Weekend of ZZT October 2005 [Exception/Fascism]
Oof. Sorry Stak, the timing couldn't have been any worse apparently.
We were all pretty terrible at the time (myself 100% included). Doing research to get the scores in the text file meant reading the z2 thread and having to add a forum word filter on the n-word in this case.
You, like nearly everyone else who was around in that and in recent years took a peak at what happened with ZZT have grown and changed significantly as a person. This contest ran roughly half a lifetime ago for much of the community then, and we all assume that 16 years later this kind of behavior and attitude has long since been discarded. I removed the email field from reviews because it never actually got used for anything, and now also writing a review is the only way I know to potentially contact you, but do check out the Discord if you're interested in ZZT again even as a curiosity. Nobody will think less of you for being a jerk as a kid and your message makes it clear how you've changed.
Uhhh anyways this Weekend of ZZT brought us "Ninja Games", the clear winner.
The entirety of Crime City is ruled by the fierce Ninja gang led by Crime Ninja Master. Everyone knows this.
(Hmm I should edit the CSS For code blocks to not be so ZZT centric actually.)
A powerful opening continues to play up the humor as the fascist Crime Ninja Master has basically everybody the protagonist knows and cares about killed. This ranges from direct family to "that math teacher in 7th grade who made learning fun". The animation of their demises is well executed (cough) with various ninja blinking in an out of existence giving the illusion of incredibly quick movement.
It's a minigame compilation that's got some effort put into it. Each day the player is presented with the same set of five minigames.
- Tightrope walking
- Shuriken throwing
- Quick draw
- Assassination practice
- Evading targets
All of them are competently coded if lacking in polish due to the time limit with a few warnings of things like advancing the event counter without letting you play again or a rare bug that will cause your score to plummet in the Quick Draw.
The games themselves aren't half bad and have a little bit of creativity to them while fitting in with the ninja theming of the game. They're rather simple but for such a brief game they're entertaining enough, and once you learn which games you like most you can avoid playing anything you dislike.
On the low end of quality IMO are the shuriken throwing game which is just a shooting gallery which requires either very intense timing or a lot of luck to get a good score, and the assassination practice where you can only attack targets that move randomly when they randomly become vulnerable. The latter means staying close to a target and hoping the game lets you attack.
The requirements can be strict, and they go unstated so if you're not doing frequent saves you may wind up getting stuck. The scoring is also a little off feeling with some games having you earn points while others give you points upfront and have you lose them over time to complete a task. The target evasion actually has the score counter tick up allowing an infinite amount of points (in theory). After each day your points are reset so you can't cheese things by doing really well on day 1.
"Fatal Exception" (Fatal Exception on the title screen) is the only other serious entry, highlighting how dim the light of ZZT creation was by this point. Other contest issues didn't help encourage submissions, but this is a bit sad to see.
Fatal by Nedemai takes on a more traditional ZZT game structure. The story is pretty absurd, with your character accusing the boss of a company of being fascist only to learn that the whole company is! Except for you, the exception. You're then thrown into jail and have to escape and save the company from fascism. This involves tunneling out with a spoon and then having a button pushing puzzle that operates sliders in the dark making it extremely easy to just lose instantly.
Collecting fuses, fighting objects and lions. It's a pretty barebones action game, and while its mediocre graphics look better than those of Ninja Games (save for the menu icons) there's nothing here to impress or give the game some personality. Enjoy a 12 board maze.
ZZT lets you hammer out these kind of games incredibly quickly, and while that can be an ace up your sleeve in a modern day game jam, when you're making a ZZT game to be played by other ZZTers it fails to impress. In a more healthy competition this is the sort of game that would be in the middle of the pack or lower. It's a ZZT game made under time constraints, but it just doesn't have anything to it to keep the player interested.
The other entries can be safely ignored if you're actually looking to play a game.
This feedback was submitted prior to publication of this file and may not reflect its current contents
\>thinking about ZZT again lately
\>find this site
\>get slapped in the face with a reminder of what an awful person i used to be, right on the front page
i swear to god i don't remember making this cringey nonsense but i ALSO don't remember being such an aggressively belligerent douchebag despite it all being right there
so yeah i'm just gonna apologize for being a stupid edgelord back in the day and hope to whatever deity will listen that i've gotten better since then