real time strategy

Surface Tension (Krome Studios) [PS2 – Cancelled]

Surface Tension is a cancelled Playstation 2 strategy / adventure game that was in early development by Krome Studios around 2008. Gameplay would have been similar to a mix between Pikmin and Populous, with players exploring an alien “non-Newtonian fluid” world commanding creatures to resolve puzzles and fight enemies. Krome worked on this prototype to try some new ideas but it was soon pushed aside to work on new projects for Xbox 360 and Playstation 3.

As we can read in an old article by GamesOn (now closed):

“[Surface Tension] was sort of a cross between Pikmin and Populous,” says Steve. “The surface of the world was this sort of non-Newtonian fluid, and you had to guide your creatures from island to island, but if you had too many in one spot, they’d sink.” The team worked on the game’s development for six weeks, creating a demo which allowed you to order your creatures around, drop markers to attract and repel enemies, and so on. The objective was to send your creatures to the end of the level, directing them to solve problems along the way – chopping down trees to serve as bridges across the water, and generally being completely adorable.

“It was never really meant to get shown,” says Steve. “It was more a test to see if we could do something different.” Developed on Krome’s PS2 engine, the game was abandoned when they began to migrate to the next-gen engines built for the Xbox 360 and the PS3, although they did discuss returning to it after the first episode of Blade Kitten was published – a dream that, sadly, may never be realised.

Only a few tiny screenshots for Surface Tension were published on GameOn, if you know someone who worked on this lost game who may help us preserve more images, please let us know!

Thanks to Maik for the contribution!

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Patapon [PSP – Beta]

Patapon is a music / strategy game developed by Pyramid and produced by Japan Studios, presented in a cartoonish, silhouetted two-dimensional environment designed by Rolito, and features the player acting as a deity who commands an army of caricatured miniature tribal creatures by beating traditional talking drums. Patapon was released in Japan in december 2007, but when the beta version was first shown at E3 2007, it had some interesting differences. As we can read from the description of the beta video uploaded on Youtube by Nymo:

This is an EARLY version of the game and thus different aspects in this video, like (lack of) music, text, interface, additional units, characters, etc. does not represent the final game.

In the beta version of the Mine Tree mini-game, the tree says “Listen to my song god dammit!!!” but in the final version he says “bon bon bo bon here goes” before the mini game starts. Check the beta video below and compare it to the one from the final game.

Thanks to Kieranmay for the contribution!

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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. RADIX also found some more screenshot in Computer Games Strategy Plus. If you have more images from Guardians: Agents of Justice, please let us know!

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Dee Dee Planet [DC – Unreleased]

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“I’d never played any video games until then, but in order to act as a director for this game project, I bought all video games available and some software. As this ‘Dee Dee PLANET’ was based on 8 bit games from the 80’s, I played the old Nintendo selectively. ‘Dee Dee PLANET’ is categorized as a shooting game, but almost all existing shooting games have lots of options which players can choose as they like. Players choose their weapons, vehicles and fields, and they upgrade their characters based on their score. This can be applied to other genres like car-racing, fighting and role-playing games.

This ‘Dee Dee PLANET’ is a kind of shooting game which shoots using a parabola, and is pastoral rather than speedy. It has a mathematical clearness by controlling the parabola with only two parameters – angle and shooting power. We set up a totally different theme apart from the offensiveness of other shooting games.

Players fight with their opponents operating their robots inside of three different zones – block zone, gel zone and liquid zone. Each zone is filled with different materials (gas, viscous material and liquid), different gravity and different resistance. There’s also difference in the power of each wheel as player’s feet and weapon. They have affinities between each zone. Players cannot choose those elements by themselves, they’re just given to them. It’s kind of an Oriental outlook on the world – ‘once a man comes into this world with his own body, he has to live out his life’. We included absurd events and developments in our first plan. Some of them were actually included in the game, and some were taken off from the specifications in the process.” [Quoted from shift.jp.org]

Dee Dee Planet was finished, but canceled due to a large networking bug.

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Armada 2 Online: Star Command [Cancelled]

Armada was a sci-fi shooter released for the Dreamcast, that allowed 1-4 players to fly about the universe, fighting the enemy, performing missions and improving their ship. The player would gather credits to buy power-ups for their ship, allowing them to voyage deeper into enemy territory, blow up ever more powerful Armada, and perform missions of increasing importance and danger.

A sequel, Armada 2: Exodus, was under development, originally for the Dreamcast, then for the Xbox, Gamecube and possibly the PS2. However, due to repeated delays and redesigns along with limited resources, the game was canceled after spending over 4 years in varying degrees of development. [Infos from Wikipedia]

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