The games that time forgot

This page lists Sinclair ZX Spectrum games which were unpublished or games which only got as far as the prototype stage or storyboard! I'd like to thank Stephen Smith, Stuart Campbell and Alessandro Grussu for some of the information and scans contained in this page. There is also this document which you may find interesting!!

Activision Artic Computing Alternative Atarisoft Atlantis Beyond Bug-Byte Codemasters Clockwise CRL Design Design Destiny Durell Domark

The Edge Elite Fantasy Firebird Gargoyle / FTL Gremlin Hi-Tec Software Imagine Joffa Smith Melbourne House Mikro-Gen Misc Ocean Outlaw

Parker Piranha Quicksilva Rabbit Software Rainbird Rainbow Arts Reptile Industries  Software Projects System 3 Thalamus Ultimate Virgin US Gold

Activision

3D Sea 3DC

Mentioned in issue 12 of Your Sinclair, the game was never released by Activision but eventually appeared on Elite's Encore label.

3DC inlay

Atomic Robo-Kid Your Sinclair (Issue 64)

A demo appeared in issue 64 of Your Sinclair, but the game was scrapped when Activision wound down their Spectrum game development.

Atomic Robo-Kid advert C64 Atomic Robo-Kid inlay Your Sinclair Apr 1991 inlay Spectrum Atomic Robo-Kid demo screenshot

Chicago

Sinclair User previewed Chicago, an illustrated text adventure written by the RamJam Corporation, which was never released.

Chicago preview

Corporation

The game was advertised and previewed by Crash, Your Sinclair and Sinclair User, using what look like to be C64 screenshots. After being released for the C64, the Spectrum version which was expected to be released slightly afterwards never appeared.

Corporation advert

Paddywack

Sinclair User previewed Paddywack, an arcade style game written by the RamJam Corporation. The game centered around the antics of a pair of dogs, chasing cats, biting postmen and rummaging around in rubbish bins.

Paddywack note

September

A preview of this puzzle / board game by Activision appeared in issue 71 of Sinclair User. Then is issue 73, page 104 the following quote was printed:- "Apparently it's been shelved, and it'll probably be next September before we see the blasted thing".

September advert September preview September note September news

 

Artic Computing

Cats aka Paws

Written and reviewed in Sinclair User, the game was withdrawn due to copyright infringement of the musical Cats by Andrew Lloyd-Webber. The game was slightly modified to get over this hurdle and was released as Paws.

Cats review Cats review Paws review Spectrum Paws inlay

Sinclair User Cats review

Sinclair Programs review

Sinclair User Paws review

 

Alternative

Alvin And The Chipmunks

According to a note in Your Sinclair issue 90, Alvin and the Chipmunks was completed, however due to poor advance orders the game was shelved.

Alvin And The Chipmunks note

Pixie And Dixie

A note in Your Sinclair issue 78 states that Alternative acquired the licence for Pixie and Dixie. The game was never mentioned in any of the magazines since and there is no evidence any of the game was developed.

Pixie And Dixie note

 

Atarisoft / DJL

Crystal Castles Crystal Castles

Originally planned as a limited edition game, due to very poor sales the game was re-released to try and sell more copies!

Crystal Castles advert 1 Crystal Castles 2 Spectrum Crystal Castles inlay

Donkey Kong Jr

According to this news snippet from the July 1984 issue of Big K, Donkey Kong Jr was to be the last of the Atarisoft releases for the Spectrum. As with Moon Patrol and Robotron 2084, the game was never published.

Donkey Kong Jr news

Moon Patrol Moon Patrol

After announcing that they were bringing out some of their classic arcade games for the Spectrum, only four Atarisoft games made it to the shops:- Pacman, Pole Position, Ms Pacman and Galaxians. Although completely written, Moon Patrol for some reason was never published!

Atarisoft advert Spectrum Moon Patrol screenshot

Pac-Man / Z-Man Pac-Man Z-Man

DJL originally released a Pac-Man clone called Zuckman for the ZX81 in 1982 before porting the game for the ZX Spectrum and releasing it as Z-Man. Atarisoft filed a legal dispute and as part of the settlement, Z-Man was withdrawn, modified and sold officially by Atarisoft as Pac-Man.

Z-Man inlay Z-Man loading screen Z-Man points table Z-Man greatest scores screen Z-Man in game

Pac-Man inlay Pac-Man loading screen Pac-Man points table Pac-Man greatest scores screen Pac-Man in game

Robotron 2084 Robotron 2084

Reviewed in the October 1984 issue of Personal Computer Games, Atarisoft never published this completely finished conversion of the Williams arcade game Robotron.

Robotron review 1 Robotron review 2 Spectrum Robotron screenshot

 

Atlantis

Escape From Khoshima Escape From Khoshima

Originally planned for publication by Atlantis Software Ltd, this game was never released.

Amstrad Escape From Khoshima inlay Escape From Khoshima loading screen Escape From Khoshima screenshot

Master And Servant Master And Servant

This is the unpublished sequel to "Jock and the Time Rings" written by Tim Oldham.

Master And Servant loading screen Master And Servant in game screen

 

Beyond

Dante's Inferno Dante's Inferno

Advertised for the C64 which quoted the Spectrum and Amstrad versions as "Coming soon", but the Spectrum version never did!

Dante's Inferno advert C64 Dante's Inferno inlay

The Eye Of The Moon

In the Lords Of Midnight manual, the sequels Doomdark's Revenge and The Eye Of The Moon are mentioned, see left-hand image. When Doomdark's Revenge was released, The Eye Of The Moon was mentioned again on the first page of the manual. After Beyond were taken over by British Telecom, the third installment of the trilogy was put on the backburner and never saw the light of day although some work towards the game must have been done. A third installment of the saga did eventually arise, in the form of The Lords Of Midnight: The Citadel for the PC.

Crash interview with Mike Singleton #1

Crash interview with Mike Singleton #2

Infodroid Infodroid

C64 Infodroid inlay

Quake Minus One QuakeMinusOne

The game was released for the C64 only, but a feature in issue 39 of Sinclair User hinted that a Spectrum version was also in production.

Quake Minus One advert C64 Quake Minus One inlay

Superman Superman - The Game

Beyond Software has first refusal on games developed by First Star Software, with Superman being advertised on their Five Boys advert. The game was originally advertised for the C64, Atari 400/800/XL, Amstrad and Spectrum, however only the C64 version was eventually published by Beyond. It was around this time that Beyond was bought out by British Telecom and after lengthy delays, Superman was eventually published by Prism Leisure.

Superman advert Front of C64 Superman inlay Back of C64 Superman inlay Spectrum Superman inlay

Star Trek Star Trek - The Rebel Universe

Beyond Software assigned Mike Singleton to development a game based on the Star Trek franchise for the ZX Spectrum and C64 8 bit computers. Regular previews and news items appeared in various Spectrum magazines throughout 1986. Unfortunately, due to other commitments, the ZX Spectrum version was never released. With the demise of the Beyond label, it was left to Firebird to publish the C64 version. Star Trek was the most famous holder of the Scooby award, for games which fall way behind schedule!

Star Trek - The Rebel Universe feature Star Trek - The Rebel Universe preview Star Trek - The Rebel Universe preview C64 Star Trek - The Rebel Universe inlay

 

Bug-Byte

Automan Automan

Advertised in PCG for C64, a Spectrum version was planned and previewed in issue 9 of Your Spectrum but it never appeared.

Automan advert C64 Automan inlay

Terrorballs Terrorballs Terrorballs

Thanks to Steven Monks, the unpublished sequel to Dogsbody has been recovered for the ZX Spectrum and Amstrad CPC.

Terrorballs loading screen Terrorballs splash screen Terrorballs ingame screen Amstrad CPC Terrorballs loading screen Amstrad CPC Terrorballs splash screen Amstrad CPC Terrorballs ingame screen

 

Code Masters

Rock Star Goes Bizarre Rock Star Goes Bizarre

To promote the launch of Rock Star Ate My Hamster (see below), Code Masters Ltd and the Sun newspaper ran a competition with ten runners up prizes being special edition versions of the game called Rock Star Goes Bizarre. After an initial release on the Code Masters Gold label, the game was subsequently re-released on the Code Masters label.

Rock Star Ate My Hamster inlay Rock Star Ate My Hamster loading screen Rock Star Goes Bizarre game card Rock Star Goes Bizarre game card Rock Star Goes Bizarre game card Rock Star Goes Bizarre game card Rock Star Ate My Hamster re-release inlay

In June 2010, a copy of Rock Star Goes Bizarre for the ZX Spectrum surfaced after the owner contacted the World of Spectrum MIA mailing list. Although initial contact was made, unfortunately only the photograph below was supplied by the owner "DemonEyeX".

Rock Star Goes Bizarre photo

Luckily however, in July 2016 a second copy of Rock Star Goes Bizarre appeared on eBay which was duly secured.

