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Retro: Footage Appears of Cancelled SNES Adaptation of Atmosfear VHS Game

Every kid who grew up in the 1990s remembers Atmosfear, one of the leading names in the video board game genre. What we don’t remember, however, is the fact that the game very nearly received an adaptation for the SNES, a long lost game that can finally now been seen through new footage released online.

The original video board game

Developed in Australia, Atmosfear was played as a combination of tabletop board game and VHS video, seeing players entering an evil crypt under the command of the Gatekeeper. The Gatekeeper appeared “live” via the wonders of a ​video cassette to give instructions to the players and serve to countdown the time on the game over 60 minutes, adding atmosphere and depth to the story.

Two million copies of the game were sold during its first two years in production, with a 2004 relaunch seeing the title transfer to DVD.

The Gatekeeper

Known as Nightmare in the United States, the game was popular enough to warrant​ a SNES adaptation by fellow Australians Beam Software, developers of Shadowrun and Super Smash TV for the same system. Despite their success at the RPG genre with Shadowrun, Beam decided to abandon the format of the board game entirely and plan an action platform game with shades of the likes of Revenge of Shinobi, planning to release the game in 1994/1995.

Footage from the 1994 adaptation of Atmosfear has been revealed online

The game was eventually cancelled for unknown reasons and no footage had emerged until now when noted video game prototype collector Drx rediscovered a beta copy of the game and uploaded footage to his Hidden Palace channel on YouTube.

An adaptation of Atmosfear would eventually be released on the PC in 1996 with a more faithful rendering of the subjects board game origins.


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