Wii

Frisbee (Creat Studios) [Wii – Cancelled Prototype]

In 2007 Creat Studios worked on a Frisbee game prototype for Nintendo Wii, developed to demonstrate their new tech (physics, impacts of wind and collisions with obstacles) and motion controls. The team is mostly known for Coded Arms: Contagion and Insecticide, but they also created a few tie-in games such as Aqua Teen Hunger Force Zombie Ninja Pro-Am and Biker Mice from Mars. This Frisbee game may have been pitched to some publishers as a cheap project for the casual market, but in the end it was never fully developed into a game.

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Barnyard [Beta – GameCube, PS2, PC]

Barnyard is an action game based on the movie of the same name, developed by Blue Tongue Entertainment and published by THQ for GameCube, Wii, PlayStation 2, Game Boy Advance, and PC. Footage of beta gameplay has been uploaded to the IGN youtube channel as a video titled “Barnyard GameCube Video – Clip Compilation 2”.

The main differences in this beta footage are:

  • animals could freely walk around the map
  • there was a life-counter (was completely removed in the final version)
  • players had “happiness level
  • the map was completely different
  • The mobile phone had a music player, battery energy, and an integrated camera that could take photos.
  • There was also a multiplayer mode for some of the minigames such as chicken coop (this minigame was heavily changed in the final version).

Besides IGN’s gameplay on Youtube there’s an official trailer where the Beta version was shown for the first time. It’s still not known if the version in this trailer was different from the one IGN previewed.

In 2021 more beta gameplay footage was found with other differences from the final version:

  • The NPCs still had an AI
  • currency was different
  • the models of the trees and of the fences were different
  • map still had some difference, but it’s pretty close to the final appearance
  • minigames with up-to 4 players multiplayer were still there.

This gameplay was found on a Spanish website named 3DJuegos. The released Barnyard seems to have been built from a canceled, unannounced game in which all NPCs could interact with each other, build relationships and more. This is why the beta version of the game had more advanced NPC AI, but it’s still not known why it was later removed.

Article by InfiniteC0re and @longhorn#5853

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Legend of Zelda: Sheik (Retro Studios) [Wii – 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 Zelda game based on the Sheika tribe. This unreleased, darker view on the Zelda timeline would possibly explore what happened to the last male Sheik after Ocarina of Time’s “Bad Ending” in which Link does not succeed.

These drawings were noted as being used for pre-production of Retro Studios’ Sheik Zelda project between 2005 and 2008 (the same artist also worked on Metroid Prime 3: Corruption and Donkey Kong Country Returns), so we can assume it could have been planned to be released on Nintendo Wii or WiiU. As we can read on their original page:

“Old storage hard-drive diving! (2005 – 2008) More stuff from a long lost cancelled Zelda (Sheik) action/jrpg that never went beyond pre-production. Really want to return to these some day to finish a few. Zelda games have wacky weird stuff, and this game was setting out to be ten times weirder.”

“Fun pre-pre-pre-production origin story of the Master Sword. Within the bad ending of “Ocarina of Time” exploring the last male Sheik’s (after a genocidal ethnic-cleansing) journey transforming into the Master Sword. All while the Dark Gerudo are giving their 100 year birth to Gannon.”

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 Zelda project and another canned Nintendo DS Boo 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.”

Around 2008 – 2009 many video game websites published rumors about a Retro Studios Zelda game featuring Sheik, so it seems those rumors were true but the project was already cancelled at the time.

Unfortunately today some of these fascinating Zelda artworks seem to have been lost, as other websites did not save them all. We’d like to preserve them in the gallery below, to remember the existence of this lost video game. If you saved concept art from Retro Studios’ Zelda 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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American Pool Deluxe (Blade Interactive) [Wii – Cancelled]

American Pool Deluxe is a cancelled pool simulation game that was in development by Blade Interactive in 2008 and would have been published by Gamecock Media / Navarre / Upshot Games on Nintendo Wii. The game was planned during the “casual games” Wii craze, but possibly canned when even publishers understood it was not going to sell enough on the market.

