shoot ’em up

Cluster Buster [SNES- Cancelled]

Written by Jonathan Smith (known programmer for his Spectrum works) when he was first hired at Rage Software, the game was a shoot ’em up scheduled for Super Nintendo around 1993.  Sadly Cluster Buster never found a publisher. Here is what  Joffa Smith recalled about the project in an interview with World of Spectrum:

With new offices in Bootle, I started work on an original game called Cluster Buster on the SNES. This was an eight-way scrolling defender style shoot’em up, with huge exploding planets and moons. Unfortunately no-one was interested in publishing it (Sonic the Hedgehog was all the rage) so it was abandoned.

Scan from Nintendo Magazine System issue 10.



Firearm [SNES – Cancelled]

Firearm is a cancelled 2d action game developed by Malibu Interactive which  was planned to be released for Snes and Genesis. Nothing much is known about it, apart that it was based on the eponymous comic. In 2010 what it looks to be a test build of Firearm was uploaded on the internet. This version includes only two stages and it is barely playable. It seems that the game was dropped very early.

Scans by



Kuma Soldier [PC-FX – Cancelled]

Kuma Soldier is a cancelled shooter in the famous Star Soldier series, planned for PC-FX (to not be confused with Super Star Soldier 3D also planned for PC-FX). As you can see from the short video below (taken from a promotional video made by NEC to promote the then brand-new system) the game provided a time attack mode, but it is unclear if it offered other gaming modes. CD Consoles magazine issue 5 cited how the game in early 1995 was only 20% complete. We can speculate that Hudson Soft cancelled Kuma Soldier when the PC-FX proved to be a failure in the japanese market.

As noticed by users of the Rising Stuff Forum, it seems that Hudson used some of the Kuma Soldier concepts to create Star Soldier R for WiiWare.

Article by Celine!




Firefly [PSX – Cancelled]

Firefly is a cancelled game that was in development by Pioneer LDC for the Playstation. There are not many info about this project, but a short article published in an old GameFan magazine (4 – 2) in which we can read that Firefly was going to be a mix between a platform, a shoot ’em up and a puzzle game. The description sounds interesting, but sadly Pioneer never released a anything like this on any console.

Thanks to Celine for the contribution!


Virus [PS3 – Cancelled]

Virus was a downloadable PSN arcade shoot ’em up for PS3 that was in development in 2007 at Factor 5 before its cancellation. It was to be published and funded by Sony Computer Entertainment, who had struck an exclusivity deal with the developer at the time they began to collaborate on Lair. When Lair turned out to be critically and commercially unsuccessful, Sony terminated their contract with Factor 5 and cancelled all of their joint projects. Along with a 3D Turrican reboot, Virus was one of the casualties of the two companies splitting. Both were cancelled in October 2007.

Virus is believed to have only been in development for no more than a few months and was planned to be a unique take on the arcade shooter genre. The game would have placed the player in control of tech support employees of various real life companies (including AT&T), as they endeavour to prevent oncoming viral threats from corrupting their networks.

This quirky, miniature sci-fi narrative was represented by a blue bar travelling down a hexagonal tunnel, revolving around it to shoot oncoming viruses. The player would have had to destroy these enemy forces to prevent the respective company’s network from going down. As you can see in the images below, the health of the network was represented by an icon on the HUD which turned from green to red.