Unreleased (& Rumored) NES Games

Unreleased: 'un-ri-lEsd
Any mention in a publication that gave us reason to look for a specific NES game.

Thanks to a large library of NES-related magazines and hint books, I've been able to see and read a great deal about games that were never released. If you're like me, these games tend to hold a certain fascination, regardless of game quality. Over 85 hours of research (going through my NES library looking for any mention of such games) went into this list (I even made an effort to keep punctuation, grammatical, and syntax errors intact). You are free to copy and use it, but please give me credit for the work I did. It would also be nice if you could tell me what your plans are for any copies or other uses you have in mind.

What qualifies as an unreleased game?

On the surface, this may sound like a stupid question. But there's a difference between a game that was nearly released and one that was simply hinted at. Some games, such as Kung Fu II, were so close to hitting the market that the producer ran a full-page ad. Others, like California Raisins and Eon Man were featured in lengthy reviews. On the flip side, games like 10th Frame had a mere mention (at least, that's all I've been able to find). And to confuse the matter even further, writers, editors, and admen can be guilty of typos and oversights. In the July 1992 issue of GamePro, you can find this correction: "Don't go rushing to an NES shelf to find Steel Empire. Although we listed it as an NES game, it is built for Genesis." I could have included Steel Empire in this list since it was rumored for a month or so, but decided against it. The most obvious typo is Mario Andretti World GP. Compare the screenshot to the title of the review.

What's in a name?

Is it possible that a single game had several development names? Certainly. It seems Gametek was making three different Password games (regular, Super, and Talking Super). Since Gametek made four Jeopardy! games and four variations of Wheel of Fortune, it's certainly possible that Password was getting the same treatment. But since not a single version was every released, it makes you wonder. Likewise, there are seperate listings below for Buster Brothers and Super Buster Brothers, Stingray and Star Stingray. Could Grand Prix and Konami Grand Prix be the same game? Despite different listed developers, Blazebusters and Super Rescue have a screenshot in common. U*Fouria was inconsistently spelled, but I didn't count each of them as a different game. On a related note, how many times was one of the games below actually released, but under a different name? Rodan may very well be Godzilla 2. Helicopter may have become Laser Invasion. Because of all these possibilities, it's safe to say that the actual number of unreleased, "under development" games is much shorter than this list.

One source of rumors is retailer ads, such as Funco, Play It Again, and The Trading Zone. These seem rather unreliable. It would be so easy for the printer to list a game under the wrong system (such as a mixing of NES and Game Boy titles), or make an abbreviation error that might make an existing game seem new. In one ad, I saw seperate listings for Castlevania II and Simon's Quest... and at two different prices! I haven't noted every ad that mentions a certain game, as that would be overkill.

I've also included games listed in the Digital Press 5th & 6th editions. If regular periodicals are 1st-hand sources of rumors, then these have to qualify as a 2nd-hand sources. After all, the guys compiling the list had to see the title listed somewhere else first.

Apology #1: some/most of these scans are poor quality. Many came from magazines, where the original size was smaller than a postage stamp, and the print quality may have been questionable as well. Combine the limitations of the scanner with my poor cropping skills and too much beer, and you have the results below.

Apology #2 goes out to numerous people on eBay. I saved several of the scans for my own benefit, just to have them for my own personal reference. But to view them easily, it makes sense to write some html around them. Unfortunately, I didn't get permission to post these scans, and I certainly can't remember who was selling what. If any of these are yours, please email me! I will give you proper credit, remove the scans, or take other appropriate action.

Apology #3 goes out to the publishers of the magazines, which I've tried to credit. Needless to say, contents of most mags are copyrighted. Since I'm not selling any of their images or descriptions, and the issues are at least eight years old, there may not be a real problem here. Nevertheless, posting scans and text from magazines could be a legal matter they wish to resolve. If any lawyers from the cited magazines wish me to remove said scans, please email me.

Apology #4 is to you, the reader. At the very beginning of this project, I only recorded the periodical, not the page number. And in a few instances, I even forgot that. But rest assured, I didn't make any of this up. I also apologize for being so wordy.

For some of these games, especially the ones with pix, there may be published reviews and hints. See the NR section of the NES Index to find out what books or magazines to track down.

