Space Ranger [CDI – Unreleased]

Grazie a Federico abbiamo qualche notizia in più su questo gioco cancellato per CDI: Space Ranger doveva essere uno sparatutto a scorrimento orizzontale ambientato su vari pianeti, previsto in uscita per il 1995. Il progetto fu poi abbandonato perchè la Philips non voleva investire ulteriori fondi. Il gioco avrebbe richiesto opzionalmente la Cdi Digital Video Card. Una versione alpha è stata rilasciata un paio di anni fa, ma putroppo sembra che non sia stato sviluppato molto:  è presente un solo livello giocabile che non è possibile nemmeno concludere. Già dalla versione alpha si può comunque notare una grande cura nella grafica 2D, con diversi livelli di parallasse e sfondi in movimento. Ancora una volta un progetto interessante cancellato troppo presto.

Thanks a lot to Federico for the info and to Interactive Dreams for these images!


Corn Buster [SNES – Cancelled]

Corn Buster is an unreleased Super Nintendo game developed by Engine Software. The game is the story of a dragon named Globey, who sets out to defeat the person who’s stolen all the cornflakes in the world. The gameplay is an interesting mix of an Arkanoid-Style ball-and-paddle game and a vertical scrolling shooter. The game quietly began development around 1994, and was canceled soon after interest in the Super Nintendo waned in light of the release of Sony’s Playstation. Some time ago, Engine Software released a ROM of the game for free download on their website. The download page has since been removed, but the ROM is still easily obtainable. The game was 70-80% completed before it was canceled.

Thanks a lot to Marshall Leslie for all these information and screens! If you are a collector, you can buy an official cart of Corn Buster for SNES thanks to Piko Interactive.


Dreadnought (HMS Carnage) [PC PSX Saturn – Cancelled]

HMS Carnage (later renamed to Dreadnought / Dreadnoughts and internally know as Dread0) is a cancelled Victorian steam-punk shooter (with strategy elements) set on the red planet of Mars, that was in development for almost 3 years by the Tribe team at Ocean Software. It was an ambitious project, but only a small playable demo and detailed FMV were finished before Infogrames acquired Ocean in 1998 and decided to kill it some months later.

It seems that the game concept was somehow similar to Warhawk, released in 2007 for the Playstation 3, in which the player is able to use ground and air vehicles, turrets and on-foot weapons to kill their enemies and complete the mission objectives.

HMS Carnage was mainly a PC-CDROM game and the PSX / Saturn ports were an afterthought: the console versions would have been very different  with more action and less strategy.

At the time Ocean had a reputation for producing low quality movie tie-ins but with the much-hyped arrival of CDROM as a gaming format they wanted to develop some really ground breaking games. Ocean rebranded their internal development department as “Tribe”, invested a lot of money, hired a lot of new talent and asked everyone to come up with amazing original concepts huge enough to fill a CDROM.

HMS Carnage was one of the winning concepts, Silver was another (released 4 years later) and the third was a point ‘n click adventure with Hanna-Barbera characters, called “Zoiks” which was also cancelled.

The game kept its “HMS Carnage” title throughout most of the development, while “Dreadnought” was a name thought up by the marketing department towards the end (the development team didn’t much like it). Probably they though it was a more sellable title for a shooter.

Sadly the name-change was not enough to save the game. When Infogrames bought Ocean and review Dreadnought, too much work and money were still needed to complete the project: they thought that it could have been an economic failure and decided to cancel the development. After the cancellation, part of  the Tribe team went to work at Psygnosis.

A preview for HMS Carnage was published in Edge magazine issue 32 (1996), if you are able to scan those pages, please let us know!

Thanks a lot to Maria Ingold, Matt Wood, Julian Holtom for their help in preserving media and info from their lost project!

Thanks to Robert Seddon and Celine for the magazines scans!



Iron Hammer [SEGA VR – Unreleased]


Sega, flush with funds from the Sega Mega Drive (released as the Sega Genesis in North America), announced the Sega VR add-on in 1991. It was based around an IDEO virtual reality headset (HMD) with LCD screens in the visor and stereo headphones. Inertial sensors in the headset allowed the system to track and react to the movements of the user’s head. Because of development difficulties the Sega VR remained only a prototype, it was last seen at computer shows in 1993 and vanished from the release schedules in 1994. Four games were apparently developed for the system, each using 16 Mb cartridges that were to be bundled with the headset. [Info from Wikipedia]

One of these Sega VR games was Iron Hammer, a first person shooter with futuristic aircraft. A prototype of this game was somehow saved from the limbo and thanks to Nicola from, we had a brief chance to play it at the VGH 2008, a little videogames expo that took place in Monza (Italy) the last May. You can check the video below to see Iron Hammer in motion.