Rock Star Goes Bizarre inlay Rock Star Goes Bizarre loading screen

Interestingly, by comparing the data on both tapes, it was discovered that Rock Star Goes Bizarre contains the following additional characters:-

Rock Star Goes Bizarre Jason Donner-Kebab character Rock Star Goes Bizarre The Queer Mum character Rock Star Goes Bizarre Furry character Rock Star Goes Bizarre John-Paul Ringo character Rock Star Goes Bizarre Piers Organ character Rock Star Goes Bizarre By George character

and Koily Mynose (Kylie Minogue) is renamed as Bimbo Baggins:-

Rock Star Goes Bizarre Koily Mynose character Rock Star Goes Bizarre Bimbo Baggins character

 

The Race Against Time

Although written for charity with the proceeds going to the Sport Aid '88, the first release ran into copyright problems when it used an image on Carl Lewis on the inlay. The game was withdrawn and subsequently re-released with an image of Jesse Owens instead.

The Race Against Time Carl Lewis inlay The Race Against Time Jesse Owens inlay

 

Clockwize

Acolyte Acolyte

Development work on Acolyte is believed to have begun with Video Images before being completed by Clockwize but was never sold. After some initial work and demos, the sequel "The Quest For Madeleine" was shelved.

Acolyte loading screen Acolyte screenshot Acolyte map Acolyte sketches

The Quest For Madeleine

This background is all that is believed to have survived from the sequel to Acolyte. A silhouette of the character "Glut" was to have run across the background.

The Quest For Madeleine screenshot

Molecale

Dean Hickingbottom recalls:- "This Video Images "game that never was", was to take place around a star named Molecale (pronounced 'mollicale'). The star system was divided up into sectors, some of which contained planets.

Getting to the planets would involve fighting your way through waves of various nasties, finally facing a 'big boss nasty' when you reached the planet. It was also intended to be a two player 'buddy game' which would be harder to complete.

All this was conceived at Video Images around 1987/88, probably by all three members but the actual name 'Molecale', was (I think) dreamed up by Wayne Sheardown (who never actually became part of Video Images in the end)"

Molecale loading screen with Jupiter like planet Molecale mockup screen, locating Hyperdrive parts Molecale mockup screen, locating Hyperdrive parts Molecale mockup screen, docking with a supply ship Molecale mockup screen, docked with a supply ship Molecale mockup screen, Defender style shoot'em up

Molecale mockup screen, trading for weapons and fuel Molecale mockup screen, sector display / selector Molecale mockup screen, status screen Molecale mockup screen, sector readout screen Molecale mockup screen, earlier sector readout screen Molecale mockup screen, more in game action

Ninja Grannies Ninja Grannies Ninja Grannies - Demo

Dean Hickingbottom recalls "A multi-loader-level pensioner fighting game that was never sold". Developed in parallel on the CPC and ZX.

Ninja Grannies loading screen Ninja Grannies screenshot

Shutdown Shutdown

The game was created by Video Images. When the developers parted company, the game was taken to Clockwize which was formed by David Bradley and Dean Hickingbottom. The game was then sold to another company Palmer Acoustics Ltd (Possibly PAL Developments Ltd) but was never released.

Shutdown loading screen Shutdown screenshot

Sooty & Sweep II Sooty & Sweep II

Although released for the Amstrad, C64 and Atari, it is believed the ZX Spectrum version was never published. The full game has been recovered.

Sooty & Sweep II inlay Sooty & Sweep II loading screen Sooty & Sweep II menu screen Sooty & Sweep II screenshot

Storm Force

"Stormforce", a game based factually on the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institute), was in development (for Alternative) when Clockwize ceased to be and was being programmed by Jeremy Fowler for the ZX and Amstrad CPC formats

Lots of information was gathered from the local Bridlington RNLI station who were happy to assist and provided real maps, faxes and information which were consulted in designing the game 

These screens possibly represent the only graphic work committed to computer and were drawn mostly by Lee Burns. The game code itself did not get very far into development. 

Storm Force WIP screen Storm Force WIP screen Storm Force WIP screen Storm Force WIP screen Storm Force WIP screen

Storm Force game specification Storm Force game specification Storm Force game specification Storm Force game specification Storm Force game design notes

Storm Force game design notes Storm Force game design notes Storm Force game design notes Storm Force game design notes

Storm Force design sketches Storm Force design sketches Storm Force design sketches Storm Force design sketches Storm Force badge, basis for title screen?

Thomas The Tank Engine II Thomas The Tank Engine II

As with Sooty & Sweep II above, this game was completed for the ZX Spectrum but was never published. The full game has been recovered.

Thomas The Tank Engine II inlay Thomas The Tank Engine II loading screen Thomas The Tank Engine II menu screen Thomas The Tank Engine II screenshot

 

CRL

Cyborg Cyborg

Was advertised and previewed in magazines around 1987 but never came to light for the Spectrum. A version for the C64 was released, see above.

Cyborg advert Cyborg preview C64 Cyborg inlay

 

Design Design

Galactic Patrol Galactic Patrol - Build 1   Galactic Patrol - Build 2   Galactic Patrol - Build 3   Galactic Patrol - Build 4

Martin Horsley began coding the game as a copy of the BBC game Starship Command which both Martin and fellow Design Design coder Simon Brattel enjoyed playing. Development stopped as both had other commitments. The surviving source code was assembled into the four playable demos downloadable above.

To play the game, use the following keys

Z - Rotate left

X - Rotate right

N - Forward thrust

M - Reverse thrust

A - Auto shields

D - Shields on

S - Shields off

1 - Reduces power levels

3 - Scanner off (Crashes demo in build 2)

Galactic Patrol advert Galactic Patrol screenshot

The Sewer

After Domark's first design-a-game competition produced Kat Trap, the second competition was won by Martin Lee's "The Sewer" design. Tipped to be developed by Graham Stafford of Design Design on the Amstrad first then ZX Spectrum, the game never surfaced.

The Sewer note

 

Destiny

The Bobby Yazz Show Crash (Issue 92)

The game was completed and received good reviews but Destiny went bust before the game could be published. It did eventually appear on the cover-tape of issue 92 of Crash.

The Bobby Yazz Show advert Crash Sep 1991 inlay

 

Domark

Euro Football Champ

Rampart / Euro Football Champ note Euro Football Champ news

Rampart

Rampart news Rampart news Rampart / Euro Football Champ note

Splitting Images Splitting Images

Immediately after Splitting Images was advertised and reviewed by the magazines, Central Television (the company behind the hit TV show Spitting Image) filed a breach of copyright complaint, as the title and all artwork for the inlay and posters too closely resembled their show.
The game was repackaged and released as Split Personalities. Interestingly, Domark later released a licensed Spitting Image game.

Splitting Images inlay Splitting Images loading screen Splitting Images loading screen

Split Personalities Split Personalities

Split Personalities inlay Split Personalities loading screen Split Personalities in game

Spitting Image Spitting Image

Spitting Image inlay Spitting Image loading screen Spitting Image in game

ThunderJaws Crash (Issue 91)

ThunderJaws was previewed in Crash, C&VG and Your Sinclair before it was added to the August 1991 issue of Crash magazine as a demo on the covertape. It is unknown whether the full game was ever released or not as to this day a copy of the game has never surfaced.

ThunderJaws C&VG preview Crash Aug 1991 inlay ThunderJaws covertape feature ThunderJaws loading screen ThunderJaws screenshot ThunderJaws Crash reviewThunderJaws Crash review

The images below are of the C64 version, if Thunderjaws was ever released then the packaging would look exactly like this.

C64 Thunderjaws inlay C64 Thunderjaws inlay

WoS member Ralf has dug around the code in the demo version and discovered that by entering two pokes you can see some extra parts of the level after the first boss:-

Poke 40888,0 to re-enable scrolling and poke 39812,201 to become invincible from the end of level boss.

ThunderJaws screenshots

 

Durell / Clive Townsend / Mike Richardson

3D Space Ninja 3D Space Ninja

This prototype game appears to employ the same 3D graphics technology that was later used in Skidoo / Critical Mass.

3D Space Ninja loading screen 3D Space Ninja screenshot 3D Space Ninja WIP graphics

Ace Triplex Ace Triplex

3D space shooter found on the same development disk as the +3 version of Trojan.

Ace Triplex loading screen Ace Triplex screenshot

Catman Trojan - Cartridge 2

Some mock-up graphics have been found for a possible platform game called Catman. The only code recovered scans the mock screen and converts it to map data. Mount the Trojan - Cartridge 2 image, enter LOAD * "m";1;"catget", once loaded RUN the program.

Catman WIP screen Catman WIP screen Catman WIP screen Catman WIP screen Catman WIP screen

Critical Mass

A WIP version of the Critical Mass loading screen has been recovered from a batch of media provided by Clive Townsend.

Critical Mass WIP loading screen Critical Mass loading screen

D&D (Dungeons and Dragons) D&D Character Generator Circuit Designer D&D Map Saver D&D Program

A dungeons and dragons style game (D&D) was in development by Clive Townsend and various programs which had been written to develop the game have been recovered, including a character designer, screen editor (which crashes when RUN), and a map editor.

To run the map editor, mount the D&D Map Saver image, enter LOAD * "m";1;"saver", once loaded RUN the program.

To run the D&D program, mount the D&D Program image, enter LOAD * "m";1;"DDPROG2", once loaded RUN the program.

D&D character generator screen D&D screen D&D screen Screen editor screen D&D map editor screen D&D program screen

Dai-Ichi Productions spoof advert Dai-Ichi Productions

A spoof advert demo. I don't know whether it was ever intended to include the demo in a game at a later point.

