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Now larger than both the movie and music industries combined, the video game industry has provided more than 40 glorious years of interactive entertainment across a plethora of hardware platforms, including consoles, computers and handheld devices. We truly are spoilt for choice when it comes to picking something to play, and that dizzying array is growing by the day.

Even so, there are a great many video games that have sadly never seen the light of day, for a variety of reasons, and many of these have incredible unsolved mysteries or gripping untold tales attached to them. The Games That Weren't aims to give these unknown titles a chance to shine by lifting the lid on their stories – even if we weren't able to actually play them as their developers intended.

Providing illustrated snapshots of unreleased games dating from 1975 to 2015, The Games That Weren't is Bitmap Books biggest and most ambitious book to date. It includes a wide range of titles from the Atari 2600 right up to the Sony PlayStation 4, by way of arcade, home computer, console, handheld and mobile platforms. Years in the making, it's packed to bursting point with exclusive content, in-depth interviews and much more besides.

Many of these lost classics are expanded upon in detail, as we share the untold stories and recollections of those involved with their design and development, as well as shedding some light on intriguing mysteries along the way. Assets and screenshots – some of which have never been seen before – help illustrate the narratives, and in the case of games for which no images exist, there are specially-created artist's impressions that give a tantalising visual interpretation of what could have been.

Covering more than 80 games – including Star Fox 2, Green Lantern and SimMars – across a 40-year span, and packed with content such as five specially-created 'Hardware That Wasn't' blueprint pieces and interviews with industry legends such as David Crane, Jeff Minter, Matthew Smith, Dan Malone, Eugene Jarvis, Dylan Cuthbert, Andrew and Philip Oliver, Geoff Crammond, Scott Adams, Jon Hare and many more, The Games That Weren't showcases and pays tribute to well-known and not-so-well-known unreleased titles, as well as games you might never have heard of – until now. As if that wasn't enough, the book has been produced to the signature high standard Bitmap Books readers have come to expect, with eye-catching fluorescent colours and high-quality binding on superb paper stock, and it comes with a free digital copy, so you can take it with you everywhere.

While the games industry has much to celebrate in the games that did make it onto shelves, there's something uniquely captivating in looking at titles that never achieved the finish line. We hope that The Games That Weren't will keep the memory of these failed masterpieces alive.

Book specifications
644 pages. 170mm × 210mm. Edge-to-edge high quality lithographic print. Special fluorescent ink throughout. Hardback. Sewn binding for enduring quality and the ability to lay flat for ideal double-page image viewing. Coloured bookmark ribbon. Shrink-wrapped. Free PDF for viewing on the go.

Games featured include:
100 Bullets / 8 Kings / Akira / Akka Arrh / Attack of the Mutant Camels 89 / Attack of the Mutant Zombie Flesh Eating Chickens from Mars / Bandersnatch / Black Death / Black Hawk / Blackjack / Blaster / Boggle / Bound High! / Boxer / Bubble Bobble / Burnt Out Cop / Cannonball / Captain Seahawk / Carmageddon TV / CCTV / Chip's Challenge / Conquest / Creation / Daffy Duck / Dark Seed (a.k.a. Dragon's Heaven) / Dark Tower / Deadlock / Death Pit / Deathwatch / Dick Special / Die Hard 64 / Dizzy Returns / Elite / Eye of the Moon / Fallout 3 / Flashback Legend / Frogger 2: Swampy’s Revenge / Gauntlet / Gazza / Green Lantern / Half-Life / Hard Drivin / Heart of Yesod / Human Element / Keystone Kannonball / The Last Ninja / Lemmings 2 / Lethal Weapon / The Lizzie Borden Murders / Mail Plane / MARSOC / Mega Twins / Millipede / Mini Golf / Oops! / Primal Rage 2 / Propeller Arena / Putty Squad / Rescue on Fractalus! / Resident Evil / Ridge Racer / Rolling Thunder / Safire / Sebring / Sex 'n' Drugs ’n’ Rock 'n' Roll / SimMars / Snow Bros. / Solar Jetman / Sonic X-treme / Space Fantasy Zone / Spitfire Fury / Spooky / Star Fox 2 / Starring Charlie Chaplin / Stunt Car Racer Pro / Subtraddition / Super Mario’s Wacky Worlds / The Terminator / Tetris DS / Thrill Kill / Time Bomb / Tiny Toon Adventures / Tony Hawk’s Shred Session / Tork / USSA / Vindicators / Virtua Hamster / Virtual Tank / Waterworld / Wolf Pack

Customer Reviews
4.9 Based on 176 Reviews
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MK
01/12/2021
Mark K.
United Kingdom United Kingdom
I recommend this product
An "alternative" history of video games

Covering 40 years of video game history across a multitude of arcade machines, computers and consoles, Frank Gasking's mammoth book is a comprehensive exploration of "the ones that got away": games that - for various reasons (some deserved, many not) - never saw the light of day. As someone who hasn't played many video games in recent years, I was struck by the sheer number of unfinished/unreleased games covered in this book; its size alone (600+ pages) is testament to that. Of course, the music and film industries are littered with infamous projects that were either canned or became mired in Development ****, but for a comparatively new medium, the video game business seems to have more than its fair share. Fortunately Frank doesn't just describe these unfortunate games, but also digs into the reasons why they remained hidden (including first-hand accounts from the programmers and developers). It's obvious within a few pages that an incredible amount of work has gone into writing and researching this book. Beautifully produced and illustrated (including artist's impressions for titles with no existing screenshots), this high-quality hardback from Bitmap Books is highly recommended for anyone who has even a passing interest in video gaming history. Read it from cover to cover or dip into it at your leisure (just don't drop it on your foot!).

CP
01/11/2021
Colin P.
United Kingdom United Kingdom
I recommend this product
Review of the games that weren’t

I thought this book was excellent a very in-depth review of the games that never were,a very premium book well worth the price

MM
01/11/2021
Manuel M.
Italy Italy
I recommend this product
Excellent publication

This is the first book I ordered from Bitmap Books, after a year of quiet lurking reading reviews. The book is very well binded and printed, with glossy paper and a very pleasant smell (yes, I'm one of those people who sniff them), the cover is sturdy and materials are top notch. The only flaw I can find regards images/texts that cover two pages, the internal margin is too little and some details get cramped between.(nothing that can't be addressed with subsequent printings).

RA
01/04/2021
Rocio A.
United Kingdom United Kingdom
I recommend this product
Great gift for a nerdy husband

Great book, great visuals and materials. Great value for the price.

BB
12/26/2020
BEATRIZ B.
United Kingdom United Kingdom
I recommend this product
The games that weren’t

It was great delivery. Very fast. Was a gift for my boyfriend who loves and works with video games and he loves it.