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The Truth About The Unreleased Simpsons Dreamcast Game

Thanks to some recent digging done by users in the Dreamcast-Talk online forum, the world has gotten a look at a Simpsons game that never was. The lost file came from Sreak, who posted that they had an old and broken Sega Dreamcast dev kit and shared the files for others to sift through. It was then user Megavolt85 who discovered images and playable files for an unreleased and incomplete Simpsons game called The Simpsons Bug Squad!

There is very little information out there about this strange would-be Dreamcast Simpsons game. However, the files did show that Bug Squad was being developed in October 2000 by Red Lemon Studios, a British developer who released three titles (Aironauts, Farscape: The Game, and Braveheart) between 1999 and 2002. Red Lemon Studios then went bankrupt in 2003. The studio was also known for canceling another Dreamcast title, Take the Bullet, whose files were included in this dev kit.

As Engadget reported, Bug Squad was built to "demonstrate the game's rendering engine to executives at Fox Interactive." Let's take a look at what could have been the first and only Simpsons Dreamcast game.

Jump, glide, repeat

Dreamcast-Talk user pcwzrd13 was able to play The Simpsons Bug Squad! tech demo and share it on their YouTube channel, DreamcasticChannel. The clip showed an unnamed green and orange bug (presumably a member of a squad) exploring a colorful, cel-shaded recreation of the Simpsons' home as Homer Simpson himself walked through the house. Only the kitchen and living room were able to be explored, and Homer didn't really do anything besides wander aimlessly between the two rooms.

The player controlled the bug from a third-person perspective, jumping and gliding onto tables and chairs in the two available rooms. Unfortunately, those two actions were about all that could be done, so it wasn't quite the full experience of Bug Squad. Pcwzrd13 noted in the gameplay video that "none of the buttons really do much," except for A to jump and glide. They later said that the controls were "a lot trickier" than they looked and took a few tries to get right.

Mister Mosquito, is that you?

Because nobody seemed to know the game was in development at the time, it's not clear why Red Lemon Studios was inspired to create a Simpsons game starring bugs. As noted in The Dreamcast Junkyard blog, The Simpsons Bug Squad! doesn't quite line up in terms of graphics and premise with other Simpsons titles. Plus, Kotaku noted that the featured bug looks a lot like Mister Mosquito.

Mister Mosquito was a 2001 PlayStation 2 game developed by Zoom, Inc. Players controlled the titular Mister Mosquito as he inhabited the house of the Yamada family, whom Mister Mosquito must use as a food source. The goal was to stock up on blood throughout the summer so that Mister Mosquito could survive the winter. Players had to approach the humans carefully, because they'd attack Mister Mosquito otherwise. Of course, the game was released after the halted development of The Simpsons Bug Squad!, so there's likely no connection between the two, but the similarities are interesting.