Here are the average scores between Quantum P. and myself, in descending order. gingermuffins wins, with a perfect score of 10 for Secret Raid at BB's, followed by Kjorteo and Sands of Time with 9.25 and then Master Raze in third place with a score of 7.5 for Thug Life: Busted.

Place Entrant Game Quantum P. MadTom Average
1st gingermuffins Secret Raid at BB's 10.00 10.00 10.00
2nd Kjorteo Sands of Time 9.50 9.00 9.25
3rd Master Raze Thug Life: Busted 8.00 7.00 7.50
4th eRN56 Jenny 6.50 8.00 7.25
5th Stargazer Criminals 7.50 7.00 7.25
6th hyde Gun Metal 7.00 4.00 5.50
7th Bustaballs In Search of Mr. Bunbuns 5.00 5.00 5.00
8th Shadow Mage You Are Here! (Demo) 4.00 5.00 4.50
9th [com]buster Just Another Day 4.50 3.00 3.75
10th Surlent McHeist 3.50 3.00 3.25
11th Ando The Joint 3.00 3.00 3.00
12th Nixon The Dungeons of M$ 2.00 3.00 2.50
13th Fungahhh Extra Foods 0.00 0.00 0.00

Quantum P.'s Comments

Stargazer - Criminals - (7.5/10)

This was an interesting entry in that it isn't your standard "shoot everything that moves" game with minimal plot. Instead, plot is everything. You get mixed up with some protesters who aren't exactly law-abiding citizens, and your actions involving the group have a strong bearing on your fate at the end of the game. Just for this focus on story (and an actual message - who knew ZZT games could be serious?), the game gets extra points. The game also has a couple of innovative engines as well. The graphics aren't breathtaking, but they work. I can't really criticize this game, other than say that it's a bit short and might not appeal to those who only want that "shoot everything that moves" game. However, if you don't mind a story, go play it.

Nixon - The Dungeon's of m$ - (2/10)

Pretty good graphics for the most part. However, as I believe was admitted by the author, the gameplay is rather uninteresting, with only a few playable boards and one kind of enemy. In addition, it wasn't as on topic as it could have been - the enemies were nondescript, and all the crime material was in the plot. It would have been really nice if the enemies attacks were criminal actions, or if the end boss was Steve Ballmer or James Allchin doing something criminal. Good attempt, but I have to dock a few points for the aforementioned issues.

hyde` - Gunmetal - (7/10)

The graphics in this one are nice for the most part. The colors are vibrant, and that scribbly texture works very well on some of the boards. There was some music, but I don't consider myself an authority on music, so I won't judge that. Gameplay-wise, I ran into a problem right away: I couldn't get the blue key without access to the warehouse, and I couldn't get into the warehouse without the blue key. Either there's a glaring bug, or the solution to the puzzle isn't intuitive enough - and both are bad. That issue aside, it looks like Gunmetal offers some interesting gameplay.

Fungahhh - Extra Foods - (0/10)

I'm pretty sure that this is a joke entry, albeit a large one in terms of number of boards. There were a few references to crime, but according to the rules, "You will lose points if you just include the word in capital letters every now and then in your dialogue." If it were a lot more on topic, it might get a point or two, but otherwise, no.

Bustaballs - In Search for Mr.BunBuns - (5/10)

This game had an interesting twist - what is gang warfare like when the gangsters are only about 10 years old? The idea was clever, but the execution could have been better. The colors in the artwork could have been richer, and the game itself didn't immediately appeal for me. I guess I'm too much of a sympathizer, both for the nerds Bruce beats up and for Bruce's mother. Still, there was some gameplay, so the game gets some points for that.

eRN56 - Jenny - (6.5/10)

This game had incredible artwork, on par with that of gingermuffin's entry. The game was fun but way too short - as a result, I can't give it too high of a score. Still, it was entertaining, and it was nice to see that ern56 did his research about rare stamps. I was expecting a plot twist of some kind (why was the ink already ordered?). Not the best game of the bunch, but definitely worth a play-through.

Ando - The Joint - (3/10)

As Ando admitted on the first board, he's either in his element or he's not. Unfortunately, for this contest, he did not have any brilliant inspiration. The game is short and has very little gameplay, although there is some of Ando's brand of humor. The game gets a few points for trying and for making me chuckle.

