Bit late in posting this, but this is important stuff, especially to an Odyssey2 fan like me! 🙂
A bunch of prototypes were found by the person (Robbert) who runs the great Videopac.nl forum at the beginning of April 2011. Many of the prototypes where duplicates of already found material, but five of the prototypes were new! Robbert was contacted by a game developer who worked for Philips in the 80’s, which is where these new games came from. He offered Robbert a slew of programming material, which included the prototypes.
Of the five newly discovered games, which have not been seen by anyone since the early 80’s, we have:
1 – Sound Test – A SoundTool that was created to aid videopac programmers in creating sound for their games. One other Videopac collector has this prototype, but this was not know until now. So there apparently are two of these out there, and this software is complete. (Either way hopefully someone will release this!)
2 – Himalaya – A game which is not fully understood yet, but appears to involve flying to Kathmandu!? It is not know if the game is completely finished.
3 – Bastion – A game in which you lay siege to a tower by climbing a ladder while defending yourself from objects being thrown down upon you. You can fire an arrow at the defenders as you climb up. The game works, but again, it is not know if it is actual finished.
4 – Catburglar – You are the Catburglar trying to escape the police by climbing up a tall building. At the top, a helicopter picks you up and you escape. The game is similar the Crazy Climber, in where you are bombarded by objects as you climb a building. If you fall, your ‘body’ lands as a pool of blood and mangled body, a first first for a Videopac game (to have blood in it).
5 – Lastly we have Terrahawks, which is totally different that the released Terrahawks. A somewhat odd space game that does not appear to be completed, in which the controls do not seem to be done properly (as far as can be told at this time).
Note that there was a sixth ROM game in the collection that would not work, and we have an expert trying to revive this hopefully 6th new find!
Depending on the completion of the new games, the Odyssey2/Videopac community will probably see some new game releases in the next year or so. Robbert himself has promised to release Catburglar on his own. I hope the SoundTest gets released too. VP/O2 collectors will have something new to look forward in the near future!
In all, this is a great find, considering it has been nearly 30 years since these prototype games were created! Here’s to more unexpected finds in the future.