Sound Fantasy is a cancelled video game for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, and its Japanese counterpart, the Super Famicom. Interactive media artist Toshio Iwai designed the game in the early 1990s using concepts from the installation art piece Music Insects, which he created during his time as an Artist in Residence at the San Francisco Exploratorium. However, the finished product was never brought to market by Nintendo for unknown reasons.
Its eccentric concepts and untested game mechanics may have been the main factor in its cancellation; music games, especially on home consoles, were not popular in the early 1990s, and it wouldn’t be until much later in the decade that they gained mainstream attention. A working prototype was found in October 2014 as you can see from the video below.
Thanks to MathUser & Celine for some of these images!
Sound Fantasy was to come packed-in with the SNES Mouse and mouse pad, and it would arrive in a larger game box to hold its contents similar to Super Nintendo games like Mario Paint and EarthBound. It is speculated that Nintendo chose to use Mario Paint to launch its mouse peripheral in 1992 instead, as that game was endorsed by Mario, one of gaming’s most recognizable mascots.
Toshio Iwai eventually went on to convert his work into the PC game SimTunes in 1996, and many of Sound Fantasy’s unreleased gameplay elements can be found there.
In April 2005, to celebrate the Japanese launch of Toshio Iwai’s latest work, Electroplankton for the Nintendo DS, Nintendo opened an exhibit at Tokyo’s Harajuku Station to focus on the new game and on Iwai himself. Nintendo made available for perusal the box art and manual for Sound Fantasy, but the “lost game” was not made playable there. – [info from Wikipedia]