Evolution Arena Interesting story/excuse to fight. But how exactly are these tournaments watched across the universe? I don't think they exactly have broadcast television. X) I also would've loved to see the story expanded on more as the game went on, but it was pretty much left by the wayside except for some scraps here and there.
My first game I chose the female character. The "character doesn't like [activity] and wants to get back to [hobby]" is pretty cliche. Why did my homeworld even choose me if I'm not the best candidate for this fight?
I've played the game multiple times, and I couldn't help but notice this: the girl's dialogue and the boy's dialogue after choosing your name is quite different; the boy's is aggressive, the girl's is more passive. Throughout the game this difference occurs. Playing as the female character has more dialogue and more humanizing moments between you and the other fighters; playing as the male characters there is only aggression ("I will beat yoooou! (insert loud yell here)" cliche stuff). In contrast to the female character, who is cool and somewhat sassy, with just the right balance as not to be prideful or rude, the male character is extremely aggressive and pushy, and pretty arrogant. People are also call the male character "the world's champion", in contrast to the female character, who apparently was just picked at random to be in this fight. Why did you do this? It comes off as somewhat sexist to me.
Also why does the male character want to force the other people to leave--is this tournament an intrusion? Would've loved to see that explored more in the story.
The 4th wall joke ("The one behind the screen.") is kinda weird and not too funny. It also really wore out its welcome after playing the game repeatedly.
I like the Evolution Shard shop idea. Hopefully the game's well balanced to accommodate all options; it also might be good to let the player know that some items in the shop are free, before they actually go in the shop. Also, how do I see how many shards I have, besides when I'm spending them at the shop? I can see my gold in the menu, not sure about the shards. The only Evolution Shard Shop Item not really worth buying (besides the Overdrive skill, because the bar never fills enough to use it) is the Self-Heal--not only do I never get enough shards to get it, but I can heal close to that amount of HP with the Spicy Drinks. It's pretty pointless.
Punching out that guy who was hitting on me was a pretty funny scene. X) I like it. The female character reminds me or Korra from The Legend of Korra, in appearance and personality.
I guess the enemies are random; first time (female character) I got the red skinned guy with the mohawk, now (male character) I got green-haired girl. Also, apparently no one else in this tournament is mortal? That would've been nice to know before now (when my enemy said "The mortal will be the first to go down")
I wish you that when you info in the Enemy Book, those records would be unlocked for all future games. It seems a bit pointless to me to unlock an enemy record of a person I'll never fight again, but if I was starting a new game and had that record unlocked already--that might be useful.
The Balanced Bow is a pointless weapon--aside from the boss, you'll only fight two opponents at once during a single battle. This battle may or may not occur, and even so both enemies are in the front row. Why have this weapon at all? Is it only there to be used at the very end, to take out the Shamans? If you're going to include it, why not have more ranged weapons and opponents? Even so, I have ranged magic attacks, and Chill hits all enemies; I don't need a ranged weapon and ranged spells, especially since the bow does less damage than the sword.
I never used any consumable other than the Spicy Drink for healing, and later the MP item (because I focused more on MP attacks during one game). Why have a consumable item for TP if it's not being used? Pretty much only the HP and MP items are useful in the game.
Who is that green-haired guy who greets me every time I come on stage? I thought there'd be a little story arc with him or something. He could've been replaced with the blonde-haired lady.
Guard is a very useful ability, because you can counterattack. It's so useful I found myself taking advantage of it at every opportunity I could. It's good to have useful abilities, but I came to rely on this one more than most of my skills.
The final boss was pretty easy. The chief wasn't too much of a challenge, and the Shamans didn't even fight at all; they just stood there while I killed them. I know you're going to give them support abilities; that'll make the fight more interesting.