Dai-Ichi Productions spoof advert screen Dai-Ichi Productions spoof advert screen Dai-Ichi Productions spoof advert screen Dai-Ichi Productions spoof advert screen

Death Pit Death Pit

Advertised in late 1984 including the December 1984 issue of Personal Computer Games, this game never saw the light of day.

Death Pit advert Death Pit loading screen Death Pit screenshot Death Pit screenshot

Death Stalker - Space Ninja Death Stalker   Death Stalker - Version 2

Two proof of concept demos for a 2D platform type game that was never completed.

Death Stalker loading screen Death Stalker WIP graphics Death Stalker screenshot Death Stalker - Version 2 screenshot

Durell Draw Durell Draw

Utility software used to produce the graphics for Durell's games.

Death Stalker loading screen

Garfield - Winters Tail

Three mock screens were recovered from Clive Townsend's microdrives which show what a colourised version of Garfield - Winters Tail may have looked like. Two additional screens show in game development graphics.

Garfield - Winters Tale WIP colour graphics Garfield - Winters Tale WIP colour graphics Garfield - Winters Tale WIP colour graphics Garfield - Winters Tale WIP graphics Garfield - Winters Tale WIP graphics

Joe & Mac - Caveman Ninja Caveman Ninja Sprite Demos

Numerous mock screens and two playable sprite demos were recovered from Clive Townsend's microdrives for a proposed version of Joe & Mac - Caveman Ninja. Use < and > to move and A to jump.

Joe & Mac - Caveman Ninja WIP graphics Joe & Mac - Caveman Ninja WIP graphics Joe & Mac - Caveman Ninja sprite test Joe & Mac - Caveman Ninja sprite test Joe & Mac - Caveman Ninja WIP graphics

If the game had been eventually completed, the inlay artwork would have probably looked something like the PC version below:-

Joe & Mac - Caveman Ninja box art

Knight Force

Knightforce was the development name for Reaper by Clive Townsend which would eventually be published by Ubi Soft. The two in game mockup screens are slightly corrupted and out of alignment.

Knightforce WIP logo Knightforce WIP screenshot Knightforce WIP screenshot Knightforce WIP screenshot Knightforce WIP screenshot

Lycos Lykos   Lykos Sprite Demo   Lykos & Sprite Demos   Lykos - Wireframe Ship Demo

To run the wireframe ship demo, first write enable the disk image. From +3 BASIC load then run "wireship".

Lykos intro screenshot Lykos sprite demo Lykos sprite demo Lykos screenshot

Ninja Darkness

Ninja Darkness was the working title for Saboteur, below are some WIP loading screen pictures.

Ninja Darkness WIP loading screen Ninja Darkness WIP loading screen Ninja Darkness WIP loading screen Ninja Darkness WIP loading screen

Ninjutsu

Possibly a second working title for Saboteur, below are some WIP in game graphics.

Ninjutsu WIP graphics Ninjutsu WIP graphics Ninjutsu WIP graphics Ninjutsu WIP graphics

Pinball

Some test graphics were developed by Mike Richardson for a vertical flick screen pinball game. Two levels recovered are a Volcano and Pyramid.

Volcano screenshot Volcano screenshot Pinball screenshot Volcano screenshot

Saboteur / Saboteur II

Below are two fonts for Saboteur and Saboteur II and status screen graphics for Saboteur.

Saboteur WIP graphics Saboteur WIP graphics Saboteur WIP graphics

Saboteur 3

These WIP graphics were recovered from development microdrives supplied by Clive Townsend. Newly discovered graphics include the Saboteur 3 island silhouette, a masked Ninja with different eye graphics, the status screen, misc icons, a lighthouse and enemy spider / robot graphics.

Saboteur 3 WIP graphics Saboteur 3 WIP graphics Saboteur 3 WIP graphics Saboteur 3 WIP graphics Saboteur 3 WIP graphics Saboteur 3 WIP graphics Saboteur 3 WIP graphics Saboteur 3 WIP graphics Saboteur 3 WIP graphics Saboteur 3 WIP graphics Saboteur 3 WIP graphics

Saboteur 3 WIP graphics Saboteur 3 WIP graphics Saboteur 3 WIP graphics

Skidoo Skidoo

Skidoo was the working title for Critical Mass. To run the game, load the microdrive image then input RUN and press ENTER.

Skidoo loading screen Skidoo screenshot

Speed Demon Speed Demon

A small program has been recovered which animates a message above an overhead view of some traffic lanes.... This looks like a mock up for a racer style game.

Speed Demon mockup screen

Spitfire Spitfire

Although planned to be published by Durell in 1987, the game was ultimately published in 1989 on the Encore label.

Spitfire inlay Spitfire loading screen

Spot Board SpotBoard

Spot Board appears to be a well polished Othello type board game.

Spot Board WIP graphics Spot Board WIP graphics

Tactical Assault Craft (TAC) Tactical Assault Craft - Version 1   Tactical Assault Craft - Version 2   Tactical Assault Craft

Two loading screens were produced, to pitch the game to Ubi Soft and Codemasters. Neither publisher accepted the game, which remained unpublished until discovered on Clive Townsend's development disks.

Tactical Assault Craft loading screen Tactical Assault Craft loading screen Tactical Assault Craft screenshot

Tarot Card Game

It appears that only preliminary coding was done on this game, with programs written to generate the graphics for the cards.

Tarot card game WIP graphics Tarot card game WIP graphics Tarot card game WIP graphics Tarot card game WIP graphics

Trojan Trojan +3   Trojan - Cartridge 1   Trojan - Cartridge 2   Trojan - Colour Demo

Developed by Clive Townsend, the game is a flick screen clone of Trojan by Capcom. After being developed, the game was never published and has only surfaced after Clive generously loaned the tzx vault preservation team the only known copies that existed on microdrive and +3 disk.

Trojan control select screenshot  Trojan +3 screenshot Trojan microdrive screenshot Trojan microdrive screenshot

Westland 30

Unfortunately the microdrive cartridge containing the source code for this helicopter game was partially corrupted, all that could be saved was the loading screen and a BASIC program which produces the second screenshot below.

Westland 30 loading screen Westland 30 in game screen

Zeus - Hex Hex - Version 1  Hex - Version 2

An unpublished shooter, the first disk contains a playable demo of the game. The second disk contains four seperate sprite demos for a boat, spaceship, tank and aeroplane as shown below.

Hex screenshot Hex sprite demo Hex sprite demo Hex sprite demo Hex sprite demo

 

The Edge

The Punisher The Punisher - Mock Screen

Advertised for various formats including the Spectrum, it was released on other platforms but the Spectrum version didn't appear. The end of game screen displayed in Darius+ mentions both XMen and The Punisher as being developed by the same team behind Darius+.

Some mock screens were recovered from a microdrive cartridge supplied by Clive Townsend in 2007, which you can see below. The only known code for the game, in the tzx file above fills in the walls of the maze.

The Punisher advert Darius+ screenshot Punisher mock screens Punisher mock screens Punisher mock screens Punisher mock screens

The images below of the Amiga version of the game show what the inlay and game would have looked like had the game been completed.

The Punisher (Amiga) box The Punisher (Amiga) box The Punisher (Amiga) comic The Punisher (Amiga) splash screen The Punisher (Amiga) ingame

Warlock All Stars

Warlock was originally advertised between February and May 1987 for the Amstrad with the game "coming soon for C64 and Spectrum". The advert changed in January 1988 with the game listed as "Now out!" for the Spectrum and it was reviewed the next month by Sinclair User.

Unfortunately, as yet a copy of the original release of Warlock has never surfaced. Luckily the game was bundled on the All-Stars compilation a few months later in June 1988.

Warlock C&VG May 1987 advert Warlock (Amstrad) inlay Warlock C&VG January 1988 advert Warlock Sinclair User review All-Stars inlay All Stars Sinclair User review

X-Men

Along with The Punisher mentioned above, X-Men was advertised for the Spectrum and was also mentioned on the end of game screen for Darius+.

The Punisher advert Darius+ screenshot  

 

Elite

Battleships Battleships

Originally advertised as a full price game on the Elite label, Battleships was pulled when it was found to be not up to scratch. The game was subsequently released on the Encore budget label.

Battleships advert Battleships note Battleships note Battleships inlay

Frank Bruno's Boxing Add-On

On completing the game, the final screen contains an advert for Scooby Doo and also advertises an add-on tape with additional boxers.

Frank Bruno's Boxing screenshot 

International Basketball

The Spectrum conversion of Andrew Spencer’s Commodore 64 game was advertised throughout 1985 and featured in issue 21 of Crash, where it was reported as "nearing completion".

International Basketball advert

Scooby Doo In The Castle Mystery Scooby-Doo

After a few months of advertising during the end of 1985 and some preview screens being published in Crash, it became apparent that the original game design (A Dragon's Lair type game) couldn't be achieved on the ZX Spectrum. In order to get a game in the shops with the Scooby Doo licence, the work was given to Gargoyle and a platform game was subsequently published towards the end of 1986.

