point & click adventure

Woody (Cinemax) [PC – Cancelled]

Woody was a stylish point & click adventure that was in development for PC by Cinemax around 2002, later cancelled for unknown reasons. Its graphic style is reminiscent of classic Amanita Design games, but unfortunately not much information is available on this lost game. It seems the project was conceived for younger players, but for sure it looked quite cool.

If you know someone who worked on Woody and could help preserving more screens, footage or details, please let us know!

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Demon Driver [PC – Cancelled]

Demon Driver is a cancelled point & click adventure / racing game hybrid that was in development for PC by french team Haiku Studios around 1996. 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. All of their other projects such as Elric and The Island of Dr. Moreau were never completed, lost and forgotten when the studio closed down in 1997.

From the few Demon Driver screenshots shared online by Abandonware France we can assume it was going to be a funny adventure game similar to Down in the Dumps, but with some kind of racing gameplay added to it. While their only released games were welcomed with mixed reviews, it’s unfortunate they did not have another chance to complete another promising project.

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Necessary Evil (Illusions Gaming) [PC – Cancelled]

Necessary Evil is a cancelled online adventure game that was in development around 1996 – 1997 by now forgotten developers Illusions Gaming Company (Blazing Dragons, Beavis and Butt-Head Do U), planned to be published by Segasoft for PC. Illusions Gaming was a video game company founded in Sausalito (California) in the early 90s,  mostly working on point & click games based on several licensed properties.

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Necessary Evil was an ambitious project for its time: it merged point & click adventure gameplay with RPG mechanics and an online multiplayer mode for up to 2 players. One player would take the role of a vampire, while the other would be the hunter who tries to kill them. To defeat your rival you had to manipulate and talk to NPCs to put them against the other player, changing the course of the story and the in-game factions.  

Unfortunately there’s not much more information about this lost game and the only proof of its existence is some footage shown on Electric Playground TV show (Season 1, episode 8, November 1997). If you know someone who worked on Necessary Evil and may know more about it, please let us know!

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MooN 2: Mansion Omnibus Occupant Nest (LoveDeLic) [PS1 – Cancelled Pitch]

LoveDeLic were one of the most interesting and creative Japanese developers active during the late ‘90s / early ‘00s. They developed cult-classic, peculiar adventures such as Moon: Remix RPG Adventure (PS1), UFO: a Day in the Life (PS1) and Lack of Love (Dreamcast). Unfortunately all of their games were too bizarre and unusual for their time, selling low number of copies and leading to the closure of the team in 2000.

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Moon was their first project and after the game was published by ASCII Entertainment in 1997 for the original Playstation, LoveDeLic pitched a sequel titled MooN 2: Mansion Omnibus Occupant Nest. Concept art and a photo of the early design document were posted on Twitter by former LoveDeLic’s Character Designer Kazuyuki Kurashima in 2017.

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In the end the project was changed from a sequel to MooN to a different, original adventure: it became “UFO: a Day in the Life”. UFO was later published in 1999 by ASCII, an interesting game that somehow mix together point & click adventures, characters and events which follow an internal clock (just like the original Moon, or Zelda: Majora’s mask) and a “photography simulation” somehow similar to Gekibo (PC Engine, 1992) or Pokèmon Snap (N64, 1999).

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If you take a look at the concept art, you can see how it’s similar to the main idea behind UFO: a building divided into different rooms, inhibited by quirky characters. Instead than a cancelled “Moon 2” you could also see this as an early concept for UFO.

Thanks to Video Games Densetsu for the contribution!

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Big Brother (George Orwell’s 1984 Video Game) [PC – Cancelled]

Big Brother is a cancelled point and click adventure game based on the book 1984 by George Orwell. The project was in development by Media X around 1998, planned to be released on PC. We only know about this lost game thanks to a preview published in Next Generation magazine (Issue 48) in December 1998, but we cannot find anything else on Media X online: they seems vanished forever with no trace.

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In the original preview we can read:

“LucasArts’ Hal Barwood has made  the excellent point before that unless adventure games stay on the cusp of technology, they are doomed as a genre. Enter Media X. The company’s goal is nothing short  of redefining the traditional adventure game.

To that end, the company has discarded the 2D point-and-click interface  that has dominated the genre since the death of infocom. In its place is a realtime  3D engine and a combination of inventory, slider, and Mario-style environment puzzles. To reduce player confusion – a  common problem for anyone who has played Myst or its descendants – text messages (for instance, “You unlock the steam vent”) appear on the screen at  appropriate times.

Initially disconcerting, these  messages quickly blend in and enable  players to concentrate on the game without wondering what they are  supposed to be doing. That’s good because the game should be exceptionally difficult on its own.

Set in  George Orwell’s 1984 universe, players  must rescue their fiancee from the Thought Police. It’s a simple goal, but one  that requires traversing 12 levels and solving hundreds of puzzles (there were originally 60 levels, but since early play testing indicates that each level takes about five hours, the number was culled).

Graphically, the game should be very  impressive. Media X has created an original first-person 3D engine for the  game, and, notably, the textures are very, very high-resolution, with little or no blurry filtering noticeable (the game will  require a 3D card to run), even when directly against objects. The art direction is equally good: The plot is slightly different from that of 1984, with a corrupt  regime that’s crumbling even more than in the book. The disintegration has carried over well – think crumbling brick buildings and steam vents.

Sales of adventure games (and  publisher support for them) is down, but  if ambitious projects like Big Brother and  GT’s Wheel of Time manage to become hits, this genre could quickly pick up  momentum. Based on early looks. Big Brother has a better chance to help the flailing genre than anything else we’ve  seen in years.”

Sounds promising? Maybe it could have been..

If you know someone who worked at Media X and could help us to preserve something more on their lost game, please let us know!

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