Covering unreleased and cancelled video games, plus prototypes and early versions of games on a variety of 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.

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.

Latest news and posts

We’re back!

After a few months offline, Games That Weren’t is back – with a slightly new lick of paint – though not too dissimilar to the old site.

So what happened?… Unfortunately the hosting disappeared and bang went all our content. Sadly with no access to the posts, I have had to scrape what I can from the Google caches and also the Web Archive. As a result, we have had a few casulties (In particular the Konix AMC’89 article sadly :-( ) , but most of the old site has been re-posted here and preserved.

Sadly the PCGTW and 3DO GTW sites are still unavailable, but i’m hoping these will be back soon!

The one positive thing to come out of everything is that it forced my hand to update the site and its functionality, with better Social media integration (and also a far better admin interface for us to use!).

So now on with the show!….

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Scooby Doo in the Castle Mystery

1986 Elite

Platforms: ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64

Scooby shot 1Dragons Lair was a technical marvel in the early 80s with its impressive Laser Disc technology. Elite jumped on the bandwagon with their licence of the popular cartoon series.

Whereas Dragons Lair was heavily changed for its home conversions, Elite decided to go one better. Originally starting out as a text only adventure, the plan for Scooby Doo grew to include pictures and finally extra interactivity to turn it into an 8-bit laser disc game.

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Posted in Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, Reviews, ZX Spectrum | Tagged , | 8 Comments

Lunar Jetman (C64)

1985 Ultimate

Lunar Jetman shotLunar Jetman was part of a huge classic genre on the Spectrum that spawned a few games by Ultimate featuring the Jetman character. The range of games however never quite made their way onto the C64. Spectrum users had Jetman, whereas C64 users had to make do with Sir Arthur Pendragon in a series of games.

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Conquest – lost Larry DeMar game

Conquest shotA big thanks to Paul Drury for flagging this up for GTW after a recent Retro Gamer magazine article with Larry DeMar.

After Vid Kidz had delivered Stargate to Williams, Larry had begun working on a new project called “Conquest”

Larry recalls: I didnt get very far as Robotron got so interesting, so quickly, I jumped off Conquest to join Eugene on that. You were a ship roughly in the centre of a screen of a 2D universe. It played with controls like Omega Race; you had a wheel for your rotation and then thrust and fire. It was quite elegant and had a scanner for the space but then we heard Sinistar was in development, so we put it to one side and never finished it. If wed concentrated on it, we probably wouldve beaten Sinistar to market by a year.

Larry kept the source code and Retro Gamer originally printed some exclusive screenshots from this intriguing lost title. Paul has passed higher quality shots from the article which you can check out below in our gallery.

Larry additionally had to add: “The ship that we created for this prototype (which would have been replaced) was an homage to the ship from Computer Space.

The Red and Yellow globs on the upper right are the players shots which were animated fireballs. The circles is the explosion of a planet which is in progress. This program which generated these circular explosions was the same one we later used to create the Time Tunnel in Blaster. There was very little game here. At this point I had created the 2-D scrolling world, the ship control, the scanner, the ship’s fireball shots, the collision detection and explosions and enemy tracking for end of wave. At this point we learned about Williams Sinistar project and put it on the shelf.”

Many thanks to Paul Drury for the information, and Larry DeMar for originally talking to Paul and sharing information on his long lost game.

Gallery for Conquest

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Star Fleet 2 (GTW64 highlight)

A highlighted review from the archives

Designed as the sequel to the highly thought of Star Fleet, Star Fleet II was aimed at being bigger, better and more complex than its already complex predecessor. Both were war simulation games where you controlled ships and armies, in the first game with the aim of defending Earth from aliens and in Star Fleet II you played as the aliens, intent of conquering planets throughout the universe.

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Zorakk The Conqueror (GTW64 highlight)

A highlighted review from the archives

Icon Software 1984

What is it with fantasy games from the 1980s and the letter Z? So many characters, particularly in American fantasy (so it seemed to me) start with the letter Z. The wizard from the American version of Heroquest was called Zargon (The UK version had Morcar, which is much better!); Beastmaster had King Zed and lets not forget the many trips made to Zork. The UK chipped in with The Warlock of Firetop Mountain being called Zagor and at least one other effort, Zorakk the Conqueror, which was released on the BBC Electron and CPC but not on the Spectrum or C64. Continue reading

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Pirates of the Ocean (GTW64 highlight)

A highlighted review from the archives

1987 Kele Line Games

Pirates of the Ocean was one of four games slated for release by Kele Line in 1987, alongside Force of the Vulcan, that never made it to release. The only two games they released in 1987 were Tiger Mission and The Vikings, which were to be their last released before going bankrupt in the same year. Continue reading

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