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This is a really fun concept. I really enjoyed manipulating the sword and setting up attacks, and getting a good combo on a series of enemies in a line was also really satisfying. The hitboxes took some getting used to; I kept expecting the game to have some kind of perspective with hitboxes being around where the sword's shadow was, but realizing any part of the sword could collide made a huge difference since I didn't have to be as careful about aiming. Similarly the lack of explanation in the game in general was a bit of a hindrance; the in-game tutorial says to use O to use powerups, whereas on a keyboard it's Z. In addition, it's not explained what a "blessing" is until you buy one, and I noticed some powerups advertised as permanent (like the movement buff) went away after dying. An actual tutorial level would work wonders here.

Sadly, this game suffers from major lack of features. There are really only two enemy types (the towers and bubbles) and while each has their own variants (aimed shots, 4-directional shots, difference in health) they play largely the same to each other. The fact that the levels just rehash the same enemy types (and upgrades) repeatedly makes seriously discourages the player from getting deeper into the game.

I would like to see this concept expanded on, and I think some more enemy types (as well as more complex behavior) is the way to go here, as well as allowing the player to fight multiple types in the same room, and bigger rooms so the player has enough space to maneuver. Some ideas off the top of my head:
- Enemies that strafe perpendicular to the player so you have to time your attack.
- Enemies that deliberately try to get out from between the player and sword, perhaps you have to find some way to trap or block them to line up your shot, or you have to chase after them.
- More area denial, such as enemies that leave traps on the ground.
- Enemies that have shields or specific weak points that force you to attack from a specific angle instead of just calling the sword to you from any direction.
- A "twin" enemy that has two independent parts but can only be damaged if you hit them both at the same time.
- Some kind of bonus for hitting multiple enemies with a single sword swipe. Gold as a reward feels like really delayed gratification, what if you could charge up your special abilities through combos?
- I notice the sword has a hitbox that the player can't run through. I think using the sword as a shield to hide behind could make for some interesting gameplay and I'd like harder enemies designed around this idea.

voidgazerBon responds:

Thank you for detailed and valuable feedback. I really appreciate it!

It looks like the game has a glitch, I was able to "fill up the affection meter" with one heart and IM Pico, he said his backpack and locker were open when they weren't. I assume the two endings are getting blocked and getting friend zoned?

For two weeks this isn't bad (especially seeing as you did everything yourself) but it's obviously quite short. It's really lacking things to do - even the quest items just help you fill up the affection meter which triggers the next scene, so there's no real problem solving or item usage to speak of, just collecting. It's also bizarre having what imitates a dating simulator but only getting one choice at the start of like three conversations you can have with Pico.

None of the components (art, gameplay, music) are bad, but nothing stands out, either. Many Game Jam games flop because they overscope and a half-finished game is released, it feels like this had the opposite problem with a fully functional end product but not a lot going on in it.

StormyDew responds:

Thank you for your in depth review <3

The animation here is really fantastic and I'm really rooting for this to win best animation with interactive elements because it really does look stunning. For the length of the Jam it's also a really impressive quantity of animation to produce at this quality.

Story-wise I found the choreography and dialogue good, but I didn't really understand why it started and ended when it did. From a narrative perspective we begin with the status quo of "protagonist alienated from family," then a conflict where she's forced to engage, and that arc is resolved by the character removing herself. The funeral and eulogy don't tie into this original arc, and we don't even get to hear the eulogy. The story also starts a little slow, it's not until the argument with the mother that the conflict came to the surface and I felt really engaged.

I suspected this was nonfiction so perhaps there are privacy reasons for the actual eulogy being omitted. If this is true, it also makes sense that there's no catharsis or conclusion because real life doesn't get wrapped up like that and as Bojack's writers would say, you can't have a happy ending because there's always more show. But Coming Out Simulator is a great example of how you can take creative liberties or even just break the fourth wall to make a story feel like it actually has an ending.

Bleak-Creep responds:

It’s not quite non-fiction. While the characters themselves are based in truth, the story itself is entirely fictional.

The funeral and trying to navigate all these complicated feelings surrounding her father are really at the core of what I wanted to do with the project. The conflict is meant to mostly be an internal one; what is she supposed to say? It’s all about balancing the expectations of others with her own experience. In my eyes, the speech is in the events preceding, having one at the end would only feel redundant.

Thank you for playing and all the kind words! :)

The wild west aesthetic is cute and charming and has some real silliness with the main character being a piece of toast.

The bullet time in this game is REALLY satisfying. It's simple and the gameplay is generally pretty easy (minus the boss) but it's so smooth it feels good anyway. Speaking of the boss, the fact that it changes windows faster the lower its health gets makes sense, but it's almost too hard at the end. It's not hard to beat but I wish there were some different behavior (more of a phase 2) rather than just increasing the difficulty of that one mechanic more and more.

I notice that you have to get all the targets in a single jump but you don't have to for the bandits. There's an opportunity here for optional objectives where the player DOES rack up a huge combo in one jump.

The visual and audio presentation here is great. All the essential ingredients are here.

Gameplay-wise it's simple and linear but it plays really well. There are really only a handful of places to go, once you've explored things, and as a scaled down Metroidvania it's pretty obvious where to go when you pick up a new item. The platforming is generally pretty easy and this is probably the biggest gameplay issue.

I think my biggest frustration with the game is having to restart after every ending. I only got the Devastating ending and having to redo everything for a new ending is a real pain. You could circumvent this either by allowing save files, or by having a checkpoint you can go back to before making story-relevant decisions.

