Invisible Monsters. That name shouldn’t ring any bells for fans of the Golden Age of Arcade games. Until just a few weeks ago in fact no one had heard of such an arcade title. Of course word spreads fast in classic gaming circles. Especially when it’s a rather groundbreaking find like with Invisible Monsters. An unknown 1980 prototype for Bally/Midway’s Wizard of Wor which was released in 1981!
[Via] Retro Gameplay
I must give all credit to the exceptional Arcade Heroes site. They are the ones that gave me the heads up on Invisible Monsters. In addition to supplying the image of the prototype at the top of the page.
I don’t think I can properly put into words how exciting this discovery truly is. There are of course a few differences between the prototype and Wizard of Wor. For one thing you have the designs used for the game’s marquee.
Invisible Monsters still sort of has the same art style but instead of the dastardly Wizard. The prototype appears to have focused on the digital avatar of the Player, known as a Worrior.
In addition to the marquee, the maze itself is different in the prototype. It is larger in fact than the one presented in Wizard of Wor. The Worriors are slightly altered in Invisible Monsters as well. With the radar taking up more space at the bottom of the screen than in the 1981 release.
Now having mentioned a few of the minor differences I must point out some of the major ones. For one thing, in the Invisible Monsters prototype, there is no Wizard of Wor of course. Nor are there any variation of enemies beyond what would be called the Thorwor. The most obvious difference however between the prototype and the 1981 arcade classic is the absence of synthesized speech.
Invisible Monsters is certainly a rare find. One that sadly the majority of us arcade gaming fans will simply not be able to experience for ourselves. I am very thankful then the Mad Conservative has uploaded a nearly 20 minute long video showcasing the prototype!