Friday, 21 December 2012

2012 C64 16KB Cartridge Game Development Competition Results

After several weeks of playing, analysing, discussing, praising and criticising, our judging panel has finally turned in the results of this year's C64 Cartridge Development Competition!

As explained in the scoring section of the competition page, the scores were calculated using mean averages with the highest achievable score being 65 points (if all judges had scored a game 13 points in all categories). I won't bore you with lists and tables of who scored each game what, instead I have listed the games below in order of placing with the final scores and comments.

Before continuing I'd like to say a massive 'thank you' to everyone involved - 2012 was another fantastic year for C64 gaming because of your work and dedication. I can only hope that you'll be back again for another round in 2013!

(Note that in the following comments I specifically asked the judges to constructively criticise the games submitted - not because they were bad, but because they were all very good! Therefore, although the tone of the comments may seem negative in places, no hard feelings are meant by our panel - the goal of this is simply to point out where (in their opinion) the entries could have been improved.



Super Bread Box 16KB (Paul Koller)
1st Place (55.4545 Points)

"Now this is more like it - comfortably the most polished game in the competition, and no surprise given who is behind it. The attention to detail is incredible, from the random floppy hair styles to the minigun that causes the entire screen to shake, this game oozes class. Although it's a demake, and a platformer that looks visually familiar to any 8-bit fan, it still feels original due to the endless score attack nature of the super-smooth and addictive gameplay. This is the game I kept coming back to for a little play after trying out the other games and while Paul Koller lost out to Fairy Well last year, Super Bread Box is my pick of the bunch this year, just pipping the excellent Wonderland to the post."
(Alex Ross-Shaw)

"It's certainly action packed, but lacks the training/progression of the PC parent. Music and presentation are excellent, but if there is a criticism it is that Super Bread Box basically throws the player in at the deep end of a very unforgiving game, and as such has a rather limited appeal. Technically excellent, and the game throws a lot of sprites and bullets around without collapsing under the strain."
(Andy Jenkinson/Uglifruit)

"Quite a stunner at first glance. Top action, and an unseen concept on the C64. Yet it is way too hard (for me at least) which heavily reduces my wish to play it very often. It also lacks a certain global goal, which might be due to my inability to master it. Very original for the C64, though being a port. Could need some story around it. Has an auto-fire bug which is easy enough to avoid though."
(Enthusi)

"Hectic and fun gameplay, with a lot of enemies on screen at once. Impressive for a Commodore 64 game!"
(Flemming Dupont)

"I saw a preview of this recently at the Play Expo in Manchester, and I was blown away - especially after seeing the PC version running alongside for a comparison! The variety in the game comes from the different weapons you pick up from each crate that you get - in its 16KB form, it has just enough variety to keep up the interest with some great effects on the weapons and a number of levels to pick from. The Mini-gun in particular is a favourite of mine. The graphics, sound and presentation are wonderful throughout. Animations and effects on the characters and guns are brilliant - with a lot of action happening on screen at once. The weapon effects are a lot of fun, with large explosion effects throughout. Presentation is very clean and tidy, with a crisp logo and level selection screen. As a game it doesn't quite hold attention in comparison to one or two of the other entries which have a little more to do, but that doesn't take away from the fact that this is a brilliant title and one which will keep you hooked."
(Frank Gasking)

"A game that stunned the crowds at Play Expo earlier this year when played alongside the PC-based original at our RGCD stand, Super Bread Box is one of the fastest and most intense games I've ever played on the Commodore. There is crazy amount of stuff going on, sprites and bullets everywhere and all at a glorious 50 frames per second - or at least most of the time! It may score low for originality (as a demake), but excels in every other category. There's nothing quite like it on the C64, and yet it feels perfectly suited to the platform. Score saving and proper level/weapon/character unlocking would have been the cherry on this slice of retro-gaming cake, but that will have to wait for the final."
(Heavy Stylus)

"This is high octane, super challenging and totally action packed. Super Bread Box is a single screen shooter where, perversely, the object is not to shoot stuff, but to collect as many weapon crates as you can. The catch is that some weapons are hugely effective and others are rubbish! It turns out that this is a piece of game design genius. Why has no one thought of it before? It is incredibly addictive and compulsive, although I have some doubts over the game's long-lasting appeal. Graphically it excels and runs so smoothly, even with quite a few sprites and loads of bullets on screen."
(John Dennis)

"So, Super Crate Box comes to the C64 in the form of Super Bread Box - and by golly it does NOT disappoint! The frenzied gameplay of the original is almost perfectly replicated on the beige breadbin, complete with awesome sonix and visual fx. Not much else I can say about this game apart from EPIC WIN!!"
(Kenz)

"Needs a proper joystick to play! The air goes blue, some of the weapons remind me of the useless ones in Ghosts 'n Goblins but that's the rub, you have to learn how to adapt when a duff crate is collected. More levels and perhaps one more enemy type definitely should be on the cards."
(Mayhem)

"Very fresh conversion. Fast and addictive gameplay. Fucking hard, hence maximal Tourette syndrome factor!"
(Milo Mundt)

"Simply a stellar game. I could lose months inside this cartridge. A wonderful take on Super Crate Box, with bags of both playability and weaponry."
(Ruari O'Toole)



Assembloids (Enthusi & iLKke)
2nd Place (50.9000 Points)

"A well-put-together puzzle game. Very easy to pick up and play, which was good. Nothing ground-breaking I guess but given the number of simple puzzle games out there, especially in the homebrew scene, I was pleasantly surprised with this and found it very playable. Probably the best puzzle style game I've played in a while."
(Alex Ross-Shaw)

"A beautifully presented, but slight, reaction game. Sound effects and graphics are very good, but the gameplay and enjoyment is limited. The technicality does shine through though."
(Andy Jenkinson/Uglifruit)

"Perfectly executed game, with some spot on graphics and sound, makes this action puzzler really stand out from the crowd. Gameplay is very addictive!"
(Flemming Dupont)

"This was one of the surprises of the competition for me! It takes a very particular type of puzzler to hold my attention and Assembloids looks to join that list after eating up a good chunk of my judging time with its "one more go" effect. It is a very simple puzzle concept - but then so was Gameboy Tetris and as with that game, the execution of Assembloids is brilliant and is extremely addictive as a whole. I was constantly restarting the game after failing each time, wanting to better myself and always feeling it was my fault when I lost. Controls are spot on and very responsive - which is just as well, as it gets pretty tough and pretty quick. Graphically it is very well presented with crisp face graphics, a cool full screen effect as well as a superb set of titles and instructions to polish things off. Music and sound effects are great also, really meaty sounds which suit the game perfectly and a suitably panic inducing in-game tune. So simple - but so spot on!"
(Frank Gasking)