This was . . . this was ok. The story has good ideas, but isn't given enough attention to let itself shine. I like the environment and the scraps of the story I got. The toughest part of any fighting game is balancing it, and unfortunately this game isn't well balanced. Sometimes it was way too hard; most of the time it was way too easy. I found myself using the same weapons and strategies repeatedly once I got the hang of it. This could be a promising game after the jam, with a more developed story and different fighting strategies implemented. For now it's just alright.
Trail If I was told by zuvizut had to interact with the pipe; before that, I repeatedly got game over by doing what the game said. Look, I don't mind tricky puzzles that aren't apparent to the player at first ("thinking outside the box"), but they need to (1) come naturally and (2) have some kind of hint--it comes across like you wanted me to just hit everything I could until I either got what you had in mind or gave up. And following the experiment comes across as a bug when I get Game Over. That's not good.
After the other person game in and I got the line "A new guy?" I got a Loading Error. Failed to load: audio/se/Flash1.ogg. I was able to continue anyway, and it went to the line "After some conversation" with the error poping up every few seconds for the rest of the game until I closed and reloaded it. Also, why have their conversation be offscreen?! I as a player have no idea what's going on--I want to hear what they're saying!
Actually, nevermind--"after some conversation", the character says the same thing, that I am new. What was the point, then?
Also does this company kidnap people and put them through this? What the heck?!
The writing really could use some polishing. Grammar especially--it needs work.
Long exposition is boring, I'll give you that, but why was it even needed in that scene? The joke really doesn't make sense.
Good on you for letting us save before the fire. This level is still really hard; sometimes my character takes a moment to respond onthe second part, and the jump stuff in the second part is designed to take a moment to adjust so you can jump over the blocks. But a few seconds is enough for you to die. Bad combo. I also can't hold shift+c+up to jump while running; I have to let go of shift to jump. This is bad in a challenge specifically designed around making the player run. I think I had to retry this part more than ten times before I made it. Hopefully it's there to build to another, longer stage later; otherwise, its gameplay purpose is questionable at best and pointless frustration at worst.
I also ran into a glitch when I reached the present and started running; Aaron would keep reminding me to jump with C.
Got another error in the second resting room: Loading Error, Failed to Load: audio/se/Up3.ogg
OH MY GOSH. I DID NOT EXPECT HIM TO KILL ME! OH MAN, GREAT ENDING! Though that puzzle piece no. 13 thing is pretty confusing and makes no sense to me. The title doesn't make sense to me either; why is it called Trail If? Also idk if the ending makes it a horror game, and the jam's not supposed to have bloody content? Maybe I'm looking too far into it. Personally I liked it; it's definitely not an all-ages ending, though.
Overall, it's ok. The fire race made up the bulk of it, and it's really frustrating. The story's kind of cliche; the only thing notable is that the main character is a child, which you don't see often. The testing arena is nothing new, but this game served as an alright introduction to this world. All the "low budget lol" jokes and 4th wall jokes came across as dumb to me, not funny, and the writing isn't very polished. This game's alright, but I likely won't play it a second time after this.
Guide Me To Exit Like the music and sfxs. Lots of grammar issues; the writing needs work. After I saved, the text loaded very slowly for some reason, and wouldn't continue until I pressed spacebar multiple times. Even after reloading this issue persisted. I don't know why it's acting like this.
WAY too much text in this tutorial! Teach me by doing, or at least with visuals.
"Please guide this boy safely. Good luck." I love that line.
Running and moving is also very slow; it's like the framerate has gone way down for some reason. Because of that, I can't play the game properly; every time I go forward the framerate drops, the beast catches me, and I die. I'm not sure why this issue is occuring, as it hasn't come up in any other RPG Maker MV games in the jam. I'd like to play this game, but with this issue, I can't. I'm sorry.
Evolution Arena is having some issues; I'll review it when those issues are fixed. If I can get Guide Me To The Exit to work, I'll take another look at it later.
Car game This was confusing to play. I'll ignore the thing with the restart button since you've noticed that; why have a restart button at all, though? At first I thought it was a racing game, so I pressed up on my keyboard to begin the track, but I just hit the top of the screen. Then I realized maybe the goal was to get the goal? So I started doing that. It's not well explained at all. It doesn't help that your car is the same at the other cars.
