Nintendo DS

Tank Assault (Wicked Witch) [Nintendo DS – Cancelled]

Tank Assault is a cancelled third person shooter that was in development by Wicked Witch Software, planned to be released on Nintendo DS. The game was based on their eponymous mobile app, trying to find a publisher interested in releasing it on the portable console market. The team created a playable demo using their own 3D engine, which looked quite impressive for running on the DS hardware.

Some details were published on their old website:

“The game draws on themes from the real world game titles such as Battlefield 2, Call of Duty 4, Counter-Strike or Operation Flashpoint. This demo is a range of possible games from Arcade First Person Shooter, to Combat simulation, to Squad based Real Time Strategy with local or online multiplayer features!

Many styles of gameplay will have players finding themselves fighting with or against their friends on a local connection or online in an open map or as team-mates fighting cooperatively through hordes of AI soldiers and vehicles. The multiplayer game and maps will vary from modified versions of single player maps to unique battlefields designed for warring parties.

The modern world with its trouble-spots and current conflicts gives plenty of scope to base this game off a real scenario or even to make a very compelling scenario out of imaginary countries and regions. The time period can vary as well with modern warfare games easily converted into Vietnam War, post-modern or even WW2 games.”

  • Deeply immersive 3d world and a cast of characters and scenarios to fight through.
  • Superbly rendered 3d graphics featuring detailed characters, vehicles and environments!
  • Modern warfare inspired combat, customizable classes and vehicle orientated gameplay.
  • Call in air strikes, operate UAV’s, and demolish buildings.
  • Complete missions and watch a compelling modern conflict scenario unfold.

As far as we know Wicked Witch Software never found a publisher and Tank Assault had to be canned, along with their other games for Nintendo’s portable consoles: War Monster DS and War Monster Game Boy.

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War Monster [Nintendo DS – Tech Demo, Cancelled]

Wicked Witch Software is a video game developer founded in 2001 which created a few original IPs for their projects. One of these IPs was “War Monster”, a medieval fantasy world similar to Warcraft that could have been used for many different kinds of games, such as RTS, platform, action adventure and even MMORPG. This Nintendo DS tech demo was created by the team to pitch their skills to different publishers, hoping to find someone who could be interested in supporting their ideas.

Details about this War Monster DS demo were shared by WWS on their old website:

“We would love to see an awesome multiplayer RPG on handheld. Imagine while traversing the open world you come across a dungeon: you could enter alone or connect to other players to explore the dungeon together. Each dungeon would increase in difficulty and adjust the challenges as more players join your team!

  • Deeply immersive 3d world and a varied cast of characters from tiny fairies to massive giants!
  • Unlimited random levels and scripted quests to complete and achieve!
  • Immersive RPG elements with customizable characters, weapons, abilities and attacks.
  • Unlock and explore worlds and seek out mystical items to aid in your adventure.”

As with their Game Boy Color version of War Monster, unfortunately the team was not able to get funds to work on this Nintendo DS project, so it had to be canned. The War Monster IP was later reused to create a RTS released (?) for Cell Phones.

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Winnetou: Wild Land [Nintendo DS – Cancelled]

Winnetou: Wild Land is a cancelled side-scrolling action game that was in development by Snapdragon Games for Nintendo DS around 2007 / 2008. It was based on a fictional Native American hero created by German author Karl May, but at the moment no other details are available about this lost game. As far as we know Winnetou: Wild Land was officially announced by the team, possibly to find a publisher interested in funding the project. Unfortunately it seems they were not able to sign a contract and Winnetou: Wild Land was soon canned. Today only a bunch of screenshots and mock-ups remain to remember it was once in development.

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Wall-E 2 (Helixe) [Cancelled – Nintendo DS]

Wall-E 2 is the cancelled sequel to Helixe’s Nintendo DS game based on the eponymous Disney Pixar movie. The team was a division of THQ that focused on Nintendo’s portable consoles, and previously worked on other DS tie-ins such as Ratatouille, Cars, The Incredibles. This follow-up would feature local coop multiplayer using the DS wireless connection, with multiple playable characters from the movie. Helixe was shut down by THQ in November 2008 and Wall-E 2 was canned along with them.

A couple 3D models from the game levels are preserved below, to remember the existence of this lost DS game.

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Boo Haunt (Retro Studios) [Nintendo DS – Cancelled Concept]

In May 2020 Shinesparkers published a series of links to the online portfolio of Sammy Hall, former Retro Studios contract artist who worked on concept art for a cancelled Boo game pitched by the company for Nintendo DS. Possibly known as the “Haunt” project, in this adventure players would take the role of a young Boo, freshly graduated in the Haunt university.

In these images you can see a Boo professor teaching his students about a magical cauldron and our Boo protagonist would have been chosen to be dipped into it for some reasons. We speculate that by being soaked in the cauldron, the young Boo would have somehow received new powers. Concept art shows this Boo in different poses, as if it could be stretched and moved around like in Kirby: Canvas Curse.

These drawings were noted as being used for Retro Studios’ Boo project between 2006 and 2007 (the same artist also worked on Metroid Prime 3: Corruption and Donkey Kong Country Returns), just a year after Nintendo released Canvas Curse. As we can read on their original page:

“Cancelled Boo project (2006 – 2007). Loads of Boo sketches in very very unfamiliar territory. Deep in debt at Haunt University. Powers & abilities. Broomies. Possession powers. Spiders spider boss variations. Tiny stuff for tiny handheld resolutions.”

We can also speculate the witches seen in these images are the “Broomies” (possibly the main enemies of the game, as seen in one of the drawings in which Boo fight against one of them like in a shoot ’em up) and Boo would had some kind of “Possession powers” to gather new powers & abilities.

After these images were found by fans and gaming journalists, the artist just deleted his whole ArtStation account. IGN was able to get in contact with him, asking about this Boo project and the cancelled Zelda – Sheik Wii game:

“Speaking to IGN, ex-Retro Studios concept artist Sammy Hall explained that both games were in pre-production when cancelled, and “I doubt many at Nintendo proper saw much of any of this stuff. I was mostly put into a room like Milton from Office Space and tasked to brainstorm between other projects.”

According to Hall, the ideas for both games came from ex-Retro leads Mark Pacini, Todd Keller and Kynan Pearson, but were “cancelled the week they went to create their other studios.”

We’d like to preserve these fascinating Boo drawings in the gallery below, to remember the existence of this lost video game. If you saved more concept art from Retro Studios’ Boo project that are missing from this page, please let us know in the comments below or by email!

Thanks to AvenPlainstrider for the contribution!

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