MSXdev’17 Final report


Once again, this edition’s Jury Team consisted of veterans from the worldwide MSX community.

Allow us to introduce them to you:

  • Gameplay: Richard Cornelisse
  • Graphics: Toni Gálvez
  • Sound and SFX: Javier García (Gryzor87)
  • Polishing: Fernando García
  • Originality: Germán Díaz

Every juror was expected to give to each game a report grade from 1 to 9, with a short motivation on why they felt the game deserved that score.

Next to that, they could hand out bonuses of 0.5 points in total to distribute among the different games as they wish. These bonus points were not required to deal out, but they could use them if they felt the game deserved it for some reason.

Every juror had to focus on the department assigned: gameplay, graphics, sound, polishing and originality.

Here is an example of voting (note that the following games do not participate in MSXdev contest):

  • Konami’s Tennis: 7
  • Konami’s Soccer: 6 + 0.2 = 6.2
  • City Connection: 5
  • Donkey Kong: 8 + 0.1 = 8.1
  • The Fairyland Story: 9 + 0.2 = 9.2


Here are the points given by each one of the jurors and also their comments on the games.

Richard Cornelisse → Gameplay

  • (9/10) Slime Center: Slime Center feels like an old school game that could have actually have been released in the 80’s. The gameplay feels unique (with a flavour of Bomberman). I really like this game. The controls are pretty good. Placing bombs on the wrong place is sometimes frustrating but does not feel unfair. The level design is good, a lot of enemies are on screen, backtracking is happening but as enemies are not respawning it feel sometimes nice to go through empty screens to catch breath after a room with a lot of enemies. The difficulty is balanced well. As you progress you encounter stronger enemies and the puzzle element is intuitive but not always too obvious. This game has good replay value. I really hope to reach the end of this game one day.
  • (9/10) XSpelunker: This game breathes ‘adventure’. I really wanted to play this game. The controls are extensive, there are a lot of different actions but it still feels intuitive. The levels change on each playthrough which really extends the replayability. I played as far as I could and will certainly try to get further in the near future. It’s really nice to explore the levels but after some time I just try to get from left to right as fast as possible to the exit. Perhaps it would be nice to also have exits on unexpected places.
  • (9/10) Draconic Throne: This game has some unique controls. Collision detection is good and never frustrating. Control response is good. The learning curve of the control is a bit steep in the beginning. The levels and enemies are very varied and there are some really nice surprises. This is a really good game, but also hard to master.
  • (9/10) ΧΙ∧∃Χ (Zevimodoki): I enjoy Zevimodoki much more than the game it tributes to. The controls are tight and collision windows are fair. The game never stops when going from level to level (the graphics are exceptional) and the frenzy never stops. Rensha-turbo auto-fire is a must for this game. The bosses are good and are varied. Enemy patterns are sometimes hard to dodge, but never uninteresting. The game features easter eggs, but unfortunately, I was unable to get them. This also adds to the replay value of this game.
  • (8/10) Magical Tower Adventure: Nice strategic puzzle game. Controls are good and on each floor you have to go well-chosen routes. Difficulty level is good but challenging, you really need to think out your moves. I came back to this game again and again to try to beat it.
  • (7/10) Mazogs: At first, I was not sure what to do in this game as it has no manual or instructions. But after some trial and error and looking at other implementations of Mazogs I got the hang of it. The game is a dungeon crawler game using random generated levels, which I think is impressive. The controls are good, but the overall speed of the game is a bit slow which effects the gameplay.
  • (7/10) Tales of Popolon: Technically this game is very impressive. A drawback of this is that the controls are a bit unresponsive. Occasionally I ran into an enemy, but as it was positioned left or right to me, I got stuck and died. Still I came back to this game on several times I had some free time on my hands.
  • (6/10) Andrea Petkovic Torneo de Tenis: Long, not a lot of user interaction. The texts describing the game itself are good but after some time it loses its appeal.
  • (6/10) Sweet Punch: Fun little game. The gameplay is quite simple but encourages to get further each time. The gameplay would benefit from a little more variety.
  • (5/10) SKULLrs: SKULLrs is the simplest game of all the entries (but was the first!). I like the idea of the game but gameplay wise the game is a bit too harsh on the player. I would have really liked it to have some sort of difficulty curve. Apart from millisecond reflexes you also need a lot of luck improving your friends’ or own hi-score.

