I love those acient Spectrum and Commodore games like "Jet Set Willy", "Pssst!" and "Atack of the Mutant Camels". I am in luck, because "new" games like that are produced again. Or am I?
I have a cellular with a color LCD screen that accepts Java applications and games. Most of these games are between 30K and 64K. So, an almost forgotten art of gaming is revived. This week I bought 3 of them (at 4.40$ a piece).
What struck me is that today's programmers actually lost the art of making quality games smaller than 64K. Back in the day of Willy platform games had loads of levels. These days, you can be happy if such a game has just a handfull. One of these new Java games is "ConQuest 1773 Episode 1" by Cocoasoft and has 6 levels. When comparing it to JSW the graphical details are about the same, though. The screen scrolls in each level to make up for the samller screen. Cocoasoft managed to squeeze a lot of details in the tiny 128*128 pixels screens (4096 colors). JSW has in fact 1 large level divided in 64 rooms and gives the illusion that it is huge. JSW's level design was better. Each room was a challenge. Conquest's levels are less creative. Other games I have seen are even more disappointing. Small levels and too simple. A good example is "Space Encounter" by Tracebit. AFAIK it has 2 levels and eats 55K. Maybe there are more, but I didn't see them yet. Compare that to the 30 sectors in "Attack of the Mutant Camels" that fit in 16K! Sure the new Java games are cheaper, but they are supposed to have a bigger market. To me it looks like the new game companies lost the art of producing tiny quality software in an age where a PC has at least 256MB memory and games fit on at least one CD-ROM.
Am I sentimental or are those old games really better?