Wistful Thinking: Boardgames, RPGs, and Video Games that were never meant to be...
Alex Bagosy
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California
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I was curious about just how many "vaporware" titles there are on the various Geekdo sites. I know there's been some controversy, and that there will always be debate, but nevertheless I'm always fascinated by this kind of obscure thing.

So, here's my attempt to start a list of "vaporware" games. Unfortunately, since there doesn't seem to be a common keyword, search term, or tag to find these things is is only a very small beginning, but that's where you come in. Perhaps you know of a few games that are vaporware, or might as well be? It'd be really interesting to see what there is out there in the land of "wistful thinking."

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1. RPG Item: Dune: Chronicles of the Imperium [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:561]
Alex Bagosy
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So far as I know, this was never widely distributed, aside from a handful of copies that were printed. I never got the whole story as to why the game was killed. So... true vaporware? Didn't really survive beyond the promotional run, and the announced supplements never saw the light of day.

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2. Board Game: Reins of Power [Average Rating:7.66 Unranked]
Alex Bagosy
United States
Ladera Ranch
California
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"Reins of Power is a huge board game of contemporary or near-future geopolitics, superpower diplomacy, and global conflict. Each player takes on the role of the head-of-state of a world power, from the US to the European Union, and attempts to steer this power to global supremacy. Each player also takes on the role of another player’s domestic political opposition and attempts to thwart that player’s every move. Execute regime change in Third World countries, combat terrorism, and project your power with carrier battle-groups. Expect lots of plastic figures, including carriers, submarines, tanks, and mushroom clouds, lots of cards, dice, markers, and other great components."

Announced in 2006 for release by Fantasy Flight that summer. Five years later, the game has been repeatedly delayed, and is likely as dead as the prospects for a Bananarama Reunion Tour...
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3. Board Game: The Adventure League [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
Alex Bagosy
United States
Ladera Ranch
California
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Apparently this Knizia title disappeared when the company publishing it went belly up. It was essentially a character driven pulp adventure game.


"In the early 20th century THE ADVENTURE LEAGUE is formed by Lord Rex Hunter. This society of treasure hunters, adventure seekers, and artifact collectors gathers men from around the world to share their tales of glory. Each runs a global network, questing for fame, wealth, and the prestige of their home country. Together they pursue a cult that would use the powerful relics for evil, but each adventurer wants the victory to be his alone.

Players follow clues and try to collect all the pieces of an ancient artifacts by strategically deploying their forces and gaining majorities in forgotten territories like El Dorado, Atlantis, and Shangri-La. Leading each team are world famous heroes:

LORD REX HUNTER - Reginald Hunter was heir to a Lordship in Great Britain. His parents were chemists who were doing research in Africa when the family was lost to Ivory poachers. Years later, Rex turned up in the UK with the adventurous spirit and intelligence of his parents and the savage power of his jungle upbringing. He started THE ADVENTURE LEAGUE.

DRAGON PRINCE - A true member of Eastern aristocracy, the Jade Dragon, as some call him, was never content to sit on his riches. He uses it to help those in need and for his globe-spanning adventures to recover lost artifacts of great wealth and power. Best friend of Lord Rex Hunter, but also his fiercest competitor, the Dragon Prince was the first to join his LEAGUE.

DOC ROCKET - "Doc Rocket" is Dr. Werner Von Bronz, one of the greatest scientists of 1920's Germany. He is a physicist, adventurer, and archeologist who scours the globe looking for ancient technologies to incorporate into his gadgets. He is a former WWI fighter pilot of great courage and nobility, loyal to both his own Germany and the LEAGUE.

THE WRAITH - All that is know about his previous life is that he was a police officer in a large American city on a crusade against organized crime. He now fights crime on a global scale with relentless energy and sharp focus. Some say he cannot die. His devoted followers supply him with the scientific and financial resources he needs to carry on his campaign for justice, within and outside of the LEAGUE."
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4. Board Game: Argo [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
Alex Bagosy
United States
Ladera Ranch
California
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A very interesting concept for a game done by Faidutti and Laget,announced and canceled in 2005. It actually seems to have reached the testing/prototype phase.

"In Argo, a group of astronauts attempts desperately to survive as they explore a mysterious space station and are besieged by horrible alien monsters. Designed by internationally renowned game designer Bruno Faidutti, The Argo is a fast-moving game of suspense, danger and alien incursions."
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5. Board Game: Athene [Average Rating:6.83 Unranked]
Alex Bagosy
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California
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"With the unspeakable events of Troy behind them, the Greek Captains steer their ships for home. But Athene will not let these acts go unanswered and marshals the storm clouds as they have never been marshaled before, and nor will they be again. As the storm rises, and the currents take a greater and greater hold of your ship, can you steer your way home, or will you be swept into an inescapable whirlpool, or off the edge of the world?

Athene is a game for 3-6 players. The game is played on a grid of tiles. The tiles start off as calm seas, and players play cards to control the movement of their ship. But as the game progresses, the tiles are turned over to reveal the currents, and the players have less and less control of where their ship goes. The longer a ship stays at sea, the more valour the captain will earn, but ultimately you have to get home before the seas become unsurvivable and your ship is lost."

Announced by JKLM and made available for preorder before being pulled due to "lack of interest."
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6. Board Game: Up Front [Average Rating:7.84 Overall Rank:197]
Alex Bagosy
United States
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Released long before its time, Up Front was loved by those who were lucky enough to snag a copy, but copies dried up after the shut down of Avalon Hill. For many years, promises of a reprint have surfaced almost annually, and every year the reprint is delayed for one reason or another. Described by one BGG member as the "Duke Nukem Forever" of boardgames.

(With the exception that Duke has actually been released.)

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7. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:1558]
Alex Bagosy
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Doesn't seem to be in the database on VGG, and I can't seem to find the VGG equivalent of an Unpublished Prototype, but the Dune MMO, tentatively titled Dune Online is worth a mention. The developers had got to the stage of producing beautifully rendered interior shots of the Landsraad and exterior shots of Arrakis before the game was suddenly and abruptly canceled...

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8. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:1558]
Alex Bagosy
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"Sid Meier's Pirates: The Board Game" caused quite a stir when it was announced with large, colorful banners and a boatload of publicity. It was even available for pre-order before the game suddenly disappeared from the FFG release schedule. Finally pulled from BGG when it became clear that the game was never going to happen.


(I don't know the whole story behind this saga, and would be very interested, as I'm sure would others, if anyone can fill in the details here.)
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9. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:1558]
Andrew Walters
United States
Hercules
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SJ Games talked about it, started testing a few scenarios, but never actually announced a release date. Somehow it got into the BGG DB as a real product with a 2005 release date. Oops.
 
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10. Board Game: Mad About Movies! [Average Rating:4.86 Unranked]
Andrew Hodkinson
Canada
Kemble
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I was quite excited to get the digital download for the video game Ender's Game: Battle Room. Card was brought in to work with the video game developer -- I even think he wrote another novel as a result -- but now it's in limbo as the companies Chair Entertainment and Epic Games try to decide what they're doing.

No problem, I can always buy the board game Ender's Game with its expansion Bean: Ender's Shadow. It follows the movie more closely than the book, but I'll take what I can get.

Which is nothing. Is there some curse on this book?



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