The game also doesn't feel very fun to play. The car itself feels a bit draggy until you get to higher speeds, and turns are a mess, often becoming slow and tedious. At first I thought you could get hit a certain number of times, because I got run over ~3-4 times until I finally got game over, but on my restart I ran into a car and instantly died. I also got a game over upon restarting again when I got a game over after a car simply passed me (I was just sitting there for a moment). Pretty sure these are bugs; I'm not entirely sure how many "lives" I have, or why I died the first time. These are serious bugs that needs to be fixed.
Also, why doesn't this game have a timer? It looks like you used Construct 2 to make it, and a timer can be implemented on Construct 2. "You have 30 secs" doesn't really help, since I'm not sure how much time has past; you don't tell me when the game ends, either.
All in all, this needs a lot of work. I probably won't play it again until the bugs are fixed.
Pieces of the Puzzle I like the idea a lot. The music and atmosphere are both great.
But why does darkness explode out of the player character every time they walk? It obscures the map and confuses me more than anything. Also, what does the orange thing do? Is it the source of your "puzzle powers"? I also can't walk more than one square by holding down the WASD/Arrow Keys. A little thing, but especially for a game based on traversal, it's something to consider.
The first puzzle is fine; I had to steal a puzzle piece from the second puzzle to solve it, though. The second puzzle kinda amps it up, though, I think. First puzzle = puzzle pieces with unmovable blocks. Second puzzle = much more freestyle. Those are two very different things that needs to glide into each other, especially in the early puzzles.
I assumed that for the second puzzle you needed the other puzzle pieces too, so I brought them over. Turns out you were trying to teach me how to use a few blocks to make a few steps at a time. This was pretty unclear, especially since the first puzzle was still in sight of this one, and the area of this puzzle looked very open--I assumed you would need all the pieces to make a big bridge.
For the second puzzle, I'm having trouble finding out how to cross to the pieces that don't have edges pointing out (like ]] not ][ ). The three green pieces I have don't work--maybe I need the pieces from the first puzzle after all? I'm starting to wonder if the game's bugged or has a problem in this level. None of my pieces work. Or maybe I'm just not seeing it; please let me know.
I also wish you could turn the puzzle pieces, maybe with right click. And the fact that you can't move other puzzle pieces while standing on puzzle platforms really boggles me. That would open up a lot of possibilities. The game needs to take enough advantage of the "puzzle piece" part of the it; you should expand on it in the future.
All in all, a neat concept. Consider making a full version of this when the jam's over.
Take The Money And Run It took a few plays of this game before I finally started to understand it. I like the concept of a turn-based co-op game where you don't know what the other player's going to do. But this game's design holds it back from itself.
For one, the text-based tutorial goes by very fast; it wasn't until I opened the game for my third time and read it in full that it finally started to click what I needed to do. Also the controls are not fully explained in the tutorial; I only knew how to shoot based on the "press g and n to continue" prompt, and guessed that the arrow keys were my controls. Later I guessed that the WASD keys were player 2's controls, and I was right.
But the poor design goes deeper than that. I'm still not fully sure what the red boxes on screen were; I think that was my health? At first I thought they and the grey boxes on the side were part of the environmental design. It wasn't until I decided to start the game with 2 bullets per player (why does the game automatically have zero bullets per player, btw?) that I realized those boxes was my ammo. It's all very unclear. And the g and n keys aren't the best keys to pair with the arrow keys and WASD keys, respectively.
Also, pressing "play" with my mouse only turned the sound effects on and off. I think you should look into that; I had to use the arrow keys and g key on the menu.
Overall, an interesting concept. But failure of design holds this game back. I'd consider polishing it after the jam; this game could be something great.
Project;Valkyrie I'm not a fan of arbitrary punctuation in titles, to be honest. But I'll give it a pass for your sake.
