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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.
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
- video games
Incredible, as always
A solidly built and well researched book that provides a lot of interesting information.
Ode to the Unborn Ones
One unmissable and ultimately enjoyable piece of work about a rare but nevertheless so interesting theme. As usual an amazing source of information, and a wonderful art piece as a book itself. Thank you for your devotion and your passion ! +++++
Great coverage of games that didn’t quite make it. Bitmap books are always beautifully presented and packaged. Fantastic quality and reasonably priced. Well-received as a Christmas present for my husband.
Flicking through it briefly & it looks like it'll be a fascinating read about the games that could've been and the ones that fell through the cracks. Appreciate all the research that must have gone into preserving a little corner of history! Note: I've wanted to purchase Bitmap Books products for a while but feared that shipping such hefty books halfway around the world wasn't such a great idea, but I'm glad I took the plunge! Kudos to the team: packaging was fantastic and all 3 of the books in my order arrived in pristine condition, and in under a week!
Amazing collection of stories and pictures of the games that could have been. Seen many of those in the long lost magazines of yesteryear. Bitmap Books manages to keep the bar raised with this book, as always.