Brandon Boyer

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Tasked with rejuvenating the Dr. Dobb’s brand a year ago, my old colleague Simon Carless put together an ace plan to involve the indie games community with the original Dr. Dobb’s Challenge — a remix contest that let developers mod a barebones Windows/Windows Mobile platformer originally created by Professor Fizzwizzle developers Grubby Games and mobile studio b3team.

Now they’ve upped the ante with the Dr. Dobbs Challenge Deuce, with the help of Gravity Hook creator Adam Saltsman, and the results so far are actually surprisingly wicked.

Saltsman’s new pixel-heavy Silverlight version takes the four characters from the original and gives each unique powers — the mummy gains a hat-tip to Mario 3 with an invulnerable sarcophagus move, the lizard can wall jump, the pirate can super jump off his peg-leg. The game also has some other subtle nods to the hardcore, like Dobb’s ability to use oversize soccer balls as weapons ala Treasure’s Bangai-O Spirits et al.

As the name implies, this is all built on top of a contest, of course, but it’s entirely enjoyable on its own. The in-game level editor and browser lets you page through custom built levels and share them with unique URLs, making it one of the most robust and enjoyable indie web creations in recent memory.

Dr. Dobb’s Challenge Deuce [Dr. Dobb’s]

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