Back in 1998, we saw a tiny preview in N64 Magazine for a platformer called 40 Winks. Then… we never heard of it again. Until Piko Interactive woke it up!
40 Winks on the N64
American developer Piko Interactive specialise in taking old games and making them available again. It’s already managed to do this with Glover on the N64.
Back in 2018, the team began work on an obscure, missing platformer from the N64’s library.
To gee-up retro gamers, it even teased this on Twitter.
Something is happening… pic.twitter.com/CNm4GuALyi
— PIKO (@Pikointeractive) January 30, 2018
GT Interactive was working on the title in the late ’90s. The strange thing is, it did actually release the game on the PlayStation in late 1999.
And it was set for release on the N64, with the Official Nintendo Magazine and Nintendo Power reviewing the bloody thing in January 2000.
But GT Interactive cancelled it shortly before launch. So, it ended up as an obscure PlayStation platformer and a non-existent N64 majigger.
Why? According to Piko Interactive, the developer was downsizing to save budget. Infogrames acquired the business and immediately cancelled projects it didn’t like.
What did Nintendo fans miss out on in 40 Winks!?
You star as either Ruff or Tumble, brothers and sisters who are trying to get 40 winks (of sleep). Right?
A baddie called Nitekap has nicked their sleep, you see, so the protagonists are after him to claim the Winks. These are small little dudes you collect.
Here’s the 1999 version of 40 Winks in action.
It’s standard late ’90s platforming fare. The reason the title stands out is due to its mysterious fate on the N64.
Gamers love a good, “What happened to that game!?” Type of enigma.
And, well, these days you can pick it up for a tenner off Steam. By all accounts the game is not bad, although the port has a few saving bugs.
Piko Interactive used a Kickstarter to fund the project, with the title launching across Steam in 2019.
From what we can tell, there’s also a Nintendo 64 cartridge available as well. If you want the proper real deal with 40 Winks.
To be clear, this isn’t some great lost classic we’re on about. It’s just an obscure game that, due to a business situation, didn’t launch on Nintendo’s legendary console.
Now it’s here for you to play, it’s great to have it around. Kind of completes the N64’s catalogue, seeing as the game was pretty much ready in ’99 anyway.
And that knowledge will help us sleep a little easier at night.