Charles Barkley Basketball [Atari Jaguar – Cancelled]

Charles Barkley Basketball [Atari Jaguar – Cancelled]

Charles Barkley Basketball is the working title of the Atari Jaguar version of Barkley Shut Up and Jam!, a 1993 basketball video game developed by Accolade for the Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo Entertainment System. The Atari Jaguar version was developed by Ringler Studios. The game was previewed in various magazines and even advertised. Cyberroach reports, in a great interview with Faran Thompson, an Atari Jaguar tester, that the game was almost completed but in the end it was not released:

CR: Charles Barkley Basketball looked pretty far along though?
FT: Yeah, and that was a very difficult title to produce just due to the developer and in some ways it was a very painful process but I think what almost got done was, you know, kind of interesting and it would have been nice to actually see that released. I’m not exactly sure what the final status of that project was but when I left it was almost complete. But apparently it was never released, never really got over that hump.

However, a prototype of the game surfaced (via JaguDome, archived site), and was eventually sold by B&C Computer Visions, who it is currently selling reproductions of the cartridge on its website. A review on the website reports the status of the game:

The problem with the game lies in the fact that although mighty close, it is not complete. A sign of this is the time for the quarters. One minute only gives you 37 seconds, three minutes gives you 1:52 & five minutes 3:47. The biggest though is probably the lack of sound in the game. All you really get is the bouncing of the ball & not a lot else. No taunts from Sir Charles or words of encouragement either. No background music too. Another problem I found was that playing two player using the team tap did actually cause frequent crashes. Maybe I was just not good enough at the game, but I couldn’t find any Easter eggs which are known to be in other versions of the game.



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3 thoughts on “Charles Barkley Basketball [Atari Jaguar – Cancelled]

  1. Ross Sillifant

    Relationship between Ringler and Atari was in utter chaos..Atari execs describing Ringler as an unstable developer whose employee mortality was questionable.

    Source code was given to High Voltage software, it’s been claimed.

  2. Kevin W

    Yea it was insane working for Ringler.
    It’s to bad apparently the game was so close to release before Atari went under.

    Was still a lot of fun meeting the Tramiel brothers, Jeff Minter, etc.

    Trivia: All of the players with the exception of just a few were all of developers (programmers, artists, etc.) were us digitized (from video) since Ed Ringler spent the money to hire professional actors elsewhere (buying himself a high end car).
    I’m in the “Short video footage” above at :06. I forget the char name, I’m all covered in black/gray.
    With exception though he managed to find a great actor that was the size of, and looked at lot like Barkley.

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