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Shortventure 2018 - Kurath

kurath Nov 7th, 2018 (edited) 263 Never
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  1. A Minimal Adventure [Arzztt]
  2.  
  3. Watch out for cycles - the vertical cycle right at the start of the first moving spike screen is great for going fast, but if you miss the first cycle its got a lot of standing around. Especially on an easier game intended for players who may not be the best at going fast, you can't build entirely around the first cycle.
  4.  
  5. I like the consistency on the visuals. It is (as advertised) minimal but things match. Frequently when people are trying to keep their production simple they'll fall back on default stuff a lot but keeping the consistency with the blocky clouds and the simple background tiles and all that keeps a good feel. One thing that did feel out of place about this though is the grass tiles at the top of the screen - this seems like it should either periodically or consistently be the solid blocks since it feels a bit out of place for there to be nothing but open space immediately out of view when otherwise the environment is cavernous.
  6.  
  7. The white coin into next screen back to VVVVVV mechanics in the first->second room transition before the save feels pretty bad, not sure why the white coin had to be there, since then the player won't be mislead, or have the blue coin in the next room out a bit so the player will see they got it. Would also recommend busting out audacity or something and cutting that .5s of silence on the music loop.
  8.  
  9. Reskinning the single jump powerup slightly to make it more visible could probably be a good idea. Other than that, third stage is pretty cool.
  10.  
  11. I liked the not secrets hid around, much better than just a dead end as a use of space. The final room looked very much like a boss chamber and was quite disappointed when it wasn't, felt like a great opportunity to try and branch out from what was there and graphically could fit the minimalist theme without requiring any fancy spritework. I'd personally strongly consider putting something together before release as it would add so much as a capstone to the game. The platforming/stages were very solid and it just feels like it needs that extra bit and the context of the contest/after period is a perfect time to look for assistance if needed. Fear in general seemed intentionally absent, which isn't really a design error by any means, but will likely hurt performance in the contest as you'd expect - because of this though it feels like this is an opportunity to create/expand an adventure game and as such, would strongly lead me to repeat the last point about adding a boss.
  12.  
  13. Nonetheless, its a solid playthrough with a good consistent aesthetic and visually distinctive stages that stand out, and that's a solid base.
  14.  
  15. Ratings:
  16. Theme: 1
  17. Level Design: 8
  18. Atmosphere: 5
  19. Audio: 6
  20. Overall: 6
  21.  
  22. BlackMist [Lovey01]
  23.  
  24. Overall there's a good use of visuals/audio to make this feel spooky and the gimmicks are very thematic. The level design felt a little rudimentary, relying on traditional needle styles though certainly with some nice touches. Audio especially, the second 'boss' had a really cool concept with the enemies, though I'd have liked to see the finding the objects aspect of it have a similar concept (though maybe I just missed it). Proximity sound is something rarely done in fangames and it was a really nice touch here, with simple attacks that are easily avoidable using it.
  25.  
  26. The stage concepts were good. I liked the solid sense of progression present between each save, keeping the core concept and expanding alongside it. Very straightforward and well executed, and everytime I felt like there should be a save there was one (Autosaves on the chase were good too, stopping to save kind of hurts the pace). The balance was good - the learnier cycle stuff was always shorter and the placement around the torches and stuff felt good, while keeping it varied. Overall this was a very memorable experience, especially with the finale (the choice/autosave is a dirty trick, but i like it).
  27.  
  28. Specific Concerns:
  29.  
  30. The screen flashing in the rain stages and on death is interesting and adds to the ambience but I'd consider toning it down or having an option just because its a little hard on the eyes after a while.
  31.  
  32. End of first tower segment was unclear where to go, not sure if that's intentional or not.
  33.  
  34. Ratings:
  35. Theme: 7
  36. Level Design: 6
  37. Atmosphere: 8
  38. Audio: 9
  39. Overall: 7
  40.  
  41. Endless Mirage [Tralexium]
  42.  
  43. Game looks gorgeous - lets start there. I appreciate the heavy production in the intro and menu - no its not gameplay but it sets a great first impression. I like the general revision on everything to give it that immediate 'this is a fangame but not a fangame' style of impression, where you know you're going in to something different but the basic gameplay expectations are set. Lets the player start out with a clean palate rather than a surprise along the way (though in this case, it'd be pretty obvious).
  44.  
  45. With the reworked engine and everything, the game looks really nice and really smooth. The tutorial system is great and obviously sets the precedent for a grand adventure (coming soon, I hope). I wish it'd explained the charge shot thing (actually got through the game and only realized it reviewing things after), and didn't actually know what the blue gauge was for or anything.
  46.  
  47. Enemies look great, all the animations look really slick and the nice production value with the keys disappearing and all that really adds flavor. Gameplay wise, the platforming is nicely varied with a good arrangement of obstacles and executed really well and it flows well. One thing I wasn't necessarily a big fan of is the aspect that screens were distinctly separated but you were never really sure where the next save was. Not a big thing though.
  48.  
  49. The transition and second stage was nicely executed, with the touchups to the basic backgrounds to change the style. I liked that it persisted some concepts while introducing new ones, making a nice smooth flow between the sections of the stage. The one save here that I was very much not a fan of was the puzzle block section near the end. Inherently nothing wrong with the individual parts but setting up a puzzle section where the player may need to reset (on the topic of that, a fast/no animation reset option would be nice) and have to re-do those puzzle sections... very much a bad idea in my opinion. Its generally not interesting execution for the player and frequently (and in this case, it does) takes longer than usual to feel like you're not making much progress.
  50.  
  51. Finally the boss - this felt a bit lackluster to me. Basically every attack was 'simple targeted element' followed by 'big block flying at you quickly'. Additionally, they all required jumping to hit the smaller target and the blocking mechanic wasn't particularly engaging. Its not necessarily a bad kind of design for an easier game, but it felt somewhat repetitive over the course of several attacks.
