybe both games could have been combined on a compilation, but the thought never passed Thalamus minds.

Thalamus Interactive programmer Jon Wells was assigned to produce a working demo of the game, and set to work porting a good deal of the graphics down from the Amiga version.

The end result of several weeks work was a half playable demo, with an excellent Rick that ran, jumped, ducked and climbed his way around a small limited part of Level 1.

Although robots move around in the game, Rick cannot shoot or drop bombs in the demo, as it merely demonstrates that the game would have worked. To fit the large screens onto the small Colour Game Boy screen, the demo used slight scrolling (like Super Mario Bros did on the Colour Game Boy) to view all of a particular screen. Essentially it was still a flip screen effort.

So with a strong pitch effort, Thalamus Interactive approached Eidos/Core with the view of producing a conversion, and were quietly confident for a successful licence deal. Unfortunately there was to be no interest from the company, and Thalamus Interactive received no reply from the games giant at all.

As a result, the game was put on hold until they heard more but they never did, and as Thalamus died out again, so did any chances of Rick making his comeback. All that was ever to exist was a very brief technical demo, and that was it.

It is easy to see that the game would have worked well on the CGB. Possibly the game would lack a bit of depth compared to other games on the machine, but its very likely new features would have been added to take advantage of the technology.

No doubt Rick will make an appearance back on the Mobile platform one day, but we wont sadly be seeing him on the Game Boy it seems. A classic game missed out on by a new generation of gamers (for now) A huge shame.

Posted in Game Boy Color, Reviews | Tagged , | Leave a comment