Jeff’s Shoot’Em Up (Unreleased, Super Nintendo)
Jeff’s Shoot’Em Up, a Super Nintendo top-down shooter in the vein of Smash TV, never actually made it into production but rather served as an in-house tech demo for Iguana Entertainment to test how many sprites could move on the screen at one time. “Jeff” most likely refers to Jeff Spangenberg, the founder of Iguana Entertainment.
[“SN-1” is written in marker on the back of the board]
Iguana Entertainment was one of the first studios in the U.S. to develop for the Super Nintendo.
Named after the pet iguanas that would roam its Santa Clara offices, Iguana Entertainment later moved its operations to Austin.
The company’s 16-bit development credits include Aero the Acro-Bat, Zero the Kamikaze Squirrel, NFL Quarterback Club, and NBA Jam. The game boots up to a screen with an Iguana Entertainment logo placed against a scrolling space background.
Pressing any button triggers the screen to go black, save for a yellow and gray spacecraft that slowly zooms in, rotates, and then fades out of frame.
Although the HUD shows two health bars, the game is strictly a one-player experience. The player can navigate a lone space marine through a series of futuristic-looking rooms and use his gun to let loose a stream of fire power at the many robotic contraptions that move about the space station. These objects merely act as target practice because they cannot fire back or cause the space marine any damage.
Computers and spinning fans can be found in several rooms, but they cannot be interacted with in any way.
The player can make the space marine go underneath vents to access more areas.
The space marine must wear anti-gravity boots, as he can’t fall off platforms.
All paths eventually lead to dead-ends.
In space, no one can hear you scream–or anything else for that matter, as the game does not contain any music or sound effects.
Iguana Entertainment is probably best known for its Super Nintendo and SEGA Genesis home console ports of NBA Jam as well as the Turok series on the Nintendo 64. Acclaim purchased Iguana Entertainment in 1994 for an estimated $25 million (link). Afterwards, Spangenberg left to start an entirely new development company in Austin called Retro Studios. Impressed by the technology behind the Turok games, Nintendo invested in Retro Studios and turned the company into a first-party developer. Retro Studios has since created such triple-A titles as the Metroid Prime series (Gamecube/Wii) and Donkey Kong Country Returns (Wii).