The Video Game Project

A Closer Look At The Prototypes That Became Your Favourite Games!

Toy Story

Toy Story - Sega GenesisToy Story is a side-scrolling platform game released by Disney Interactive Studios in 1995 for the Sega Genesis, Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Game Boy, and Microsoft Windows. It is based on the film of the same name, and follows its plot. The game was followed by a sequel based on the second film, called Toy Story 2 - Buzz Lightyear to the Rescue.

The Game Boy version was developed by Tiertex Design Studios, while the other versions were developed by Traveller's Tales. The Sega Genesis/Mega Drive version of Toy Story was the lead version. The game features 3D-rendered graphics and Pixar provided Traveller's Tales with the film's animations of Woody and Scud. The development team and Pixar initially had issues rendering the animations with correct lighting that would allow the development team to convert them for the game. Pixar provided final animations to the team only two weeks before the game was to be submitted to Sega for final approval. If the game didn't receive approval the first time, its release would have been delayed, failing to coincide with the theatrical release of the film. As a precaution, Traveller's Tales rendered their own animations of Woody in case Pixar could not provide them on time.

Jon Burton, the founder of Traveller's Tales, served as both the designer and programmer for the game. To pass Sega's strict approval process, Burton disguised game glitches as part of the game; instead of receiving an error message, game testers would be sent to a bonus minigame, which Burton said was part of the game. While the film had vibrant, vivid colors, the Genesis had only a limited array of colors. As a partial solution, Traveller's Tales utilized a special mode that provided access to additional shades of red, green, and blue. The Windows game features instrumental versions of two Randy Newman songs from the film.

The game was published by Disney Interactive in the United States and the Genesis version was released in November 1995, coinciding with the film's release. It was met with mostly mixed reviews but praised for its impressive visuals and varied gameplay. The visuals were best received on the Sega Genesis version due to the game's 3D-rendered graphics, which had several precedents on the SNES and PC but were completely new to the Genesis. Critics were varied in their overall impressions; GamePro concluded that "Despite the stunning graphics, Toy Story's uninspiring gameplay makes for merely fleeting fun", while Game Informer decreed the game "a humorous and fun adventure that will certainly entertain everyone in the whole family." Roger Burchill of Super Play wrote that while the Genesis version "marked a new high point" in graphics and gameplay, the Super NES version "can't help but be compared to Donkey Kong Country 2 and that's a comparison where it will lose every time."

According to Disney Interactive, the Super NES and Genesis versions were both "tremendous successes", though a Super NES chip shortage prevented them from producing as many copies of the Super NES version as they believed they could have sold. Toy Story was nominated for the Video Software Dealers Association's "Video Game of the Year" for 1995, losing to Donkey Kong Country 2.

Toy Story Prototype - Sega Genesis - Front

Proto - Front

Toy Story Prototype - Sega Genesis - PCB

Proto - PCB

Toy Story Prototype - Sega Genesis - Back

Proto - Back