Most of the Game Players issues referenced below are the Game Players Strategy/Buyers Guide to Nintendo Games, not simply Game Players Magazine, which covered all systems of the day. If citing the multi-system mag, Game Players Magazine is written out, not abbreviated. Most of the publication abbreviations used are from the NES Index, including:

BG: Beyond Gaming - Ultimate Game Club's Official Magazine
EGM: Electronic Gaming Monthly
EGP: Electronic Game Player
FCN: Fun Club News
GP: Game Players Strategy/Buyers Guide to Nintendo
GPM: Game Players Magazine
Mastering 1: Mastering Nintendo Games Vol I
Mastering 2: Mastering Nintendo Games Vol II
NP: Nintendo Power
PRO: GamePro
PRO-Spts: GamePro Hot Tips: Sports Games
UU1: Ultimate Unauthorized Nintendo Game Strategies
VGCE: Video Games & Computer Entertainment
VGQ: Video Game Quest

Color-coded titles:

Every title below constitutes a rumored game, but not every one is a genuine unreleased NES game. I've tried to separate them thusly...

Black Title: a game genuinely planned for the NES, or a good solid supported rumor.

Blue Title: a game that was eventually released under a different name (i.e. Caveman Ughlympics became Caveman Games). Blue Titles also signify games that were released for the NES, but not in the format indicated. For example, Stakk'M came out on Maxi-15, but never on a cart by itself. Camerica's Bee 52 (and others) is widely available for the NES, but not in the Aladdin format that was planned. The bottom line is that one way or another, we can play blue-titled games on the NES. European (PAL format) releases are black rather than blue, as they may not be playble on US NTSC consoles.

Purple Title: a probable publishing error or misunderstanding. This is obviously a huge judgement call on my part, as I'm not a magazine writer/editor nor a game developer. For awhile, Nintendo and NES were synonymous, but that no longer held true when the Game Boy came out. In 1986, saying a game was slated for Nintendo meant NES. Just a few years later, it could have meant NES, Game Boy, or even the Super Nintendo (SNES). "A Boy and His Blob 2" is an example of a game that was probably never planned for the NES, but left us wondering anyway. Purple titles can probably be played on another system.

Some of these games had been released for the Famicom and just never got ported to the NES. However, you may be able to find emu versions thanks to the hard work of computer-literate and Japanese-knowledgeable NES diehards. For example, here's a review and emu directions for Sweet Home.

Consider... if a screenshot exists, the cart probably existed at one time. What happened to these carts? Were they returned to the maufacturer? Were they destroyed? Are they gathering dust in a desk drawer? If you know of any, please email me!

Unreleased NES Stuff (by Skrybe) An absolutely terrific site, full of ROMs of the games listed below, along with reviews and additional screenshots. Check it out!

nr.txt - a simple text file listing of the game titles and manufacturers only. It includes everything from this list, including games that were released under another name (i.e. Caveman Ughlympics), and typos such as Mario Andretti World GP (Michael Andretti).

# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


10th Frame (?)


A Boy and His Blob 2 (Absolute Entertainment)

Ace Harding: Lost in Las Vegas (Kemco)

Action Fighter (?)

Addams Family 2 (Ocean)

Addams Family Animation (Ocean)

Adventure of the Trolls (American Softworks)

Adventure Quest (Codemasters/Camerica)

Aigina's Prophecy (Vic Tokai)

Airball (Tengen)

Airborne Ranger (Mindscape?)

Airhawk (Romstar)

Aladdin (Virgin)

Aliens vs Predator (Activision)

An American Tale: Fievel Goes West (Hudson Soft)

Arcadia VI (?)

Arcana (HAL America)

Armadillo (IGS)

Asterix the Gaul (Electro Brain)

Atomic Robo-Kid (Trico)

Avengers (?)


Baby Gangster (?)

Backgammon (American Video Entertainment)

Barbarian (?)

Barbie II (Hi Tech Expressions)

Barcelona 92 (?)

Baseball Pros (?)

Bashi Bazook Morphoid Masher (Jaleco)

Battle of Atlantis (?)

Battle Tech (Infocom)

Battlefields of Napoleon (Broderbund)

Beauty and the Beast (Hudson Soft)

Bee 52 (Camerica)(Aladdin cart)

Beyond Shadowgate (Kemco-Sieka)

Big Mouth Bass (American Video Entertainment)

Big Nose the Caveman (Camerica)(Aladdin cart)

Big Nose Witch Dr (Camerica)

Bio Force Ape (Seta)

Black Bass II (Hot-B USA)

Black Tiger (Capcom)

Blaster Master 2 (Sunsoft?)

