I used to have a subscription to the Video Games & Computer Entertainment magazine (later retitled VideoGames - The Ultimate Gaming Magazine). It might have also been Computer Games Magazine. I remember an article about an upcoming superhero squad game based on an original property (this predating Freedom Force). I remember they had screenshots of gameplay (I don't know whether they were actual shots or ones faked for promotion) which showed fairly standard superhero outfits with bright colors, masks, and capes, and I think at least one showing a hero firing at the ground from a flying position. The action looked to be a free camera 3D game with the bits I remember showing different camera angles. Inside the article, they mentioned the "superhero curse" in video games where so many studios got excited for the idea and eventually had to drop it (I don't remember if they mentioned technical issues or copyright/trademark problems), but that they were confident their product would stand the test. A few issues later, there was a note that the project had been cancelled.

Schadenfreude Interactive had a parody ad for their own version of the game (maybe in the same issue) which was, of course, entirely German/Austrian themed, with the characters including a barmaid carrying several large mugs of beer, and a burly man in lederhosen. I've identified that as The Teutonic Ten, but unfortunately, they don't note which game they were parodying (and their listed release date of 2005 might put the lie to my memory of this predating Freedom Force).

I don't think it was Bullfrog's The Indestructibles, as that seems like a much more polygonal interpretation than what my (possibly embellished) memories recall.

3 Answers 3


It's a guess, since I can't find a hit on "superhero curse" but you might be thinking of the Konami game Champions based on the Hero Games RPG of the same name. It was originally intended to be released around 1992, and VG&CE featured it in their upcoming games 3 times that year.

Floating yellow ball with arms fires an energy beam, while a green-and-yellow dress hero prepares an attack

The game is listed on the Games That Weren't website with a bunch of images from various magazines.

From what I can tell, Champions was mentioned in VG&CE in the April 1992, June 1992 and September 1992 issues, but I can't find any mention of its cancellation in VG&CE.

I did find this mention in the January 2005 issue of Computer Games under the caption

The Cursed

The "Curse of the Superhero Game" has claimed numerous victims over the years. Here are five that got away.

Sample thumbnail from "Champions" showing 5 varied superheroes with the text excerpted below


Hero Games' pen-and-paper RPG from the '80s was being translated into a computer game, to be developed by Hero Software, an offshoot of the pen-and-paper company, and published by Konami. A lot of the appeal of the Champions system was its wide-open character design, something carried over into games like Freedom Force and City of Heroes. The computer version would have been like an adventure game with various storylines, including separate subplots involving your character's secret identity and day-to-day non-superhero life. After being shown at the Consumer Electronics Show in 1991, it was abruptly cancelled. In an interview with Gamespot, Hero Games' Steve Peterson says the development team "came apart" when the project was about halfway to completion. He cited the two lead programmers divorcing each other and the rest of the team feeling like the project was "beyond [their] scope."

  • 1
    That is possible. But I remember it as being a bit more 3D and free-camera rather than a side view. I'll look into it further.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Jun 17, 2022 at 1:02
  • @FuzzyBoots I remember it as being a bit more 3D and free-camera that's actually an important and useful piece of information to help the search; maybe you should add that to the question
    – Josh Part
    Jun 17, 2022 at 15:16
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    @FuzzyBoots I don't know if it helps or not, but it does look like cut scenes/story scenes were 3D: gamesthatwerent.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/Champions_0.jpg
    – DavidW
    Jun 17, 2022 at 15:55

Huh, after looking at one of the other cancelled games, I'm starting to wonder if was Microprose's Guardians: Agents of Justice

The year is 2091 and the world's governments are crumbling under social decay and degeneracy.
The rampant pollution has mutated the people into super mutants.
These mutants formed three crime organisations: Tech Lords, the Claw, and the Shadowyn.

Some of these mutants aren't into crime, but rather, see a duty to stop it. These peace-seeking mutants form the Star Council.
Now they seek to dish out justice to evildoers.

It looks like they may have been using for an "isometric fake 3D" to provide more sophisticated graphics.

Screenshot of Guardians: Agents of Justice with an isometric view

The "curse of the superhero video game" was mentioned in a bit in PC Powerplay, although I don't remember ever reading that magazine.

Article about the cancellation of the game

Guardians: Agents of Justice
Superficially resembling the modern Freedom Force, Guardians: Agents of Justice was an isometric action game featuring superheroes as the protagonists. It was to be a turn- based, squad-level title where you could design your heroes from scratch. It was an all-out war against criminal organisations, with a strategic layer of resource management. Simtex were famous for their Masters of Orion games, so there were high hopes for this title.

Unfortunately, this game succumbed to the "Curse of the Superhero Game" which swallowed at least two other titles, Bullfrog's Indestructibles and another title based on a pen-and-paper game, called Champions. Apparently Simtex tried to transition Guardians from 8-bit to 16-bit art during development, requiring the recreation of the entirety of the game's art assets. Rumour has it that the game just wasn't as well-conceived as it could have been, leading Developer: Simtex Publisher: Microprose Circa: 1998 to lacklustre gameplay. Microprose eventually cancelled Guardians after numerous delays.

With a multiplayer mode that let you take on your friend's heroes, Guardians seemed to be a great concept, which was finally brought to life in Freedom Force. If Guardians had succeeded, perhaps we would have had the superhero renaissance we're having now, some years ago.


Could be Youngblood, based on a comic by Rob Liefeld who lost the rights some time ago. Was in development in 97,, but never released.

  • 2
    Does it match the description given (e.g. other than being a cancelled game)?
    – Valorum
    Jun 17, 2022 at 10:22

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