Point And Click Adventure

The Island of Dr. Moreau [Playstation, PC – Cancelled]

The Island of Dr. Moreau is a cancelled adventure game that was in development by Haiku Studios, to be published by Psygnosis for the original Playstation and PC in 1997. The game seems to have been based off an 1896 science fiction novel by H. G. Wells and maybe even related to the 1996 movie starring Marlon Brando and Val Kilmer.

“The text of the novel is the narration of Edward Prendick, a shipwrecked man rescued by a passing boat who is left on the island home of Doctor Moreau, who creates human-like hybrid beings from animals via vivisection. The novel deals with a number of philosophical themes, including pain and cruelty, moral responsibility, human identity, and human interference with nature.”

During their short existence Haiku Studios released only two games, The Koshan Conspiracy in 1994 and Down in the Dumps (probably their most popular title) in 1996. The Island of Dr. Moreau would have been their third project and by looking at the screenshots published in a few magazines at the time (such as Spanish Micromanía Issue 29) it looked like a promising game for fans of sci-fi adventures.

During those years Psygnosis was publishing many games for the original Playstation, as in 1993 they become part of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios, but a few of them such as The Island of Dr. Moreau were planned for PC too. The game used real time 3D characters over pre-rendered backgrounds, similar to Resident Evil or Parasite Eve, also using Full Motion Videos and footage with real actors, filling up 3 CDs.

It seems the game would have been divided into three parts, probably one per CD-ROM: the whole Dr. Moreau’s mansion, exploration of the island (estimated area of 13 hectares) and finally an epilogue in an ancient Mayan temple. Gameplay would have been a mix between a classic point and click adventure (Myst) and a real time action game (Resident Evil, Tomb Raider). Haiku Studios were able to develop a complex timetable system to move 60 NPCs around the island, each one with their own activities following the game’s internal clock.

Unfortunately something went wrong near the end of development, Psygnosis abandoned the project and soon Haiku Studios closed down. The team was also working on two other cancelled games, Elric and Demon Driver.

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Star Trek: Secrets of Vulcan Fury [PC – Cancelled]

Star Trek: Secrets of Vulcan Fury is a cancelled adventure game that was in development from 1997 to 1999 by Interplay Entertainment that would have been the third entry in their Star Trek adventure game series, the other two being 25th Anniversary and Judgment Rites.

Like the two previous games, it would have featured the entire cast of “The Original Series, principally William Shatner, Deforest Kelley, and Leonard Nimoy, and would have been written by Original Series writer D.C. Fontana, and directed by Original Series director John Meredyth Lucas.

Like the two previous games, it would have been a faithful recreation of the original series, an interactive episode essentially. The game would open with a plot involving the murder of a Romulan ambassador, that would lead into a whole series of stories exploring the backstory of the Vulcan and Romulan races, including why they split into two (something that has not been explained to this day in any official Star Trek television series or film).

The reason for its cancellation was apparently that the game was far too ambitious. Full Motion Video was in its infancy at the time and the game would have been entirely interactive FMV sequences using clay models similar to Interplay’s Fallout series, with full voice acting, something that was simply too expensive to produce at the time. It also became clear that the actual game was not resembling what was advertised. One only need see the trailers and compare them to actual gameplay footage to see this. All of this cascaded into a long and largely fruitless development cyclce. So the game was cancelled with only five percent of the game complete.

There are claims the entire script was recorded by the Original Series cast, however this is false. The script was never finished, and audio recording never seemed to have went beyond small bits of dialogue being recorded, much of it only for test purposes. It’s unclear if even the entire original cast would have been able to record the entire script, or any dialogue at all. For example: Deforest Kelly was apparently too ill when development commenced, and had to be replaced by an impersonator (he passed away in 1999, the year the game was cancelled). All in all, it’s unclear exactly how much work was done audio wise, and to add insult to injury, all files were accidentally deleted by Interplay, making a revival of the game all but impossible unfortunately, regardless on how much was done.

The FMV and motion capture technology however did impress Paramount Studios, the owners of the Star Trek license at the time, who planned to use it to make a CG-I television series fearing the Original Series cast and characters, but that too was cancelled. The game remains one of the more famous pieces of lost media in the franchise’s history.

Article by To Be Continued

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Blitz & Massive [PC, Xbox 360 – Cancelled]

Blitz & Massive is a cancelled “point & click” adventure game developed by Spellcaster Studios, following two robots in their adventures all over the galaxy in what was conceived as a parody of sci-fi movies from the ’60s and ’70s. The game used a retro-futuristic look inspired by the same sci-fi movies they referenced to and the 3D engine was in a cell-shaded style.

Just like in a tv series, five episodes were planned, each one containing a tv-like intro with credits and all of them were self-contained, meaning the the story would always be introduced and resolved in the same episode. Spellcaster Studios were inspired by tv series like Star Trek (their main inspiration) and they compared the style of Blitz & Massive to The Secret of Monkey Island and movies that parodied a genre like Spaceballs or Scary Movie.

Developed for PC and Xbox 360, with an investment of 250.000 euros shared between Gameinvest and their own capital, Blitz & Massive was almost complete when it was canceled, with the exception of the cutscenes which were supposed to be created by Overseas Animation Studios, lead by Bruno Patatas.

Spellcaster Studios closed in 2010, mainly because of the worldwide financial crisis and the subsequent reduction of subcontracting work they received. Today the team only remains as a hobby project by Diogo Andrade and Diogo Gomes.

In the gallery below you can see some images from the alpha version presented to Mega Score (Portuguese videogames magazine), that although small and low quality show all parts of the gameplay. Below you can also check a video showing the tutorial section of the game.

Article by Jump/Error, original version in Portuguese on the Videogame PT Blog!

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Neverhood 3? [Concept – PC?]

The Neverhood is a point and click adventure game made by Doug TenNapel and released for PC by DreamWorks Studios in 1996.

Two years later a 2d platform game called Skullmonkey, which it was intended as a sequel of the first game, was created by the same developers for PSX.  It was a commercial failure, and so the IP was quickly forgotten by the producer.

However in 2012 sketches probably intended for a new game in the series appeared in a Neverhood fan forum. You can see those concept arts in the gallery below.

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Warcraft Adventures leaked and preserved? [No!]

Update: this was an april fools joke! Oh well, maybe in the future the collector that has the playable copy, will really leak it and we’ll be happy :)

Do you remember Warcraft Adventures? You know, that cancelled point and click adventure game set in the Warcraft world? Well, it seems that it’s finally leaked online… or is this an April Fools joke? You should be able to download the game from Abandonia and play it on your PC.. let us know if it’s true and if you are able to make it works on Windows 7! :D

 

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