Back in the ‘90s, the Dizzy games from the Oliver Twins were exceptionally popular. Platformers about a walking egg, the Oliver Twins made several of them, including NES game Wonderland Dizzy. However, due to a collapsing relationship with publisher Codemasters, Wonderland Dizzy was never released, and subsequently spent 22 years gathering dust in Phillip Oliver’s loft.
On a trip to his loft to find some Dizzy props for an event, Phillip Oliver discovered the game, and now the twins have released the game for free as a browser game.
Upon discovered the filebox with the Dizzy code in, the Olivers realised the game wasn’t complete. “Sadly the finished compiled game file wasn't there, but all the source code and graphics were," Philip Oliver told Eurogamer.
In order to bring the game back to life, the twins contacted Andrew Joseph, owner of Dizzy fan side Yolkfolk.com, who put them in touch with Lukasz Kur, a fan from Poland. Kur was able to create a ROM image of the game, along with some tweaks to squash bugs, add extra languages, and add a ‘Fun Mode’ with infinite lives, which makes the game a lot easier than classic mode.
According to Phillip Oliver, the game was forgotten about due to the vast amount of games created between ‘84 and ‘93. They made 50 games in the period, many on different platforms. “If you actually multiply by platforms there's an average of two or three that we personally produced. So it was over 100 different SKUs that we programmed personally, so it was very easy to sort of forget one or two!“ said Oliver.
Furthermore, the twins’ publisher at the time, Codemasters, were not prepared to publish Wonderland Dizzy, leading to a split between the companies, and the loss and eventual forgetting of Wonderland Dizzy. Thankfully that split hasn’t soured the long-term relationship between Codemasters and The Olivers, and the publisher has allowed the twins to release the game for free.
You can play Wonderland Dizzy right now in your browser.