"Immediately accessible, great presentation (including an attract mode and 'how to play' screen) and genuinely fun to play, this conversion of Photonstorm's flash puzzler works surprisingly well on the C64. Conrad's glitch-hop title track and ambient in-game noises are well-suited, and the open border design (both on PAL and NTSC) further compliment this excellent, simple game design. Feels like a commercial quality game."
(Heavy Stylus)

"Assembloids feels fresh and original. It's a simple idea, but the game has slick presentation and delivers brilliantly – making a strong argument that simple is best! It quickly becomes challenging as the pace increases, becoming more manic and forcing more mistakes from the player. In that sense, it's very much like Tetris, as well as in its addictive nature and the compulsion to have another go to beat your own best score."
(John Dennis)

"I really like this game. The presentation is top-notch, with a slick front-end, simple to follow instructions and grungy music. The game is a simple but fun idea and I enjoyed trying to make a 'full face' - the in-game soundtrack is excellent too, it really piles on the pressure in true 'game show' style. A very slickly executed release and a game that I will definitely be returning to."
(Kenz)

"A traditional "panic" type game that just gets faster and faster with time. I enjoyed it. Each playthrough doesn't generally last too long, and you have to both think and react to progress. This does mean eventually many people hit a wall at a certain point because it's beyond their skills."
(Mayhem)

"Nice game idea. Okay, it's not original, but never mind. It's well executed! Graphics are fine, especially for both concept and memory limitation. Only downside is that the music seems to be optimised for a new SID. It sounds really weird on an old SID."
(Milo Mundt)

"Assembloids is a game with a simple concept but the pace, atmosphere and sense of tension that back up the premise of matching pieces together to make a face really propel the game to the top of the pile. It's a game of skill and observation and I keep thinking if I do really, really well at it I'll get recruited by some secret intergalactic spy agency from the future."
(Ruari O'Toole)



Wonderland (Endurion)
3rd Place (47.000 Points)

"Essentially it's Fairy Well but in a different style - the plot is similar in that you must find four crystals. The Zelda-esque style means it's not exactly wholly original, but seeing it on a C64, in a 16KB homebrew game and in such quality, makes it feel like a fresh, original approach for the machine. For some reason it didn't grab me in the same way Fairy Well did, even though it's essentially the same concept. It's still amazingly well done though, we're talking marginal differences, and I'd love to see a full 64KB version done."
(Alex Ross-Shaw)

"Very nice music and graphics, but no front end to speak of in this lite-RPG-explore-em-up. Respawning (and inconsistent) numbers of baddies frustrate, with occasional entries into rooms almost on top of an enemy resulting in unfair loss of life - this coupled with a lack of guidance makes it a bit irritating. For fans of AticAtak perhaps?"
(Andy Jenkinson/Uglifruit)

"A very original title. Not too many of this exist on the C64. Reminds me a lot of 'Secret Quest' on the 2600 which is good :) (Too) large map which requires lots of walking and screen passing. Hence somewhat repetitive though the game play offers many things after SOME time. Would be super boring if it wasn't for the VERY nice and fast control of the main player. Well done! Would love to see this one with a bit more depth and story which 16K could not provide."
(Enthusi)

"Weak enemy AI really keeps me from enjoying this game. For a Zelda clone on the c64, this game has a lot of potential, but it needs some more work to really shine."
(Flemming Dupont)

"Another surprise out of nowhere. Wonderland is a wonderful Zelda'esq game, which is something that we are lacking on the C64. For a small game, it is surprisingly packed - with an inventory system for items and a impressively large map to explore to try and recover all of the four crystals. There are also plenty of obstacles and puzzles to get past, with for example you having to obtain a raft to get across water to other islands and use a shovel to dig out a tunnel to underground passages. The game is very much a pandora's box, like Fairy Well was last year. The screens though are unfortunately a little too similar in places (with repeated enemies), but the game map that appears in the status panel ensures that you won't get too confused or lost for long. Presentation is additionally lacking, with a very simple title screen - but that is to be expected considering the limitations and sheer scale of the game. The game does however come with good sound effects and a great tune by Sean Connolly to raise the presentation stakes. Overall I had a lot of fun playing the game, sinking a lot of time and wanting more when I got to the end. It is a game desperate to break free from the competition size shackles and one I hope to see a larger version with some of the niggles fixed in the future."
(Frank Gasking)

"Wow! This is really impressive stuff - a 2.5D console style action-RPG in 16KB. A huge map and surprising depth, tight controls and challenging gameplay. Unfortunately it's not without some minor issues though - the competition version was a bit buggy (I left my sword stuck on the background and walked away a couple of times, and there's a situation that can arise with you being locked in a room with an unkillable enemy). Also, the fact that enemies respawn and their number varies every time you enter a room means that you can farm for points easily - pop in and out of a room until an easy-to-kill lone-enemy appears, kill, collect reward and repeat. That is, unless the critter spawns on your entry point - which is very naughty! With a bit more work - and indeed, more memory to work with - Wonderland DX could be a contender for C64 game of the year, 2013. A specifically designed map by Smila, better balancing, a proper intro/outro and more enemy types would compliment Georg's solid game framework and elevate it to the level of Soulless."
(Heavy Stylus)

"This is one of those games where you think: 'How is this possible in 16KB?' Wonderland is a huge flip-screen arcade adventure that provides a long-lasting challenge and hours of gameplay. It is quite tricky to strike enemies down and it is the type of game that tempts you into taking risks. There's a nice variety of locations to explore and baddies to beat, including bosses. It's an outstanding game, with good quality graphics, sound, and design – although the menu screen, game-over screen and others feature only basic graphical presentation. The only gameplay niggle is that combat can awkward and frustrating, resulting in swift loss of life."
(John Dennis)

"Zelda finally lands on the C64 then? Despite its thousand (or so) years of heritage I've never really gelled with ANY of the Zelda games - 2D or 3D. Give me a spaceship or a BFG any day. I can see where Endurion & Smila are coming from with their mini-opus, but after a few minutes of wandering around swatting moths I lost interest in this one I'm afraid. It's all lovingly constructed and the music is great - making it a very cool all-round package - but I just don't DO 'Zelda' type games - sorry chums!"
(Kenz)

"Zelda type games never really took off on the C64, so this is quite impressive given the memory limitation for the competition. Pity about the lack of variety in enemies, but there's an awful lot of map to explore, and plenty of things to find and work out. More memory? More features!"
(Mayhem)

