(We’re a little late on this one — it was released on March 14th. Sorry. There wasn’t exactly much fanfare with the release.)

You may have heard of a fangame called “Halo Zero,” a 2D reinterpretation of the Halo series. Its creators, Dobermann Software, have released a second game, specifically a remake of the shareware episode of Jazz Jackrabbit 1. You can check out its official webpage, or else download it yourself. Note that this is a Windows Phone application, so you’ll need either a Windows Phone or an emulator.

Based on the screenshots, this game is not using the original data, or at least not the level files, since the level layouts are slightly altered. The graphics look right, however, with the status bar from the bottom transformed into a sort of ad hoc HUD.

Since Halo Zero is not associated in any way with Bungie or Microsoft, and nothing is said on the webpage, it seems safe to assume that this is purely a fangame and bears no connection to Epic or any of Epic’s future plans. UPDATE: Epic declined to license it. The page’s text suggests that it is a sort of tech demo for Dobermann Software’s intentions to focus on Windows Phone development in the future. Dobermann provides a forum for discussion of the demo.

Note that this demo has no known relationship to OpenJazz, which does use the original data.

UPDATE: I got the emulator to work and have posted a brief overview of the game and the installation process (for people without windows phones) in the comments.

- Violet CLM


Comments

Violet CLM on 19 Mar 2012 at 04:50

Instructions for playing without an actual Windows Phone:

  1. Download the Windows Phone Emulator from Microsoft. Supposedly you can run this without any prior installation of Visual Studio, though I haven’t tested that. Note that the emulator is a package deal with a windows phone SDK and eight or so other items you probably won’t have any use for.
  2. Download Phone7Market, a tool to download and deploy Windows Phone 7 applications. The app marketplace will not allow you to download apps unless you have an activated windows phone, which is why you’ll need Phone7Market.
  3. In Phone7Market, search for Jazz Jackrabbit, choose the right result (unless you’re really interested in a couple of ringtone apps), and deploy it to the emulator. Wait for it to load.
  4. Play! Or… try to play, at least, since you’ll presumably be using a mouse.

As I noted above, this game does not use the original JJ1 level data. Dobermann noted in November that this is to save on memory, because heaven forbid that the newest version of an operating system be able to compete with MS-DOS eighteen years ago. The level designs are thus somewhat shrunken, which you may or may not find noticeable depending how familiar you are with the original JJ1 levels.

The graphics are all correct, though you’ll notice a few tile bugs where Dobermann presumably skimped on tiles to save memory. The biggest difference you’ll notice is that the backgrounds of the levels have been redesigned as single non-scrolling images, pretty much unarguably a downgrade from the original game.

The game engine is quite solid, as far as I could tell without being able to press more than one button at a time. I couldn’t get past the first level of Tubelectric — there was a jump that was just impossible to complete without being able to jump while pressing a directional key — but what I saw all was well done and honestly felt better than OpenJazz’s.

If you don’t have a windows phone, I wouldn’t honestly recommend going through the steps I listed above. You’ll need to download more than a gigabyte, all to play something that is seriously crippled by mouse control. Besides, if you’re using a windows computer, why not just play the original JJ1 game? That way you’re guaranteed 100% total accuracy of emulation. That said, if you do have a windows phone, you might as well download this. The engine looks pretty solid, despite the level design issues, and boosting its download count and/or rating can only be a good thing.

Sfaizst on 24 Mar 2012 at 13:02

Well,

about thus game…
first: Funny thing i found it in marketplace on my windows phone before I found it here in the news and postet it then in the facebook group of JJ2 one day before you posted it here :D

hmm, now about the Game:
the welcome screen was reminding me a bit to OpenJazz…
The game itself was really stable and nice to play…

Even for the Touchscreen i have on my WP7 it the controls was at a nice place (I only needed to read at the options screen how to change the weapon to another one :D)

it’s interesing to know that it’s not using the original tilesets / levels… i actuelly never had the idea to look at this game or decompile it (what is generally possible with wp7 apps (I did it with some other apps before xD))

I was all the time wonderd how dobermans did it with the licensing but now i know it :D

well it’s a good game and nice to play when you have to wait in the trainstation or just have nothing to do :D

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