Roll out!

1994's Vortex might not have been a smash-hit, but it was arguably one of the most technically impressive uses of Argonaut's Super FX chip - the hardware which made games like Star Fox and Stunt Race FX possible.

Featuring a transforming craft known as the Battle Morphing System which could shift between four different modes - including a robot - it's hardly surprisingly that over the years it has been rumoured that the game began life as an official Transformers title.

It was Super Play magazine which kick-started the rumour, reporting that Argonaut was working on a game based on Hasbro's line of action toys. When Vortex arrived on the scene and people saw its transforming robot, the assumption was made that it was the Transformers game in question, presumably with the name removed as a result of the licensing deal falling through.

While this isn't the case, what has confused matters over the years is that Argonaut was in fact working on a Transformers game - but it was a totally different project.

Speaking to Retro Gamer, programmer Michael Wong-Powell explains the whole story:

There was actually one in development, but it was cancelled. When I first talked to [Argonaut boss] Jez San about the chip they were developing it was one of the games on the cards. I originally thought of moulding my ideas into the Transformers game, but Jez wanted a few games out on Super FX, so kept my game separate.

A Transformers game back in 1994 would have made for an unusual licence, as the franchise had fallen on hard times after its glory days of the '80s and wouldn't return to mainstream prominence until the arrival of Michael Bay's Hollywood movies. Still, it would have been an interesting proposition, and it's a shame that it never made it into production.

We've still got Vortex, which is one of the most impressive Super FX titles and well worth a look today.