UK developer and publisher Elite Systems – founded in 1984 and notable for its home ports of Commando, Ghosts 'n Goblins and Paperboy – has unearthed a long-lost PlayStation game from its vaults and is looking to secure assistance in bringing it to market.
The game's title is K.P.H. (Kills Per Hour), and it's a combat racing game which shares the same realistic physics engine that was mooted for Elite's unreleased SNES title PowerSlide.
Described as a two-player "high-octane combat" game similar to Atari’s Roadblasters, K.P.H. was developed by Elite’s in-house team, working alongside its associate Motivetime. "The game’s demo mode reveals a number of its features," explains Elite. "The in-game vehicles sustain damage in real-time as their bodies deform in response to collisions and to being hit by weapons fired from opponent’s vehicles. There’s a collectable element to the game, as the landscape in which the racing takes place is littered with stars. There are multiple routes, the terrain splits and merges, sometimes multiple times in a single ‘lap’ of racing."
Elite says the source code for the game is now in its possession, although it was nearly lost last year when the CD on which the game is stored was inserted into a device which tried to format it. Fortunately, reports Elite, no damage was done.
Elite says that the game should be classed as an "advanced Beta" and isn't quite ready to ship. "The availability of the game’s source code makes this a much smaller challenger than it was and continues to be for PowerSlide," the company adds. "The game was first compiled, from the source code, almost exactly a year ago, but such are Elite’s other commitments that no other significant work toward getting the game ready to ship has taken place."
That's the reason for the announcement; Elite says it is "open to offers", whether that be from "skilled developers or well-resourced developer-publishers wishing to bring the game to market." The studio is bullish about the commercial potential of K.P.H. in 2023, claiming that "the genre of the game and the availability of the source code means that not only should the finished game see the light of day for PlayStation, but that it should be portable both to other retro platforms and to contemporary ones including phones, consoles and PCs. The commercial opportunities for this most significant of Elite’s 'games that weren’t', in a genre of game in which it has some pedigree, are considerable."
Elite is also working on a book and a complementary range of merchandise to coincide with its 40th Anniversary on 14th August 2024. "It’s hoped that the full story of K.P.H., including how it was made 'ready to ship', will have been written in time for its inclusion," adds the company.