40 Winks Kickstarter Revives a Lost N64 Game in an Unorthodox but Valuable Act of Game Preservation

40 Winks Kickstarter Revives a Lost N64 Game in an Unorthodox but Valuable Act of Game Preservation

I'm here for breathing life into retro games that never exited the womb.

At first glance, the Kickstarter for 40 Winks looks like another N64 nostalgia-driven campaign in the vein of Yooka-Laylee, but that's not the full story.

40 Winks isn't a platformer recently built from the ground-up to emulate the N64 platforming games that ruled over the late '90s. It is a game from that era; it just never got released. Piko Interactive, the company commissioned to make the game by the now-defunct publisher GT Interactive, wants to remedy that with a Kickstarter campaign to bring 40 Winks to the N64. The Kickstarter reached its $20,000 USD goal in no time, and at the time of this writing it stands at over $78,000 USD with 21 days left to the campaign.

Piko Interactive outlines 40 Winks' initial unfortunate fate on the game's Kickstarter page. Long story short, when the game was in development, GT Interactive was acquired by Infogrames. Infogrames then pulled the plug on many of the games GT Interactive had in the pipeline, including the N64 port of 40 Winks (the game did see release on the PlayStation in 1999). It's been lying dormant for 17 years, and now it's ready to rise and gnaw on the corner of your heart that's nostalgic for 3D platformers.

As mentioned earlier, 40 Winks managed to leap onto the PlayStation just before Infogrames brought the axe down on it. We already know 40 Winks is a cutesy platformer starring a couple of kids who are trying to save sweet dreams from a grumpy insomniac, and we know the gameplay is so-so and best suited for children.

But funding 40 Winks for the N64 is more than just playing a sugary game about saving dreams. It's about saving a title that never had a chance before crowd funding and the internet made it possible. It's about preserving a "lost" game in an industry that's generally bad at preservation.

Real heroes are made out of visible triangles.

Unsurprisingly, the 40 Winks Kickstarter tiers promising actual physical N64 carts are by far the most popular. $40 USD gets you the game in a traditional N64 grey cart, $55 gets you a boxed version of the cartridge game, and $100 gets you a colored collector's cart, the box, a special artwork insert, a poster, and a 40 Winks POG (it's back, in N64 form). A custom purple N64 controller is also being developed and distributed as a stretch goal.

40 Winks is more or less a complete game. The Kickstarter is mostly about gussying it up with extras and then distributing it. Nothing in life is certain, but if you've been burned by Kickstarters that never cough up the goods, at least 40 Winks should deliver on its promises.

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Nadia Oxford

Staff Writer

Nadia has been writing about games for so long, only the wind and the rain (or the digital facsimiles thereof) remember her true name. She's written for Nerve, About.com, Gamepro, IGN, 1UP, PlayStation Official Magazine, and other sites and magazines that sling words about video games. She co-hosts the Axe of the Blood God podcast, where she mostly screams about Dragon Quest.

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