Roadsters 98 is a prototype racing game by Genetic Fantasia, with a gameplay similar to Micro Machines, that seems to have been cancelled in early development. A playable demo exists, thanks to a scene leaked ROM from the old GameBoy Color days. While there is a game called Roadsters released in Europe and USA in 2000, it is completely different from Roadster 98. The release group got access to some beta software which is normal but in this case they probably thought they’d do a nice pre-store but the final game never appeared – unless this is an insanely rare special release no one knows about.
We can speculate that Genetic Fantasia worked on Roadsters GameBoy Color for Titus, but something went wrong and the publisher decided to release a different game.
Adventures of Pinocchio is a beta version of Ottifanten, an action puzzle game developed by Bit Managers and released in 1998 for the GameBoy, based on some german comics. While there is a released Pinocchio game for the Game Boy mono, “Adventures of…” is a completely different title and Bit Managers never listed this one on their homepage, only Ottifanten. A playable version of this beta was leaked online, and it’s often confused for an official released game. Trying out the game shows that you cannot lose any lifes – the counter won’t work. This is no final release and there is none because it’s an unreleased game.
As we can read in a Wikipedia entry, the game relies on 115 separate levels of puzzle action, played by viewing the playing field in isometric projection. Pinocchio’s main objective is to get to the arrow (the exit) on the screne in order to move onto the next level. If the player is able to navigate Pinocchio to the objective before the timer runs out, he gets a certain number of points equal to the time left. Once this number reaches 500, the Fairy will bestow Pinocchio with an extra life.
As noticed by BigFred, a closer look at the dump floating around will reveil a weird internal name “Infrey Quest”, so we can speculate that before Pinocchio and Ottifanten, Bit Managers tried to develope their own original IP. When they did not find any publisher interested in Infrey Quest, they changed the game in Pinocchio and later into Ottifanten, with their more recognized characters.
Ottifanten uses the same game concept as well and the same music as Adventure of Pinocchio. It even looks like the basic stage design is the same.
The released Pinocchio for GameBoy looks like this:
IMSA World Championship is a cancelled racing game that was in development by Studio 3DO for the unreleased 3DO / Panasonic / Matsushita M2 console. When 3DO sold their M2 hardware to Panasonic, IMSA was slowly postponed and then canned. The game had a great graphic engine for its time and it was one of the best “tech demos” to show the power of the M2. This project could have been lost forever, but on July 26th 2010 NikeX has released a playable beta version of IMSA Racing in the 3DO Zero Forums.
A while later, I started working on IMSA World Championship racing, which was 3DO’s main internally developed M2 game. The director of the game was Ed Rotberg, an industry veteran who was responsible for such classic arcade games as Battlezone and Star Wars Arcade. The lead programmer was Chuck Sommerville, who wrote the original Snakebyte (you know, that game where you drive a snake around and try not to crash into your own tail) as well as the cult favorite Chip’s Challenge. […]
The physics and driving engine for IMSA were licensed from the company that made the arcade game Hard Drivin’. The graphics engine was something called “Mercury” that an external developer had written and then sold back to 3DO, at which point it became our official graphics engine which we encouraged other developers to use. […]
Also, NikeX wrote a review of the IMSA beta, that you can read in here.
It’s 1996, IMSA game is shown to the people. No pixels, but texture correction. Something you don’t see on Playstation 1 or Sega Saturn. And, in this quality, not on N64. In fact, you’ve never seen so solid, vivid-plastic car models, when the camera comes close: The tires are round and they turn in the correct direction. Constant 30 frames per second, even with 10 cars on the track. My jaw tumbled when I saw the realtime presentation of the cars, tires, gears or rear spoilers. Great illuminating effects, readable words on car and parts. Even in the race itself. In 1996, 97 you would have thought: Am I watching a FMV?
Huge props to NikeX for sharing this lost game with the community! Thanks to Celine for the magazine scans!
Titan Warriors is a cancelled shoot ’em up that was developed by Capcom for the NES / Famicom, in 1988. The game was meant to be a sequel of Vulgus, an arcade shooter developed and published by Capcom in Japan in 1984. An almost complete build (with just some bugs) of Titan Warriors was somehow leaked online, and you can download it at the Lost Levels Forum. For more info about this project, you can read a nice article written by Frank Cifaldi for 1UP’s Retro Gaming Blog.
Primal Rage 2 is a cancelled fighting game that was in development in 1995 / 1996 by Atari for the Arcades. As we can read on Wikipedia, the game was to feature new characters that took on the form of humans and were called the Avatars, instead of the beasts / dinosaurs of the first title. During the development something went wrong and in the end Primal Rage 2 was never released. It’s currently unknown how much of the game was finished before the cancellation.
As it should be well known, this game has been leaked online. Although, it is currently unplayable.
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