Some details on the game can still be found on Amazon even if it was never released:

  • Authentic Billiard Games-Variety of game modes including 8 Ball, 9 Ball, Rotation, 3 Ball, Billiards and even Bar Billiards. Polish your skills and impress opponents with Trickshot Challenge mode
  • Precision Motion Controls – Use the precise motion controls to line up the perfect shot every time. Tap in a bank shot with a gentle push or scatter the break with a powerful move
  • Career Mode – Create your own pro and work your way up from humble beginnings in local pool halls and become a global billiards icon
  • Tournament Style Presentation – Experience a life-like pool tournament setting, including professional commentators and audience interaction
  • Multiplayer 1 – 4 players

Also on IGN we can find the original press release hyping up the game:

“With superior graphics and incomparable gameplay, American Pool Deluxe is as authentic as they come,” said Eric ‘The Preacher’ Yow, World Pool-Billiard Association Masse World Champion. “For years the gaming industry has attempted to duplicate the complex physics and geometry of cue sports into a lifelike rendition for families to enjoy. Finally, a game captures the beauty of the sport and allows you to perfect your skills! Run a rack without ever leaving your chair!”

American Pool Deluxe is the first game to come out of Upshot Games, the casual games division of Gone Off Deep Inc., whose other brands include video game publishing company Gamecock Media Group. “

Upshot Games even announced a “professional cue peripheral” that would have been launch with the game, as we can read on IGN:

“Upshot Games announced today an elegant, yet ruggedly built, “RealMotion Pool Cue” companion accessory for their upcoming professional pool game for Wii, American Pool Deluxe. This is not your average controller peripheral – it is a meticulously crafted cue built specifically to take advantage of the Wii remote’s accelerometer technology for real precision and fun.

“It is the dedication to realism that led to the development of the RealMotion Pool Cue for American Pool Deluxe,” said Eric ‘The Preacher’ Yow, World Pool-Billiard Association Masse World Champion. “Tested extensively by real billiards pros like me, you can be assured this is the only real pool game for Wii.”

A prototype of American Pool Deluxe is in the hands of game collectors.

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Project Witches (Eternal Light) [Cancelled – Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, PC]

Project Witches (aka Eternal Light) is a cancelled coop-focused action game that was in development by Revistronic for Playstation 3, Xbox 360, Wii and PC. Gameplay would have probably been similar to Diablo or Gauntlet, with 4 players team up together to kill dozens of enemies and huge bosses. Eternal Light was officially announced in 2007, but then postponed for multiple times until it was considered vaporware among gamers.

As we can read on the original press-release and official website:

“Project WITCHES (Provisional Title) available w/w is a third-person action adventure game developed by Spanish developer, REVISTRONIC. In WITCHES players find themselves in terrifying dark surroundings in an epic struggle for survival in order to take freedom and peace to an oppressed medieval kingdom.

Across a landscape of devastation, players manage a squad of Witches, sultry warriors that still resist the dark will of the Evil Lord and his horde of awful creatures and lead the rebellion against his satanic power. Above all, it is a game where teamwork is vital: all modelling, levels and scenes are designed to promote cooperative play.”

Key  features

“Everything reeks of death, torture and destruction. The people have been enslaved. They are prisoners of a dark power that has established a reign of terror and devastation throughout the land. Your aim is to eliminate the evil creature that dwells in the depths of a sinister castle and to rescue the crushed inhabitants from their horrifying destiny. In order to survive in the face of this satanic power and its cruel armies, you must learn the art of combat and acquire terrible dark powers yourself.

Sultry girls against satanic monsters: Let yourself go in this dark medieval narrative and enjoy the contrast between sensual beauty and sinister horrors. Direct the beautiful but dangerous Gwen in a spectacular fight against hordes of repellent deformed creatures.

Feel the fear: Skies rent by terrifying storms, hair-raising shrieks, shadows in the fog, stealthy movements and menacing growls, the glint of monstrous eyes that watch from the shades. The oppressive certainty of death lying in wait for you.

Spectacular system of tactical combat: Combining spectacular combat with sequences of caution and stealth. The tactics you use will be decisive for your survival. You must rescue the captives and obtain their help. You will lead your team. You can be a great leader or sacrifice your comrades in the fight. Your decisions will shape your destiny.

Totally interactive environment: All game items can be used, creating a sensation of total immersion such as never before. You can use all kinds of objects to achieve your aims, even the amputated limbs of adversaries.”

There are a few gameplay videos from the game, but we don’t know how much was really completed before Revistronic closed down in 2011 for bankruptcy.

Thanks to Jean for the contribution!

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