Blazebusters (ASCII/Nexoft/THQ)

Blockout (American Technos)

Boomer Land (Asmik)

Boomerang Kid (Camerica)

The Brainies (Titus)

Bruce Lee Lives (Mindscape)

Bug Buster (?)

Buster Brothers (Hudson Soft)

Buzz & Waldog (Innovation)


California Raisins (Capcom)

Caracresta (?)

Card Sharks (Gametek)

Castle of Demons (Seta)

Cat Runner (Seika)

Caveman Ughlympics (Data East)

Championship Power Pool (Mindscape)

Chase HQ (Taito)

Chester Field (Vic Tokai)

Chip's Challenge (Bullet-Proof)

CJ's Elephant Antics (Camerica)

Cleopatra (?)

Coco Run (?)

Code Blue (Color Dreams)

Comic Caper (?)

Congo's Caper (Data East)

Corvette ZR-1 Challenge (Milton Bradley)

Cosmic Epsilon (Asmik)

Cosmo Fighter (Taxan)

Cosmo Tank (Asuka/Atlus)

Counterstroke (Vic Tokai)

Crash 'n the Boys Ice Challenge (American Technos)

Crash 'n the Boys Soccer Challenge (American Technos)

Crater Maze (Hudson)

Crazyland (NTVIC)

Creation (Wisdom Tree)

Creatom (?)

Crossbow (AGCI)

Crystal Passage (Vic Tokai)

Cue Stick (American Video Entertainment)

Cyberball (Tengen)

Cycle Shooting (?)


Daedalian Opus (Vic Tokai)

Daemon's Quest (Nexoft)

Daemon Wars (Nexoft)

Darc Seed (Meldac)

Dark Towers (?)

Darkwing Duck 2 (Capcom)

Deadheat Scramble (Electro Brain)

Dennis the Menace (Ocean)

Dewey the Dolphin (Ocean)

Dexterity (?)

Dino-Hockey (Sunsoft)

Dizzy Pinball (Camerica)

Drac's Night Out (Parker Brothers)

Dragon Ninja (Tecmo)

Dragon Tale (?)

Dragon Wars (Kemco-Seika)

Dream Team 3-on-3 Challenge (Data East)

DreamWorld Pogie (Camerica)(Aladdin cart)

Driving Game (?)

Drop Zone (?)

Dweebers (Vic Tokai)


Earthbound (Nintendo)

Empire City 1931 (Acclaim)

Eon Man (Taito)

Escape from Atlantis (Color Dreams)

Euro Cup Soccer (Matchbox)


F-1 Hero 2 (Seika)

F-1 ROC (Kemco)

F16 Renegade (Camerica)(Aladdin cart)

Fairy Land Story (Hot-B)

Fastest Lap (NTVIC)

Fighting Simulator World Champ (Culture Brain)

Final Fantasy II (?)

Final Mission (Taito/Natsume)

Firehawk (Camerica)(Aladdin cart)

Fisher Price Fun Flyer (Gametek)

Fisher Price Little People Bowling Alley (Gametek)

Fisher Price My Grand Piano (Gametek)

Fisher Price School Bus Driver (Gametek)

The Flash (T*HQ)

Flying Dragon II (Culture Brain)

Flying Dragon III (Culture Brain)

Fortress of Fear (?)

Francesca's Wand (Vic Tokai)

Free Fall (Color Dreams)


The Game of Harmony (Accolade)

Glove Pilot (Mattel)

Go! Dizzy Go! (Camerica)(Aladdin cart)

Goonies I (?)

Grand Prix (Konami?)

Great Warriors Saga (?)

Grid Grabber (Jaleco?)

Gun.Smoke 2 (Capcom)


Hacker 2 (Activision)

Hammerin' Harry (Irem)

Happily Ever After (Sofel)

Happy Camper (Color Dreams)

Hard Drivin' (Tengen)

Hat Trick (Capcom)

Head On (Tecmo)

Heavyweight Championship Boxing (Activision)

Hector Vector (?)

Hellicopter (Konami/Ultra)

Hellraiser (Color Dreams)

Hermetica (Bullet-Proof)

Hit the Ice (Taito)

Holy Diver (Irem)

Home Sweet Home (?)

Hostage (?)

Hot Rocks (?)

Hudson's Space Adventure (Hudson)

Hulk Hogan (?)