"Wooow! Pure Awesomeness! Great game with huuuge maps in only 16KB?! It takes a while exploring this games' world! Music is killer, too!"
(Milo Mundt)

"A cute action RPG which for reasons unknown immediately made me think of it in terms of being Final Fantasy meets Hawk the Slayer, Wonderland is challenging, quirky, and accessible."
(Ruari O'Toole)



Match-Buster (S.E.S./Crest)
4th Place (45.8182 Points)

"I gave this game top marks for originality, simply because it was a new twist on existing genres and it seemed to me to be just about the only title in this competition that wasn't either an update on a traditional idea or a demake. Visually it reminds me a bit of 'Gold Mine' on the ZX Spectrum. It is enjoyable but it feels like the idea could do with a bit more 'mining' - ho ho. For some reason I found it a little slow to play so it became easier to drift off and become a little bored. Perhaps being able to move rocks by holding fire would make it quicker than just having to push into it for a couple of seconds, which slows down the pace."
(Alex Ross-Shaw)

"Boulderdash clone.. oh wait. No it's not, it is a match-three variant. With a gun. And slightly different rules regarding gravity - although they are pleasingly consistent - round things (Coin's and boulders) don't stack. Includes a demo mode but rather sparse front end. No music, but okay effects. Very simple character based movement, and lots of things to discover. A really great game hides under a superficially derivative exterior."
(Andy Jenkinson/Uglifruit)

"Fancy little game with a nice manual and very well worked out additions to the well known concept. The objects and general graphics are a bit miniature which lets this game appear more simple than it actually is. One of the biggest surprises of the competition. Game play is a bit non-intuitive but probably just because it IS
different than expected."
(Enthusi)

"Clever level design makes this game a joy to play. No time limit is a nice touch as it makes the game a less hectic and more thoughtful experience to be had. The perfect love-child of Boulderdash, Pushcat and Portal. Great stuff and probably going to become a long time favourite of mine."
(Flemming Dupont)

"Another surprise of the competition for me - I admit that upon initially seeing the screenshots, I was almost tempted to write this off as another Boulderdash clone in miniature form. It is more a cross between Spore (Mastertronic), Portal (Valve) and of course Boulderdash (with the tinkling sound for the diamonds replicated). After a very Boulderdash'esq first level - things start changing very quickly in subsequent levels, in particular when the portal gun arrives. There are fires to put out, coloured boulders to put together to make diamonds and dynamite to blow up walls. All these elements have been used to create a solid set of well thought out levels. You can easily lose yourself in the game with the urge to progress - and before you know it, it will be several hours gone. Sometimes it's fun just to play around with the portal gun and use it to shuffle boulders around everywhere! Where it falls down is in the presentation stakes (although it does come with a demo mode), but it isn't a game trying to look or sound amazing - but just play amazingly. It is seriously a game which has huge potential if it was ever expanded with more gadgets and features - and I hope that happens. A wonderful fun twist on Boulderdash!"
(Frank Gasking)

"Underneath its basic looking mini-boulderdash appearance is a game of surprising depth that has kept me coming back time and time again. It may have borrowed ideas from several other games, but they've been cleverly combined to create a game that feels unique and fresh. There's still some space left in the ROM, so I'd love to see a final version with music or perhaps more levels in the future."
(Heavy Stylus)

"On first impressions I felt this was just a half-baked Boulderdash clone with tiny graphics, but I very quickly realised I was completely wrong! Match-buster is a clever and intricate puzzle game that has fantastic lasting appeal and is challenging and great fun to play. Each level is brilliantly designed and they soon require serious thought to beat if you don't want your explorer to be trapped by falling boulders. Features like raging fires, running water and teleporters add extra dimensions to the puzzles and depth to the game. It's a whisker short of brilliance, although the presentation and tiny graphics are a little disappointing."
(John Dennis)

"Hey, this is neat - the thinking man's Boulderdash! It even SOUNDS like Boulderdash - but you soon realise there's much more to the game than that. I like the ickle character based graphics and the game feature some neat touches like the way you extinguish the flames using the water on level two. The demo mode is also a nice touch. This is definitely a game I will return to just to see what the later levels have to offer. It's just a shame there's no soundtracks to slake the thirst of you SID fans out there. "
(Kenz)

"Boulderdash meets a more cerebral puzzle experience, with a fair few innovations and gameplay elements. The fact that the game allows many different solutions to each screen encourages replaying and bettering of score. Definitely a surprise package."
(Mayhem)

"My personal suprise hit from the compo! Boulder Dash meets Puzznic. Awesome execution, great graphics including superb fade in/out animations. Loved the possibility to extinguish the fire with the water on level two. Those puzzles will keep me busy for a while!"
(Milo Mundt)

"A fair take on the old Repton template, this time giving the player a more challenging starting point. The long directional presses needed to move rocks and gems around give a nice feeling of the physical effort our little 8-Bit hero must be exerting to shift them around the screen!"
(Ruari O'Toole)



Get 'Em DX (Endurion)
5th Place (43.7273 Points)

"This game is well done but I find the shooting pattern a bit awkward to 'get' so I end up not utilising that option as fully as I'd like. In turn this puts me off the game more broadly, which is a shame. I couldn't test the two player mode but I'll always give games extra marks for putting it in. It's main selling point is the procedurally generated content and I'd recommend it to people who enjoyed Pac-Man style games even if I wouldn't play it so much myself."
(Alex Ross-Shaw)

"A tricky game to review, as we met it last year - but here it is in super duper version. The visuals have been upped this time, with difficulty options, and two player support. Two player action is handled well, and the randomly generated stages increase longevity massively. An overall excellent entry."
(Andy Jenkinson/Uglifruit)

"Funny game and graphics. Not my type though. Despite the nice manual the game play is a bit confusing at first. Partially quite close to 'Forget Me Not' but with worthy additions! Very good two player option."
(Enthusi)

"Great looking and sounding game with some nice touches. Controls can be a bit hard to get the hang on at times, when moving and shooting at the same time. Overall the gameplay is solid, but not quite as fun to play as the game that inspired it."
(Flemming Dupont)

"The original of this game was one of my favourites from last year - though kind of like Escape From The Laundry this year, the game was a little dull on the eye unfortunately. Get 'Em DX has taken the winning concept and taken it up a notch or two, adding a variety of new elements and a great big lick of paint and sound. Graphically things are far more colourful and bright, which has a profound effect on pushing this up the rankings for me. Things have been tweaked to a point where the game has really gelled a lot better this time round, and is a great concept overall to play. Controls are a little niggly at times (especially changing fire direction), and destroying some enemies seems to take a bit longer than maybe it should - but these are things that can be gotten used to pretty quickly. Sean Connolly additionally provides a superb tune set to accompany the action. Presentation is brilliant - with detailed instructions on the title screen and a variety of game options."
(Frank Gasking)

