Gaming, like other entertainment media, has its lost artifacts. There are early builds or even full games that were scrapped by developers and lost to time. Hidden Palace is an organization devoted to discovering and preserving such items, and recently they discovered a never released Tom and Jerry game for the Super NES.
If you’re familiar with the classic cartoon, you’ll guess that this game is likely filled with combative hijinks between the cat and mouse, with Tom, the cat, usually getting the short end of the stick. It’s called Tom Vs. Jerry: The Chase is On! and tasks players, as Jerry, to outrun Tom and leave behind obstacles to trip him up. Of the two prototypes discovered, each only has one level. In the earlier one, you can’t even complete it. The later prototype has shortened it and broken it into segments.
The game would have been published by Hi Tech Expressions and was developed by Software Creations Ltd. Each company had been involved in the work of other Tom and Jerry games, like the NES title. Some publications spoke of the game, and Nintendo Fun Vision even ran a preview on it. The gameplay looks pretty fun and the animations are nicely done. So why was it canceled?
According to producer Vince Desi, The Chase is On! was canceled along with other Hanna-Barbera projects when Ted Turner bought the company in 1991. Hidden Palace speculates that it could have been canceled with other Hi Tech projects because of an expected company closure coming that year. In either case, the fun little game was unfortunately canned.
The prototypes have circulated among collectors for some years. The video linked to above, recorded in 2015, was the only evidence of it. Then Hidden Palace user drx discovered it among a collection of prototypes, on exposed PCB parts, from a German magazine. Hidden Palace is attempting to locate a supposed third prototype in addition to the two found.
You can download the prototype builds from Hidden Palace here.
Are you interested in this long lost Tom and Jerry game? Do you support Hidden Palace’s work to preserve lost pieces of gaming history? Let us know in the comments below!