One of the first boxes I found after inheriting my great uncle’s estate was a box detailing the development of Susan Butcher’s Iditarod ‘83.
I wasn’t familiar with Susan Butcher but found out that my relative had produced this game after her 1982 2nd place finish in the famous thousand-mile Alaskan dog race.
Susan would go on to become the second woman to ever win the Iditarod and eventually win four times. Presumably by then she was entertaining offers from much bigger industry names than Yoyodyne. Had this made it to market in ‘83, perhaps they would have developed a long-term business partnership and Yoyodyne could have ridden her coattails to the top of the dog-sledding video game world.
The game never saw the light of day, but it does appear to be complete and playable.
Susan Butcher’s Iditarod ‘83⌗
If you’re playing in the browser, ‘Z’ will start the game and also “mush”. The arrow keys control the sled.
- Be sure to play to the ending screen to see an incredible recreation of the Alaska State Flag.
- Susan’s 1985 Iditarod catastrophe where she was attacked by a “crazed moose” is seemingly foreshadowed by the game.
- Collision detection is flaky and sometimes an unfair course is generated.
- The various creatures you encounter along the way are interesting, including the elusive Lady Yeti and the mysterious fan that restores your lost dogs. I just wish they had more to do.