Scooby Doo In The Castle Mystery advert Scooby Doo In The Castle Mystery screen 1 Scooby Doo In The Castle Mystery screen 2 Scooby-Doo inlay Scooby-Doo loading screen Scooby-Doo screenshot

Crash preview

Your Spectrum news

 

Fantasy

Backpackers Guide To The Universe Parts 2 and 3

Originally advertised as a trilogy, part 1 was released and then unfortunately parts 2 and 3 were never written.

Backpackers Guide To The Universe advert Backpackers Guide To The Universe news

Super Pyramid

Sinclair Programs ran a feature on Fantasy Software in April 1985 which mentioned that Super Pyramid was planned for release in the summer of 1985, which never came to fruition.

Super Pyramid noteSuper Pyramid note

 

Firebird

Booty Booty

In what was probably one of the worlds first computer game easter eggs, if the game is loaded with a Currah µSpeech connected, a hidden game is activated. You need to collect 20 goldfish 

Booty v1 inlay Booty v2 inlay Booty loading screen Booty in game screen Booty hidden game in game screen

Flying Shark v1

Thanks to Frank Gasking at http://www.gamesthatwerent.com/, this unused side panel from the original version of Flying Shark has been recovered. The original coder for the game walked out on the project, with the reigns being handed over to Dominic Robinson and John Cummings of Graftgold Ltd to finish the project off.

Flying Shark v1 side panel

Tyger! Tyger! Tyger! Tyger!

Issue 89 of C&VG had a news item on page 9 stating that Gary Liddon was joining forces with Paul Docherty to create a four level medieval game with a "Sumo-type" main character. Apparently Firebird baulked at the idea of publishing the game after finding out it was too similar to Capcom's Black Tiger so the game was shelved.

Thanks again to the sterling efforts of our sister site http://www.gamesthatwerent.com/, the 50% complete C64 version of Tyger! Tyger! has been salvaged. You can read all about the recovery here:- http://www.gamesthatwerent.com/gtw64/tyger-tyger/

Tyger! Tyger! note Tyger! Tyger! advert Tyger! Tyger! C64 screenshots Tyger! Tyger! C64 screenshots Tyger! Tyger! C64 screenshots Tyger! Tyger! C64 screenshots

 

Gargoyle / FTL

Fornax / Gath

The entire trilogy "The Siege Of Earth" was advertised in the advert below, but only Marsport was ever released. A feature on Fornax appeared on page 112 of the Novermber 1985 issue of Sinclair User. The story was as described below:-

Marsport: The year: 2494. Earth is under seige by the ant-like Sept. The huge force-field protecting Earth is beginning to fade, and the original plans must be retrieved from the great city of Marsport, now occupied by the alien Sept... Commander John Marsh of the Terran Liberation Forces battles against the Sept Warlords and the robotic defences of M-Central in one last effort to reach the plans inside the Marsport City Computers.

Fornax: Fornax, the fire planet, is a world populated by Sept of the scientific caste, who are studying the ancient Star Lord civilisation with the help of mutated humans. The Terran Resistance must outwit the Sept brains and solve the enigma of the Star Lords in order to uncover the greatest secret of all - the location of the Sept Imperial planet, Gath.

Gath: The story was never written as far as I know.

The Siege Of Earth Trilogy advert

Heavy On The Magick

Add on packs for Heavy On The Magick were planned and mentioned on a 128k Spectrum flyer, but never materialised. The two follow-ups which were to be called "Trials Of Thenon" and "Tombs Of Taro" were mentioned in the April 87 issue of Crash.

Samurai Dawn

News of this game was printed in the September 1986 issue of ZX Computing and the October 1986 issue of Your Sinclair but is currently MIA as originally intended.

Gaming journalist Larry Bundy Jr and Frank Gasking from www.gamesthatwerent.com have a theory that Samurai Dawn was never released because it actually morphed into Thundercats! The thinking behind the theory is that Elite approached Gargoyle Games to help produce a game for their Thundercats licence as their in-house efforts were running behind schedule for a Christmas release. This has a ring of truth about it as Gargoyle had assisted Elite the previous year in similar circumstances to rescue Elite's now infamous Scooby-Doo licence.

As you can see in the Thundercats preview screenshots below, the main character sprite differs from the sprite in the final game and bears an uncanny resemblance to Cuchulainn from the Gargoyle games Tir Na Nog and Dun Darach.

Samurai Dawn advert Samurai Dawn feature Samurai Dawn note Thundercats preview screenshot Thundercats preview screenshot Thundercats preview screenshot Thundercats preview screenshot

Wunderland

The ending screen of Hydrofool suggests that the next game in the series was to be called Wunderland. It is unknown whether any work on this prospective game was ever done or not.

Hydrofool ending screenshot

 

Gremlin

Beaver Bob - In Dam Trouble

The game was advertised in Crash and was even featured in a Crash competition for the design of a loading screen, but it was never released.

Beaver Bob - In Dam Trouble advert 1 Beaver Bob - In Dam Trouble advert 2 Beaver Bob - In Dam Trouble advert 3 Beaver Bob - In Dam Trouble competition Beaver Bob - A Gremlin In The Works feature

Panic Stations

The game was advertised in Crash and was even featured in a Crash competition for the design of a loading screen, but it was never released.

Panic Stations preview

Rocky

After the success of Punch-Out in the arcades, Dinamic Software wrote Rocky which was subsequently withdrawn and re-released as Rocco for copyright reasons.

Rocky inlay Rocky loading screen Rocky splash screen Rocky in game screen

Rocco inlay Rocco loading screen Rocco splash screen Rocco in game screen

Re-Bounder Re-Bounder

A conversion was planned of the C-64 hit Re-Bounder, but was shelved after months of on-off development.

Re-Bounder news C64 Re-Bounder inlay

 

Hi-Tec Software

Augie Doggy And Doggie Daddy

The game was advertised throughout December 1990 and January 1991 but was never released.

Hi-Tec Play With The Stars advert

Bugs Bunny - Private Eye

Despite Hi-Tec obtaining the licence for Bugs Bunny, it's unclear whether any development work was completed as no screenshots appeared in any of the mainstream magazines.

Bugs Bunny article in Crash Magazine Bugs Bunny article in Your Sinclair Magazine Bugs Bunny article in Crash Magazine

Bugs Bunny

Bugs Bunny C64 screenshots Bugs Bunny C64 screenshots Bugs Bunny C64 screenshots Bugs Bunny C64 screenshots

Thanks to the efforts of our sister site http://www.gamesthatwerent.com/, the C64 version of Bugs Bunny has been saved. You can read all about the recovery here:- http://www.gamesthatwerent.com/gtw64/bugs-bunny/

Daffy Duck

Daffy Duck advert Daffy Duck article in Your Sinclair Magazine Daffy Duck preview in Crash MagazineDaffy Duck preview in Crash Magazine

Unlike Bugs Bunny above, the Daffy Duck preview in Crash Magazine suggests that the game was probably completed. Hi-Tec reportedly went into liquidation before the game could be released.

Daffy Duck

Daffy Duck C64 screenshots Daffy Duck C64 screenshots Daffy Duck C64 screenshots Daffy Duck C64 screenshots

Thanks to the efforts of our sister site http://www.gamesthatwerent.com/, the C64 version of Daffy Duck has been saved. You can read all about the recovery here:- http://www.gamesthatwerent.com/gtw64/daffy-duck/

Wacky Races - colour version

The first stab at developing Wacky Races was handled by Mick Hanrahan and Robin Holman of Enigma Variations Ltd. Although reported to have been completed, the colour version was scrapped and a monochrome version commissioned by PAL Developments.

Wacky Races v1 preview Wacky Races v1 note

 

Imagine

Athena Athena Athena Graphics

Mark Jones began working on Athena after finishing Wizball. Shortly after, Mark was transferred onto Gryzor and Athena was completed by Ivan Horn and Andy Deakin. The mockups and partial loading screen can be downloaded using the link above. 

Athena WIP loading screen Athena mockup screenshot 1 Athena mockup screenshot 2 Athena grafix

Bandersnatch

Bandersnatch was Imagine's new "mega-game" costing Ł30 when completed, which was to include a hardware add-on, t-shirt and a game map. The game was far from being complete when the company went bust. The rights themselves were sold to Sinclair Research and development continued on a QL version. One of the Bandersnatch clones utilising the same game engine was Gift from the Gods published by Ocean.

According to John Gisbon in an interview at the Ocean Experience:- "When Imagine went pear-shaped, it split into two factions: one centred around Dave and Ian and the other around Mark and Bruce Everiss. Dave and Ian had managed to do a deal with Atari wherein they and the core development staff were to go off to the US to work for the aforementioned company. This new grouping was to be called Fire Iron. At the last minute though there was a change in senior management at Atari and all new contracts were cancelled. There then began the acrimonious battle between Dave/Ian and Mark/Bruce to keep the Bandersnatch dream alive with myself and the rest of the team playing piggy-in-the-middle. Eventually, Dave and Ian won the day, mainly because Dave was so good at selling a dream. Off we all went then to Dave's house in Caldy, Wirral to write some Bandersnatch clones. (We couldn't finish Bandersnatch itself because as an intellectual property it belonged to the Official Receiver appointed to wind up Imagine Ltd). It didn't take long for some of us to realise that the whole thing was going nowhere and we soon left to do our own thing. Those left behind (including Eugene) went on to form a company called...Psygnosis. But that's another story."