"Get 'Em DX has matured nicely - the new graphics, music and play modes really improve on last year's version. That said though, it falls short on originality compared with some of the other entries due to being a remake or improvement of an existing C64 game as well as being based on a modern indie title. For me, the strongest feature of Get 'Em DX is its lasting appeal - the random level design and timeless classic-arcade gameplay result in a game that has become a personal favourite. "
(Heavy Stylus)

"This is a fantastic update of the Pac-Man genre, its master stroke being random level generation that stops the game getting stale and keeps you coming back for more. Coupled with cute sprites, strong presentation, a range of tough baddies, and the ability to gun them down, this game is a winner. A special mention must go to the in-game music: a great little tune that stuck in my head all day."
(John Dennis)

"Hmm, hard to write an unbiased review of this game as I was hooked in by its simple retro charms ages ago! Anyway, to cut a long story short, this is Pac-Man, with GUNS! It's simple but it's FUN! Nice clean design, neat sprites, catchy soundtracks (I like the way the in-game tune changes with each level). The gameplay is bang-on and if you die, it's usually down to a mistake you have made, rather than the game being unfair (if you see what I mean). The two-player mode is the icing on the cake."
(Kenz)

"Takes what was great about the previous release, tweaks it up a bit, improves some areas, and delivers a challenge that you keep coming back to. The variable mazes always means you have to formulate a strategy instead of memorising layouts."
(Mayhem)

"Nice mix of Pac-Man and shooter. Plus points for the awesome two player mode. Some enemys could use a few hits less, especially on early levels. Extra system is rather complex, which is good on the one hand, but hard to follow on the other."
(Milo Mundt)

"Get 'Em DX is what Pac Man would be like if those pills he was eating weren't just sugary placebos. A multicoloured shoot-fest heavily influenced by the iOS smash 'Forget Me Not', Get 'Em DX is dangerously addictive!"
(Ruari O'Toole)



On The Farm III (Achim Volkers)
6th Place (38.7273 Points)

"A really solid arcade game, I actually reviewed it on my blog months ago. I gave this game higher marks for lasting appeal than I did almost everything else, because a game like this is always good for a quick ten minute blast. It's smooth, well presented and good fun. If it had any setback it would be that it's not got much depth to it, but then it doesn't need it either. It's a simple idea that is very well executed."
(Alex Ross-Shaw)

"I like it - with some caveats. It is an interesting arcade game, that doesn't quite have the one-more-go appeal I look for, but does feature great presentation."
(Andy Jenkinson/Uglifruit)

"Very good graphics and animation. The game play itself is a bit repetitive though. Would love to see something new rather than Part IV."
(Enthusi)

"Original concept for a shmup and spot on gameplay, makes this game a real highscore challenge. Love the gameplay variety. Jeff Minter would probably play this!"
(Flemming Dupont)

"Grab your seagull and get crapping on sheep to protect your crops! On The Farm 3 could have easily been a Jeff Minter game - not just with the sheep included, but with the reversed Hovver Bovver feel to the game. Nice and clean presentation throughout - some very funny animations and good cartoony graphics. There is also some well composed music and sound by Richard Bayliss to accompany the action. Overall it sounds ironic to say it, but it is good simple "clean" fun with an urge to progress to see what enemies await along with those pesky sheep. It's not quite as in depth compared to some of the other entries, hence it has scored slightly lower - but levels are varied enough with different types of enemies introduced throughout posing different types of threat. A good solid game which is plenty of fun to play."
(Frank Gasking)

"Probably the only game in the world that sees you playing the role of a seagull defecating on sheep, On The Farm III is certainly original in concept. As fun as it is silly, this quirky little shoot 'em up introduces new game-play mechanics with each level, and although some of the in-game graphics are a bit rough the seagull animation is fantastic. Not as good as Achim's other entry, but definitely worth playing."
(Heavy Stylus)

"This game has a classic 80s feel with enough originality and variety to make it stand out. I really enjoyed the dual challenge of stopping the marauding sheep from eating all the crops whilst keeping your gull safe from other dangers. It has good presentation all round with some really nice cutesy graphical touches – particularly when a sheep or your bird are hit. The difficulty curve is good for the first few levels but it then becomes too much of a handful as the sheep go supersonic."
(John Dennis)

"What a daft idea, I love it!! If CodeMasters had released this back in the day, they would have called it "Professional Bird Poo Simulator" - and David Darling would have declared it the "Best game featuring bird shittery that I have ever seen!" Seriously though folks, I totally enjoyed this farmyard romp (fnarr!) The gameplay becomes quite frenetic when your errant Seagull is being harassed from the air by an airborne foe while you are trying to crap on a load of sheep (now there's sentence I didn't expect to be writing today). I *love* the graceful way your birdie falls to the ground when it dies - complete with twitching leg, and Richard Bayliss delivers some great techno-farmyard-beatz. I really rather like this game - nice and original too (there's aren't many bird-poo related games on the C64 after all!)"
(Kenz)

"Jeff Minter won't be happy hah hah, which is more curious as elements remind me of some of his output. Has the potential to be a great game, but feels like it is lacking a little something to elevate it above merely being good."
(Mayhem)

"Nice game, fresh theme for a "shooter". It offers more variety than I expected.
After playing once (to level 3 and another time to level 7) some visual bugs appear on the title screen in the right lower corner. Also, you should clear the joystick register after "game over" as I usually skip the first letter when entering my name to the highscore list.
(Milo Mundt)

"Harder than it looks, with a charming concept and an elegant-then-hilarious death animation, this poop-em-up puts the player in control of a seabird bent on bombarding fields of sheep with guano. Also includes explosive moles."
(Ruari O'Toole)



Rent-A-Cop (Achim Volkers)
7th Place (37.0909 Points)

"I had high hopes for this game and while the presentation is great - the background stores in particular I thought were superb - it feels like the gameplay is lacking a bit. I expected it to be more like Elevator Action but it feels too spaced out and too many levels end up with you running from one end to another while the main dangers come from the flying objects. It's a nice idea but perhaps it could do with some more refining. It feels like it should be more 'frantic' than it is, but perhaps that changes in the later levels I haven't reached yet. If that is the case, I'd be tempted to change the curve a bit to bring more stuff in, sooner."
(Alex Ross-Shaw)

