Mad Marbles (lost Commodore 64 "Marble Madness" clone; 1986)
Marble Madness was a popular arcade game released by Atari in 1984. The game was created by Mark Cerny with artwork inspired by the works of M.C. Escher. It is well known for being the first game to use the Atari System 1 hardware as well as being programmed in C language. It was also the first game in true stereo sound, and FM synthesis.
Its popularity would lead to several inspirations, & outright clones to come out throughout the years, such as Spindizzy from Electric Dreams Software, Snake Rattle 'n' Roll from Rare, Marble Blast Gold from GarageGames, and Super Monkey Ball from Sega. One specific clone was being made by John Twiddy around 1986 for System 3, which is a company mainly known for developing Flimbo's Quest.
Mad Marbles was the game he was making, and it was a clear inspiration of Marble Madness, albeit with his own spin. Andrew Fisher was the one to discover that the game was being pitched to System 3 thanks to a news piece that appeared in a Your Computer issue for March of 1986. According to the news piece, Mark Cale demonstrated a new System 3 game to be called either Crazy Marbles, or Mad Marbles, though they most likely went for the latter for cash-in purposes.
Availability[edit | edit source]
While Electronic Arts managed to release an official Commodore 64 port of the original game, Mad Marbles is not known to have been released in any form. The original programmer, John Twiddy is said to be busy, and Mark Cale is not known to have done anything else after this game. It's possible that something still exists of this game out in the wild, but there is also the possibility that the game never got finished, and that the one prototype that once existed has been destroyed some time ago. However, likely, John Twiddy might still have something of it, but no contact has been made to follow it up with.
Reference[edit | edit source]
- The Games That Weren't 64 page on the game, showcasing an image of the news piece. Retrieved 26 May '21