Hyper Zone (HAL)


In Your Face (Jaleco)

Inspector Gadget (Hudson Soft)

Integrity (?)

International Team Sports (SporTime Inc)

(Introducing) the Humans (Gametek)

Ishido: The Way of the Stones (Accolade)

It Came From the Desert (Cinemaware)


Jack and the Beanstalk (Asmik)

Jaws Revenge (?)

Jet Bike Simulator (?)

John Madden Football (UBI Soft / Electronic Arts)

Jordan Adventure (Electronic Arts)

Jump Burger (Nintendo)


Kirby's Dream Land (Nintendo)

Konami Grand Prix (Konami)

Kung Fu II (Irem)

Kurn (?)


Labyrinth (Activision)

Land of Demos (?)

Last Ninja 2 (Activision)

Legend of Guardic (Irem)

Legend of Hero Tonma (Irem)

Lethal Weapon 3 (Ocean)

Liberty or Death (Koei)

Licence to Kill (Tengen)

Lion King (Virgin)

Loony Toons Cartoon Maker (Hi Tech)

Lord of Lightning (Capcom)

Lord of the Rings (Interplay)

Lords of the Rising Sun (Cinemaware)


Magic Candle (World) (American Sammy)

Magic of Scheherazade II (Culture Brain)

Magic Sword (?)

Makai Island (Capcom)

Malibu Beach Volleyball (Activision)

Maniac Mansion II (Lucasfilm/Jaleco)

Manipulator - Glove Adventure (Mattel)

Mariner's Run (Vic Tokai)

Mario Andretti's World GP (American Sammy)

Married... With Children (Sharedata)

Mask Rider (Bandai)

Matchbox Lightning (Matchbox)

Matchbox Racers (Matchbox)

MaxiVision 30-in-1 (American Video Entertainment)

Mech Warriors (Activision)

Mechanoids (Jaleco)

Metal Man (Camerica)

Metal Man (Camerica)(Aladdin cart)

Mickey Dream Balloon (Kemco)

Microleague Baseball (Microleague Sports)

Mig 29 Soviet Fighter (Camerica)(Aladdin cart)

Mig 29 Hunter (Activision)

Mike Ditka Big Play Football (Accolade)

Miner 2409er (Mindscape)

Mini Putt (JVC)

Mission XX (?)

Monster Masher (Sofel)

Monster Party II (Bandai)

Monster Truck Rodeo (Matchbox)

Moon Crystal (DTMC)

Moto Roader (NEC)

Mr. Gimmick (Sunsoft)


NBA All Star Shootout (?)

NCAA Basketball (HAL America)

Natsume Championship Wrestling (Natsume)

New Ghostbusters II (HAL America)

New Kids on the Block (Parker Brothers / Absolute)

Night of the Ninja (Froggo)

Ninja Taro (American Sammy)

Noah's Ark (Matchbox)

Nosferatu (?)


Orbit (?)

Over Horizon (Hot B)


Paggio (?)

Paradise Island (NTVIC)

Password (Gametek)

Pit Fighter (THQ)

Pizza Panic (Jaleco)

Play Isle (?)

Poker (American Video Entertainment)

Police Academy (Tengen)

Power Blazer (?)

Power Mission (Capcom?)

Power Pad Football (Hal America)

Power Play Football (Hal America)

(Mike Tyson's) Power Punch (American Softworks)

Predator 2 (Konami)

Price is Right (GameTek)

Prince Valiant (Ocean)

Prophecy (Activision)

Psycho Soldier (SNK)

Putt Master (Taxan)

Pyramids of Ra (Matchbox)

Pyross (American Sammy)


Quarterback Scramble (Accolade)

Quattro Arcade (Camerica)(Aladdin cart)

Quatro Kids (Camerica)


R-Type (Irem)

Railroad Tycoon (?)

Rambo III (?)

Ren & Stimpy Show: Vee Diots! (THQ)

Return of Donkey Kong (Nintendo)

Riddick Bowe (?)

Ring Raiders (Matchbox)

Robin Hood (Arcadia)

Robin Hood: Adventures in Sherwood Forest (Hi Tech)

Robocop vs. Terminator (Virgin)

Rocky (American Sammy)

Rocky Rodent (Irem)

Rodan (Toho)

Rollergeddon (LJN)


Samurai Conflict (Meldac)

Scarabeus (Matchbox)

Search King (?)

Secret Castle (?)

Secret Ties (Vic Tokai)

Secret Warriors (?)

