| Dates and Deadlines | Game Format Specs | Jury Team | Rating | Donations | Sponsorship | Prizes | Enrollment | Games |

MSXdev is the name the international annual game competition for MSX computers that’s been running since 2003. The rules are simple, create an MSX compatible game. Anyone can participate and it is free to enter. Software submitted to MSXdev will be treated as freeware; free to download and free to play software. The games for this competition are in ROM format and can be used in any MSX emulator.

MSXdev21 is the 17th edition of this long running contest.


The MSXdev21 compo is officially over, with 34 new MSX1 game titles, over € 1200,00 of donated prize money and a huge list of sponsored items, is was an exceptional good year. The jury has come to a conclusion and choose ALIEN ATTACK to be the first place winner of this edition.

You can read all about the jury’s verdict right here, it includes a full report downloadable as .pdf.


MSXdev21 runs from January 1st 2021 until August 31st 2021.

  • Start: January 1st, 2021
  • Deadline to submit your entry: August 31st, 2021
  • Jury deliberation: September 1st, 2021
  • Deadline for jury reports: September 30th, 2021
  • Final results made public: October, 2021


The rules of this year’s edition are simple; all software is MSX1 compatible. That means it should run on any MSX machine with a limit of 16KB of RAM and without any hardware extensions. In MSXDEV context, it is known as the “classic” category.

All the games should be 100% compatible with this MSX configuration, which is defined as follows:

  • CPU: Zilog Z80 running at 3.58 Mhz
  • VDP: TMS9918/TMS9928 or compatible video processor
  • PSG: AY-3-8910 or compatible sound chip
  • Cassette interface: 1200/2400 baud
  • RAM: 16 KB (non memory-mapped)
  • VRAM: 16 KB

In addition, it is allowed to make use of additional MSX hardware but they will not be taken into account when determining the final quality of the game by the voters. The goal of the contest is producing fine quality games that could be fully enjoyed in any MSX system. Extra hardware is just not allowed this year, just to keep it simple.

The selected format for the games is an MSX ROM file. Cartridges have been the most successful media format for first generation MSX computers, and a substantial part of the best games ever produced on that platform were published in this format. Nowadays, this format is also interesting because it can be easily loaded into real MSX computers, using a flash cartridge, a ROM loader or a ROM converter. Besides, it can also be used directly on emulators.

And as there exists a growing phenomenon in the MSX scene of people developing physical MSX game cartridges, the MSXdev organization aims to encourage this game format.

Regarding the ROM size, any size will be accepted.

These ROM files can be developed using any programming language. There are no requirements here, but of course Assembly is strongly recommended. Other compiled and/or interpreted languages are perfectly admissible. MSX-BASIC can be used as well, providing the final product is converted into a MSX ROM.

All submitted games will be tested and evaluated to the prerequisites outlined above. And they should work perfectly on any MSX compliant machine. If a game does not run properly on all MSX computers with 16 KB of RAM, it could be disqualified by the organization.

Although original games will be preferred, non-original concept games will be also accepted. This includes conversions from arcade titles and/or other console or computer systems, as well as adaptations of already existent games. However, recompiled games or hacked games will not be accepted. Finally, direct graphic or music rips from other authors used without permission are out of the question as well.

In case of doubt, the organization is entitled to ask for proof, such as the source code of the entry. Any suspicious game can be disqualified if the organization decides so. It should be noted that only complete games will be accepted; beta-versions, demos or “to be finished” games will not be included in the contest.

No previously released games will be accepted as entries to the contest. We mean, game sold in the past, being sold now or even available for download somewhere. All entries must be unreleased games until they enter in the contest.

Besides this, all entries must be accompanied with the required game instructions written in English. Other artwork can be added to the package, although it will not be taken into account when voting.


Members of the jury panel cannot take part in the contest with game entries.

This edition’s jurors are:

Jury MemberCategory
Cas Cremers (Parallax) Gameplay
Richard Cornelisse (huey) Graphics
Hans Cnossen (Kid Cnoz) Sound
Bart van Velzen (norakomi) Polish
Tony Cruise (Electric Adventures) Originality
MSXdev21 jury panel


Every submitted game gets rated by the expert-jury for a minimal of 5, and a maximum of 100 points in total. In case of a tie, the jury will appoint one extra point to one of the games as a tie-breaker. Every juror will write a (short) argument on their scoring.

Both scored points, and the written jurors statements will be included in the final jury report. This report will be available for download at the compo’s closing time.


We will have a cash prize for the winner with the sum of your donations. If you love the MSXdev contest and want to be part of it by contributing to a prize, this is your opportunity!