Veinom responds:

Yeah, I see what you mean, and it is something I had in mind. What I did about it, is giving each ending a Reward that can make the next playthroughs easier. The Devastating ending is the most easy to get, and tells the player how to go further as Evil Ucogi. I thought that this would have been a good incentive to retry. If you do retry, there's another ending that tells you how to get all the first 3 items.

Perhaps you are right, the Devastating ending would be a better fit to give the 3 items, since up to that point, the game is linear, and there are no other endings before getting the 3 items. I will try to fix this.

Edit: The Devastating ending now gives a shortcut Reward. Thanks for the feedback!

It's a neat concept but it's missing a lot. The movement speed is just slow enough to be frustrating, and it looks like the attack plays an animation of a single projectile instead of using attachMovie, which means that bullets vanish if you restart the animation.

The whole game is one boss fight which is pretty easy since the attack animations don't target the player, have blind spots where the player will never be hit, and the hands and head don't have to be targeted separately to win.

The animation is pretty good but like the rest of the game feels a bit too slow. I wonder if it would help to just increase the framerate of the whole game?

fmdavid responds:

Thank you for taking the time to play and give your opinion, I'm glad to hear it, I'll take all those flaws into account for a future update (when the competition ends permanently).

I've found myself critiquing a lot of games in this Jam for having a low skill ceiling, but WOW did this game make me eat my words.

This felt easier than the first game up until a point. I nearly screamed at my computer on level 11, repeatedly trying and failing to make it up and over the little orange hazard. After over a year of this control system I'm sure you're used to it, but to me this game simultaneously feels too slow and too fast. The recoil isn't strong enough and controlling a swing feels spastic. I'm not sure I like the fact that where you grab a moving object can force it to tip one way or another, it just reinforces the feeling of not having anything solid to grab onto, and you already spend a long time slipping around feeling out of control in this game.

The silhouette art looks fantastic but I think your choice of colors could stand to be a bit higher contrast. Some of the pastel greens and pinks look ugly together.

Last, as was the case with the first game it can be frustrating not knowing where to go. Sure you can see the finish at the start, but a little arrow pointing in the direction of the finish (perhaps with an indicator of how far away it is) would be a real game changer.

In all honesty, most of the outfits are pretty lazy reskins and I REALLY wish you used button togglers instead of a click and drag system for the different items. On the other hand I can appreciate that you don't need to click a second time if you drag an item behind another item and release.

A bit too simple even by the standards of a dress-up game. The graphics are pleasant enough to look at but for the level of simplicity that went into them I would expect a bit more in terms of outfits. I didn't go into this expecting Dress My Babe 6 but this still feels quite dated.

This is super cool on pretty much every front and is far beyond what I expected out of this Jam. The animation could not be better, the visual effects are fantastic, the music is atmospheric, and the premise of a puzzle platformer with shifting gravity is really neat.

On the other hand it needs a lot more explanation and player guidance than currently exists.

You receive the flag but you're not told what the flag does. You get the hand tool but you're never told what THAT does. The levels are pretty big so you're not sure where you're supposed to go, and certain objects or enemies you encounter are never explained, which can be particularly daunting on levels where you've already done a bunch of work to reach a certain point and don't want to start over from doing trial and error with something that drains your health. Even the intro seems to have no real connection to the gameplay and this disconnect isn't addressed within the first half hour of gameplay.

I'd happily play through the entire thing if I knew what the heck I was supposed to do.

Emrox responds:

Hey thanks, glad you like it! As far as the lack of instruction - to some extent the "point" of the game was supposed to be that you see all this weird stuff and you don't know what it does and you kind of figure it out by interacting with things and trying out different things (like zelda 1, or something) but obviously that kind of design-aesthetic choice has to be handled well for people to not feel frustrated or alienated by it. I don't know how well I did on that front - I had to cut some stuff toward the end of development that would have guided the player better and made the "story" make more sense, and ultimately the game ended up being even *more* vague and impenetrable than I had intended! oops.

if it helps, the point of the flag is just for you to mark where you've been, and help you find your way around with the arrow. I might update the text to say that, so people don't think they need to put the flag on something to win the game, or something like that.

This is pretty fun. The graphics are nice (except for that horrid looking stop sign) and the sound design is functional. The gameplay is simple but fun enough to be worth playing several times. As to be expected from a 53xy83457 game there are a gazillion animations based on where you shoot someone which is a nice layer of polish.

A bit more complexity or length (perhaps different levels or a boss fight) would be appreciated.

53xy83457 responds:

All the animations for shooting people were TheAsterDood02's doing this time. I fucked up the helicopter pilot but that's about it. Now the lack of complexity and length, I'll gladly take credit for that.

TheAsterDood02 responds:

Thanks for playing! My artstyle is a bit graffiti-like and "cartoonime", like those flash games and animations from the 2000s, plus I've based a lot from PhantomArcade since then when I started using Flash.
Sorry for the stop sign. Sometimes I'm goofy and draw disproportionately or fucked up, but I'll let this one pass for the first one, oopsie daisie. :p
Anyways, thanks for liking it! I will try to remake it in HaxeFlixel one day, either by myself or with the help of someone, but for now, I sleep and rest for a while. ~-~

Once upon a time, water taught itself how to feel pain.

Age 29, Male

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Joined on 7/24/07

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