Let The People Decide - The Results!
YS Readers' Greatest and Worst Games Ever
YS Scan
Jonathan Nash
(Fade in on badly-constructed cardboard puppet of Peter Snow)
    PETER (waggling his mouth out of synch): Well, the excitement here has reached fever pitch. The voting started a month ago, promptly at midday, and they're still coming in thick and fast from all over the world. If you look at the map behind me (gestures to scrappily-drawn map of the world which has two Australias and no South America at all) you can see what would happen if the initial vote was repeated across the globe. ('My Name Is Uncle Groucho, You Win A Fat Cigar' appears in lights all over the map) Yes, a 100% gain for Automata's Groucho. But by 2:30pm that afternoon, we'd had another vote, which totally overturned our initial projection. (Map lights up with 'Crazy Cars 3') Yes, it was a vote for a game which hasn't even appeared on the Speccy. (Map falls off wall. Peter's hinged jaw becomes unpinned)
    Oh, it's no use, Spec-chums. We haven't got Peter Snow here with us at all. In fact, this isn't even a TV studio. It's just a mock-up, cleverly constructed out of cardboard and a set of fairy lights from a Christmas tree. If you look really closely, you might even be able to tell our map was actually hand-drawn, and not cut out carefully from a commercially-available atlas or cartographical pamphlet. (But I doubt it.)
   1) Chase HQ
2) Rainbow Islands
3) R-Type
4) Sim City
5) Chaos
6) Manic Miner
7) Elite
8) Back To Skool
9) Robocop
10) 3D Deathchase
11) Midnight Resistance
12) Myth
13) Target; Renegade
14) Head Over Heels
15) Mercenary
16) Laser Squad
17) Lotus Esprit Turbo Challenge
18) Spellbound Dizzy
19) Quazatron
20) Lemmings
21) Lords Of Chaos
22) Knight Lore
23) Skool Daze
24) Space Crusade
25) Lords Of Midnight
26) Op Wolf
27) Starquake
28) Chuckie Egg
29) The Great Escape
30) 3D Ant Attack
31) Commando
32) Rebelstar
33) Jet Set Willy
34) New Zealand Story
35) Peking
36) Turrican
37) Fantasy World Dizzy
38) Football Manager 2
39) Gauntlet
40) Jack The Nipper
41) Pang
42) Smash TV
43) Atic Atac
44) Rodland
45) The Way Of The Exploding Fist
46) Carrier Command
47) Super Off Road Racer
48) Renegade
49) Spy Vs Spy
50) Football Manager
51) North And South
52) Robocop
53) Total Recall
54) F16 Combat Pilot
55) Rebelstar 2
56) Slightly Magic
57) Auf Wiedersehen Monty
58) Bubble Bobble
59) Turbo The Tortoise
60) Golden Axe
61) Hero Quest
62) Monty Python's Flying Circus
63) Switchblade
64) Turbo Esprit
65) Bomb Jack
66) Contact Sam Cruise
67) Sabre Wulf
68) The Hobbit
69) Wonderboy
70) Crystal Kingdom Dizzy
71) Doomdark's Revenge
72) Hudson Hawk
73) Jetpac
74) Match Day
75) Pyjamarama
76) Tetris
77) Alien
78) Arkanoid
79) Cybernoid
80) Dan Dare
81) Flying Shark
82) Fred
83) Horace Goes Skiing
84) Popeye
85) Stunt Car Racer
86) Block Dizzy
87) Continental Circus
88) International Matchday
89) Kwik Snax
90) Mr Freeze
91) Nodes Of Yesod
92) Pacmania
93) SAM Astroball
94) The Wild Bunch
95) Trashman
96) Where Time Stood Still
97) Underwurlde
98) Batty
99) Nigel Mansell's World Championship
100) Moon Strike

