VHS board games were a thing in the 1990’s – good or bad, you can decide. The most popular was the “Nightmare”, and later “Atmosfear”, series. These games put you against The Gatekeeper and other monstrous fiends in a race against the clock to beat the game and survive.
The Hidden Palace just uncovered a prototype video game from around 1993 por 1994 that bears the name “Atmosfear”, and is clearly the board game in digital format – with a twist. Instead of being a traditional board game, it’s a side scroller where you take control of a hapless kid who goes into a graveyard and must defeat The Gatekeeper by defeating all six levels to escape.
Check out some of the gameplay footage below:
Sadly, the game was never completed, but it looked like it could have had some potential to be decent.
Here is how the Hidden Palace unearthed this rare gem:
This game was rediscovered by drx in a collection of various loose EPROMs that were donated to him a few years ago, all of which were possibly meant for magazines based in Europe to preview. In various parts of the world, media outlets would often receive prototypes on exposed PCBs with the games burned on EPROMs.
This was often times not the case in Europe. Since the cost of development PCBs were expensive at the time, some companies would just distribute the loose EPROMs instead. Magazines would sometimes receive these games in less than stellar condition – often times with bent or missing pins, bad burns, missing EPROMs, wrong games, no instructions for assembly, and even games that were meant for “review” but were too early to even be considered “previews”!
When the magazine was done reviewing/previewing the game, they would then send the EPROMs to another magazine to review/preview directly. All of this was done to save cost.
There are six levels in the game, each one related to a character from the board game. There is Khufu’s Tomb, De Chantraine’s Domain, Bathory’s Castle, Gevaudan’s Forest, Hellin’s Toyworld and Samedi’s Club (which is by far the best level – can you dig it?).
This game was developed by Beam Software, who was responsible for Radical Rex, Shadowrun, and Tom & Jerry – Frantic Antics.