Police Academy: The Video Game (lost build of cancelled NES game based on the animated TV series; 1990)

From The Lost Media Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Police academy box.jpg

Box art

Status: Lost

Police Academy: The Video Game is a game for the NES based on the 1988 Police Academy animated TV series - itself based on the live-action comedy film series of the same name that started in 1984 - which was developed by Atari Games and was to be published by Tengen in 1990. However, it was never released.


Two different versions of the game exist, and during an interview with Bill Hindorff by NESWorld, Hindorff discussed the details of the two versions[1]. According to Hindorff, the two versions were each worked on by two different programmers, but both games were far from perfect. The first attempt was a game with a series of static graphics of characters and bonus levels such as collecting donuts and cups of coffee. The second attempt was a traditional side-scrolling Super Mario-type game. Development was halted after one level was partially completed because it was deemed not unique enough. Note that a version of the first attempt was also shown at CES.

Second attempt build

On April 2nd, 2021, Andrew Borman, Digital Games Curator at The National Museum of Plays which is a division of one of The Strong which is an interactive collection-based educational institution in Rochester, United States, posted on his screenshot of the second attempt build of the emulated game on Twitter[2][3][4]. On April 6, Borman also posted an 9-second video of the emulator-play[5]. The build was found in the "Police" folder in the Atari Coin-Op Division corporate records[6], collected by The Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play, another division of The Strong. The files were in unassembled form with the file extensions PRG and CHR, and the PRG file had three dates, "October 29 1990," "November 7 1990," and "November 30 1990," while the CHR file only existed on November 30 1990.

At this time, access to this collection is limited to only researchers in the field.


On August 6th, 2021, The Strong Museum uploaded a video on YouTube introducing the game. It also introduced the build that was found and stated that further work is needed in the future to compile it into a working NES ROM.

As of 2023, the build has not surfaced online and is not publicly available.


Video about the game by The Strong Museum.

See Also

Atari and Tengen


  1. Bill Hindorff Interview - NESWorld Retrieved May 28, 2023
  2. Tweet by Andrew Borman 1 Retrieved May 28, 2023
  3. Tweet by Andrew Borman 2 Retrieved May 28, 2023
  4. Tweet by Andrew Borman 3 Retrieved May 28, 2023
  5. Tweet by Andrew Borman 4 Retrieved May 28, 2023
  6. Atari Coin-Op Division corporate records - The Strong Retrieved May 28, 2023