TopWare Interactive

It Came for Zog [PC – Cancelled]

It Came for Zog is a cancelled point & click adventure that was in development around 1999 – 2000 by Pixeleers Entertainment, a now-forgotten Danish team with not much information online. Luckily we were able to find an old preview for the game on the Web Archive, written in June 2000 by Bob Mandel for The Adrenaline Vault:

“Scheduled to be published by TopWare Interactive, this product shows every sign of bringing the laughter back into personal computer gameplay. The story is that Zog is a prehistoric character who unexpectedly finds himself in the midst of an alien civilization, having been kidnapped by purple creatures from outer space. Zog’s father was the greatest warrior of all time, but now he is old, weak and is facing death. His trusted club, Whammi, is to be inherited by Zog, and it is the most powerful weapon around, capable of even knocking out huge aliens and steel doors. Meanwhile, in the other end of the universe on the Anabolic Asteroid, a bright young scientist named Barfly had created a leader named The General for his people, the Boinks. The General became a feared dictator, and had gotten out of control in training and took to arming the Boinks for war. From this point on, you can perhaps guess what is going to happen as Zog enters the picture.”

“In the words of writer/developer Kristian List when describing the overall tone of It Came For Zog, Zog just cannot help being funny “everywhere, all the time.” When asking Zog to do a simple thing, such as turning the lights on or opening a door, you can be assured that he will find an awkward Neanderthal way to do it. Zog is not the only weird one, as the rest of the bizarre cast promises to be zany and silly as well.

The development team has always considered the adventure genre to be one of their personal favorites. The team wanted to tell a truly unique story, and found that the basic fish-out-of-water conflict with a Neanderthal in an alien outer space setting was the perfect choice. The original rough script was written way back in 1997, but surprisingly there are precious few changes compared to the present work in production. Nonetheless, the developers have been quite happy with the flexibility of their design process: from the beginning they had in mind to make room in the schedule for adjustments as they went along.”

“To guide Zog through his adventures, you must apply the proper Stone Age logic, often yielding surprising results. A little good old-fashioned violence goes a long way in achieving your objectives. List claims the very best element of It Came For Zog “has to be the political incorrectness” — Zog does all the things a main character should not.

It Came For Zog contains an interesting mix of 2D perspectives and 3D settings, combining real-time scenes for indoor environments and pre-rendered scenes for outdoor environments. The developers planned this pattern to make the game run smoothly even on ordinary computers. Because the title’s universe is built as one physical entity, you move absolutely seamlessly between indoor and outdoor areas, not realizing the differences between them in their mode of graphics construction.

As List points out, the basic guideline of the gameplay in It Came For Zog from the beginning has been, “We don’t want the player to get seriously stuck at any point.” The developers desire the gaming experience to be fun and laid back, not frustrating or exhausting. If they had to compare the gameplay contained in this title to that in other releases, they perceive that the style of It Came For Zog has certain similarities with games like Grim Fandango and Full Throttle. The designers do not hide at all that LucasArts has been inspirational to them, having had a large impact on their adventure upbringing.”

After a while the game just vanished without any trace. It seems Pixeleers also worked on another cancelled game, “Aeropa: Fall of the Covenant”, but at the moment we did not find any remaining image from it. We can speculate Pixeleers just close down when their projects became too ambitious to be kept alive.