I'm also not a fan of text-based tutorials that dump all the information on the player at once. By the time I've gone into battle, I've forgotten how to fight. I won't be giving that a pass. Also, of all the keys, why Q, S, and Z?
For a game that seems so story-based, it's odd to just start the player on their mission with no information. Assuming I haven't read the description (which you should always assume--let the game itself tell me what it's about) I have no idea what's going on, why I need to kill these bots, etc. It's very unclear whether this is fantasy or sci-fi, as there are elements of both battling for my attention. I like the music, though.
Did you draw the player character and their sprite yourself, or is it a free asset? Either way, the cleavage in her dialogue sprite is ridiculous, especially for a jam for all ages.
For some reason I selected my item in such a way that I had to use the S key to attack with the Sora Star. It took a while to figure this out, especially since the controls told me otherwise (Z for weapon). I also found myself pressing X (menu) instead of S a lot by accident.
The combat is pretty satisfying. Needs more sfxs to go with the visual info, but I like it. Also, is the death sound the same as in Undertale? Was that a coincidence?
I also like how you can destroy nearby plants to get healing items, and that you can throw the Sora Star at an angle. That's a nice touch.
I really like how you teach the player you can use the Sora Star to hit levers without saying a word, just with the natural implications of the throwing mechanics. Same with the grappling hook (which didn't run out even though it said I had only 2, btw) . But why can't you hit switches with the grappling hook? And maybe either the grappling hook or the Sora Star should've been a skill, so the player doesn't have to switch between them so much in the later stages.
I like how the first boss has the same weapon as you--something you've gotten familiar with throughout the course of the game, but also can take advantage of to destroy plants, as well as dodge. It wasn't too hard after I remembered I can run with Shift, though. And there needs to be a visual indicator when the boss is going to throw its weapon; half of the time when I got hit, it felt unfair because there wasn't a visual indicator.
Also, there NEEDS to be a save point in the platform level after the boss! I reached the kitchen the the jellys then died, and I had to start from the boss! That's super frustrating!
The gun was hard to use and made me die the first time, so I ended up just using the sword after getting it. But then you overloaded me with enemies and fireballs, so I switched back too it. Also after dying and coming back to get the gun, I noticed there's a save in the main menu. Why have a save in the main menu and a save point; pick one or the other! The presence of a save point implies the absence of a manual save!
Didn't know I could destroy fireball machines until I had those two shooting at me after the save point. Would've been nice to know that earlier.
Also, I could walk on the kitchen, bookshelves, and boxes. Just so you know.
At first the final boss was pretty hard; his projectiles are super challenging to dodge. Then I decided to just stand there and shoot him in the face repeatedly. Guess what--it worked! He didn't retaliate as I shot him over and over until he died. Without this exploit the boss probably would hae been super hard and near impossible; nothing previous has really prepared me for this. No ending cutscene? Why not; could've tied the story together.
Overall, this is a pretty satisfying demo. The story's practically nonexistent, and the story that is there has cliche lines that don't interest me. The gameplay is pretty fun, though, and was a satisfying 20-ish minutes. Maybe develop this into a full project after the jam's over.
CAVE This looks really cute! You need to put the controls in the game itself, though, not just the description. Not sure if I've brought this up before, but this applies to all the games in this jam.
It makes no sense that this mole can dig under into the sea and come back up safely on land, but I guess that's what you were going for? So I'll take it.
What's the goal? I need a clear, defined goal to go with this gameplay. Also, what are these things I'm collecting, cheeze sticks? This is a big map and a cute game, but I'm just collecting cheeze sticks to seemingly no real end. I like how the cheese sticks are moving to the beat, though.
I died by accidently digging into the water--why can I die at all? Is the goal just to get points? That doesn't really invest me, but ok.
Why is the game even called CAVE if it's about digging? Is there a cave full of treasure later?
