Adventure

Adventures of Captain Wrongel (Action Forms) [PC – Cancelled]

Ukrainian studio Action Forms, known for such projects as Chasm: The Rift, Vivisector: Beast Within and Cryostasis: Sleep of Reason, in 2005 released Treasure Island, based on the 1988 cartoon of the same name.
The project was warmly received, despite the very short duration and the feeling that it was more of a Demo. And no wonder: the developers primarily wanted to transfer the cartoon itself to PC monitors, and they succeeded. Some time later, the studio wanted to do the same with another cartoon – Adventures of Captain Wrongel.

The plot was not to be repeated from the original. The developers also, as in Treasure Island, intended to tell their own story. Along with the yacht “Beda” and the already familiar Captain Wrongel, XO Lom and Sailor Fuchs, the game was to feature other, entirely new characters. The genre also changed: now it was no longer a 2D platformer, but a full 3D quest.
The journey itself began in Holland and passed through Europe, Africa and even Antarctica. The game boasted a variety of situations from yacht races, puzzles, and other mini-games to memorable humorous scenes.

Unfortunately, during the development there were problems, the game was announced in 2006, but the postponement pushed the release date to 2009, after that the project was over.
There are also rumors that in 2011, the studio also wanted to make a game based on the cartoon “Mowgli” (1973), but they could not, because the company was taken over by Tatem Games. There are almost no materials on the network on the project, so the information can not be confirmed for sure.

  

Atma: The Mythic Light of India [PC – Cancelled]

Atma: The Mythic Light of India is a cancelled adventure game that was in development by Vinayak 4D Games around 2000 / 2001, planned to be released on PC. Gameplay would have been similar to Myst, but set in India and you would play the role of Indrani (the queen of the gods in Hinduism) following a mystical storyline for personal enlightenment. Players would move through different Asian locations and mesmerizing landscapes (Atma was one of the early games built on the Unreal engine), resolving mind-bending puzzles.

As we can read from an old press-release:

“Together with her husband Indrani ruled the extraterrestrial city of Amaravati until the demon, Prince Venadatte, dressed up as a royal guest, gave the royal couple a false nectar of gods. After drinking it, Indra lost his divine power and was imprisoned by Venadatte in a crystal cell. Indrani managed to escape to Earth. There appeared the Valley of Saints located on the slopes of the Himalayas. Now he must do everything he can to return, free his husband and defeat the demon. The plot of the game is full of Indian culture and customs. At every step you can see the fascination of the artists with the Far East manifesting itself in the form of known concepts such as Karma, meditation, Shakti, Yoga, etc.”

We don’t know what happened to the game but after a while it just vanished along with the team. As it happens often with these lost games we speculate they were not able to find a publisher interested in the project and without money they had to close down the studio.

Thanks to Josef for the contribution!

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The Girl Who Leapt Through Time [Playstation – Cancelled]

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (時をかける少女, Toki o Kakeru Shojo) is a cancelled adventure game that was planned around 1998 by Bandai for the original Playstation. The game was based on the 1967 novel of the same name by Yasutaka Tsutsui and possibly the related 1997 movie (and not the 2006 anime, unless Bandai leapt through time), which were quite popular at the time.

By looking at gameplay from the available footage (found in the VHS edition of the 1997 movie and on a CD-ROM from “Pre-Pre” PlayStation CLUB magazine) the game looked similar to Revelations: Persona on PS1, with top-down 2D exploration and animated cutscenes. As far as we know there was no combat in The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, but there could have been some kind of dating-sim mechanics.

Character design for this lost PS1 video game was by Minene Sakurano (who at the time was working on Mamotte Shugogetten) and the scenario was written by Hiroshi Yamaguchi (mostly known for his participation in Gainax and Gonzo). A preview was published in Dengeki PlayStation magazine (Vol.76, June 1998): if you are able to translate the most important parts from this preview, please let us know in the comments below!

