Dungeon Keeper 3
What we missed: Being evil. Despite a trailer in Dungeon Keeper 2 seeming like the game equivalent of a pinky-swear, Dungeon Keeper 3: War for the Overworld wasn't to be. This is a bad thing. Not a good bad thing, like letting the Horned Reaper have his way with a team of holier-than-thou heroes, but the other kind. It was more or less cancelled as soon as it was announced, but the premise remained terrific - finally escaping from the dark confines of the dungeons to take over the happy surface world, and taking evil on the offensive instead of defensively skulking near the most tempting loot.
What we got: Surprisingly little. Despite almost everyone loving Dungeon Keeper, there haven't been many clones. Evil Genius was a very similar game with a James Bond bent, while the Overlord games picked up the baton for playful evil. There are two follow-ups on the horizon though: Kalypso's Dungeons, which doesn't so much wear its inspirations on its sleeve as walk around in a T-Shirt with the Horned Reaper's face on it, and... Dungeon Keeper Online. It's an official game, but don't get too excited. We haven't heard much about it for ages, and it's only intended for China, Taiwan and a few other Asian markets.
Warcraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans
What we missed: Blizzard making an adventure game. We'll be honest, if it was anyone else, we probably wouldn't care. It was cancelled for the right reason - Blizzard looked at what they'd made and simply decided it wasn't good enough - and wouldn't have made a big splash, having come out long before World of Warcraft taking the world by storm. Still, as a bit of interactive archeology, it would be interesting to have a poke around. It's the story of Thrall, former leader of the Horde, escaping slavery and uniting the orcs, although one that bears little resemblence to the current version of the story. Aside from anything else, you won't see Deathwing sitting around a cave smoking a hookah in Cataclysm. One interesting fact though: Blizzard, being much smaller in these days, farmed out the art to another company called Animation Magic, previously best known for the Zelda games on CDI. Yes. Those ones. Really.
What we got: The game was shelved unfinished, although its story (edited to fix its problems) was turned into a novel of the same name by Christie Golden, who would go on to write most of the key canonical books for Blizzard - Beyond The Dark Portal, Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, and most recently a prelude to Cataclysm called The Shattering. A leaked alpha also made its way onto the net, as seen in this YouTube video. Graphically, this is damn good for the mid-90s, which is the problem: it was due to be released in 1998. The puzzles and interaction look very clunky too, making it clear that Blizzard was right to pull the plug and focus on games like Starcraft and that moderately popular online thing.