Serve and Volley (Jaleco)

Shadowgate 3 (Kemco-Sieka)

Shogun Maeda (Vic Tokai)

Shredder (Absolute)

Side Arms (Capcom)

Sim City (Nintendo)

Sir Eric the Bold (Matchbox)

Skyscraper (Hal America)

Solomon's Club (Tecmo)

Solstice 2 (Imagesoft?)

Space Invaders (?)

Space Marine (?)

Space Shuttle Mission (?)

The Speed Rumbler (Capcom)

Spelunker II (Broderbund)

Spy vs. Spy II: The Island Caper (Kemco-Seika)

Squashed (Jaleco)

Stakk'm (American Video Entertainment)

Star Force II (Tecmo?)

Star Gate (?)

Star Meter (JVC)

Star Stingray (Culture Brain)

Star Trek V (Bandai)

Starblade (Color Dreams)

Stingray (Culture Brain)

Storm Lords (Color Dreams)

Street Battle (Innovation)

Street Fighter (Capcom)

Street Fighter II (Capcom)

Stunt Kids (Camerica)(Aladdin cart)

Super Bomb Jack (Tecmo?)

Super Buster Brothers (Hudson Soft)

Super Hang-On (?)

Super James Pond (Ocean)

Super Loderunner (Irem)

Super Mario 4 (Nintendo)

Super Mario Collection (Nintendo)

Super Password (Gametek)

Super Pinball (?)

Super Pitfall II (Activision)

Super Rally (?)

Super Rescue (CSG Imagesoft)

Super Slam Dunk (?)

Super Square Deal (Hector or DTMC)

Super Star Force (Tecmo)

Super Sushi Pinball (CSG Imagesoft)

Super Trucks (?)

Super Turrican (Seika / Accolade)

Super Xevious (Bandai?)

Sweet Home (Capcom)

Switchblade (Kemco)


Talking Super Password (Gametek)

Targhan (Color Dreams)

Taro's Quest (Jaleco)

Task Force Harrier (?)

Taz-Mania (Sunsoft/T*HQ)

Team Sports Basketball (Camerica)(Aladdin cart)

Terminator 2: The Arcade Game (Acclaim)

Terran Wars (?)

Terror of Tech Town (Mattel)

Thomas the Tank Engine (T*HQ)

Time Zone (Taito)

Titan Warrior (Capcom)

TKO Wrestling (?)


Tom & Jerry: Frantic Antics (Hi Tech)

Tom & Jerry: The Movie (Hi Tech)

Touchdown (?)

Tower of Radia (Tecmo)

Toys (Absolute)

Transylvanian Adventure (Konami)

Treasure Island Dizzy (Camerica)

Triumph (Hudson Soft)

Trivial Pursuit (Parker Brothers)

Trolls in Crazyland (American Softworks Corp.)

Tune-Up Rallye (Matchbox)

Turrican (Seika)

Turtles (?)

Twin Peaks (Hi Tech)


U-Force Power Games (Broderbund)

U*Fouria (Sunsoft)

Ultimate Baseball (American Sammy)

Ultimate Journey (Bandai)

Ultimate Qix (Imagesoft?)

Ultimate Soccer (American Sammy)

Ultimate Stunt Man (Camerica)(Aladdin cart)

Ultra Golf (?)

Uninvited II (Seika)

Urban Convoy (Matchbox)

U.S.M.C. Harrier (Absolute)

US Championship Volleyball (Technos Japan)

USA Bowling (Coconuts)


Vanilla Ice (T*HQ)

Vegas (Seta)

Vulgus (Capcom)


War in Middle Earth (Hi Tech)

War on Wheels (Jaleco)

War vs. Drugs (?)

Warp Space (AGCI)

Water Ski (Froggo)

Web World (Matchbox)

We're Back: A Dinosaur's Story (Hi Tech)

Wheel of Fortune Golden Edition (Gametek)

Where's Waldo 2 (THQ)

White Lion (Kemco)

Wild Boys (Bandai)

Wizard of Oz (Seta)

Wordtris (Spectrum Holobyte)

World Bowling (?)

World Rally Championship Racing (HAL America)

World Trophy Soccer (INTV)

WWF Survivor Series (Acclaim)


Xybots (Tengen)


Yeah Yeah Beebiss I (?)


Zeta Gundam (Bandai)

Zombie Master/Hunter (Activision)

# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Last updated 10/28/02