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Reviews of the 2004 C32 Z-Code Competition

     The competition (hosted by Dave Bernazzani, with games available for download at the archive) puts forward an interesting premise. What if we were limited to 32k, for games on a hypothetical Commodore 32? Each of the six entries, written in Inform for play on the (not just hypothetical) Z-Machine, attempt to make the best of this limitation.

     To give weight to my ratings, and to avoid top-heavy score distribution as found in my IF Comp '04 reviews, I decided to score the best game a 10, the next best a 9, and so forth, with the bottom game still getting a respectable 5. In theory, it was a good idea. In reality, I found it difficult to rank three of the games (coincidentally, the three I beta-tested). At least one of the six scores lower than it deserves. Another scores significantly higher. But, rather than claim that I made no such judging decisions, I have also listed the "unofficial" score. This is the score I would have given based on my scoring guidelines for IF Comp '04, and as such, I opted to go for half-points again. The real score, in bold in the right-most column, is the score I submitted to the contest.

 #  In Order Played    #  In Order By Rank Unofficial Real Score
1 Endgame   1 Downtown Train 9.5 10
2 Zombies!   2 Amusement Park 8.5 9
3 Amusement Park   3 Endgame 9.0 8
4 Paparazzi   4 Turning Point 9.0 7
5 Downtown Train   5 Zombies! 5.0 6
6 Turning Point   6 Paparazzi 2.5 5

     Above, the games are listed twice. First, they are shown in the order created for me by the C32.Z5 contest front-end. For three of the games, this meant playing and reviewing in order. For those I beta-tested, this meant playing again, and working my thoughts into a review. Next, they are in order by rank, with official scores appearing in the last column. To see all reviews on a single page, visit my C32 Comp Review journal. Otherwise, access each review individially using the links above.

     The competition was a blast for me -- from helping test three of the entries, to playing the others, to writing the reviews. I highly recommend the top four games, and I would recommend the fifth if the author works to improve it for a follow-up release. Congrats to every author, and good luck to each in ranking highly when the votes are counted.

     Bonus: Here are links to other reviews of the C32 Competition games.
     Enjoy! Dave Bernazzani | PJ | Jason Dyer | Dan Shiovitz | Jimmy Maher