Toni Gálvez → Graphics

  • (9/10) Mazogs: Very colourful, big characters and very stylish graphics.
  • (9/10) ΧΙ∧∃Χ (Zevimodoki): Very Japanese style and good mechanical designs.
  • (8/10) Draconic Throne: This one has solved the enemies in a very clever way.
  • (8/10) Sweet Punch: Is it an MSX2 game?
  • (8/10) Xpelunker: Very detailed and atmospheric.
  • (7/10) Tales of Popolon.Very clever graphics and amazing 3D engine, they should use bigger screen area on MSX turbo R.
  • (4/10) Slime Center: Clever graphics.
  • (2/10) Andrea Petkovic Torneo de Tenis: This game has no graphics style, they are pretty simple.
  • (2/10) Magical Tower Adventure: This one is a Spectrum game.
  • (1/10) SKULLrs: Pretty simple and basic.

Javier (Gryzor87) → Music and FX

  • (9/10) Xpelunker: Very good music and SFX balance as well.
  • (8/10) Draconic Throne: Very good music and SFX balance as well.
  • (7/10) Tales of Popolon: Good music and SFX balance as well.
  • (6/10) ΧΙ∧∃Χ (Zevimodoki): Good music and SFX balance as well.
  • (4/10) Mazogs: Average music and SFX.
  • (3 + 0.5/10) Slime Center: This game has only SFX.
  • (2/10) Sweet Punch: No music.
  • (2/10) Andrea Petkovic: Light music and no SFX.
  • (2/10) SKULLs: Poor in general.
  • (1/10) Magical Tower Adventure: Only one SFX (poor).

Fernando García → Polishing

  • (9/10) Xpelunker: Masterpiece. Heavily polished.
  • (9/10) Draconic Throne: Masterpiece in just 32KB.
  • (9/10) Tales of Popolon: Masterpiece. Heavily polished.
  • (8 + 0.2/10)ΧΙ∧∃Χ (Xevimodoki): Great game. Heavily polished.
  • (7/10) Magical Tower Adventure: Great game. Few extra tech improvements would make it an awesome title.
  • (7/10) Slime Center: Good tech found here but it needs just a little extra work to be a very great title.
  • (6 + 0.3/10) Mazogs: Great port. It just needs an extra little push to make it more playable.
  • (6/10) Sweet Punch: Simple, well developed but it could include more tech stuff with a little extra work.
  • (5/10) Andrea Petkovic: Simple, well developed but it could include more stuff with some extra work.
  • (4/10) SKULLs: Since it is a very basic concept, it could include many simple extras.

Germán Díaz → Originality

  • (8/10) Tales of Popolon: First person game for MSX. Not often seen before.
  • (7 + 0.5/10) Xpelunker: Original game and characters.
  • (7/10) Draconic Throne: Head controls of the dragon, different types of fire, and now you are the dragon.
  • (5/10) Slime Center: Ability and speed are needed to achieve the game’s goal.
  • (4/10) Andrea Petkovic: New for a tennis game, but a little boring.
  • (4/10) Magical Tower Adventure: Maze game but with strategy, like the game “Salomon’s Key”.
  • (3/10) Mazogs: Maze game.
  • (3/10) Sweet Punch: Too simple game, with not much action.
  • (3/10) ΧΙ∧∃Χ (Zevimodoki): Based on a Namco game.
  • (1/10) SKULLs: Difficult controls and ugly graphics.


MSX Classic

WINNER: XSpelunker!

  1. XSpelunker: 8.3/10
  2. Draconic Throne: 8.2/10
  3. Tales of Popolon: 7.6/10
  4. Mazogs: 5.86/10
  5. Slime Center: 5.7/10
  6. Magical Tower Adventure: 4.4/10
  7. Andrea Petkovic Torneo de Tenis: 3.8/10
  8. SKULLrs: 2.6/10

MSX Freestyle


  1. ΧΙ∧∃Χ (Zevimodoki): 7.04/10
  2. Sweet Punch: 5/10

Other results

  • Best graphics: Mazogs and ΧΙ∧∃Χ (Zevimodoki)
  • Best music and sound FX: XSpelunker, Draconic Throne
  • Best gameplay: Slime Center, XSpelunker, Draconic Throne, ΧΙ∧∃Χ (Zevimodoki)
  • Most polished: XSpelunker, Draconic Throne, Tales of Popolon
  • Most original: Tales of Popolon


MSX Classic

  1. XSpelunker: €50
  2. Draconic Throne: €30
  3. Tales of Popolon: €20

MSX Freestyle

  1. ΧΙ∧∃Χ (Xevimodoki): €50
  2. Sweet Punch: €30

Community Prize

Given by the MSX community through a public poll among registered users in MSXdev website before October 5th, 2017.

Only six valid votes where registered:

  • Draconic Throne: 3 votes.
  • XSpelunker: 3 votes.

So both games are awarded with the MSX Community Prize. Congratulations!