Lost Game Boy Advance game from 2002 is finally getting a release

Kien was originally developed in 2002, and will finally release twenty years later.
kien game boy advance

Retro game publisher Incube8 Games has announced a surprise release for AgeOfGames’ Kien, a Game Boy Advance adventure title originally developed in 2002. Twenty years on from a slate of cancelled launches, the game will finally be released as a physical cartridge in Q2 2024.

Per details provided, Kien is an action platformer set in a magical land called Malkut, which is at the mercy of a chaotic force of corruption:

“For 7,000 years the planet of Malkut has been wisely ruled by the 7 Masters of the Absolute. But chaos has been reborn as evil corrupts the Land of Harmony. The 7 Masters have vanished, mystical warriors were slaughtered, and the temples are doomed in blood. The only hope that remains is imprisoned in the hearts and wills of two young apprentices. Their fate is to fight evil, reveal the truth, and discover the secret of Kien.”

What is perhaps more interesting is the story of Kien itself.

The game was developed in 2002, but had its release cancelled days before launch – reportedly during its critic review period. Some reports claim it was picked up by a second publisher, but this release didn’t eventuate, either. While it appears some websites had the game listed in stock, causing confusion about its release status, it’s believed that it never made it to retail.

Read: The Australian-made video games you’ll never play

While some folks managed to obtain a digital ROM copy of Kien around 2020, with footage preserved online, it was essentially a cancelled, fully unreleased game until Incube8 Games picked up the license.

Now, it will release officially on a Game Boy Advance cartridge, complete with a retro box, instruction booklet, cartridge protector, and sticker sheet.

At USD $59.99, the release is for dedicated collectors only, but given Kien and its place in Game Boy Advance history, it would certainly make for a statement purchase. Unreleased games reappearing two decades later is extremely rare, making Kien a notable oddity – and a very interesting one.

Regardless of the release being great for the preservation of games history, it’s also likely to be a welcome spot of closure for Kien‘s original development team. You can learn more about Kien and its re-release on the Incube8 Games website.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.