Fire Iron morphed into Psygnosis who went on to publish Bratticus on the Amiga, which was another clone of Bandersnatch using the same game engine.

Psyclapse & Bandersnatch advert 1 Psyclapse & Bandersnatch advert 2 Psyclapse & Bandersnatch advert 3 Psyclapse & Bandersnatch advert 4 Bandersnatch note Bandersnatch note Bandersnatch note

In September 2014, Retro-J from the World of Spectrum forums won a Sinclair QL microdrive cartridge auction containing the cartridge below. It was sent to RAWP for preservation but sadly the cartridge was corrupted and the game unrecoverable.

Bandersnatch QL microdrive cartridge Bandersnatch QL microdrive cartridge

In July 2015, a batch of concept artwork was auctioned on eBay, the artwork being part of a funding proposal from Imagine to Sinclair Research Ltd. The concept artwork includes a mockup of the Bandersnatch box art and game booklet.

Mock Bandersnatch inlay Mock Bandersnatch book cover Mock Bandersnatch book cover

Comic Bakery Comic Bakery

Another game in the long list of games which were advertised and never released for the Spectrum, although a C64 version was released, see above.

Comic Bakery advert 1 Comic Bakery advert 2 C64 Comic Bakery inlay

Hypersports - Alternate

Back in 2006, legendary programmer "Joffa" Smith documented anecdotal stories on his CV website http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/frobush/ which thankfully has been preserved by the Wayback Machine. One of the stories featured an alternate version of Hypersports which had been commissioned out of house, Smith wrote:-

"I'd almost finished (the pole vault event was coded but had to removed because of lack of memory) when a freelance programmer appeared out of the blue with another completed Spectrum version. Apparently one of the Ocean's directors had commissioned the project out of house.
This guy was 'paid off' and his version shelved. Now THAT would be something for the WOS archive!"

Psyclapse

The C64 mega-game Psyclapse suffered a similar fate to Bandersnatch with the collapse of Imagine. Games that weren't has a page dedicated to artwork and the main sprite artwork that has been recovered here:- http://www.gamesthatwerent.com/gtw64/psyclapse/

Psyclapse development disk Psyclapse main sprite

Vindicator The Vindicator - 128k

Although the game was released under the name Vindicator, the original artwork had the game billed as the sequel to the arcade hit Green Beret.

Vindicator advert Spectrum Vindicator inlay

 

Joffa Smith

Back in 2006, legendary programmer "Joffa" Smith documented anecdotal stories on his CV website http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/frobush/ which thankfully has been preserved by the Wayback Machine. In a WoS posting dated September 2006, Joffa stated he'd lost ALL of his code over the years, so sadly it doesn't look likely that any of these WIP games will ever see the light of day :-

Angel

"Some of the program code was originally developed for a project I had been writing called "Angel". This was for the ZX Spectrum 128 and featured very large animated characters and had a similar status display,
though it was placed at the top of the screen instead of the bottom. "Angel" was shelved in order for me to convert the almost completed HYSTERIA from the Commodore 64 to the Spectrum."

"The company's (Special FX) first two products were to be "Hysteria" and "Angel", for the Commodore 64 and ZX Spectrum 128, respectively. "Angel", my multi directional scrolling adventure game, was shelved after a month,
but would later become the basis for FIREFLY. We felt it would make more sense to concentrate on a single project over two formats, and increase our chances of selling the package to a publishing company."

Dual

"After FIREFLY, myself and Tony Pomfret began work on an original game call "Dual". This was a side scrolling platform game (what a surprise) that had the user 'changing' between two main characters in order to make progress.

Work on this was postponed in order for me to produce a cover mounted game called "Hyper Active" to be released with issue 75 of Sinclair User magazine.

"Dual" was abandoned sometime later and never saw the light of day."

The Thing

"I'd been writing the game (Pud Pud) in the evenings during my first year at 6th form College. It was the summer holiday break and I had decided to ignore my studying and try for a job in the computer games industry.

I contacted Dave Ward, Ocean Software's head honcho, and arranged a visit to the Manchester based company. I showecased a partly finished 'Pud Pud' and a Donkey Kong clone called 'The Thing' and they seemed impressed."

Saucer

After reportedly finishing the game but being unhappy with it, Joffa Smith started again and got as far as releasing v1.0 and v1.17 demo versions before sadly passing away. A more recent (still incomplete) version of the game does exist which was recovered from Joffa's computer.

Although offers to complete the game were made by other programmers, at the request of Joffa's family the game wasn't completed.

Saucer loading screen Saucer v1.0 splash screen Saucer v1.0 in game screenshot Saucer v1.17 splash screen Saucer v1.17 in game screenshot

 

Melbourne House

Horace To The Rescue

The 4th installment of the Horace series was mentioned briefly in the July 1985 edition of Sinclair Programs magazine.

Horace To The Rescue note

Inspector Gadget And The Circus Of Fear Inspector Gadget And The Circus Of Fear

Inspector Gadget and the Circus of Fear from Melbourne House was completed but was not judged good enough for release by Mastertronic when they bought Melbourne House in 1987, see The Games Time Forgot in the November 1987 issue of Sinclair User.

Inspector Gadget note Inspector Gadget note Inspector Gadget note The Games That Time Forgot feature Inspector Gadget loading screen Inspector Gadget screenshot

 

Mikro-Gen

Bounty Hunter / Digital Graffiti

Both Bounty Hunter and Digital Graffiti were scheduled to be released after Strike Force SAS, however Strike Force SAS turned out to be the last game published by Mikro-Gen.

Bounty Hunter note

City Defence Cruise Attack

"City Defence" was advertised in the November 1983 issue of Sinclair User. For whatever reason, the game was subsequently renamed and released as Cruise Attack.

City Defence advert Cruise Attack advert Cruise Attack inlay

Drakmaze Drakmaze

While still studying in 6th form, David Perry wrote several games for Tim Hartnell of Interface Publications culminating in the book "Astounding Arcade Games for your Spectrum+ & Spectrum" which consisted entirely of David's work.

Perry's next game was Drakmaze, which was too large to be typed in, so he looked for a publisher to publish the game. The game was accepted by Mikro-Gen and it featured in their adverts and sales brochure however the deal fell through and the game was never published.

Luckily a copy of the game was located and preserved.

Astounding Arcade Games for your Spectrum+ & Spectrum cover Mikro-Gen advert Mikro-Gen advert Drakmaze artwork Drakmaze game loaded screen Drakmaze in game screen

Skyway Skyway

Skyway was written by Chris Smith of Visual Concepts in 1987 for Mikro-Gen, the game was never completed as Mikro-Gen went out of business. The game was finally released as freeware in 2008.

Skyway loading screen Skyway screenshot

 

Misc

The Tebbit

This was an spoof adventure game based on The Hobbit from Melbourne House and British politics, taking it's name from Norman Tebbit. Adverts for the game appeared in various computer magazines in early 1984 until the game was cancelled.

The Tebbit advert

 

One Man And His Droid II One Man And His Droid II

Unpublished sequel to the 1985 arcade hit "One Man And His Droid", this game was re-discovered and released by the author Clive Brooker.

One Man And His Droid II screenshot

Details At Clive Brooker's Web Site

 

Iron Horse

This is another game in a long list of games which were advertised but subsequently never made it to publication.

Iron Horse advert

 

Dynamite Dan 2 - 128k

A special 128k version of Dynamite Dan 2 was planned and got a mention on a Spectrum 128k promotional brochure.

 

Adventure In Bristol Adventure In Bristol

This is one of possibly hundreds of games which were sent to John Wilson of Zenobi for evaluation. Unfortunately, for whatever reason this game as with many others was rejected and was never published. Thanks to John however, the tape was passed on and has now been preserved for all to see.

Adventure In Bristol inlay Adventure In Bristol loading screenshot Adventure In Bristol screenshot

 

Slack Bladder Slack Bladder

As with Adventure In Bristol above, Slack Bladder was completed, sent to Zenobi for evaluation but ultimately rejected!

Slack Bladder inlay Slack Bladder screenshot

 

1992 - Exploits In A Wheelie-Bin Exploits In A Wheelie-Bin

One of four adventures written for the "Mega Points" competition that was held at the annual Adventure Probe convention. The special version written specifically for Larry Horsfield, which does not award points is still MIA.

Exploits In A Wheelie-Bin screenshot

1994 - The Long Journey Home The Long Journey Home

The Long Journey Home screenshot

1995 - Tattoo Tattoo

Tattoo screenshot

1996 - Fortress Of Fear Fortress Of Fear

Fortress of Fear was a planned three part adventure that was never completed. Part 1 was used for the 1996 Adventure Probe Convention Mega Points competition.

Fortress Of Fear screenshot Fortress Of Fear screenshot

 

Marie Celeste Adventure Marie Celeste Adventure

Written by Bob Lock (Walrus Computing) and advertised in the small ads sections of Sinclair User and other magazines, the game was produced privately and sold in small numbers.

Marie Celeste Adventure inlay Marie Celeste Adventure loading screenshot Marie Celeste Adventure screenshot

 

Nemo's Island Nemo's Island

Nemo's Island is the little known sequel to Marie Celeste Adventure, and also sold in very small numbers due to only being advertised in the small ads section of Sinclair User and other magazines.