"Really great graphics, and technically excellent, but strangely minimal sound. The only sticking point with this game is that it's not all that much fun to play. It's not bad, but it's all a bit pedestrian in it's progression."
(Andy Jenkinson/Uglifruit)

"Well polished game though a bit easy. Heavily reminds of Keystone Kapers which is a good thing. Well done solid game."
(Enthusi)

"Original concept for a game with some awesome graphics found in both sprites and backgrounds. Gameplay is a bit lacking but still fun to play."
(Flemming Dupont)

"I loved Keystone Capers on the VCS as a kid, so was very excited to learn of a conversion of sorts for the C64. Rentacop does brilliantly to capture the look and feel of the old game, as well as building upon it with a number of nice touches throughout. The game is pretty much spot on, making use of the C64's features to produce some nice effects such as the escalator stairs and horizon effects. There is even the game map, showing where the thief is in the mall. Graphics are very nice, polished and bright - the shops with their flashing banners really brighten up the classic game and overall modernise things with care and respect towards the original game it was inspired by. Title screen is well presented with a clean logo. Sound wise - the game has good sound effects throughout and a good solid title tune. The game itself is fun to play, though as with Keystone Capers, it can get repetitive after time - with constantly running on the same kind of playing field, just with a few enemy and speed changes. However, the original was like this too, and shouldn't take away too much from the game. It is still a superb effort and a wonderful tribute to the original."
(Frank Gasking)

"I was a little torn between opposing opinions with Rent-a-Cop. On one hand it is a very, very good conversion of the Atari 2600 original with great presentation and excellent audio. However, the gameplay does feel a little primitive compared to what you'd expect from a C64 title and the tense soundtrack style music fails to gel with the cartoon visuals. Achim is already working on a 'more serious' revised 64KB version based on this feedback and Rent-A-Cop Reloaded is fast becoming a 2013 project that I'm really hyped about."
(Heavy Stylus)

"I loved the idea of playing an overweight mall cop trying to catch a sprightly burglar – it particularly made me chuckle the way your belly hangs down when you duck, not to mention the Saturday Night Fever celebration when the crook is finally caught! Graphically, Rentacop is excellent, and it has brilliant moody music and effects. Top marks for presentation then, but the gameplay is somewhat repetitive, and too easy and too uneventful for too many levels."
(John Dennis)

"They don't get much more retro than THIS! A stunning C64 conversion of Keystone Kapers with wonderful graphical details (I adore the neon signs and pseudo Atari style skyline) - The audio is also fantastic, it wouldn't sound out of place in a Dirty Harry movie!! I actually found myself having more fun enjoying the slick visuals and audio than playing the game itself - which is a fairly simplistic 'chase the burglar' affair. I totally dig the dancing animation when your cop bags the baddie though. Great stuff!!"
(Kenz)

"Obviously a Keystone Kapers klone, one that is quite simple to pick up, play and quite enjoy, but sadly takes a little while to really get going and make life hard for the player. Eventually it's never challenging enough to keep interest."
(Mayhem)

"I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand I like both the idea and the execution. On the other hand I feel it's not attractive over a middle or even longer time."
(Milo Mundt)

"Rentacop is a game well fleshed out with smileworthy details, from the Saturday Night Fever victory dance our mall cop hero displays at the end of a level, to the bright and characterful backgrounds of the mall itself. The game's action, while based on a simple concept, is good casual fun!"
(Ruari O'Toole)



SpaceChem Nano (P1X3L.net)
8th Place (29.1818 Points)

"Funnily enough I got the PC original of this not so long ago, and initially I kinda felt then how I do now - it's just way too complicated! However, this was a good reason to sit down and force myself to get some familiarity with it. And lo, within ten minutes I'd just about figured it out - so it was just me being lazy. Conceptually it's great and the use of a mouse is good to see but the nature of the game takes a lot more effort than most games to get 'into'. Nonetheless, the subsequent feeling of satisfaction when I stood on my own two feet and completed a level without help was greater than I felt in most of the other games."
(Alex Ross-Shaw)

"Wow. This was an impressive piece of game (although not particularly my cup or tea), and the technicality shines through. Mouse control, and a intriguing game at the centre of it all."
(Andy Jenkinson/Uglifruit)

"The overall design and game concept are not very C64-friendly unfortunately. This would have been great on some tape in the mid 80s so people are forced to occupy themselves with it for some time. The design is nice, though being a port. Heavily suffers from the self-imposed restrictions. I like it though."
(Enthusi)

"I really tried to get into this game, but in the end it just did not work out for me. I like the minimal approach somewhat, but in the end this game need some sound effects and animation to keep me interested."
(Flemming Dupont)

"When I heard that this game required a mouse - I was very intrigued and was expecting something inventive along the lines of last year's excellent paddle control game Panic Analogue. Indeed I found a very inventive title where you have to essentially set up the process of atoms to complete puzzles to progress to each level. The graphics are very clinical and clean, working working well given the concept which is being covered. It is very quiet though with no sound. To me, the game was a little too on the difficult side. Although there was a detailed tutorial level to show how to play things, but I still didn't fully understand and it took some time until I felt I was ever close to playing things correctly. As a result I didn't have too much fun playing the game as a whole compared to the others. Graphically and sonically, the game is kept very simple - but then the reason for this was due to the fact that the game was produced to work on the Commodore Ultimax machine! An ambitious game, just a little too hard to get into."
(Frank Gasking)

"When P1X3L.net first announced this demake I was really surprised - SpaceChem is a notoriously complex game that borders on being an educational title. Then they told me it was being coded for the ultra-underpowered and super-rare MAX Commodore variant, which imposed additional limitations for the team to work to. The end result is a game that although feeling complete, is extremely complicated. Also, the mouse control means that it's not even accessible to many players. After spending some time with it, I've come to the conclusion that although ultimately rewarding and competent, it falls victim of it's self-imposed limitations. A bigger (not 16KB) C64-only version would no doubt be a lot more popular, so I hope that P1X3L.net continue work on this project."
(Heavy Stylus)

"Spacechem Nano made my head hurt quite a lot: it is a really tough puzzler that asks a lot of the player and has a very complex control system. There is a life-saving tutorial in-game, but there is still some trial and error involved. It's very serious, very original, and more than a little confusing. It asks for a big time commitment to learn and master it, but potentially offers a very rewarding playing experience."
(John Dennis)