(com)buster - Just another day - (4.5/10)

Nice engine programming. I was especially impressed by the visibility engine used on one of the first boards! However, the game was rather tough. It wouldn't have been so bad if there was more ammo and the player didn't re-enter the board when zapped - this got annoying rather quickly. However, it was nice to have a custom cheat function to skip levels that were too difficult. The graphics were on the plain side. Overall, this entry was interesting, but it could have been better.

Surlent - McHeist - (3.5/10)

In this game, you run around a McDonald's restaurant, robbing people on a bet that you can collect a certain amount of money. It's fun for a few minutes, but after that, there's not much replay value. You aren't on a time limit or anything, so all you have to do is figure out which objects to touch to get the money. The graphics are decent. The engine isn't terribly original - MadTom used a similar pickpocket engine in his game Burglar!. I wouldn't take off points for it, as the engine only involves a single line of code, but on the other hand, I can't award points for innovation. At least he tried - that counts for something.

Kjorteo - Sands of Time - (9.5/10)

Decent graphics, nice engine, and an awesome concept. I love the sense of history the game creates - the mansion changes over time, and past events are connected to future circumstances. The whole thing was a bit disorienting at first (Am I in the future or the past right now?), but fortunately, it was easy to figure out by playing. Overall, the whole thing is of a quality rarely seen in contests, and it spans two files, too! The only reason I'm giving it a 9.5 is to avoid a first-place tie between this game and...

gingermuffins - Secret Raid on the Bunsen-Bertuzzi Building - (10/10)

This game was quite impressive - a comic adventure game with incredible graphics. The puzzles were clever but not too difficult, and the game was funny throughout. In terms of style, the game reminded me of some of the classic ZZT comedy puzzle games, such as Edible Vomit and Burger Joint. As in Kjorteo's entry, the quality was very high - if you knew nothing about the game's origin, you might not suspect this was a contest entry! Both this game and Sands of Time are incredible, and I had a lot of trouble deciding which one to give a 10. However, although pretty graphics don't make a good game, they can break a tie.

Master Raze - Thug Life : BUSTED! - (8/10)

Fittingly, for a contest with "crime" as the topic, Master Raze made another Thug Life sequel! If you've played his previous Thug Life games, you'll know what to expect here - good gameplay mixed with plenty of offensive content. It is essentially Thug Life 2 with different missions and a much smaller world to run around in. The graphics are simple, but they work well. This one is definitely worth a look.

Shadow Mage - You are here! - (4/10)

This entry is actually a demo - it is incomplete, but Shadow Mage plans to finish it and submit it to z2 at a later date. Gameplay-wise, this entry is promising. It plays like Raze's Thug Life: meet people and do various shady jobs for them. Although the game is incomplete, I get the feeling that the intended storyline might have a stronger story, where the tasks tie in with a continuing story rather than just being random jobs around town. However, the graphics are ugly, with lots of rectangular blocks of flat color. The game would benefit from tasteful use of gradients and a bit more care in drawing the city. In addition, I'm a bit puzzled by the look engine - why use ?+look when ?+l is easier to type? Don't get me wrong - this game has potential - but I can't give it a good rating in its current unpolished state.

MadTom's Comments

Ando - The Joint

Ando makes me laugh. This adheres to the topic and looks pretty good, but it's too short to really be taken as serious competition. Not too much else to say here.


Bustaballs - In Search of Mr. Bunbuns

More than anything else, this needed playtesting. It's not that it's too buggy, but the enemy AI is not very good, including some #throwstar commands. Using an invisible maze that doesn't reveal itself, no matter how simple, is pretty much unforgivable. I did note the branching gameplay, though - good effort. There's no #endgame at the end of the world, and insufficient health and ammo. Don't use pre-programmed monsters! Ever! I liked the premise, with a novel take on the topic, and some of the writing is amusing, if a bit overwrought. The graphics are acceptable.


(com)buster - Just Another Day

Good link to the topic, and I like the engine you used in the first house, although it's very difficult. Reasonable graphics on the title screen and board outside the house. Otherwise, the game is simply too short, and in places difficult to follow.


ern56 - Jenny

I loved this one! Counterfeiting is a great take on the topic, and researching it beforehand for authenticity's sake was a good move. Your graphics are superb, and the writing's great. There's even a simple tune for the title screen. No bugs, either. "Dye Hard" and "Pulp Fiction" for store names made me laugh, for reasons that are not entirely clear to me. You only lose these points because it's short and not very challenging.