Nemo's Island loading screenshot Nemo's Island screenshot

 

Masterspy Masterspy

Masterspy was a game developed by Albert Ball of Jumping Jack and Rapscallion fame. Due to delays in completing Masterspy, Albert thought it wasn't worth releasing due to more sophisticated games becoming available. Luckily Albert kept a copy of Masterspy on tape, which has been successfully preserved with the assistance of José Luis Soler Hidalgo.

Masterspy cassette Masterspy loading screenshot

 

Action Farce II Crash (Issue 70)

A demo "Crash" edition of the game was released on the Crash Issue 70 covertape, but the final game was never released.

Action Farce II loading screen Action Farce II screenshot

 

Ardonicus III The Raven

A demo version of Ardonicus 3 by 8th Day Software was released on the A side of "The Raven", the full game however was never released.

Ardonicus 3 inlay Ardonicus 3 tape Ardonicus 3 loading screen Ardonicus 3 screenshot

 

Deception Of The Mind's Eye Deception Of The Mind's Eye (Tape)   Deception Of The Mind's Eye (Disk)

Gareth Pitchford, the author of the game said: This adventure was designed and programmed in 1992/93 but never released. Originally envisioned as a two-part 128k adventure, part one was completed and playtested to a stage ready for release in 1992. Part two was designed but never finished. The incomplete, but fully playable "demo version" of part two including 70+ locations can be downloaded above.

Deception Of The Mind's Eye loading screen Deception Of The Mind's Eye screenshot

 

Night Of The Demons

Advertised in one of the indie adventure magazines, Night Of The Demon by Compass Software was never released.

Night Of The Demons advert

 

Tim Loves Cricket

The inlay for Tim Loves Cricket by Peaksoft was created in advance, although the game was never completed.

Tim Loves Cricket inlay

 

Rupert The Bear And Jack Frost Rupert The Bear And Jack Frost

A Quill/ GAC adventure written by Richard Paddler in 2011 which was never published.

Rupert The Bear And Jack Frost loading screen Rupert The Bear And Jack Frost screenshot

 

Arrival

Stephen Preston is best remembered for his Prisoner inspired adventures that were released through Flame Software. With respect to his Arrival, Stephen said:-

"This Screen$ is virtually my final contribution to the ZX world. I put it together using Art Studio, The (Rainbird I think was the company) and put it together pretty much freehand.

I had been using Art Studio for my previous games The Prisoner, and The Girl Who Was Death, and often to create the right proportions, I would take photographs of VHS freeze frames of Prisoner episodes, then place an acetate grid over the photo.

I would then use this to transfer the image to the Spectrum graphics. I produced some pretty good results if you had the whole screen to play with, and to this day the McGoohan portrait on the Girl Who Was Death Screen$ (the one with the lighthouse) is still probably my finest effort.

As for Arrival, it never got made - I had tired of writing Spectrum games by this point - the computer was beginning to lose its pole position and the interest was wearing off. New horizons beckoned!"

Arrival loading screen

 

Block Wars 3000 AD

This quote, direct from the author explains why the game was never released:- "Just to keep your records straight I'm sad to say Block War 3000 AD never made it to the public, it was proving too much for the memory available as it was supposed to be an 8 player game! Shame because it looked brilliant and I had lots and lots of pre orders for it, I think it would have been a big seller as it was set around Judge Dread etc."

 

Automonopoli Automonopoli Go To Jail

Shortly after being released in June 1983, Automonopoli was withdrawn from sale after Waddingtons complained that consumers would confuse their board game Monopoly with the ZX Spectrum game. Automata re-packaged the game as Go To Jail (although the game itself remained identical) and continued selling it via mail order. The incident was even parodied by Automata in an advert placed in a July 1983 issue of Popular Computing Weekly.

This still didn't placate the copyright lawyers and legal action continued whereby Automata were forced to stop selling Go To Jail in January 1984. Automata launched a campaign with the support of the Computer Trade Association to raise funds to defend the legal action from Waddingtons.

It appears that the appeal was successful as adverts for Go To Jail appeared again in April 1984 inviting customers to buy the game and "see what all the fuss was about".

Automonopoli inlay Automonopoli loading screen Automonopoli splash screen

Go To Jail Release 1 inlay Automonopoli loading screen Automonopoli splash screen Go To Jail legal sensation advert Automonopoli note Automonopoli noteAutomonopoli note

Go To Jail Release 2 inlay Go To Jail loading screen Go To Jail splash screen

 

Paranoid Pete Paranoid Pete

Ubik and Weetabix crossed swords over the game Paranoid Pete after Weetabix complained the main character resembled their own characters too closely. Ubik claimed the game had been developed with Weetabix's knowledge, however the game was subsequently withdrawn. An official Weetabix game was eventually released after being developed by Romik.

Paranoid Pete inlay Paranoid Pete loading screen Paranoid Pete in game screen Paranoid Pete note

Weetabix Versus The Titchies inlay Weetabix Versus The Titchies loading screen Weetabix Versus The Titchies splash screen Weetabix Versus The Titchies in game screen

 

Pimania II - Pimans Progress Blitz (Issue 9)

David Ledbury was working on issue 9 of his SAM disk based magazine Blitz, which was to include Pimania II when his friend Malcolm Mackenzie died suddenly. David has since stated that he didn't have the heart to continue with the magazine and he gave up everything SAM related. Luckily, David passed on a disk image of the unfinished issue 9 which runs on a SAM Coupe emulator. The instructions to run the game from David are :-

"Type BOOT 1, then "escape" after it hangs (it's looking for an internal hard drive which my machine had) .

DIR 1 "p*" to list the Pi-parts.

"PI1FIN A" and "PI1FIN B" code files are the first game PAW data files - which should work on the Spectrum if we can get the files moved over to the right location etc

"PRT2COMP A" and "PRT2COMP B" are the files for the second part of the game.

LOAD 37 to load in the main menu for the game

Then you can select either part 1 or 2 if you really want to play.

Part 2 will ask for a password at some point - which if I remember is the weather in Dudley: "HAZY MISTY FOGGY AND WET"

Pimania II splash screen Pimania II in game screen Pimania II in game screen

 

Ocean

Airwolf Super Chopper Airwolf (Elite version)

An advert appeared in the December 1984 issue of Personal Computer Games for an Airwolf game by Ocean. After some legal wrangling, Elite came out as the winners of the official licence and the Ocean game was never seen again......

..... until, after a bit of tweaking by the author Dan Hartley, it was published by Software Super Savers as "Super Chopper".

Airwolf artwork Airwolf advert by Ocean Airwolf advert by Elite Super Chopper inlay Super Chopper loading screen Super Chopper screenshot

Batman - The Caped Crusader Crash (Issue 60)

Back in 2006, legendary programmer "Joffa" Smith documented anecdotal stories on his CV website http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/frobush/ which thankfully has been preserved by the Wayback Machine.

Joffa wrote:- "Also, a cut down version of 'A Bird In The Hand' was released on a 'cover tape' by Sinclair User magazine, if I'm not mistaken (apologies if I am)."

Entitled 'Idiots Play To Win' this had a number of different graphics, including Catwoman, that we were unable to use in the released version for one reason or another."

Batman - The Caped Crusader inlay Crash (Issue 60) inlay Idiots Play To Win loading screen Idiots Play To Win splash screen

Flashpoint Your Sinclair (Issue 47)   Sinclair User (Issue 100)

Flashpoint was advertised with the intention of being published as a full price game, but ended up being shelved. It was subsequently released as a cover game by Your Sinclair and then Sinclair User.

Flashpoint artwork Flashpoint advert Your Sinclair (Issue 047) Sinclair User (Issue 100)

High Noon High Noon

Advertised in 1984, the C64 version which is available above was released but the Spectrum version never saw the light of day.

C64 High Noon inlay

"Ice Hockey" Ice Hockey Graphics

More work in progress Sprites from Mark Jones for an unnamed Ice Hockey game that was never written.

Ice Hockey mockup screenshot 1 Ice Hockey mockup screenshot 2

Iron Sword Iron Sword Graphics

A few mock-ups were created by Mark Jones while waiting between projects, no further work was done beyond these graphics.

Iron Sword mockup screenshot Iron Sword sprites Iron Sword well

Mailstrom Mailstrom Development Graphics

Mailstrom mockup screenshot #1 Mailstrom mockup screenshot #1 Mailstrom mockup screenshot #1 Mailstrom mockup screenshot #1

WIP graphics recovered from the Anaconda development microdrive cartidges.

Street Hawk Street Hawk - Crash Subscribers Edition   Street Hawk

Advertised around mid 1985, a quick game had to be cobbled together to honor a contract signed with Crash for one of their subscriber offers. The game was a defender clone which was never released in the shops. The game continued to be advertised and a totally different game was eventually "officially" released around the end of '86.

Street Hawk advert 1 Street Hawk advert 2 Street Hawk - Crash Subscribers Edition screenshot Street Hawk screenshot

Tibet aka Where Time Stood Still

A preview appeared in an issue of Sinclair User covering 128k games after the launch of the +3. A small part of the feature covered a game called Tibet which was billed as the sequel to "The Great Escape". Tibet was later released as Where Time Stood Still.

