It’s never too late for a game to find its way onto its intended hardware. Despite being available as a free ROM for years, Cinemaware’s It Came from the Desert is finally going to appear in cartridge form with the full licensing of its original developer. Cinemaware is working together with Pier Solar wizards Watermelon to give It Came from the Desert the physical release it deserves. Slated for a holiday 2014 release, the game cart will come packaged with a full-color manual, poster, and hard clamshell case. You can put those repro carts on eBay now, because this is the release you’ve been waiting for.
It Came from the Desert was originally supposed to appear on the Genesis in 1990. Though it was available on the Amiga, the Genesis version was unexpectedly canceled. Cinemaware made the ROM available on its website as freeware, giving gamers the chance to play as teenage exterminator Buzz on his incredibly difficult quest to rid a small town of giant insects. Unlike the Amiga and TurboGrafx-16 CD versions (the latter boasting full-motion video and side-scrolling stages), the Genesis game used an overhead perspective, similar to The Lost World: Jurassic Park. Buzz used an assortment of items and weapons to destroy the insects and save the town. We never got to actually see that quest through, through reproduction cart makers have offered a reasonable facsimile of the experience though their work.
The game is widely known for its unrelenting difficulty, and hopefully Cinemaware will tone that down enough to make the game less prone to causing people to throw their Genesis controllers at the nearest wall. We’ll be back with a preview when more details are known, as well as a full review when the game is finally available. In the meantime, you can sign up for their newsletter and preorder list on the Cinemaware website. It’s great to see another licensed title finally get its day on the Genesis, and tandem of Cinemaware and Watermelon are sure to make this one great release!