New Cancelled Games & Their Lost Media Added to the Archive

What is the proper way of researching the history of video games?

Everyone enjoys playing games. They help us relax, recharge our batteries, and have fun with our friends. Why are games so popular, though? Creating a game is a time-consuming and highly complex process involving numerous people working on different tasks. That is, a writing team works on scripts, conversations, and other interactions. A designing team focuses on making levels and other events pertinent to the plot. Programmers work on making sure the game works flawlessly. And many more. The incorporation of all this creates diverse games we can play on various platforms.

However, writing about games is something completely different. Besides writing about gameplays, plot twists, and strengths with weaknesses, including the game’s history is an absolute must. And, to be honest, finding it can be a total pain in the neck. This tricky element has already made lots of students think about where to buy essay cheap to lift this writing assignment off their shoulders. What is the proper way of researching the history of video games?

Visit the National Museum of American History

The Smithsonian Museum is among the most prominent institutions that have vast information on video games. It provides educational, research, and other academic and non-academic materials on different topics, including games. The analysis of games started in 1966 by Ralph Baer, the then employee in Sanders Associates Inc. He and his colleagues Bill Harrison and Bill Rusch created several video game test units. And although such units all seem too far-fetched from the contemporary games, they still cast light on how games emerged and what it took for developers to coin different video games.

The National Museum of American History offers information on a dozen games and devices, including but not limited to:

  • TV Game Unit
  • The Brown Box Lightgun
  • The Pump Unit
  • The Brown Box Program Cards 1967-68
  • Magnavox Odyssey Video Game Unit 1972
  • Simon Electronic Game 1978
  • Maniac Electronic Game 1979

The collection of articles comprises comprehensive information with high-resolution images of devices that were predecessors to today’s widely known gadgets and consoles. Read more

Crimson Order (Kinesoft) [PC – Cancelled]

Crimson Order is a cancelled squad based tactical game similar to X-Com and Rainbow Six, that was in development by Kinesoft around 2000, planned to be released on PC. The project was quite hyped at the time, but possibly too ambitious for a small team mostly used to work on PC ports of existing games. IGN and Gamespot were quite impressed with the game’s concept, as we can read in previews and interviews published on their websites:

“The way you play the game is by controlling Mark Prophet (with a point and click interface – mouse with keyboard shortcuts), and by giving your team orders. They act out the orders based upon their background, skills, equipment, and experience level. Leadership and command decisions are more important than micro managing and frenetic clicking. Essentially each level is very much like a sandbox, and you can complete any objective in any way you wish, given the tools you carry or can find.”

“If you were a fan of X-Com: UFO Defense and Rainbow Six, then there’s a good chance that you’ll like this one. It’s really a great little mix of those types of games that seems to be mixing into a nice little concoction. It takes the omniscient view of the X-Com type games and adds in the real-time strategy and control of a squad based tactical action game. What you get is a smooth and easily controllable piece of work that many gamers will likely be very excited to see.”

“Objectives in the final game range from infiltration, search and destroy, search and rescue, and full destruction of enemy installations. You lead a team of resistance fighters behind enemy lines and your job is to disrupt their effort.”

“Don’t think that you’ll be able to use the same troops every single level until you have a super squad either. In order to keep this from occurring, fatigue has been made an important part of your consideration for whom to bring in with you. Characters actually need downtime to relax and heal.”

“Every character that you see in the game, both enemy and friendly, will have certain features attached to them as well. They can all hear, they can all see (in the direction they are looking), and they can also think. An idea that they are kicking around is the idea that characters will also have a scent trail so that dogs will be able to hunt your team down.”

“As Prophet fights his way through the game, he will come across additional characters who will join the resistance. Some of these characters must be liberated from enemy prisons. As the pool of available characters grows, selecting the best team members for individual missions will become more important.”

“The architecture of the Tan’Khar will also reflect their physiology, armor pieces will fall off of your soldiers when they get damaged, and even different levels will have very different looks that will reflect the functionality. For example, if you are in a refugee-processing center, you will see the groups of prisoners being shuttled around and well as guards wandering on patrol both inside the complex you are in and outside the walls.”

“So all of this will take place over 19 missions and five major locations (with varied environments in each of these) in a close quarter combat tactical exercise. You’ll get the chance to participate in a storyline that Kinesoft hopes will keep gamers enthralled.”

“The game also features huge living environments that will react to the way you play the game. AI in the game is also impressive looking with enemies reacting in different ways to different situations. The really cool AI is actually the script running the members of your team. You can give them commands that will make them act on their own in specific ways.“

As far as we know the team never showed any in-game screenshot from Crimson Order, so we are not sure how much of the game was really completed before its cancellation. Unfortunately hyping up the project did not help their case and Kinesoft closed sometime in 2001, after filing a lawsuit against SoftBank for issues on a previous contract.

Thanks to The Kinsie for the contribution!

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Alien Front [N-Gage – Cancelled]

The original Alien Front is an arcade game developed by Sega, which was then ported to the Dreamcast in 2001, adding online multiplayer. In 2004 Sega announced another port of the game for the ill-fated Nokia N-Gage, as we can read on IGN:

“In Alien Front, you can take on the role of an army tank commander to defend the Earth against invading aliens, or switch sides and take command of a futuristic 2-leg walker, a 4-leg spider walker, or an anti-gravity hovercraft vehicle. Alien Front also has a two-player deathmatch mode via Bluetooth wireless technology and the possibility to share game statistics with the world via the N-Gage Arena.”

As many other games planned for this phone-console hybrid, Alien Front was later cancelled. In 2019 a playable prototype was found and released online.

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Blunders (Branders) [PC Engine – Cancelled]

Blunders (AKA Branders, ブランダーズ) is a cancelled cyberpunk RPG that was in development around 1992 by IGS (AKA International Games System, アイ・ジー・エス) for PC Engine. From the available screenshots it looks like players would have been able to explore sci-fi cities in a top-down view, with turn based combat similar to Phantasy Star. At the time PC Engine Fan magazine published a 2-pages preview of Blunders, so there are some details available: if you can translate the most important parts in English, please let us know!

Thanks to Celine for the contribution

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Adventure of the Mummy Head [PC Engine – Cancelled]

Adventure of the Mummy Head is a cancelled game that was in development by Taito for PC Engine around 1991. The title was advertised in a few gaming magazines at the time, but as far as we know they never showed any screenshot, just artwork of the main protagonist. In one of these ads there’s a short description in Japanese: if you can translate it, please let us know in the comments below!

Thanks to Celine for the contribution

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