♦ Livestream of the ZZT world "Coolness" by Matt Williams (1996) [https://museumofzzt.com/file/view/coolness/]. ♦
Following on the footsteps of Code Red, it's Coolness, the Software Visions approved Code Red-Like that demonstrates what folks sought to replicate from its inspiration's success.
In some ways, the games are comically similar. Your home is very much in the Code Red style, there are transporters to alien worlds, and aliens simply hate humans. Coolness differs in enough ways to still feel like its own adventure, and the several year gap between the two does quite a bit to change the feeling of the game as well.
STK colors are now used constantly, with the game being quite dark and dreary. Matt Williams works some impressive visuals into the game with a lot of nice looking buildings given their own discrete boards, as well as some cool space ship designs seen later in the video.
The game also benefits from some rather creative puzzles. Cracking passwords, fixing a gas station pump, and a very impressive for the era circuit-mending puzzle make the game one worth seeing regardless of any feelings about Code Red.
It also has the benefit of not being nearly as huge. While it doesn't state how many endings it has, it seems like the answer is 3 or 4 compared to Code Red's eight, with one of the endings being a last second "Did you save the Earth or not?" check that's otherwise identical. The small scale lets Williams refine things a bit more, going for quality over quantity. It still has its share of quirks where players may accidentally be cut off from paths before they have any idea those paths exist, but I don't think it's possible to get truly stuck.
A neat game that I'm looking forward to returning to to check out the other paths.
♦ Play this world directly in your browser ♦
♦ Originally streamed on December 1st, 2023 ♦