In Sega's great line-up of Virtua games - Virtua Racing, Virtua Fighter, Virtua Cop, there's one that's got away... Virtua Hamster. Yes, friends, this is no joke. Designed by Eric Quakenbush, production had started and the game was to be released in 1995 on Sega's short-lived 32X.
Sega wanted a new puzzle game, but something that would be different than Tetris. The plan: Virtua Hamster.
As the story goes, players would take control as Chip, one of six rocket-powered critters on skateboards, and race through the hamster tubes, firing missiles and corn kernels at opponents. The goal is to find the robot Skuttle, who'll free Chip from the maze. Of course, not every animal wants Chip to get out, meaning the maze itself isn't the only challenge.
Game development continued until Sega decided they were no longer interested in the game.
As the 32X came to and end, a British company picked up the game's development and planned to release it on the PC. It never happened.
Would this be the game that saved the 32X? I doubt it. My guess is that it would've fallen into the "crapware" side of the spectrum, but at this point, it's mere speculation. Could it have been the greatest game of all time? Maybe, but I wouldn't have put any money on it. I also seriously doubt that it would've been released with the "Virtua" name. SEGA's AM2 would want their hands to touch anything with "Virtua" in the title.
Chip - the heroic skateboard-riding hamster
Thorn - motorcycle-driving rat
Sherman - jet-packed armadillo that rides on a sled
Stockpile - pack rat that's made a board of collected junk
Kangaroo Rat - scooter looking