Thanks go GIoN for the contribution

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Broken (Magenta Software) [PSVita – Cancelled]

Broken is a cancelled detective adventure game that was in development around 2011 – 2012 by Magenta Software, planned to be published by Sony on PSVita as one of their launch titles. The team was inspired by movies such as Mystic River, Zodiac, and Se7en: players would take the role of a detective in Miami, examining crime scenes and trying to stop a serial killer.

As far as we know the game was never officially announced by Sony nor the team, but some details and screenshots were shared online by former Magenta Software developers and artists:

“The Idea of the game was to showcase the features of the new PlayStation Vita hardware by utilizing some of the unique game-play scenarios the hardware could offer, such as the touch-screen, the back of console touch sensor, the cameras and the gyroscopes. In the initial game-play, the detective would be represented as a floating first-person camera, and navigate interior crime-scene environments by touching point of interest nodes in the 3d scene which would trigger dialogue, navigation, interactions, and cut-scenes. During development, this progressed through moving a 3d character model along “rails” between points, and further into the player having full autonomy of the character in a first-person perspective.”

“Another unique element of the game was the use of the console itself as an in-game “smartphone” owing to the device’s similarities. When evidence was collected from the crime scene, it could be examined within the smart-phone. The phone could be used to make calls to other officers during the investigation, examine evidence with Mini-games such as DNA matching, and even take photos of the game’s environment using the gyroscopes to detect the orientation of the device.”

In the end Broken was canned by Sony when they switched their market strategy:

“Regrettably for budgeting reasons Broken was eventually canceled by Sony, as early sales forecasts for the PS-Vita indicated that only larger budget games such as Uncharted, or much smaller budget games were expected to be successful on the console, leaving Broken in an unfortunate middle-ground.”

Screenshots from this lost game are preserved in the gallery below, to remember its existence.

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Gruesome Castle: Gee Whiz! Mystery Club [PC – Cancelled]

Gruesome Castle: Gee Whiz! Mystery Club is a cancelled adventure game that was in development by Gee Whiz! Entertainment for PC around 1998. It was announced as a ground-breaking project, the “first true 3D graphic adventure”, planning to “combining the 3D freedom of Nintendo’s Mario 64 with the classic adventure game play of LucasArts’ Monkey Island series” with cartoon horror setting and multiple protagonists, somehow similar to the Scooby-Doo cartoon.

As we can read on the old Gee Whiz! website:

“Gruesome Castle follows the exploits of Jake and Anna King and their pals Skip, Wendy, Brad and Jeepers the dino-monkey. Together they form the Gee Whiz! Mystery Club – an adventurous gang of teens who travel the world solving mysteries.

Their latest adventure brings them to England where they are to visit their cousin Edward at Gruesome Castle. Upon arriving they quickly discover that Edward has gone missing and that the castle is haunted. It’s up to our intrepid team to solve the riddle of the ghost and uncover the dark mystery of Gruesome Castle.

Game play features:

1) Taking control of Jake, players can explore a large castle with scores of rooms, including a Dungeon, Hedge Maze, Vast Underground Catacombs and a Spooky graveyard

2) Each location is very large with dozens of characters and objects to interact with

3) Witty dialog via a conversation system that allows you to talk to all the game characters

4) Inventory system lets you examine and manipulate all of the items that you find during your adventure

5) Ability to read books allows you to read from the extensive library and uncover the dark secrets of Gruesome Castle

6) Dynamic cameras in every room give a cinematic feel to game play with pans, tilts and dollies. Players can change from the default mode to any of the many alternative viewing modes allowing them to place the camera where they want it.

7) Includes a Bonus Mystery Quest mode where you seek out the Mystery Club Bonus Items that are hidden throughout the locations. Recovering all the Bonus Items reveals a secret room

8) Look around mode allows you to look at the 3D location from any angle”

A playable prototype was uploaded online some years ago, so you can take a look to see what the team had in mind for this lost project.

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