Tibet preview screenshot Where Time Stood Still advert Spectrum Where Time Stood Still inlay

Toki

After being previewed in the July 1991 issue of Crash and several other magazines, the game remains unpublished.

In the Crash and Your Sinclair previews, all four screenshots show the timer as 234 and the score as 001234. Based on this, it's highly likely that the screenshots are mockups and not actual gameplay.

Toki Toki artwork Toki preview Toki preview Toki previewToki preview Toki previewToki preview

Crash preview

Total Recall Total Recall Total Recall Graphics

Mark Jones completed some sprites and mockup screens for version 1 of Total Recall which was eventually scrapped. The mockups and partial loading screen can be downloaded using the link above. 

Total Recall Mockup Screenshot 1 Total Recall Mockup Screenshot 2 Total Recall Mockup Screenshot 3 Total Recall Mockup Screenshot 4 Total Recall Mockup Screenshot 5

 

Outlaw

Troll Troll (Kixx) Troll

Previewed in the February 1988 (#72) issue of Sinclair User and then advertised in the March 1988 (#73) issue of Sinclair User was all we ever saw of this game which was being developed by Denton Design until it was released on the budget Kixx label. The game was published by Outlaw for the C64, see the inlay scan below.

Troll preview Troll advert C64 Troll inlay Troll Screenshot

Starship

After writing an email to Jon Ritman, this is the reply I got:- "No, I'm afraid the early stages of Starship were on microdrive but when I tried to look at it a couple of years later I found they couldn't be read". Shame! In the August 1988 issue of Your Sinclair, the following article was published about Starship just after it had been abandoned. I have also found this scan of an announcement of the formation of Outlaw, with Starship being their first game!

Starship article Outlaw announcement

 

Parker

Death Star Battle Return Of The Jedi - Death Star Battle - Prototype

Death Star Battle Prototype Cartridge Death Star Battle screenshot

Gyruss Gyruss - Prototype

Back in 1984, Parker Brothers announced that they were going to release conversions of several arcade games including Gyruss and Star Wars as interface 2 cartridges priced at Ł19.95. The releases were shelved however, when the interface 2 sold in poor numbers.

Gyruss Prototype Cartridge Gyruss screenshot

Loco Motion Loco Motion - Prototype

Locomotion Prototype Cartridge Loco Motion screenshot

Montezum'a Revenge Montezuma's Revenge - Prototype 1 Montezuma's Revenge - Prototype 2

Montezuma's Revenge Prototype Cartridge Montezuma's Revenge screenshot

Popeye Popeye - Prototype

Popeye Prototype Cartridge Popeye screenshot

Q*Bert Q*Bert - Prototype

Qbert Prototype Cartridge Q*Bert screenshot

Star Wars Star Wars - Prototype 1 Star Wars - Prototype 2

Star Wars Prototype Cartridge Star Wars screenshot

 

Piranha

Coven

A feature appeared in issue 71 of Sinclair User which reported that the game was being programmed by Imagitec for Piranha. The project was probably shelved along with Halo Jones and Judge Death (see below) when Piranha went bust.

Coven preview

Halo Jones

Halo Jones was more than likely completed judging by the screenshots that appeared in the published previews. As with Coven and Judge Death, the game was a victim of Piranha going bust.

Halo Jones preview Halo Jones preview Halo Jones preview Halo Jones competition Halo Jones competition result

Judge Death

Judge Death was first previewed in the November 1987 issue of Crash plus a few spots in Sinclair User. Then in the December issue it was advertised along with a special edition of the Judge Anderson comic. The game was due to be completed ready for a review in the January issue, but the game was never completed because the publisher Piranha went bust.

Judge Death advert 1 Judge Death advert 2 Judge Death preview 1 Judge Death preview 3 Judge Death preview 4

Judge Death

Luckily after some diligent research by the team at http://www.gamesthatwerent.com/, it appears that the C64 version of Judge Death was indeed published, under the name of Horror City.

Horror City in game screen Horror City in game screen Horror City in game screen  Horror City in game screen Horror City in game screen  Horror City in game screen Horror City in game screen Horror City in game screen Horror City in game screen Horror City in game screen

 

Quicksilva

Fantastic Voyage Fantastic Voyage Blood 'n' Guts

Quicksilva were another company to fall foul of the copyright lawyers after they released Fantastic Voyage without securing a tie in license with the 1966 film. The game was hastily renamed and released as Blood 'n' Guts.

Fantastic Voyage inlay Fantastic Voyage loading screen Fantastic Voyage in game screen

Blood & Guts inlay Blood & Guts loading screen Blood & Guts in game screen

 

Rabbit Software

Jolly Roger aka Booty

In the August 1984 issue of Your Spectrum, Jolly Roger was described as undergoing manufacture by Rabbit Software. The company went into liquidation around this time and the game was never published. Two months later however, it is believed that the game was published under the new name of Booty. It is interesting to note that prior to Booty being published by Firebird Software, all of John F Cain's previous games had been published by Rabbit Software.

Jolly Roger note Booty v1 inlay Booty v2 inlay Booty loading screen Booty in game screen

While on the subject of Booty, if the game is loaded with a Currah µSpeech connected, then a hidden game is activated.

Booty hidden game in game screen

The Pit aka Exodus

In the June 1984 issue of Your Spectrum, Rabbit were reported as planning a game called The Pit which was to be set in a cavern full of monsters such as "witches, bunnies, ghosts, televisions and funny white blobs". As with Jolly Roger, the company went into liquidation and the game was never published. It is believed that again as with Jolly Roger, John F Cain renamed his game as Exodus which was subsequently published by Firebird.

The Pit note Exodus inlay Exodus loading screen Exodus in game screen

Troopa Truck

The game was advertised in the March 1984 edition of C&VG, but ultimately was only ever published for the Commodore C64.

Troopa Truck advert

 

Rainbird

Betrayal

Advertised in late 1989 and early 1990, it doesn't appear that the Spectrum version of Betrayal (also known as Epoch) was ever released.

Betrayal advert 1 Betrayal advert 2 Betrayal note

Myth

An extremely rare game released for the Spectrum on +3 disk as part of an introductory offer to the Official Secrets adventure club. As yet, no copies of the game has not been found. Copies for other formats such as the Amiga (disk image shown below) have shown up previously on eBay.

Myth inlay Myth Amiga Disk

 

Rainbow Arts

Apprentice

Apprentice advert

The Great Giana Sisters

This game was initially previewed by Crash and the Games Machine in June and July 1988. Adverts followed in August and September with the game being reviewed by Crash, Sinclair User and Your Sinclair with Crash issuing the game a "Crash Smash" award. Nintendo threatened legal action due to the game being too similar to Super Mario Bros. and the game was withdrawn. Some copies of the game survived for the C64, Amiga and Atari ST, however as yet no copies for the ZX Spectrum have surfaced.

The Great Gianna Sisters advert The Great Gianna Sisters preview The Great Gianna Sisters preview The Great Gianna Sisters reviewThe Great Gianna Sisters review The Great Gianna Sisters review The Great Gianna Sisters review

The Great Gianna Sisters preview screenshot The Great Gianna Sisters preview screenshot The Great Gianna Sisters review screenshot The Great Gianna Sisters review screenshot

The Great Giana Sisters (C64)

C64 The Great Gianna Sisters inlay C64 The Great Gianna Sisters alternate inlay

Your Sinclair review

Crash review

 

Reptile Industries

Fast Lane

Three mock screens for a proposed game called Fast Lane were recovered from a development microdrive that was part of the Anaconda batch of development media.

Fast Lane mock screen #1 Fast Lane mock screen #2 Fast Lane mock screen #3

Krutons

A mock screen for a shoot 'em up called Krutons was recovered from a development microdrive that was part of the Anaconda batch of development media.

Krutons mock screen

Miscellaneous screens

Various graphics recovered from Reptile Industries development microdrives.

Church screen Andy Carr in Egypt screen House screen Star screen All Through the Night screen

 

Software Projects

Anaconda Anaconda-128k Anaconda-48k Anaconda Development Graphics

After the release of Star Paws, this game was previewed in the April 1988 (#73) issue of Sinclair User as Software Project's next game. The game eventually surfaced on eBay amongst a batch of other development tapes, microdrive cartridges and TR-DOS disks back in March 2010.

Anaconda preview Anaconda artwork Anaconda Disk Anaconda loading screen Anaconda screenshot

Attack Of The Mutant Zombie Flesh Eating Chickens From Mars aka Zappo The Dog aka Star Paws

This game was advertised for several months stating that it was the new game from Mathew Smith. After Mathew Smith dropped out of the Spectrum games scene, the game was finally written and published under a new name:- Star Paws.

It appears though that production of the game went further than previously thought. An Amstrad version of Dragon's Lair has been seen with a sticker placed on top of a Spectrum sticker for "Zappo The Dog", the hero in the original planned version of the game!!!

