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Previously unknown Dreamcast game discovered - The Simpsons: Bug Squad!

Just when we thought that 2020's surprises were all but over, another gem is uncovered by the Dreamcast community!

Dreamcast-Talk user 'sreak' revealed in a recent forum post over at Dreamcast-Talk that they had a Dreamcast development kit that they were going to export the files from. The initial list of contents seemed to be fairly uninteresting, but things  - as they are known to do - developed quickly.

After dumping the contents, it became apparent that there was a very early playable version of a game that nobody knew existed. Behold: The Simpsons: Bug Squad!


There appears to be zero information about this game available anywhere, indicating that nobody even knew it was in development at the time. This isn't the first time hitherto unknown Dreamcast games have come to the fore - things like Millennium Racer and Deer Avenger 3 were complete unknowns when they leaked onto the internet.

The game certainly doesn't look like any other Simpsons themed games we've played and is a fairly bizarre use of the license - almost like a sort of Toy Commander or Roommania style thing but set inside 742 Evergreen Terrace. Perhaps this is why it didn't get any further in development? We can see from the title screen that the development team behind The Simpsons: Bug Squad! was Red Lemon Studios, who were also working on another Dreamcast game that never saw the light of day, Take the Bullet, which Tom expertly covered in his article on that game back in 2015. Update: it appears the same dev kit also contains a beta version of Take the Bullet - more on this soon!


Fascinating stuff, we're sure you'll agree! Hopefully at some point in the near future somebody with the know-how will export what remains of this mysterious title and create a playable version that can be burnt to a disc and finally experienced on the Dreamcast hardware it never managed to officially grace.

We've said it before and we'll say it again, it is absolutely amazing that even now, almost two full decades after the system's natural life was brought to an abrupt end, that we're still discovering things Dreamcast-related that have never been seen before. Thanks also go to Dreamcast-Talk moderator and all-round Dreamcast knowledge miner pcwzrd13 for bringing this to our attention

What do you think? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter.

Update: Here is some footage of the tech demo, captured by pcwzrd13 from his DreamcasticChannel on YouTube - be sure to go over and subscribe!



4 comments:

nocarpayment said...

I think lot of games were started since the DC did have some very initial success. Then PS2 hype came in strong and many of them were just stopped.

Tom Charnock said...

There are probably hundreds of started but never finished games and concepts hidden on devkits around the world. This discovery isn't the first and I doubt it'll be the last. Nice article James :)

Unknown said...

don't get how you play

Anthony817 said...

@Unknown there is no real goal to this as far as gameplay mechanics are concerned. It was more of a tech demo than anything else. It wasn't even commissioned by Fox, but the founder of Red Lemon Studio did have some people at Fox he was on good terms with and wanted to pitch this idea to them. There was even hope that this engine could be used for episodes, though maybe for quick storyboard or similar. The animations would remain as they were on the show.