“Move over Mario…” was the bold Nintendo Official Magazine quote that adorned the cover of the 40 Winks N64 port that was never to be… until this week, of course. Through the magic of Kickstarter and Piko Interactive, the platform/adventure featuring Ruff and Tumble as they travel through their dreams to save the 40 “Winks” will finally see a release on Nintendo’s long discontinued console.
Even though it saw a release on PlayStation in late 1999, the story goes that GT Interactive (the intended publisher) were having money troubles, which eventuated in Infogrames buying them out and murdering the planned N64 port – likely as it ironically slept. History tells us that it was perhaps going to be released quite soon as well; it was reviewed in both Nintendo Official Magazine (see above) and Nintendo Power after all – the latter of which even published a strategy guide in early 2000.
Piko Interactive, known for releasing a long list of unreleased and homebrew titles for retro systems since 2013 have taken it upon themselves to release 40 Winks on the N64, which we as gamers were robbed of eighteen years ago. Like all projects of this calibre in the modern day, it’s going ahead thanks to crowdfunding. Originally having a $20,000 goal on Kickstarter, this was fulfilled on the same day it launched and (as of writing) currently has over $70,000 funded by 860 backers with 26 days to go.
The pledges start at $8 which will net you a digital Steam version of the game, but the real meat and potatoes are the two physical cartridge versions you have the choice of. The ‘regular’ version (a $55 pledge) consists of a regular grey game cartridge with a colour box and manual. However, there is a superior choice; the “Special Edition” (which pledges for $100) that comprises of a coloured cartridge, a special edition cardboard box and insert, a poster and – brace yourself – a POG. How very 90’s indeed. $150 will even pay for both if you’re so inclined. That’s a swell $5 discount there, folks.
Like all Kickstarters worth their salt and butter, stretch goals are included – in fact, one has already been reached. At $60,000, a special edition controller is now available for $40 if you wish. However, it will now also be free for Special Edition backers too along with the POG. The next stretch goal is $100,000 and comprises of 8” plush toys of Ruff and Tumble themselves (no word yet if Special Edition backers will get these gratis as well). There are still two goals that are “locked”, though, so stay tuned if 100K is reached.
Interestingly, Piko claims that this is the very first time someone has attempted to release an N64 game since its discontinuation. The last game, if you’re interested, was Tony Hawks Pro Skater 3 in the August of 2002. So, if you want to be a part of N64 history or have a soft spot for 40 Winks, then head over to the Kickstarter page to make a pledge. It’s worth visiting alone for the delightfully 90’s-style promotional video they’ve created.