Phocas Island 2 - Chopkinsca

I say this with some uncertainty, but Phocas Island 2 may be the best Doom wad I have ever played.  Using the superlative modifier "best" is certainly a strong word to use when describing anything, especially when it is as as subjective as a game.  Phocas Island 2 certainly is not Doom; it is more akin to a first person Sierra adventure game if anything.  Attaining the title of "best" is no easy feat when you are competing against names such as Batman Doom, RTC, Scythe 2, Suspended in Dusk... among many others often touted as "best".  Yet, in my opinion, Phocas Island 2 is worthy to carry that title.

A case can be made for many wads why they are so great, and there are a number of wads that would tear me apart if I had to name one best.   Phocas Island 2 just feels, otherworldly, something I regard highly when looking for interaction with a game.  There is no "Doom" in Phocas Island 2; in fact, there are hardly any FPS elements in the game.  The play is divided into an adventure game style where you must locate objects and places across the map and solve a number of tasks and puzzles to advance the story and escape the island.  You'll visit breathtaking and extraordinary locales, like a hollowed out tree stump and a forest with a brilliant canopy overhead, underground mushroom caves, and ancient ruins.  The puzzles are challenging but not impossible, and there is a real sense of accomplishment when you complete a task or find a new item.  Will everyone agree that Phocas Island 2 is a candidate for greatest wad ever?  No, but I think it is a respectable nominee and most will agree that is at least worthy of being one of the top ten wads this year.

IC2005 - Ian Cunnings

IC2005 almost went unnoticed this year because of its late 2005 release.  It came out immediately following the last ceremony, thus making the cut of "2006" which, for the sake of the awards, starts every year on Doom's birthday, December 10.  It was the first real nominee I made note of for this year's ceremony and managed to hold its place for an entire year without being bumped from the list by other wads.

IC2005 starts off quite modest, a very humble start with not much to intrigue the player.  Once you begin playing, you realize just how massive this level is; it can take well over a half hour for a first time run-through.  As you traverse the map, it becomes progressively more difficult and gradually more complex.   Before you know it, you're running around elevators in a central electrical turbine while battling cacodemons and streaks of electricity zap above your head. It really is a sight to behold.  IC2005 is only a single map, but after you invest the amount of time required to beat this leviathan of a map, you'll feel like you just beat an entire episode.

Hellcore v2.0 - Devon "Darkfyre" West & Robert "Fusion" Babor

If at first you don't succeed... contrived, I know, but it really illustrates just how far Hellcore came from its first incarnation almost 2 years ago.

The original Hellcore was not a bad set of maps by any means.  many maps were quite fantastic, but the wad itself was such a mixed bag that it was hard to play through the entire project.  Rightly so:  the project had been in development since 1997, and was an amalgamation of almost 3 different eras of Doom mapping.  The mishmash of quality caused Hellcore to not be a pick of mine for the 2004 Cacowards.  This year, the team responsible for Hellcore banded together to create a number of brand new levels for a 12 level wad, Hellcore 2.0.  Hellcore will definitely be the most controversial pick this year, but I think most will agree that the level of quality in this project makes it more than worthy to be one of this year's top 10.   Unlike the stunning visuals, which garner few qualms, the gameplay seems to be love it or hate it.  I can honestly say it was an absolute rush to descend deeper and deeper into the catacombs on one level and traverse an enormous, barren city on another.   Despite a sizeable amount of bickering about the maps, they really are a work of art and deserve your attention.

2006 Cacowards

Page 1

  • Phocas Island 2
  • IC2005
  • Hellcore v2.0

Page 2

  • Newdoom Community Map Project
  • Operation Overlord
  • Vae Victus 2

Page 3

  • Phobia: The Age
  • Foreverhood v1.0
  • Classic Episode 2: Singularity Complex
  • Crucified Dreams

Other Awards

  • Best DM
  • Worst
  • Mordeth Award
  • Mockaward
  • Mapper of the Year



In 2006 the Doom community said goodbye to Dylan "Toke" McIntosh, a long time member and DM legend who was killed in a vehicle accident.  The tribute wad "Toke it Up" was started after his death as a tribute to finish his last works.

Dylan McIntosh
Jan 14 1983 - Aug 19 2006

The 13th Annual Cacowards was written by Scuba Steve.