Others

The Incredible Shrinking Character [Cancelled – PSX SAT PC]

The Incredible Shrinking Character is a cancelled action adventure game that was in development by Go-Go Interactive Studios and that would have been published by Cyberdreams for the Playstation, Saturn and PC in 1996. The plot involved a crazy doctor that shrinked the main character with an experimental potion. Players would had to explore the (now) huge laboratory resolving puzzles, to find a way to return to normal. As we can read at Bill Narum’website, former owner of Go Go Studios:

The year is 1959. You are a Private Investigator hired to investigate the mysterious disappearance of Julie Caldwell, daughter of a wealthy east-coast industrialist family. The subject, in her early twenties, was last reported heading to visit the home and laboratory of Dr. Warren Franklin. […]

On the afternoon of January 30th, you head off to the doctor’s castle for the interview of a lifetime. Unknown to you, Dr. Franklin has laid a trap, and you awaken in a stupor to find yourself only 3 feet tall and gradually shrinking. You realize now that finding Julie will be no simple task. […]

Another reoccurring sound you can’t help but notice is that of a female screaming, most likely the victimized Julie. The volume and intensity increases as you approach the dungeon. You must find the antidote and save Julie soon, but first you must evade becoming dinner for the doctor’s house cat, and numerous other deadly creatures, bats, rats, roaches and ants, etc. that inhabit the mysterious castle.

They planned at least 10 levels in the game, in which the main character would have shrinked more and more each hour, leaving us to deal with big ants and size-based puzzles. A short preview of The Incredible Shrinking Character with some screens were published in NextGeneration magazine issue 14 and some more info on the project can be found at Bill Narum’website. You can even download a playable beta demo for PC! Huge props to Bill for preserving some documents of this lost game!

Thanks to Celine for the contribution! Thanks to Ari for a backup of the demo!

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X-Com Genesis [PC – Cancelled]

As we can read on Wikipedia,  X-COM: Genesis is a cancelled RTS in the X-COM series, that was in development by MicroProse and then by Hasbro Interactive. The game was never completed due to Hasbro’s shutdown of Hasbro Interactive in late 1999. For this project the team developed a “Geoscape” view of Earth from orbit, that far surpassed the implementation in previous versions.

The team also created a level editor to allow the artists to build levels for the “Battlescape”—the areas where battles against the alien invaders would take place. In an early tech demo we can see an urban environment with a filling station, warehouse, an apartment building, attached parking garage, a park, a burning trashbin and streetlights that cast pools of light. Floating above it all was a blimp with floodlights streaming earthward. Standing in formation outside their aircraft were the X-COM soldiers, shifting on their feet, looking left to right.

Some more info can be found in an interview with Dave Ellis:

As for the “true to the original game” part, absolutely! Genesis was designed to follow the same basic game formula as UFO Defense and Terror from the Deep—research, buying/building, recruiting, intercepting UFOs, and fighting tactical missions. The mechanics of the game in the strategy layer (the Geoscape and all related screens) were virtually identical to those of the first two games. The combat portion of the game was going to have a very similar feel, but it would have had slightly different mechanics (real-time, for instance—more on that later).

Thanks to f2bnp for the contribution!

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Shadow Striker [PC – Beta]

Shadow Striker is a a text adventure developed by Siika Software, an indie team from Finland. The project was originally known as Dark Souls, and it was meant to have a 3D scenario to explore, but because of various development issues, it was later decided to use only text to tell the story. Below you can see some images from the early prototype and a video from the beta version. For more info about the final game, check Siika Software’s blog!

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Brains in Planes [PSX PC – Cancelled]

Brains in Planes is a cancelled racing game that was in development by Millennium Interactive, planned to be released for PC and the original Playstation. Only a single image taken from the Alias environment was found by pcloadletter and Celine in Edge magazine 35, from August 1996. Brain in Planes was probably going to play similar to Mario Kart, but with futuristic cartoon craft and the speed of Wipeout, promising more freedom to explore the tracks.

When Sony bought Millennium Interactive in 1997, they became SCE Studios Cambridge and the project vanished forever, maybe because they decided to shift development time and resource to Medievil and Creatures. Its interesting to notice that Brains in Planes was to ship first but only the other two games made it.

Thanks to pcloadletter and Celine for the contributions!

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Leisure Suit Larry: Pocket Party [N-Gage – Cancelled]

Leisure Suit Larry: Pocket Party is a cancelled point and click adventure that was in development in 2004 by  TKO Software and it would have been published by Vivendi Universal for the ill-fated N-gage. The game was going to be the first original mobile title in the Leisure Suit Larry series, but it was never finished, probably because of the failure of the Nokia console / phone.

As we can read in Wikipedia, in Leisure Suit Larry: Pocket Party, players would have been able to explore a college campus, while solving puzzles and engaging in risque activities. As they search for the ultimate good time (having sex), gamers bump into Rosie Palmer, the head cheerleader at Larry’s college and he is determined to do anything to be with her.

In addition to single-player gameplay, there were four different turn-based multiplayer mini-games. The game was supposed to be a big title for the N-Gage due to its raunchy language and humor, and also for the cell-shaded graphic, a brand new feature for the N-Gage.

It seems that Leisure Suit Larry N-Gage was developed twice: there are two completely full versions of the game. One that was deemed too raunchy and another that was redesigned by TKO-Dallas from the ground up. So to recap….there are TWO full, complete working versions of Pocket Party in Alpha form.

Thanks to ForWhomTheBellTolls for the contribution!

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