Make you donation via PayPal

Please, when making your donation, be sure to specify the name/nick you want to appear as the donor, or tell us if you want to remain anonymous.

Every contribution, even the smallest amount, will be highly appreciated! 100% of the donations will go to the game developers – Thank you very much for considering to support the contest!


We have received the following donations for MSXdev21:

  • € 25,00 – by Jose MuiÑo
  • € 50,00 – by Róman van der Meulen
  • € 100,00 – by ChibiAkumas
  • € 30,00 – by MSXHub
  • € 55,19 – by Alastair Brown
  • € 50,00 – by Antonio Javier Estrada Villegas
  • € 15,00 – by Juan C. Jurado
  • € 10,00 – by Paul Koning
  • € 9,50 – by Carlos Iván Prieto Rubio
  • € 50,00 – by The Apeman
  • € 5,00 – by Sergi Garcia Besora
  • € 21,00 – by Daniel Simon
  • € 10,46 – by Andrew Bignell
  • € 10,00 – by M-A-D-M-A-X
  • € 100,00 – by Santiago Ontanon
  • € 5,00 – by Sergio Manzana Rios
  • € 20,00 – by Antonio Joaquín Soriano Pérez
  • € 20,00 – by Pintus Giuseppe Ettore aka thegeps
  • € 5,00 – by Paolo Pisati
  • € 10,00 – by Robin Vincent
  • € 20,00 – by Xavier Sancho Tena
  • € 20,00 – by Nrgo
  • € 25,00 – by Geert Veenstra
  • € 48,20 – by Matthijs van der Veen
  • € 20,00 – by
  • € 100,00 – by Robb Alvey
  • € 50,00 – by Anne de Raad
  • € 4,50 – by Remco Schrijvers
  • € 50,00 – by Anonymous
  • € 20,00 – by Alberto Orante Vegas
  • € 10,00 – by Zoran Majcenic
  • € 19,07 – by Felix Diego Martinez Valverde
  • € 15,00 – by Paolo Borzini
  • € 19,07 – by Jose Angel de Bustos Perez
  • € 25,00 – by Bastiaan Verhage
  • € 10,00 – by Jose Luis Tur Santolaria
  • € 10,00 – by Juan Ramon Oriach
  • € 100,00 – by Benjamin Wiley Sittler
  • € 40,72 – by Robb Alvey

All sponsor amounts are net (excl Paypal fees) Thank you all!


You can also become an sponsor by adding any item to the winners loot box.

Anything goes, from a sticker to a piece of hardware, a gift certificate or a subscription to any service. If you’re interested in initiating a sponsorship, please contact us by esmail.

The following sponsored items have already been confirmed:

That’s just awesomeness there!


Prizes will consist of money that comes from donations and of sponsored items. The total amount of donated money will be divided amongst winners, 100%.

(more on dividing the prize money later)

Sponsored items will end up in the loot box where every contestant has a change to dive in and grab an item of choice, starting with the first place winner followed by the next winners.


Participating in this MSXdev contest is easy, just e-mail your final version of the game together with the required information to the MSXdev team. Your entry will be registered for the compo. Every entry that complies with the requirements will be approved and officially enters the contest.

To register your entry, send an email to with the following attachments and information:

  • the game in .ROM format
  • Name of the game and version
  • Name of the group or individuals involved
  • Game genre
  • .ROM size
  • Screenshots and/or other artwork of the game
  • Game manual
  • Contact information (Full name, location, e-mail. please double check that the information is correct)
  • Any other information or related media that you’d like to share

On entering the contest, a registration conformation e-mail will be returned. The entry will then be examined by the organizing party for compliancy and followed by an another e-mail to either approve or decline the submitted entry. When the entry is compliant, it will be announced and published on the web site. From that moment on, the game is considered “published” and ready to be judged.

If we have any more questions on your submitted entry, we will contact you on the given e-mail address.

Keep in mind that:

  • Only the last received version of the game is the one valid for the contest. Updates are accepted during the contest. Updates are posted on the website.
  • State in the instructions or in attached text file the freeware status of any game participating in MSXdev contest. Any freeware license can be used, as long as the full game can be freely obtained by the users. Publishing the source code of the games is not mandatory, but is strongly encouraged.
  • It is allowed to redistribute or sell the game, either in digital or physical format, as long as a free download link is always granted.
  • All participants will accept the final result.

Remember that all official information about the contest will always be available at the website. If you have any questions, contact us at


This year’s entries are:

All listed games are MSXdev21 exclusives, and not to be published elsewhere during the compo. MSXdev21 runs from January 1st until October 31th. Games are freeware, that means free to download and play. The author remains the owner of the submitted game.