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Video games have become, like their cinematic brethren, a multi-billion dollar industry. There are summer blockbusters, quirky indie darlings, and of course, the shelved projects. So often, hours upon hours of labor and countless dollars are poured into a project that never sees the light of day. Some of those things may well have gone on to greatness, while others … well, others fall into the Tim Burton/Nicolas Cage Superman camp, and we’re all far, far better off for not having experienced them (seriously, did you see that suit? Yeesh). Here are 5 awful video games that were mercifully cancelled before release.

Tattoo Assassins

cancelled games tattoo
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Imagine if the writer of Back to the Future had written a carbon copy of Mortal Kombat, all based around the idea of tattoos coming to life to aid in the fights. I honestly can’t tell if that sounds awesome or like the purest, hottest garbage, but according to feedback from the testers, it was the latter. The game allegedly boasted several thousand finishing moves, which definitely sounds like overkill. And look at that header — it took Mortal Kombat years before they started lighting farts on fire! You can’t do that right out of the gate. Once other digitized competitors like Killer Instinct hit the market, Tattoo Assassins was finally taken out back and put out of its misery. We hardly knew ye, weird tattoo fighter.

Ashes Cricket 2013

cancelled games cricket
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I’m not entirely sure what goes into faithfully capturing the excitement of a cricket match, but from all accounts, Ashes Cricket 2013 didn’t get the job done. Apparently, the horrendous cricket sim was up on Steam for a quick cup of coffee before being yanked for having more bugs than the burger joint down the road that just got slapped with a C rating. Seriously, I’d rather eat crickets than play this hunk of crap.

Thrill Kill

cancelled games thrill kill
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Ah, Thrill Kill, one of the most infamous cancelled games. See, back in the late ‘90s, it was actually considered edgy for a game to contain BDSM-inspired gimp characters, a setting in Hell, and a special move called the “Bitch Slap”. These days, that probably wouldn’t get a second glance, but at the time, it was a capital-letter B.F.D. Thrill Killwould prove to be so controversial that EA pulled the plug on the envelope-pushing game, and the engine would be used to make Wu-Tang: Shaolin Style. If that game was any indication, EA did us a favor … you know, before they showered us with microtransactions in our favorite mobile games. WHY DO YOU HATE US, EA.

Colors

cancelled games colors
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The chances are ridiculously slim that you have any idea what the Gizmondo was, but all you need to know is that it was a handheld gaming device made by Tiger Telematics that was available for less than a single calendar year. This was partially due to clunkers like Colors, a planned GPS-based game. I couldn’t imagine why such a game never had a life on the shelves, considering you could not only simulate the … er … more intimate aspects of prison life, but in one mission, you take someone off of effing life support. I mean, that is grim. But since it was never released, I suppose you could say THESE COLORS DIDN’T RUN. (Do me a favor and re-read that last joke while you play “Proud to Be an American” by Lee Greenwood. Seriously, it works way better. No, seriously, do it.)

Steven Seagal is The Final Option

cancelled games seagal
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I’m not sure I know a scenario where Steven Seagal is any option, let alone the final option, but apparently TecMagik had just the thought in 1994. Besides the notable exception of our friend Mortal Kombat, fully digitized games almost never go well, and SSITFO was no different. Mr. Seagal himself sadly didn’t even finish up his animations, and TecMagik surely had to call on the guild of Steven Seagal look-alikes in a mad dash to finish things up. The game was cancelled, renamed Deadly Honor, cancelled again, Steven Seagal became a Louisiana cop, and the rest is large, sweaty, pony-tailed history.

 

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