    No, this small pretence was just an attempt to lend weight to the proceedings of your voting for the YS Readers' Top 100 Games Of All Time. Ah well. It is jolly exciting, though. We've finished wading through the heap of entries, finished typing them all in (phew) and finished snickering at the people who put Street Fighter 2 as their number one game. (Not really.) (Well, yes, actually.) So it looks as though this may be the ideal time to tell you the results.
How it all worked
You'll recall (probably) that the voting works like this: we take your top ten games and award points, from ten down to one, depending on their position in the list. Then we do a bit of mathematical jiggery-pokery and lo! your own (your very own) Top 100 list is born. Provided we haven't accidentally counted a couple of games twice. And missed out some others entirely. Or anything. Hahaha.
Before we join the judges
... let's tell you a bit about how the voting went (in a non-commital, suspense-building fashion). For a start, the YS covertapes came off rather well - there were votes for games like the incredibly addictive tile-matcher Peking, the Polish puzzler Jonathan was crap at (but everyone else in the universe found embarrassingly easy, apparently) Logo, and the wonderfully fab (and we're not just saying that) Boulderdash clone Earth Shaker. Even more heartening was the fact that no one voted a YS covertape game as their worst of all time (so we must have been doing something right).
    Adventures came off well as well (so to speak), with Fergus McNeill games like The Big Sleaze and The Boggit attracting votes like someone with a bag of sweets attracts friends, and the St Brides laugh riot The Very Big Cave Adventure also winning you over. And then there were the Really Odd ones: an entire Top 10 of SAM games (that must have taken a bit of thinking about, yock yock) and (inevitably) one little tinker voting for all the Dizzy games. How we laughed.
    The least predictable category was, of course, the Worst Speccy Game Of All Time. It seems most of you harbour personal grudges against games others would consider fairly awful but not capital-punishmentally so, and it seemed fairly obvious you were voting for games you'd wasted hard-earned cash on, rather than following any commonly-held opinion (ie, ours). However, an overall winner did emerge, valiantly fighting off the rest of the pack (despite a laudable last-minute burst by two surprise entries).
    All in all, it was a bit of an eye-opener. To be honest, we expected your list to pretty much mirror the official YS Top 100, but... well now, that sounds like a clumsy link to me. Let's turn the page and see how the voting went, shall we? Raise the curtains! Lower the house lights! Belt out a rousing chorus of Figaro on the old comb-and-paper, because here come the results! (What a showman. Andy)
    And there you have it. To be honest, Chase HQ's spectacular victory was a bit of a surprise - we were confidently predicting that the all-powerful Rainbow Islands would sweep into the top slot, and were expecting the hotly contested number two posish to be occupied by either R-Type or Chaos. As it was, a late burst from Sim City saw off the wizardy wargame, but Chase HQ leapt out of nowhere to finish ahead of the pack. It was a dashed close affair - Rainbow Islands lost by seven votes - but you could hear the murmurs as the Mac sorted out the votes and printed up the names of the winners. 'Blimey,' the murmurs went. 'That was a bit of a surprise.'
    Moving down the list, we were happy to see both the Skool Daze games and Contact Sam Cruise making an appearance (surely three of the most original games ever) and the huge number of votes for the YS covertape game Peking was really cheering, as was Nige Mansell's Number 99 spot because it obviously meant that people had gone out and bought the game.
    128K owners were well-represented, with Pang, Where Time Stood Still (a fantastically atmospheric 3D Doug McClure-'em-up) and International Matchday (and Nige, of course) sailing in despite not being available for the 48K Speccy. And the SAM world was unanimous in declaring the grippingly addictive the best game on their machine, with Prince Of Persia (the only serious contender) dropping out fairly early in the game.
    Surprise entry of the list had to be Horace Goes Skiing - we thought it the worst of the Horace trio, but you evidently took the alpine adventures of the mutated blue blob to your hearts. Or something.
The Worst Game Of All Time
Now this was fun. The majority of you included a personal worst with your Top 10, and it was crystal-clear from the outset what was going to come top of the heap. But apart from this one title, nearly everybody differed in their opinion of what was the nadir of Speccy gamedom - Friday The 13th, Highlander, OutRun Europa, Bomb Jack 2, Spitting Image, Graeme Souness Soccer Manager and Zip Zap were just about the only ones to get more than a single vote. In the end it came down to a not-very-close contest between three games - Zeppelin's Santa's Xmas Caper, Alternative's The Official Father Christmas (spook!) and The Game We're Really Milking For Suspense. (Ho ho.) Of the two seasonal numbers, Santa's Xmas Caper managed to limp ahead in the closing stages, but it still didn't manage to get quite half the number of votes as the winner. Yes folks, the Number One Worst Speccy Game Of All Time is, of course, Count Duckula 2. (Told you! Ed) Alternative, and the unknown programmer responsible, we salute you.
The dead important bit
Lawks a lordy, we almost forgot to pick a winner. The recipient of ten fab games (almost guaranteed to be Count Duckula 2 free, ho ho ho) is (rustle rustle) Garry Lancaster of Bristol in Somerset, an active member of the Save Avon Project! (So it might be an idea to change that to 'Bristol in Avon' then. Ed)

Many thanks to Jonathan Nash for providing this article

Published in the September 1993 issue of Your Sinclair

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