In 2019, PIKO Interactive resurrected a lost N64 port of Eurocom's PlayStation platformer 40 Winks almost twenty years after it had been abandoned. It was a bizarre turn of events, but stranger still is that it apparently wasn't the only version of the game that its original developers Eurocom put aside back in the day.
In a recent video, the games preservationist channel Hard4Games has taken a look at an extremely rare, never-before-seen Game Boy Color port of the game. And while the N64 version was teased (and even reviewed) in magazines back in the late 90s, this Game Boy Color was completely unheard of until 2021, which is when a prototype appeared on eBay.
40 Winks, in case you're unaware, is a 3D platformer that focuses on two twins called Ruff and Tumble who must save a set of creatures known as Winks from the antagonist Nitekap's evil plan to trap them all in nightmares. It was first released in 1999 and was originally published by GT Interactive.
In the new video, Hard4Games reviewed some footage from the Game Boy Color version of the game and gave some context on some of the changes present. The biggest difference is that the game is a 2D sidescroller, with the graphics being compared to the Donkey Kong Country ports on the Game Boy Color due to its faux pre-rendered art style. This is a departure obviously from its 3D origins but makes sense considering the technical constraints of the console.
In addition to some inevitable changes to the presentation, players in the Game Boy Color version also have the ability to use projectiles without needing to collect moons to replenish their attack. This is, again, in contrast to the original's design.
Hard4Games reveals in the video that it has reached out to the current rights holders PIKO Interactive, and the publisher has expressed interest in releasing the Game Boy Color port. Though before it does that, it wants to make a few changes including adding bosses and fixing the game's photo album (a mode where you can view artwork of the game's characters). Right now, this album displays the incorrect character art when a piece of art is selected, which is something that would probably have been fixed had the game gotten further along in development.
For preservation's sake, we hope that PIKO decides to release the original version alongside this more complete edition, but whether that will be the case, only time will tell.
If you want to watch the full video from Hard4Games, you can do so above. The channel is full of interesting videos about cancelled projects, so be sure to subscribe!