The Games That Weren’t – Book Review

Games That Weren’t is a website created by Frank Gasking, Frank started the site during the ’90s, essentially it was formed to collate information about games that never saw a public release. Over the years the content on the website just grew exponentially, more people visiting and share info on lost games, this eventually called for a companion book to be created and so here we are.

First things first, the book is not going to blow you away visually, and to be fair it’s not meant to, this huge tome of a book is all about the written content. One thing you notice immediately is the eye-catching fluorescent colours used throughout the book, all printed on high-quality paper stock. As noted earlier the book is hefty, weighing in at a mouthwatering 644 pages, it’s just HUGE. For those into stats, it measures 170mm × 210mm. Also, one nice little touch is a coloured bookmark ribbon giving that polished finish of the book.

Covering more than of 80+ unreleased video games, author Frank Gasking goes into great detail, shedding light on these lost and abandoned titles such as Bandersnatch, Flashback Legend, Sex ‘n’ Drugs ’n’ Rock ‘n’ Roll, Stunt Car Racer Pro, USSA and many more.

Each game features information such as the year, developer, platform, and the reason it never had a release and for those of you interested, it will also tell you if a version of the game has been made available to play. The community that has helped build the Games That Weren’t website also helped get some of the games released in one form or another. Sadly some will never see the light of day, lost forever but this book immortalises them in time, maybe one day more will be discovered and released. Where this is the case there is usually some concept art based on the original designs or a mock-up of what the game may have looked like. In addition to all this, there is five specially-created ‘Hardware That Wasn’t’ blueprint pieces and some fascinating interviews with industry legends such as David Crane, Jeff Minter, Matthew Smith, Geoff Crammond, Scott Adams, Jon Hare and many more. This extra content really added some change in direction to the base content and really added to the enjoyment of the book.

I could talk about this book for ages but I fear that would spoil the content for you, revealing parts of the book will just spoil your enjoyment. This is a book I highly recommend if you have a thirst for knowledge of all things gaming then look no further than this book. I would say its one of my favourite books to be released in recent years so I have to give kudos to Frank and Sam for knocking this one out of the park.


Review Score
  • 9/10
    RVG Rating - 9/10


Another fantastic book for anyone’s gaming book collection.


Retro head and key holder of RVG.

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