The most cheese sticks I collected is 23. I stopped after dying to the spikes; those are quite frustrating and easy to dig into. Overall I liked this game--it's cute, has some good game design elements. It's just a bit to simple for my tastes.
Will review more later. I was told I missed some things in a few of the games I already reviewed; I'll update my reviews on them later.
Heck, might as well review the other 2 games while I'm up:
Grab The Flag
This is a really good game. Follows in the steps of titles like Depict1, and I've always appreciated games like these. It's not exactly original, but the concept is done well here. The pacing is a tad too fast at the beginning though; the player only has to wait for a few seconds before the narrator starts bringing the flag to them. I'd suggest giving it a bit more time for the twist to sink in.
My other complaint is about the boss: especially compared to the other flag trials before it (which are long enough to engage, but not too long as to become tedious), the boss is a SUPER long stage. It's the sole reason I haven't finished the game yet. Good on you for letting the player skip to the boss from the start menu, though.
Great job on this. You should seriously consider making this into a full-fledged game after the jam.
I haven't played Overcooked, so I can't say how your game compares to it. But your game has some promising mechanics from what I've explored (you can chop and fry the food to give to customers) but those mechanics (1) aren't explained in-game and (2) more importantly, aren't used at all. I understand the game's unfinished, but why have these mechanics if they won't be used? Perhaps cut out the kitchen entirely until it can be used in the game.
As for the the mechanics that are used . . . ehhhhhh. You can take a fish, carrot, or apple to feed to a customer who wants a fish, carrot, or apple (it seems to be random which food they want). I kept running into a glitch with the apple box-thing: when I pressed x to take an apple and walked right to go to the customer, I also took a carrot, holding both, and couldn't feed the customer. I also kept running into a glitch where I would drop the food through the customer instead of feeding it to them. Also, when I had 2 foods in my hand, I would drop the apple on the side, but I couldn't pick it up later--I had a pile of apples next to the customers when I closed the game.
Overall, I'm not too fond of this game. I did the same three things over and over, and didn't find it fun. I was hoping for more depth--heck, maybe a win/lose state, or a timer, something like that. But personally I found playing this to be rather boring.
I've also posted these as comments on the games. Here goes:
Eh, this was alright. It seems like it was going for an exploration-based story told visually. The 3 hallways in the beginning that look somewhat similar but have clear differences is nice--I really like that, though it is a bit tedious using the arrow keys. But the story really falls apart because (1) it quickly turns into a fetch quest with exposition dumps, and (2) I don't know this story or its characters very well, and the game didn't do much to tell me about them. The goal is unclear from the start, and I have no idea who this character is, what she wants, etc. This makes the story fall entirely flat, and the final choice especially is meaningless to me as a player--does this girl want a normal life or to find her brother that we don't know about? I have no clue, and you certainly didn't tell me, so, frankly, I have no investment in the choice at all. Overall, it's ok. Some good visual storytelling, but the writing definitely could use some work.
"classic snake with a twist" . . . and not much else, I'm afraid. Don't get me wrong, I really like the twist; it's a great idea! But there's not much to the game after that--no more levels, nothing in terms of difficulty or twists in gameplay. I understand making something short/small for a game jam, but this idea is too good to just leave at . . . well, just its idea. Co-op/Versus mode would be nuts, for example. In short, the idea is great--please expand on it.
This game feels and looks like a classic platformer. I really like the color palette. The gameplay itself, though, is where I take issue. The jump feels far too floaty; it makes me jumps feel overpowered and tedious at the same time. The map is also surprisingly pretty big. That's not a problem in and of itself, but when the gameplay is centered around finding the right switches to open the right doors, it can get a little frustrating if you don't find those things in the right order and have to backtrack. I also don't really understand why there are enemies. Obstacles are fine, but these seem to exist to prolong the game's length. Some enemies are well placed; others are frustratingly placed. Overall, I enjoyed the time I spent here. I don't know if I'll fully complete the game, but I liked it well enough.