"I tried... I REALLY tried to make this game do something... ANYTHING! But I failed. I got the mouse working, I moved stuff around, I made option screens appear and, er, moved stuff around... I got the circles to move at varying speeds around the screen - and placed horizontal / vertical lines about the screen. I even played through the tutorial - but in the end I concluded I had absolutely no idea of what was going on and so, inspired by the words of wisdom from the old kids TV show 'Why Don't You?' - I switched off the TV and went and did something else instead."
(Kenz)

"Probably the slowest burner of the lot. Does have a steep learning curve and could probably benefit from more than one tutorial level. Once you get to grips with all the functions, then the puzzles start to make a lot more sense and really engage the grey cells."
(Mayhem)

"I'm afraid it's not my cup of tea, I suck at physical/chemical things. I find this too complicated. Otherwise, mouse support is nice, but why in port 2?! A mouse should always be plugged to port 1."
(Milo Mundt)

"A very special beast is Spacechem Nano, with complexities that take a little while to grasp but rewarding gameplay once you hit your swing. Lots of replay value in this one!"
(Ruari O'Toole)



Escape From The Laundry (The Mad Scientist)
9th Place (22.9091 Points)

"Let's be honest, there's not much you can say about a Manic Miner clone. The difference it makes to your movement and jumps being a worm (or whatever you are) instead of a person is the most interesting concept, though I'm not sure it makes a huge difference. Ultimately it's still a Manic Miner clone so how much you like it will depend on how many variations of that game you enjoy playing."
(Alex Ross-Shaw)

"Well, it feels like Manic Miner. Presentation is sparse (without in game music), and falling to your death is a strangely mute affair, but a challenging take on this well worn genre. Nice that it has keyboard support (something that a lot of C64 games ignore), and the use of the differing height of the protagonist adds an interesting element to the game."
(Andy Jenkinson/Uglifruit)

"Rather slow game play compared to some of the other entries. Smallish objects and player which do no good to anything other than offer a big screen. Overall not very polished appearance but delivered with a cute story and manual."
(Enthusi)

"Interesting concept with some solid gameplay in the works, only let down by weak presentation and lack of in-game music."
(Flemming Dupont)

"I had a great time playing this game - although initially it looks nothing more than a simple Manic Miner clone - it is actually a lovely nod to the genre, with what feels like a deliberate attempt to retain that feeling of 1984 - with some very early 80's sounding tunes, sound effects and graphics throughout. Even the dimensions are very ZX Spectrum'esq. The worm that you control has a lovely feel to it, moving around with ease to collect objects to complete each level along with good solid controls. Some of the jumps feel a little tight, but generally it seems fair enough to the player. Graphically it is a little too simple in places - lacking the colour and depth of Manic Miner, but it is clear that the concentration has been made on how the game plays and comes with a good selection of levels as well as a nice end sequence. Sound is also pretty simplistic, but fits the style of the game. It isn't anything particularly new, but its one of the better Manic Miner clones you will find on the C64."
(Frank Gasking)

"The presentation of this Manic Miner clone is crude, but the game itself is surprisingly well designed and the changing shape of the player character adds something new to the genre. The controls feel tight and although you'll die time and time again in your attempt to escape the laundry, the game never feels unfair. A solid, hard as nails and unashamedly retro entry."
(Heavy Stylus)

"It is difficult to escape from the thought that this game is another Manic Miner clone with, unfortunately, dodgy collision detection. The level design is reasonably good, and the sprites are nicely drawn, but it is rather too derivative to get me excited."
(John Dennis)

"I literally grew up with games like Manic Miner, Jet-Set Willy and Technician Ted etc. so I was pleased to see this Willy inspired release in the competition. Unfortunately, the game is ROCK HARD and soon became frustrating. I found controlling your little worm type character a bit unwieldy and the unforgiving collision detection didn't help. A nice effort however and it earns extra kudos for its retro stylie-charm, but the actual gameplay lets it down a tad as it doesn't flow as well as the Miner Willy games - or even the more recent Carling the Spider on the VIC-20."
(Kenz)

"Been a while since I saw such an obvious homage to Manic Miner, and while the screens themselves won't be as memorable, their designs are certainly well thought through and need figuring out. Definitely one I hope to play eventually to complete."
(Mayhem)

"Pretty cool game, but took me a while to get into it. Either there are too many traps on the very early level two, or the collision checker is just two uber sensitive. Nice title otherwise!"
(Milo Mundt)

"What at first appears to be a very simple platformer soon shows off some hidden depths, with the changing shape of the player's character as it moves adding a ducking aspect to gameplay. With a quite liberal timer it makes for some slow, but tense gameplay."
(Ruari O'Toole)



Spike Dislike (David Eriksson)
10th Place (22.4545 Points)

"Another demake! I've also reviewed this before on my own blog I think. It's pretty good fun but the nature of a mobile demake means it's kinda built for ten minute sessions rather than in-depth gaming, which lends itself to a mobile platform rather than a computer/console one. The original comes with a few more bells and whistles that don't appear in this version, but the main game is fully present and it's really slick and well done. I'm not sure how much I'd come back to it though to be honest, perhaps it needs some incentives building in to keep people coming back for more, though I've no idea what or how!"
(Alex Ross-Shaw)

"A one button game, slick and appealing. Music gets repetitive pretty quickly, and lack of sound effects is annoying. Replayability (as per original) is very high though, but it still doesn't feel quite like a full game next to some of the others presented here."
(Andy Jenkinson/Uglifruit)

"Nice clean graphics style. The game itself is a bit overly simplistic. It lacks behind the C64 capabilities and the game play shows its porting heritage. Nice effort in a fresh style with a nice short manual."
(Enthusi)

"Simple gameplay that soon becomes tiresome to be played for more than a few times. Some advanced level design with moving enemies might make this more fun to play."
(Flemming Dupont)

"As a first coding exercise on the C64, I'm very impressed with Spike Dislike and the implementation. However as a game I didn't really get into it. The concept is very simple, bounce your ball as far as you can whilst avoiding obstacles. There is additionally more reward in points for not stopping, and you can built up multipliers to increase your points further. The game was unfortunately a little too simple for me and after five minutes or so of playing I start to lose interest and want to move onto another game. Graphically and presentation wise, the game is a little on the simple side too, but the music is very good overall. As a first production though, I'm very impressed and hope to see more from the developer in the future."
(Frank Gasking)

"Inclusion of a procedurally or algorithmically generated 'endless' random mode would have helped this game score a lot higher, as it is fun to play but unfortunately let down by the fact that the course is the same every time you play and limited in length. Nice high resolution graphics and music though!"
(Heavy Stylus)