Like Kjorteo, you might like to upload this to Z2 as a game for your catalog. Please tell me you're going to make a full-length sequel to this, too, because I'd love to play it.


Fungahhh - Extra Foods

No link to the topic, just some Boulder Xod puzzles and Viovisian ZZT rambling. At least one ripped board. No points.


hyde` - Gun Metal

Having a simple tune for the decent-looking title screen is a good start, as are the tunes on the Teen Priest style chapter boards. Your graphics are pretty good, too. But then it peters out ... do not use preprogrammed monsters! When I got to the boards with enemies, I had no ammunition, nor a means of getting any, and I can't find a source in the editor. Examining in the editor shows the game is incomplete.


gingermuffins - Secret Raid at BB's

"They say this toilet's as big as a hot tub. If you can think of any reason not to try and steal it, well, you're probably just jealous. You'll never own a golden toilet. You'll never know what it feels like to read Ivanhoe on a golden toilet and scream "Hoah yeah!" as Castle Torquilstone falls the exact same time you release a stool."

That made me laugh so hard I nearly cried.

This is the best game in the contest. It's well-planned, tightly programmed, very nicely drawn, colourful in content, and in places extremely funny. When you play through it, I recommend doing things wrong deliberately to read the "game over" messages, particularly at the door to the meeting room - stay there when the marketing guy comes to check who's there.

It's a real shame there are two passage errors ... you'll have to use the editor, but fortunately it's obvious where they are. One other tiny snag: you are not really given enough time while shrunk to do what is necessary. Neither of these things merit penalising a full point, though.

I'm impressed gingermuffins managed to get so much work done in 72 hours, especially considering this was only his third of three ideas - check out the other boards he made in the editor. After fixing this and the passage errors, this ought to be uploaded to Z2 in its own right.


Kjorteo - Sands of Time

This is a very clever game, and a very good take on the topic. I've never seen an inventory engine quite like this before. The writing is very effective, if a little cliché. The graphics are simple, but they work, and using colours to show the time period was a clever idea. The programming is great. There are no bugs, evidence of thorough testing. You might like to consider uploading this to Z2 as a game in itself.

Better graphics, more room features, and using fewer boards - that is, a more compact layout for the house that would mean less running around - could have made this a 10.


Master Raze - Thug Life: Busted

Raze got lucky with the topic. Crime is pretty much his element, and he's here fallen back on his Thug Life model. There's nothing wrong with that, but the thing about Thug Life is that it's basically running around, and that can wear thin quickly. There's not much of an element of strategy to it; at most, beyond a couple of gun battles you're testing your ability to remember where the streets are.

That said, Raze is, as usual, a head above most of his competition. It's programmed properly, drawn to the same standard as the older Thug Life, with a few cutscenes, and there's only one bug, though it's pretty glaring: a certain group of enemies don't #zap their :shot tags. Some of the gangster lingo and crude jokes are funny, too.


Nixon - The Dungeons of M$

As the rules implied, if you have to explain to the player how your game relates to the topic, then it's not relevant enough. You've done some nice graphics for the introductory boards, but then you delve into two levels of sparsely-programmed dungeon crawl and an abrupt finish. Nice, just way too short!


Shadow Mage - You Are Here! (Demo)

It's a shame this is incomplete, because it's rather good. The writing is of a better standard than usual, even with some funny bits, and the graphics are all right. It's well-tested. The link to the topic is a bit tenuous. I'd like to see you finish this and release it on Z2. If you'd managed to finish this and spruced up your graphics, this could have been a 7 or 8. I like how you're a fox girl, but then, I would.


Stargazer - Criminals

Oh, wow, actual branching gameplay, properly executed in a Weekend of ZZT contest! With different endings, and moralising as appropriate! Flood-filled random STK graphics aren't great, but it's a step up from the usual quality. Don't use pre-programmed monsters. The bulldozer bombing idea was cleverly done, especially the puzzle with the river. Ecoterrorism is a splendid reflective take on the topic. Virtually no bugs. And you actually included a little music! Very good work.


Surlent - McHeist

Short Burglar! pickpocketing scene tribute. I'm flattered, but this is really just too short. The graphics are all right.