Dear friends of the global Amstrad CPC community, the RG Game of the Year 2016 is MAGICA from Juan J. Martínez (@reidrac in the social networks). But, before proceeding to describe our choice, let us wish you a very happy new year 2017!! What an impressive year 2016 has been for the machines of Alan Sugar! More than 40 complete games have been released this year. Moreover, a couple of hardware gadgets (M4 wi-fi board, DDI-3 for the CPC 464, etc) have given the CPC series a second youth.
In parallel, the amstrad CPC community in the social networks has grown exponential. Therefore, let´s hope that the party does not end here and that 2017 could bring us another set of amazing innovations in software, hardware, and networking.
As it has been advertised during the whole week, Rainbow Graphics has analyzed 16 of the best games produced for the Amstrad CPC in 2016. We have followed our own criteria and have qualified every games in 6 different categories (graphics, screen technique, playability, music & sound, addictiveness) with a 1/10 score. The average score has been calculated for every game as you can see in the Table behind this paragraph):
Under the screen technique parameter we evaluate the complexity of the screen method used to progress along the game. The score given for this parameter was:
- 6/10 for single screen games (this category includes single screen level games or games in which the the map is transitioned screen-to-screen)
- 8/10 for isometric-based 3D games
- 10/10 for horizontal scroll-based games.
The evaluation of the rest of categories is completely subjective and the results may be entirely different for every CPC gamer out there. This is why we tried to unveil the Gamer Choice before our RG Choice. Nonetheless,as it was announced in our previous post, the deadline for the People´s Choice has been extended for another week to increase the participation.
In the previous table we can see the average score for each of the 16 games analyzed wich leaves MAGICA as the RG Game of the Year 2016 for the amstrad CPC. The top 5 is completed with the following games: #2 – Adiós a la Casta Episode 2; # 3 and 4 – Hire Hare and Outlaws (same average score); #5 – Ice Slider
All these games will be briefly reviewed in coming posts but the figure below this paragraph shows a visual comparison of the scores of the top 5 games in every category.
In our humble opinion, the game coded by Juan J. Martínez (@reidrac in social networks) has the best combination of lovely graphics and music, smart level design, and excellent playability & addictiveness. MAGICA will keep you giving it another chance over and over and over again.
Choosing a mechanics with demonstrated success in classics like Bubble Bobble or Snow Bros has been one of the keys for its excellent playability. Indeed the implementation of the concept in the CPC machines by @reidrac has been excellent as well (no room has been left for a lower degree of addictiveness compared those classics).
In this sense, the original concept has been renewed. Our sorceress can use her magic to induce a dizzy state in their opponents. Then, they will be thrown along our moving direction as soon as we (or another thrown enemy) touch them. At this point, the enemies dissapear letting potions (which have been previously stolen to the sorceress according to the plot) which we will need to collect before completing the different levels.
Everything moves well and precisely even when a high number of enemies are shown in the screen… There is a good variety of enemies with different properties. Some of them show the most effective artificial intelligence (AI) I have seen in a 8 bits game. The Knight and the Wizard will modify their pathway as soon as they “sense” your presence near them… For me, this is one of the secrets which makes this game so addictive. Learning the moves of the enemies is not enough to progress …
Another positive thing is that the levels can be completed in different ways. There is no one only and “pixel perfect”way to complete them like we have seen in classic games like Abu Simbel Profanation, Manic Miner, and so on.
In addition, MAGICA presents the most effective music found in any of the productions released by @reidrac for the Amstrad CPC (The Return of Traxtor, Space Pest Control, and Golden Tail) and a beatiful loading screen (created by norwegian pixel artist Vanja Utne).
If you decide to give a try be ready to complete its 50 stages in 50 sec each (fortunately, hunting the flying fairy which appear in certain stages will give you some extra time). Are you ready to take the challenge?