"Being a smartphone conversion, Spike Dislike feels a little simplistic to be well suited to a home computer. The scoring logarithm is the best thing about it: innovative and nuanced and motivating for the player. The good thing is that it is fun and challenging to play, if a little repetitive. Gameplay would perhaps be improved by randomised spike positioning – but that would alter the level-playing-field on which the scoring is based."
(John Dennis)

"Ooh, more hi-res graphics - nice! A very simple game concept, use one button control to make your ball avoid the spiky things and try to rack up combos while keeping moving. The music is quite nice too. It kind of has that 'one more try' appeal of flash games like 'Canabalt', but the novelty soon wears off (well, it did for me, anyway). Not a bad effort tho'."
(Kenz)

"Another "endless cavern" type game popularised by modern titles such as Canabalt, but one here presented cleanly and brightly, and doing everything to attract your attention. The fact the route is set and the inclusion of the combo meter give enough incentive to replay for better scores."
(Mayhem)

"Cute little game. It is much harder than it looks at first glance. Awesome for first codework on a C64!"
(Milo Mundt)

"With the controls pared down to Spartan simplicity (the fire button and every direction on the joystick simply bounce the player's ball forward) Spike Dislike is very much a game of timing and precision, with a bouncy, jolly soundtrack."
(Ruari O'Toole)



Amazon Tales 75% (Richard Bayliss)
11th Place (21.8182 Points)

"I think the thing I always wonder when I play games like this is, in what way is it trying to be different to any other SEUCK-esque game? What's the actual 'idea' behind it? This feels a tad too conventional in that respect, but that's not necessarily a deal breaker in fairness. Everyone (should) like a good mindless action arcade game, but I find Amazon Tales a tad too unforgiving, the amount of times I got instantly killed by a snake or shot rushing on from behind me made it difficult to dodge, which reduces progress to memorising the enemy waves. One thing I would say is that the theme music is bangin'! Bonus points on presentation for that one, plus for all-round graphical quality."
(Alex Ross-Shaw)

"A strange take on a (quite limited) scrolling shoot' em up. The music, although good, seems at a bit at odds with the Amazonian setting - and the lack of sound effects is a bit disappointing. Occasional glitches (especially at the end of levels) slightly compromise the games technical achievements and long 'get ready' message begins to annoy after a while. The GFX are excellent, both sprites and backgrounds. A work in progress perhaps, but a promising one."
(Andy Jenkinson/Uglifruit)

"Nice background gfx and smooth engine. The two-frame player character is a bit of a
let down. Has potential for more if a more elaborate level design was applied. A bit on the boring side for me, yet shows promise. Please continue."
(Enthusi)

"Tense jungle atmosphere and some great sprite design, but the game needs some smarter enemy attack patterns to make it feel less like a SEUCK game. With some more polish, it has the potential to become a great run 'n' gun game."
(Flemming Dupont)

"It was a shame that Richard didn't quite manage to complete Amazon Tales, as you can see a promising and solid game emerging. Amazon Tales is a fun on the rails sideways scroller with a good selection of baddies to battle against across a variety of backdrops brilliantly drawn by Alf Yngve. It is great actually to see Alf make the transition from SEUCK, though unfortunately it feels that Alf still has the SEUCK animation restrictions when he has more frames now available to him - some of the animations are a little stiff in places. The music is brilliant by Richard, who always manages to do a good impression of Matt Gray! Additionally, the collision needs a bit of tweaking - as at a few points I died suddenly without touching anything. Also there needs to be a little variety in the attack waves, which are pretty much the same throughout. Levels additionally can end pretty abruptly and without warning. It highlights unfortunately that the game didn't quite get fully finished and needs polishing to really make it stand out from the other entries. There is a lot of promise though for the final version, and I look forward to it!"
(Frank Gasking)

"With a bit more work and polish I would have ranked Amazon Tales a lot higher - it's a solid little horizontal shooter with an original theme and an interesting 2.5D perspective. The play area is a little limited and currently the top half of the screen feels a bit empty, but the game itself is promising and I'm looking forward to seeing where Richard takes it as he works on the final version."
(Heavy Stylus)

"I like the concept of this game and think it has good potential to be a really fun arcade shooter in the classic early 8-Bit style. It's well presented and there's a good range of enemies to contend with. However, it is seriously let down by its extremely unforgiving nature with enemies attacking from both sides and having to contend with some suspect collision detection. It could be vastly improved with some final tweaks to make it more friendly to the player."
(John Dennis)

"I was looking forward to trying this game as I'm a huge fan of both Richard Bayliss' and Alf Yngve's games and I thought it would be interesting to see a game where Alf is unshackled from the restraints of SEUCK. Unfortunately, although the excellent Alf Yngve graphical design trademarks are all present the gameplay seemed rather limited to a repetitive side-scrolling shooter restricted to a small play area. I did enjoy the Matt Gray style soundtracks, and there's some excellent sprite designs and cool jungle graphics from Alf - but I couldn't help making comparisons to the amazing Last Amazon Trilogy of games, all of which manage to outshine this release. I know this version isn't quite complete but it still loses points for being a very short game and quite buggy at times too."
(Kenz)

"It's hard, and possibly unfair, to judge an incomplete game, but that which is present shows promise, albeit that it is a little easy to progress. The enemy attack patterns never change vertical plane, it's all stuck in horizontal movement."
(Mayhem)

"The gameplay is somewhat dull. Space for improvement would be to adjust the animation of the player movement, e. g. speeding up the animation when holding joystick right and slowing it down when holing joystick left.
The info screen after title screen ("You are an Amazonian") gets skipped by mistake too easily. After pressing fire on the title screen, the player should need to release the fire button before pressing fire to skip the info screen. Get ready screen is shown a bit too long.
(Milo Mundt)

"With a driving soundtrack that I'm not sure entirely fits with the Amazon theme of the game (but it's a great tune nonetheless) Amazon Tales is a brisk, fun shooter with a steady difficulty curve dotted with occasional blink-and-you're-dead attack waves."
(Ruari O'Toole)



Monkey Eat Milkey (Ron & Wolk / SOS)
12th Place (21.5455 Points)

"A nice idea, but it suffers because it feels like a mini-game that should be part of a bigger package of mini-games. I don't have a second player to play with, which means I can't judge on the two player mode (except theoretically) but it does expose the limited nature of the single-player mode. It's fun, but I'm not sure how many times you'd play it even with a second player. The glass of milk is so small it's hard to see your progress except in very general terms, so the tension isn't quite as high as it could be. That said, I thought the graphics were great and the animations were superb. As a whole it's really well presented, so I'd be interested to see it developed further."
(Alex Ross-Shaw)

