have a winner!
The 2001 compo yielded a good crop of strong entries, and it has been
painful (very painful -- you try playing all
of the entries in one sitting) to single out a clear winner, but
a decision has been made and we hope you'll join us in conflagrating
the short-list contenders and grand winner of the Crap Game crown.
Our heartfelt thanks to everyone who submitted an entry. It
takes guts and patience to make a game, good or bad (even if you are
Chris Young, whereby you just naturally produce crap games
like other people product carbon dioxide and cloudy water), and the effort
is doubly-appreciated from those who would make a game for a
19-year-old platform. We salute you.
Let us usher you along to the runners-up,
already, or cut straight to the grand winner.
5. COMMANDER G: FIRST STRIKE
by Mikulás Patocka
Judge Bike: I couldn't work out how to lose if I wanted to. That
made me feel pretty potent. 3/5
Judge Bunny: I don't like shooty games and this was no
exception and I really couldn't see the point, which is 'crap'. 4/5
Judge Impetigo: I like games that make me feel unstoppable. This
one is crap and appealing. 3/5
Judge Adam: Many-faceted in its pointlessness but it's somehow
mechanically compelling. Graphics blocky and ascii-y, speed a bit too
fluid but tempered by nice bug-work. A really sound entry harking
back to the Cascade50 tradition rather than being of the 'the in-joke
is in the name, ha-ha' mould.
4. DER SCHNELLER LAUFHAUSEN
by Chris Young
Judge Bike: Something in German about being chased by police?
The plot was lost on me but it reminded me of some of the best nights
out I've had. 4/5
Judge Bunny: The flashing colours and the repetitive noises
made me think of a really good night out. 4/5
Judge Impetigo: Not being able to co-ordinate myself and being
shouted at in german was like the first and last time I went to a nightclub.
Judge Adam: Lives up to Chris' claim of incomprehensibility
which makes it all the more fascinating; I found I was patting myself
on the back every time I thought I'd deciphered some new aspect of the
game (like how to start). In short, objectively undeniably crap in
every way but still eerily satisfying for a few minutes. Skillful.
3. GAMES WITH FRONTIERS
by Pablo & Jaime Tejedor
Judge Bike: NINE games for the price of one, and I want to crush
the author. Can't argue with that. 3/5
Judge Bunny: This one was supposed to have horses and
drawing in it but it was sort of a rip-off. I felt like crying which
Judge Impetigo: Martians on strike, a fleet of idling space ships, damn!
This is ST:TNG level of social commentary but you just can't play
Judge Adam: Further into your more postmodern (*shudder*)
territory, I find that ten weak jokes can actually add up to one quite
amusing one. Each 'game' in the compendium looks very much like the
shortest and most disappointing of the type-in-listing games from
mags, with each accompanying gag more likely to raise a heartfelt sigh
than a chuckle -- that's the quality I admired.
2. WILD WEST HEAD HUNTER
by Tomaz Cedilnik
Judge Bike: Really cool intro, I wanted to kick 9+ levels of
cowboy ass after reading it but the game maker is a dirty cheat and a
liar and I will give him a good kicking if he doesn't finish it. 5/5
Judge Bunny: I was thinking that I would not like this game
because it sounded violent, but it was really very nice and slow and
quiet but I don't know how to win it. 2/5
Judge Impetigo: I always wanted a gun to show the bigger kids at
school who was a spotty gimp or not. I was hoping that this game
would be a carthesis like quake but I want a gun much more badly now. 5/5
Judge Adam: The first entry of the year's compo to promise so
much and deliver laughably little, and one of the very best
submissions in that vein. Admirably done.
1. FIRE ELECTRIC PEN
by Joe Mackay
Judge Adam: This polished entry strikes the delicate balance
between overt crapness and just enough attention payed to
implementation to get your joke across in stages. The game
combines disarming Engrish with a fundamentally appalling idea
realized very frustratingly but playable enough for the victim to
play to the point where he gets slapped on the head by the author,
exclaims 'GUH!' and feels like an idiot for almost beginning to take
the game seriously for a few minutes.
It was a close contest all-in-all and this could be a very long
list, but here are just a few choice entries that might reasonably
have made the top five but just didn't.
ALEX IN TOWN by Equinox Tetrachloride -- for looking a bit
pro-ey but basically reducing me to tears
CSS CATCHPHRASE by Matthew Westcott -- for the amount of
effort (like I said, demo coders are just too obsessive!)
TURBO NOVA by Lee Prince -- for being quite funny mainly as
a parody but also for being a multiple-choice thingy exactly like we
all used to make when we were into adventures but too inept to write a
CALEY HOOSE by Robert Mitchell -- for being so prosaic but
not having a parser (there I go with the parsers again)
LASERCANNON by Hob -- it was a toss-up between this one and
Commander G, but the latter just felt very slightly crapper -- soz!
FREDDY THE SHORT SIGHTED FROGGER WHO CAN'T SWIM by Mike Wynne
-- love the genre and this was done very well, but that was a
weakness in the final reckoning!
and all the rest, damn it but I'll shut up because it's time
to just wrap this compo up. See you in the trenches next year, perhaps!
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