Racing

Gravity Zero Racing [Nintendo DS – Cancelled]

Gravity Zero Racing also known as Zero-G, is a cancelled futuristic racing game that was to be published by Midas Interactive: it was basically an F-Zero clone for Nintendo DS. The game was planned to be released sometime in 2008 (there’s even a product page on Amazon UK), but in the end it just vanished without any official statement. Some details about this lost project were published in the old Midas website:

“Get ready to step into the futuristic world of high octane Zero-G racing. Compete as an elite Zero-G pilot racing against fearless rivals from across the stratosphere. Losing is no longer an option; only winners will survive!

Every second counts as you take control of one of the most technologically advanced racing craft in the galaxy. Capable of reaching break neck speeds, you’ll need lightning reactions as you negotiate a myriad of hazardous race tracks packed with obstacles, mines, tunnels and insane G-force drops. Engage in ferocious dog fights in a race to the finish line, unleashing an arsenal of weaponry including EMP mines, and rockets. This is much more than just racing!

Once you have beaten the best you can take on the rest in the awesome Wi-Fi multiplayer mode. Challenge your friends or link up with players from across the globe to find out who will rein champion of the world. This is racing like you’ve never seen before!

  • Five game modes available including Practice, Quick race, Time Trial, Tournament and Multiplayer modes.

  • The huge Tournament Mode features 7 levels each with 3 unique tracks.

  • Arsenal of lethal weaponry at your disposal including EMP mines and rockets

  • Wi-Fi multiplayer mode brings true global online racing to the DS.

  • Advanced racing physics incorporating the intuitive Nintendo DS control system.

  • Hugely popular racing genre with mass market all-age appeal.”

If you know someone who worked on Gravity Zero Racing and could share what happened to this project please let us know!

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Outworld 2375 AD [Mega Drive / Genesis – Cancelled]

Outworld 2375 AD is a cancelled Sega Mega Drive / Genesis racing game that was in development around 1993. A single screenshot was published in Sega Visions magazine (Issue 15), where they wrote it was being developed as one of the games with Heartbeat Personal Trainer support.

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“Outworld 2375 AD enters you in a thrilling outer-space race for your freedom”

As we can read on Sega Retro, the Heartbeat Personal Trainer is a rare variation of the Sega Mega Drive, released in 1993:

“[…] came bundled with exercise software and motion sensors which are only compatible with this unit. A sensor can be connected to the unit which monitors the user’s heartbeat, which in turn controls the speed of an on-screen Kangaroo (Joey), the aim being to keep your heartbeat at a certain rate by exercising. Other sensors can detect movement, and past exercise history can be saved and compared with others […] Though not a requirement, the unit was designed to be used in conjunction with exercise equipment, e.g. treadmills, exercise bikes, etc.”

Using the Heartbeat Personal Trainer features they could implement motion controls and let people to exercise while playing. We can assume in Outworld 2375 AD you could have been able to run on your treadmill or exercise bike to move your vehicle in the game.

A trademark for “OUT WORLD 2375 AD” was filed in 1993 and abandoned in 1995:

“video game programs sold in the form of cartridges and cassettes. Games and playthings; gymnastic and sporting articles not included in other classes; decorations for Christmas trees.”

A collector on Nintendo Age also found some promotional reversal films with more images from this lost game. By reading the same topic, it seems another collector may own a Outworld 2375 AD prototype, so we can hope to see more from it in the future.

Thanks to Youloute for the contribution!

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Tiltronica [Xbox – Cancelled]

Tiltronica is a cancelled racing / flipper / puzzle game that was in development by Vision Scape Interactive for the original Xbox. You would use some strange vehicles inside a sphere, somehow like in Super Monkey Ball, moving and shooting around arenas inside giant flippers. You main objective seems to have been to shoot down targets and collect balls.

A playable prototype was found in 2009 and a few collectors got copies on the Xbox debug-kits. This was in development by the same team who worked on the Sonic Extreme pitch.

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Sofa Kingdom (Angel Studios) [PC – Cancelled]

Sofa Kingdom is a cancelled arcade racing game that was in development by Angel Studios (the modern Rockstar San Diego) around 1998, planned to be published by Microsoft for PC.

This is another forgotten project that was never officially announced and only a series of concept art remain today to remember its existence. By looking at these, we can speculate it was going to be a city-based racing game, a concept that could have later been somehow reused into their cult-title Midtown Madness.

In Sofa Kingdom players would choose between a series of cartoon characters to race around the city on flying over-boards, using some kind of “grappling hook” to skidding by grabbing road signs, or as a whip-alike weapon. From concept art we can also notice how each of them carried around a pizza-bomb.. maybe they had to deliver it before time was over? We don’t have any idea, but for sure it looked like an original and fun concept.

In the end the game was canned and the team worked with Microsoft to release Midtown Madness in 1999. Angel Studios was then bought by Take-two in 2003 and renamed Rockstar San Diego. They then moved on to work on such popular titles as Red Dead Revolver, Midnight Club and Grand Theft Auto V.

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Madstix [PS2 – Cancelled]

Madstix is a cancelled “cinematic racing puzzle game” that was conceived by director Koichi Yotsui & producer Takehiro Ando, possibly in development at Sol, the studio behind PS1 cult puzzle game “Suzuki Bakuhatsu”. They wanted to create original games for the recently released Playstation 2, and Madstix was one of their favorite pitches.

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Their concept was to develop a racing game with no steering wheel, accelerator or brake. The more you turn the right analog stick, the more fast and dangerous the car action becomes on the screen. Instead if you turn the left analog stick it would make driving safer. According to Ando Madstix was meant to be played like a cinematic ​​”Chicken Race” to show off driving skills and high-speed action, turning the left and right sticks appropriately while changing course at the last moment to avoid accidents.

The advantage of this mechanic is that the camera was free to be changed by players in many different ways. In a standard racing game the camera must be placed in the driver’s seat or behind the vehicle to drive. However, in Madstix the car would follow its predetermined path and players could choose the best cinematic angle to watch their actions.

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While the game was never officially announced, it was revealed during a presentation at BitSummit 2017 in Japan. As always we can only imagine how many interesting and weird cancelled games by Japanese studios still remain unknown by the public.