Another Silverbird release that was shown inside the inlays of the last few Silverbird releases, Moto-Cross Mania (or Motor Cross Mania depending on where you read it!) was also advertised by Silverbird in the run up to Christmas 1988 as a Commodore 64 only release.
After the sale to MicroProse, the Silverbird label remained dormant for a while and was eventually sold off to Tudor Enterprises. This left a number of intended budget games (including Moto-Cross Mania) out in the cold.
Author Richard Lowenstein (who was also behind Firebird Silver’s Twinky Goes Hiking) eventually sold the game to German publisher Magic Disk, who released it as Topcross a year or so later.
Richard tells the story in his own words:
“I offered the game to British Telecom under the name of Topcross and sent them a demo of the first level. I never heard anything back. A little later I approached some other publishers, namely CP Verlag (Publisher of Magic Disk) and Micropartner, both in my homecountry of Germany. CP Verlag published the game without ever telling me; just a couple of days after I had sold the game to Micropartner. A big mess, I can tell you. Finally, Topcross got published twice… since Micropartner later used the game for their compilation Fantastic Four 2.”
Thanks to Frank Gasking’s Games That Weren’t 64 web site and to the author Richard Lowenstein for helping solve the mystery as to what happened to this lost Silverbird release!
CRAZY KIDZ MANIA!
The Silverbird label went into overdrive after the budget range was re-launched. For some reason, the game titles started to take on some hip and trendy titles, with Crazy, and Kidz being used more than once (BMX Kidz, Scuba Kidz, Skateboard Kidz, Combat Crazy, Trick Ramp Crazy (also unreleased)).
It seems obvious that the next batch would have been a Mania theme, with Motor Cross Mania being just the first.