"A Minigame if ever there was one! A Simian Single Track and Field event. I look forward to the whole decathlon (Monkey-tathlon). Graphics are lovely, but the game is not really a full game, in the traditional sense."
(Andy Jenkinson/Uglifruit)

"Hardly a real game but very cute and well designed. Could be a part of some party-game collection. Would be ace then!"
(Enthusi)

"Nice music but not much fun to be had gameplay wise. Two player versus mode might create some amusement for a few minutes."
(Flemming Dupont)

"If there is one thing that stands out with Monkey Eat Milkey, then it is the graphics - which are superb and crisp, and animate very well. However, as a game there unfortunately isn't that much to see or do. It is essentially a joystick waggling game with a breather to burp from time to time... sort of like the swimming event from Hyper Sports where you come up for breath, without the moving and with burping instead of breathing. Without a computer opponent the game is unfortunately only fun for about five minutes until you move on. It is a shame, as presentation wise it has been done very well - but to score higher there needs to be a little more depth. It is a huge progression though from last year's entry by the same team."
(Frank Gasking)

"Amazing hi-res graphics and fantastic music and sampled(!) sound effects are the highlights of this otherwise very simple game. With more stages/activities to play this could be a great little competitive party game, but as it stands it is just too limited to hold your interest for long. Fun while it lasts though."
(Heavy Stylus)

"Graphically this game is extremely cute, especially if you like lovable, milk-slurping, burpy monkeys. I am afraid there's not much else to it, though, and joystick-wagglers like this have very limited appeal. There is a two player challenge mode, but as I found it hard to register much improvement in my time, I doubt it is particularly satisfying as a contest. On the plus side, its presentation is extremely polished."
(John Dennis)

"Once you figure out what this game is about I found I couldn't help thinking, "is that it?!" The nicely designed hi-res graphics, cute sprites, twee soundtrack and funny sample are all well and good, but the actual gameplay itself is practically non-existant - waggle joystick and then push up. It LOOKS and sounds great though!"
(Kenz)

"It's very well put together, looks great, and works as a two player competitive bash, but ultimately it doesn't have an awful lot of depth. But fun to pull out every now and again."
(Mayhem)

"Small but cute game. The gameplay might be a bit simple, but it still is fun. Great hi-res graphics and fresh animations. Music is fun, too! Samples in a 16KB game? Are you guys nuts?! :) Nice ideas, and I hope there is a 'full' version. You might want to swap joyports for that version though, as joystick port 2 is the standard one for player 1, while player 2 usually uses port 1."
(Milo Mundt)

"Simply a delightful game; a joystick waggler whose concept on paper would look pretty poor (two monkeys in a race to drink a glass of milk) but which turns out to be fun on a bun."
(Ruari O'Toole)



Little Sara Sister 2 (Ice00)
13th Place (17.6364 Points)

"I know there are obvious limits to the C64 but the difference between the girl in the title screen and the girl you play in-game is... uh... big. :) It's a Giana-clone but not quite as slick. It's fun enough I guess but doesn't feel quite as well-rounded as, say, Giana's Return, for instance."
(Alex Ross-Shaw)

"A Not-Quite-Great Giana Sister. Appropriately chirpy music and graphics, but a slightly weird jumping/collision means it's not as tight as it's Plumber parent game. A 'nearly-but-not-quite' submission."
(Andy Jenkinson/Uglifruit)

"Looks more like a technical demo version. Fully playable but the graphics lack originality and the physics lack, well physics. A solid base for a more polished game though. Offers little new over obvious look-alikes at the current stage."
(Enthusi)

"A poor mans version of Great Giana Sisters, let down by some lazy sprite design and dull presentation. Gameplay is nice, but nothing special."
(Flemming Dupont)

"I loved Giana Sisters, so was looking forward to this entry. At first I struggled a bit with the game, as the jumping and movement is a little too heavy and jerky - making it a bit painful to play at times. Additionally I got stuck a few times into platforms when jumping, which got a little frustrating. Eventually I settled with the controls, and deep down it is a fair tribute to the classic Giana game. Graphically the game is good, with some nice animations in places and a good selection of levels in the 16KB cartridge edition, though sadly it isn't a patch on the original Giana Sisters. Sound is very good though - the in-game tune in particular is very nice and fits the theme perfectly. Presentation is good overall, with a nice picture for the game and colourful title screen - though the score panel areas are very basic looking - using the C64's standard font. There is a much larger edition already out there - but if there was another edition produced - just fixing the jumping would really turn this into a far better game."
(Frank Gasking)

"A Giana clone with great music and original level design ultimately let down by being forced to fit within the limitations of the 16KB competition - the disk version is considerably better. Also, having player and enemy characters with so few frames of animation makes the game appear visually very crude - it would have made sense here to drop the loading/title screen to offer more space for in-game assets. Addition of proper jumping physics would be nice, as would be replacement of the standard C64 font. Thumbs up for NTSC/PAL and GS compatibility."
(Heavy Stylus)

"A sideways-scrolling platformer in the vein of Mario/Giana that largely looks the part but does not quite deliver the goods. There are some issues with jumping onto platforms (quite crucial for the genre) and pixel-perfect jumps are needed to avoid obstacles early on. Given its lack of originality Little Sara Sister 2 needed to be something special in terms of execution. Unfortunately, the gameplay needs more polish, even if the graphics and sound are of a good standard."
(John Dennis)

"A nice intro bitmap (boobies!) gives way to a slightly gaudy front end with a run-of-the-mill title tune. The game itself is obviously inspired by Great Giana Sisters, but as soon you start playing it you realise this is nowhere near in the same league as the 'banned' C64 classic. The animation is poor, the gameplay is extremely sluggish and it's difficult to progress very far due to the awful jump mechanics. Mario would be spinning in his grave if he were real and, er, dead."
(Kenz)

"So bad, it's good. Actually, that's a bit of a disservice to it. The odd thing is, lurking underneath the apparent lack of polish is a decent game waiting to be discovered. So there is an odd conflict of opinion going on."
(Mayhem)

"Congratulations for creating a clone of Giana Sisters in 16KB! While graphics and sounds are good, the gameplay lacks playability! The controls are just too rough for my taste."
(Milo Mundt)

"Very much in the vein of the Mario/Giana franchise, Little Lara Sister 2 is a fast playing, head stomping run-and-gun (minus the gun) platformer with a great soundtrack."
(Ruari O'Toole)



And that's it for this year! Prizes will be mailed out over the weekend, and the free cartridges for entering the competition will follow in the new year (in fun little boxes designed by Redcrab of Goin' Sideways and Genesis Project).