We had a very tough time choosing the winner(s) as every game was excellent. Some made excellent use of technology, some were every inventive, and others made nice use of the source material as a jumping off point to push in new directions. Some were a combination of all three.
So, with no further delay, here are the winners and also a capsule review each game entry. We have also chosen a runner up that Steve and I agree was the most technically marvelous of all the games submitted. This second place game will receive a copy of our book.
FIRST PLACE WINNER (Grand Prize Award Winner):
We are proud to announce that 16K Lander is the winner of the first place prize package. So, Robert Podgórski of BlackMoon Design, please contact us at info[at]8bitrocket[dot]com so we can confirm your identification and an address to send out your prizes.
RUNNER UP WINNER (Technical Achievement Award):
The second place winner is Battle Wire 16K! Although every entry was excellent, Steve and I felt that this one was a technical marvel. So, TFernando (Nightflyer Games), please email us at info[at]8bitrocket[dot]com to claim your book. If you already have a copy, we can make arrangements for you to receive a copy of put forthcoming HTML5 Canvas book instead.
Capsule Reviews of Each Game Along with a review each also receives an achievement tag line that can be used in the title screen or to pump up sponsorship $$). Just like pee-wee AYSO soccer here in the USA, everyone is a winner in some capacity.
16K Lander: This is a remake of a classic Atari coin-op. It won the public voting for best game and it is very impressive. Just like the original it is difficult to play, but becomes easier as you get the hang of the controls. The visuals, sounds and game play are not arcade perfect (we didn't ask them to be), but they are decidedly retro-awesome in their own right. This is one of the best Lunar Lander re-makes that we have ever played. We especially like the random terrain, and the realistic physics model.
Achievement Tag Line "8bitrocket 16K Atari Retro-Remake: Grand Prize Winner"
BattleWire16K: This is almost an exact duplicate of the classic Atari Coin-Op. What is most impressive is the 3-d engine that was spun up in only 16K. Tony was able to fit in music and sounds as well. The controls are a little on the difficult side. I would have used the mouse for the pitch and firing, and the WASD for right, left forward and backward, but who's to say that would have been any better.
Achievement Tag Line: "8bitrocket 16K Atari Retro-Remake: Technical Achievement Winner"
Niculus: This re-skin of the classic Nebulus / Tower Toppler was the second runner-up in the technical achievement department. The incredibly fluid scrolling reminded us of the Atari ST classic right away. I had no idea that this kind of game with such beautiful visuals could be squeezed into as little as 16K. Aside from the technical aspects, this is just a fine fine game, that is very fun to play. It was very close to winning the second prize. Steve and I actually had to flip a coin to see which game won the last copy of our book that is available to give out.
Achievement Tag Line: "8bitrocket 16K Atari Retro-Remake: Technical Achievement Winner Runner Up"
Axe Quest: I love Ace's games. This is an excellent tribute to side scrolling "beat'em-ups". It looks quite like what an Atari 7800 version of Golden Axe might have looked like, and is fun, if not a little difficult to play. Ace paid much attention to detail in this contest. I especially like the little touches such as the "GO>>" message when the player has killed all of the foes on the level. Ace was able to squeeze a lot of different sprites, blood particles and the like into his 16K game. The enemy AI is very well done and make the game quite a challenge.
Achievement Tag Line:"8bitrocket 16K Atari Retro-Remake: Special Achievement in Sprites and Animation"
DABOMB: This is almost a straight port of one of the best Activition games of all time My top-5 list is River Raid, Pitfall, Key Stone Capers, Kaboom, and Hero. Kaboom is the game that this is trying to duplicate, and it does so very successfully. It looks and plays almost exactly like the original, but everything has been re-drawn by hand as to not violate any intellectual copyrights. It is a quite enjoyable and well crafted 16K entry that brings back the enjoyment of plugging in that 2600 cart for the first time.
Achievement Tag Line: "8bitrocket 16K Atari Retro-Remake: Best Atari 2600 game port"
DDDD (The Diabolical Dungeons of Dr. Devil) : Another Ace game, but this time he goes way back in time to tackle the classic RPG game, Rogue. This one hearkens back the the earlier 70's RPG games that existed only on systems like the PDP-11. This version is closer to the classic version on other early 80's computers such as the Atari 800, Spectrum, BBC Micro, C64, and the like. Ace has added much depth to his game and has squeezed an amazing amount of content into the 16K. His dungeon generator is freaking amazing. I find the symbols a little confusing, but once you play enough to learn what they mean the confusion is cleared up.
Achievement Tag Line: "8bitrocket 16K Atari Retro-Remake: Deepest, Most Re-playable game award"
Fate Of The Universe: This is a nicely crafted Pong variant that uses some classic Ace sprites to create a real "Tennis for two" using swats from the weapons of the on-screen avatars. Again, Ace's visual touches, character graphics, and animations are top-notch and very well done. Ace was prolific in this contest and it goes to show that he really should be making games for a commercial company.
Achievement Tag Line:"8bitrocket 16K Atari Retro-Remake: Best Fusion of classic and modern game-play"
16K Heli: Choplifter was one of the first games we played on the Apple IIe and the Atari 800. This is a particularly well made version that required a lot of different character graphics, AI and sound to be crammed into a small 16K package. This version is more difficult than I remember, but it is an impressive achievement.
Achievement Tag Line:"8bitrocket 16K Atari Retro-Remake: Best classic Atari 800 computer game re-make."
Must Destroy Your Heart: This game is a very creative take on the classic game, Berzerk. Out of all of the entries, this one took the original game concept and modified it enough to make a completely different game based on the same technology employed in the original. The firing system is very fluid and it reminded me more of the Robotron control scheme (or the Tron Arcade Game) than anything else.
Achievement Tag Line:"8bitrocket 16K Atari Retro-Remake: Most creative re-imagining of the source material."
Thanks to everyone for contributing, voting and playing the games. We hope to have another contest soon as this was a very enjoyable experience all-around.