Game Boy

Runelords [GBC – Cancelled]

Runelords is a cancelled RPG that was in development in 1999 / 2000 by Saffire and it would have been published by Kemco for the GameBoy Color. The game was based on the fantasy book series with the same name, created by David Farland. In the universe of The Runelords, there exists a unique magical system which relies on the existence of distinct bodily attributes, such as brawn, grace, and wit. The game would have been a traditional turn based RPG, but it seems that the gameplay was not much fun. As we can read on IGN:

When we played the game at E3, we weren’t too excited by the sluggish and laborious RPG play. The game has a 3/4 view (like Mission Impossible) for the action, but just lagged in conversations, in movement, in battle, and elsewhere.

It’s possible that the publisher decided to cancel this project for quality reasons.

Thanks to Celine for the contribution!

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Katakis 3D [GBC – Cancelled]

In 2001 legendary programmer Manfred Trenz (idea, design, program, graphics), Andreas Escher (design, graphics) and Tufan Uysal (sound effects & music) completed  a sequel to the old Katakis C64 shooter for Game Boy Color. Contrary to the original game (an horizontal scrolling shooter) Katakis 3D adopted a forward-scrolling perspective akin to Star Fox or Iridion 3D thus the “3D” suffix.

Development took 5 months that sadly were unfruitful because the completed project couldn’t find a publisher interested to shipping it so from 2001 the game gather dust in a safe. Quite unfortunate cause it would have been very interesting to witness what Manfred Trenz amazing low level programming skills could have produced on the weak Game Boy Color hardware.

Thanks to Collect-Thor for the contribution!

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Chiisana Kyojin Microman [Cancelled – GBC]

Back around the year 1999, Takara decided to revive their old line of toys called “Microman” so they reissued a lot of the old toys from the 70’s and started a new line of toys. These toys had an anime and manga to go with the relaunch. The Microman line also had 2 games, Chiisana Kyojin Microman which was an 3rd person action game on the PSX with the old toy and Chiisana Kyojin Microman: Generation 2000 which was a more clunky game for the PSX with voiced parts of the characters from the anime.

However there was a game in development for the GBC which seems to have never seen the light of day, probably due to the failing sales of the 1999 version toys and the declining interest in the anime/manga. Below you can see a proposed cover art and a few screens form the game.

Thanks a lot to Maverynthia for the contribution!

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Trail Blazer (Death Track) [GameBoy – Cancelled]

TrailBlazers, aka Death Track is a canceled and unreleased game being developed by Argonaut for the GameBoy. It’s currently unknown why this got canceled and unreleased. It was being licensed by Activision, but developed by the famous Argonaut Games, hence it being in wireframe 3D. This game takes a 3rd person approach to the track, and only offers one camera setting.  An interesting note is the combat elements in the game and the upgrade system before each race. You can purchase engine upgrades, homing missiles, oil slicks, mines, and the like. While in race, you can press select to rotate through your defenses, and press up on the D-Pad to deploy them. It feels like if the game had seen a release, it would have pushed the GB to it’s limits, as only Argonaut knew how to do.
If you are more questions, contact Digmac at obscuregamers.com or assemblergames.com

Thanks to Celine we can see a screenshot of Trail Blazer, found in Joypad magazine issue #8.

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Wicked Surfing [GBC – Cancelled]

Wicked Surfing is a cancelled sport game that was in development in 1999 / 2000 by RUNANDGUN! / Cave Barn and it would have been published by Interplay for the GameBoy Color. As we can read from a short preview on IGN, in the game you would have been able to use 5 playable characters to do various surf-tricks in 2 different modes: Thrash Mode (timed competition for points) and Contest Mode (tournament against other surfers). The team that was working on Wicked Surfing was small (1 programmer, 1 artist and 1 musician), but the graphic was really good for a GameBoy Color, with an isometric view and a nice palette. Sadly Interplay was in some economic issues at the time (in 2001 it was acquired by Titus Interactive) and they decided to never pay Runandgun! to finish the game, even if it was almost complete.

Thanks a lot to Jeremy for his help to preserve more screens of their lost game!

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