“The title screen from an unreleased Atari 7800 side-scroller based on the 1984 Chuck Norris film. It was about 85% complete when cancelled.”
Missing in Action is a rather appropriate name for this game as that is what it was. A rather large number of games that started development on the Atari 7800 went unfinished or were otherwise unreleased. Missing in Action is one such game.
Missing in Action was developed by TNT Games and is a side scrolling action game based on the Chuck Norris movie of the same name. The movie came out in 1984 while the game has a copyright date of 1989. Apparently it was about 85% complete when development was halted.
I don’t know the particular reasons why this game was never released. The Atari 7800 was still being supported in 1989 but it had long been painfully obvious that the Atari 7800 would never be competitive with the NES and next generation video game consoles were being released in 1989 in the form of the Sega Genesis and TurboGrafx-16. Still, at 85% complete and a development cycle that probably was under a year you have to wonder why the change of heart.
However, released or not you can still play this game thanks to a prototype that was discovered and ultimately made available to the world around 2007. Apparently you have to skip a level or two to finish the game but it is otherwise quite playable.