Starship Troopers [PC PSX – Cancelled]

In 1997 / 1998 Spectrum Holobyte was working on an action game based on the Starship Troopers license, that would have been published by Microprose for PC and Playstation, but it was later cancelled. This project was really different from the 2000 released Starship Troopers game, that was instead developed by Blue Tongue. The producer  of the 1998 version was named Simon Finch, who is not in the credits of the 2000 game. In 1996 Microprose / Spectrum Holobyte signed a contract with Sony over the development of several games based on Starship Troopers, but in the end only one was released.

The first in the series of four games is in development under the MicroProse brand for Windows 95 which will be followed by a Sony PlayStation game console version. […]

“As we build our merchandising program for the upcoming theatrical release of Starship Troopers, we felt it would be natural to develop a thrilling multimedia game based on this high action film,” said Scardino. “Through our new relationship with Spectrum Holobyte, we are confident that they will create an innovative game which will appeal to the consumer marketplace.”

As we can read at Economypoint:

Although the [Starship Troopers license] purchase was celebrated at that time of MicroProse as large success, MicroProse drew the enterprise downward. Mismanagement and bad firm politics affected additionally creativity and work of the developers. One had to accept larger losses than before. 1997 were temporarily stabilized the financial situation by high incomes, but they came too late, in order to still save the enterprise. The enterprise was bought up 1998 by Hasbro Interactive, which fired thereafter the flight simulation team already briefly.

It seems that Hasbro decided to cancel Spectrum Holobyte’s Starship Troopers game for economic reasons.

Thanks to derboo for the scans!



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!




Guardians: Agents of Justice [PC – Cancelled]

Guardians: Agents of Justice is a cancelled superhero squad tactics game developed by Simtex in 1996 / 1997, that would have been published by Microprose. The project was supposed to play like X-Com, but with superheroes. As we can read on Wikipedia, Simtex created a number of well-known turn-based strategy games for the PC, most notably the first two Master of Orion games, but the company closed in 1997 for economic problems. Guardians: Agents of Justice vanished forever with the closure of the studio.

Derboo was able to find a some screens of this game from a 1997 PC Champ issue and other korean magazines. If you have more images from Guardians: Agents of Justice, please let us know!



Vette: San Francisco Thrills [PSX – Cancelled]

Vette: San Francisco Thrills is a cancelled racing game that was in development by Spectrum HoloByte / MicroProse for the Playstation in 1996. The game was a sequel / remake to the original Vette, a racing title released in 1989 for the PC, developed by Sphere and published by Spectrum Holobyte. As with the original game, the PSX version was set in a digital San Francisco, recreated from the real cartographic data of the city. Only a couple of screenshots remain to preserve this lost project, thanks to Celine that found them in GamePro #85.

Probably the gameplay would had used some of the interesting features from the original Vette, as the presence and interaction of law enforcement, in which you get pulled over and must give an excuse as to your erratic driving and the ability to drive anywhere within the accurately modeled city, including highways, tunnels, and bridges.



Solo Flight [SNES – Cancelled]

Solo Flight is a cancelled flight simulator that was in development by Microprose for the Super Nintendo. The game was probably based on the original Solo Flight published in 1983 for the Commodore 64 and Atari 8-bit family. The mission of the game was to fly solo over several states, delivering bags of mail. The SNES version was going to use mode 7 graphic, similar to Pilotwings, but in the end the project was canned for unknown reasons.

Celine was able to find some screenshots of the game in Banzzai magazine #14 and Super Power #12.



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