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Secret The Simpsons Dreamcast game demo discovered after 20 years


Ironically, it does not feature Bumblebee Man (Pic: DreamcasticChannel)

Footage from a tech demo for a planned Simpsons game on the Dreamcast, that never saw the light of day, has been leaked online.

The Simpsons, being the pop culture giant that it is, is no stranger to the world of video games, with the likes of the Grand Theft Auto inspired Hit & Run and the original Konami arcade game being beloved classics.

However, a previously unsuspected Simpsons game for Sega’s ill-fated Dreamcast console has recently been discovered, one that ultimately never came to fruition.

Or to be more specific, a tech demo of said game, made by the Glasgow-based Red Lemon Studio, which went bankrupt in 2003.

Titled The Simpsons: Bug Squad, it was found when a user on the Dreamcast-Talk forums obtained a broken development kit for the console and uploaded the contents of its hard drive.

YouTube channel DreamcasticChannel (which dedicates itself entirely to the Dreamcast) was able to capture and upload footage of the demo, which puts you in control of a tiny bug and lets you fly around the Simpsons’ home, with Homer himself wandering about.

The demo lacks any music and sound effects, and there are no objectives or anything, but its cel-shaded visuals are certainly impressive given the timeframe of when it was likely in development.

It arguably looks better than the first 3D rendered Simpsons game that did come out, that being the poorly received The Simpsons Wrestling for the original PlayStation.

In a pinned comment under the video, DreamcasticChannel says that it was contacted by one of Red Lemon’s founders, Andy Campbell, who shared some clarification behind the demo’s origins.

‘We had a great coder who had developed an amazing cel-shading engine for DC. I knew Fox pretty well, so this was a demo we created and I pitched to them. We were never commissioned, so this was technically never an official title in development,’ says Campbell.

‘This was a trip down memory lane. The tech was great, developed by a guy call Rich Evans, great coder. Bug Squad concept came from Jamie Grant if I remember. A great art team built the models. The tech was also pitched as a production tool for the show itself. No game made though.’

It’s impossible to tell what the game would’ve become had it been commissioned. It could very well have turned into something completely different had Red Lemon been given the green light. But for what it is, this is still a fascinating piece of video game and Simpsons history.

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