Attack Of The Mutant Zombie Flesh Eating Chickens From Mars advert Attack Of The Mutant Zombie Flesh Eating Chickens From Mars news Mathew Smith feature Attack Of The Mutant Zombie Flesh Eating Chickens From Mars screenshot Zappo The Dog Sticker Zappo The Dog Sticker Zappo The Dog Sticker Spectrum Star Paws inlay

Hunchback At The Olympics Hunchback At The Olympics

The first two adverts appeared in Personal Computer Games but the game may have been shelved when Ocean acquired the Hunchback licence for their arcade game conversion. The third advert appeared in the July 1985 issue of Computer & Video Games.

Hunchback At The Olympics advert 1 Hunchback At The Olympics advert 2 Hunchback At The Olympics advert 3 C64 Hunchback At The Olympics inlay

The Master The Master (Software Projects) The Master (Bug-Byte) The Master (Mastertronic) The Master

Advertised for the Spectrum in an issue of Personal Computer Games, the screenshots look like they are from a C-64 version. I've been informed that the game was completed but never published by Software Projects, the rights were acquired by Artic who did later publish the game.

The Master advert The Master The Master (Software Projects) Protection Card Spectrum The Master inlay The Master (Software Projects) loading screen The Master (Mastertronic) loading screen The Master (Bug-Byte) loading screen The Master (Bug-Byte) loading screen

Miner Willy Meets The Taxman aka The Megatree

In an interview in the March 1984 issue of Personal Computer Games, it was reported that "After another skiing trip Matthew expects to start thinking about a follow-up to Jet Set Willy - perhaps to be called Willy Meets the Taxman.". This may have been a joke on the spur of the moment, but nothing was ever seen of this proposed follow up to Jet Set Willy. A sequel was later released which was a souped up version of the original with extra rooms, but this was not written by the man himself!

The development disks for The Megatree were recently won by Retro Gamer magazine, a feature covering the contents of the disk appeared in issue 5 of Retro Gamer.

C64 Mega-Tree loading screen Mega-Tree Concept Sketch 1 Mega-Tree Concept Sketch 2 Mega-Tree Concept Sketch 3 Mega-Tree Concept Sketch 4 Mega-Tree development disk Nega-Tree backup disk

 

System 3

Bangkok Knights

Crash and C&VG published adverts for Bangkok Knights and Sinclair User published the preview picture below, but the game never surfaced for the ZX Spectrum.

Bangkok Knights advert Bangkok Knights advertBangkok Knights advert Bangkok Knights preview

Flimbo's Quest

Despite being advertised as a stand alone release, it appears that delays destined Flimbo's Quest to a compilation only release, with the Apr 1991 issue of Your Sinclair predicting it's release presumably on the System 3 compilation. As it turned out, Flimbo's Quest never made it out at all.

Flimbo's Quest advert Flimbo's Quest note Flimbo's Quest note Flimbo's Quest note System 3 pack inlay

Last Ninja Last Ninja

Previewed in the November 1987 (#68) issue of Sinclair User, it seems that due to development difficulties the sequel was finished first so the original game was shelved!! The C64 version is available above.

The Last Ninja preview C64 The Last Ninja inlay

Last Ninja 3

Although the advert below makes no mention of a version for the ZX Spectrum, Your Sinclair published two notes stating a version for the ZX Spectrum was planned!

Last Ninja 3 advert Last Ninja 3 note Last Ninja 3 note

 

Thalamus

The Search For Sharla

This game was advertised in several issues of Crash magazine around 1990 and even sported artwork from Oliver Frey. It was reported as using landscaping techniques similar to The Lords Of Midnight but unfortunately, the game never appeared. The three images below are courtesy of the C64 site Games That Weren't.

The Search For Sharla advert 1 The Search For Sharla advert 2 The Search For Sharla advert 3 The Search For Sharla screenshot 1 The Search For Sharla screenshot 2 The Search For Sharla screenshot 3

The Search For Sharla Story

 

Tiertex

Vigilante Demos Vigilante Demo 121288  Vigilante Demo 090189

These demo's were unearthed amongst a number of Tiertex development disks. Thanks go to David Powell, who rescued them from a local car car boot sale in Sheffield!!

Vigilante Disk Vigilante Disk 2 Vigilante Demo 121288 in game Vigilante Demo 090189 in game Vigilante Demo 090189 in game (Monochrome)

 

Ultimate

Complete Works

The published version of Ultimate - The Collected Works comes on two disks with the games split up as shown below.

The Collected Works advert Ultimate - Collected Works Disk 1 - Side A menu Ultimate - Collected Works Disk 1 - Side B menu Ultimate - Collected Works Disk 2 - Side A menu Ultimate - Collected Works Disk 2 - Side B menu

An unpublished version of the compilation called "The Complete Works" was discovered amongst a batch of disks including Mega Twins and Vigilante by Tiertex. As you can see, the unreleased version includes Underwurlde, Pentagram, Cyberun, Bubbler and Martianoids!!

Ultimate Complete Works Disk Ultimate - Collected Works version 2 menu

Mire Mare

Underwurlde, the second game in the Sabreman series had three seperate exits from the castle. Each exit had a different congratulations screen naming another adventure in the Sabreman saga. Exit one named Knight Lore which was released at the same time as Underwurlde. Exit two named Pentagram which was released in June 1986. The third exit named Mire Mare which was never published. The reasons for this have only just been made public, see the interview at the Ultimate Appreciation website, linked below. The game was previewed on page 108 of the June 1987 issue of Sinclair User and was also featured on page 69 of the November 1987 issue of Sinclair user.

Ultimate appreciation site interview with details on Solar Jetman and Mire Mare

Mire Mare artwork Spectrum Underwurlde screenshot Spectrum Knight Lore screenshot Spectrum Pentagram screenshot

Perhaps the closest we'll ever come to playing Mire Mare now is the excellent Land of Mire Mare by Luca Bordoni.

Land Of Mire Mare v1.06 Land Of Mire Mare v1.06 - Special Edition

Land of Mire Mare inlay Land of Mire Mare in game

Solar Jetman Solar Jetman

Solar Jetman was the third game featuring Jetman, the character who starred in many cartoon adventures in Crash magazine. The first two games were Jetpac released in August 1983 and Lunar Jetman which was released in February 1984. The game was being written by STORM who developed Rod-Land, St. Dragon and SWIV. The game was previewed in issue 86 of Crash but was never released for the ZX Spectrum.

NES Solar Jetman inlay Spectrum Solar Jetman screenshot 1 Spectrum Solar Jetman screenshot 2 Spectrum Solar Jetman screenshot 3

The game was released for the NES and Playchoice 10 arcade system, a fully completed version of the game for the C64 was discovered by the Games That Weren't C64 web-site, all the related information can be found here: Solar Jetman C64

C64 Solar Jetman screenshot 1 C64 Solar Jetman screenshot 2 C64 Solar Jetman screenshot 3

 

Virgin

Judge Dredd

For years, no one was sure whether Judge Dredd by Virgin had actually been released as a copy had never turned up. Luckily, a copy turned up on eBay and Gorski (a member of the preservation team) acquired and dumped it. Finds like this renew our hope that games such as Thunderjaws will also surface one day.

Judge Dredd inlay


US Gold

Conan The Barbarian

The loading screen was recovered from some recently discovered Microdrives belonging to Mark Jones. The game was completed for the C64, it looks like only the loading screen was completed for the Spectrum.

Conan The Barbarian screenshot

Congo Bongo Congo Bongo

A conversion of the Sega coin-op, it was advertised for the C64 and Spectrum alongside Up 'n Down, but only the C64 version surfaced.

Congo Bongo advert 1 Congo Bongo advert 2 C64 Congo Bongo inlay

Grog's Revenge Grog's Revenge

This was the sequel to BC’s Quest For Tires which was released by Software Projects for the Spectrum. In an interview on ZX Specticle, Dougie Burns mentions that he was working on the Spectrum version of the game but was taken off the project by Jon Woods.  He says: “I’ll always regret not finishing Grog’s Revenge for US Gold, because it was looking good.” The C64 version is available above.  

Grog's Revenge advert C64 Grog's Revenge inlay

Mega Twins for the Spectrum Mega Twins and for the Amstrad Mega Twins Demo Mega Twins 12 Aug 91

A conversion of the Capcom coin-op, it was advertised for both 8 and 16 bit platforms, sadly none of the 8 bit versions were published. Once again, thanks go to David Powell for supplying the development disks, which were in terrible condition incidentally. After three intensive weeks of preservation work in conjunction with István Fábián and Richard Rayner from the Software Preservation Society and Simon Owen, both the Spectrum and Amstrad versions of Mega Twins have been saved.

Mega Twins inlay Mega Twins Disk Mega Twins splash screen Mega Twins in game

Up 'n Down Up 'n Down

A conversion of the Sega coin-op, it was advertised for the C64 and Spectrum, but only the C64 version surfaced.

Up 'n Down advert 1 Up 'n Down advert 2 Up 'n Down advert 3 C64 Up 'n Down inlay

World Cup Carnival World Cup Football World Cup Carnival

Quite a stir was caused when US Gold released the old Artic game World Cup Football under the new name of World Cup Carnival at twice the price of the original. The explanation given at the time was that the game developed to coincide with the World Cup was so bad it couldn't be released. Since there was not enough time to develop a new game, the old Artic game was re-released under the new name. If this is the case, then there is a completed unreleased version of World Cup Carnival out there somewhere.

World Cup Carnival advert World Cup Carnival inlay