  52.  
  53. All in all, this is a project with an unbelievable amount of potential and I do hope you continue to expand it. In the scope of the contest, the atmosphere and audio was great and the design was very solid though the fear aspect wasn't really that present (yet). I would've loved to have gotten a better feel for the whole thing, as it looked like your intent was much closer to fear (in what seemed to be a very Celestian way) rather than general spookiness as many went for.
  54.  
  55. Ratings:
  56. Theme: 4
  57. Level Design: 7
  58. Atmosphere: 9
  59. Audio: 8
  60. Overall: 8
  61.  
  62. I Don't Wanna Hide When It's Dark Outside [FictioN]
  63.  
  64. Neat little game. Pretty much what you envision from a shortventure game in a lot of ways. I like the short stages and the simple gimmicks/environments to distinguish each stage in both an aesthetic and a gameplay sense. Definitely would've been much improved with a nice capstone event (either a boss or story closer of sorts, not familiar with the source material to know what would work here.) but I understand that time constraints are always there.
  65.  
  66. Using abstract shaped hub areas can be dangerous but you built around it well and at no point did it feel janky as it can (and often does in older fangames doing the same style of thing), so thats good. One thing that doesn't really apply here but to keep in mind with a situation like this is if you do make a similar but longer game, having something that highlights the next target is useful to ensure people know where they're going since there can be some confusion otherwise. In this case, it works fine though.
  67.  
  68. The obstacles in each save were well picked for this kind of thing. They've got easy learning curves to suit shorter stages and will engage the player in a way without relying on difficulty (in the first and third stages, this is the 'look before you leap' kind of engagement which usually works for this, in the second just using water engages the player by requiring consistent action).
  69.  
  70. Overall its a charming little game in its shortness and simplicity and a good first showing. The main thing for me that would feel like a big improvement is a nice beginning/end to put around what you already have. Something to consider for the future, at any rate.
  71.  
  72. Mine Stage: The 'think before you act' kind of vertical line segment works good, but for the sake of gameplay smoothness, I'd avoid using the bonk/ledge jumps unless you have to (eg the first one, since its part of just exposing that one block). Some of the latter ones are not needed and those kinds of jumps get annoying when had to be done repeatedly.
  73.  
  74. Underwater Stage: Some more contrast between the spikes and the background would be good.
  75.  
  76. Indoors stage: Good to identify when paths may be confusing and how much a little arrow helps, was very thankful you put those in. Some sort of distinguishing feature between the moving spikes and the static ones would be good for clarity as lets be honest, few fangame players look further than right in front of them.
  77.  
  78. Ratings:
  79. Theme: 4
  80. Level Design: 7
  81. Atmosphere: 5
  82. Audio: 6
  83. Overall: 6
  84.  
  85. I Wanna be the Graverobber [Lss]
  86.  
  87. Great mechanic with the courage and just amazing clean production and play throughout. Super creative and very funny with great execution, though definitely not too scary (which isn't a problem) as it has a distinct theme within the scope. The variety of enemies and platforming meant opening each new grave was certain to be something fun and new and I liked the minibosses where included. It just had amazing charm and there weren't even any little issues to be concerned about.
  88.  
  89. I really liked the seamless transitions between the regular areas and the sub-areas and they all were great thematically and distinct in their own right which made the game very memorable. The troll area definitely stood out for good reason and the miscellaneous references to other fangame stuff was amusing without being overbearing.
  90.  
  91. Ratings:
  92. Theme: 7
  93. Level Design: 10
  94. Atmosphere: 9
  95. Audio: 8
  96. Overall: 9
  97.  
  98. I Wanna Enjoy my Yellow Shoes 2 [Asza]
  99.  
  100. Just as a general thing - the game definitely feels moderately out of range difficulty-wise for what is intended for the contest. This isn't really an issue nor do I think anyone is really going to rate around that for this but it is something to keep in mind for future contests, especially ones with a combined final product like Spook Jam or NANC.
  101.  
  102. I liked the overall progression of the game, it starts out nice and simple and gets progressively more creepy which played well into the theme. The intro stage was pretty interesting, though the gravity flipping seemed kind of out of place - only briefly used in a couple segments and the default sprites for it made it seem kind of shoe-horned in. The projectile dodging sections were probably the best.
  103.  
  104. The cave stage I wasn't a big fan of. The first save was probably one of the hardest and it felt like you were dropped into it with no real introduction or explanation. Generally it was just going fast with tight timings and a ton of trial and error, especially on the drop. This also felt like it was done without a real sense of urgency or a reason for why it was there.
  105.  
  106. The water stage had a cool atmosphere, the ambient background track combined with the effects was good. For a 'keep moving/going fast' stage again, this one felt better than the previous. The jellyfish felt a little rng-ish but it was rarely an issue and the little things like the chase segment added some variety. The end section was kind of weird, just a bunch of blind wandering without any real indication of what was going on and the inconsistency between which whales had bubbles seemed odd. Nonetheless, hardly a major obstacle.
  107.  
  108. The final stage was the best for me - really polished visuals and neat interactions. The progression through the stage too with more disturbing visuals and the gibs around the area definitely added flavor. Finally the boss was solid, a nice simple attack loop that didn't take too many cycles nor did it feel like a rushdown.
  109.  
  110. The game in its entirety was a nice length with a solid progression. There were a couple segments I wasn't a fan of, as detailed above, but for the most part it was interesting and flowed quite well.
  111.  
  112. Ratings:
  113. Theme: 4
  114. Level Design: 6
  115. Atmosphere: 8
  116. Audio: 8
  117. Overall: 7
  118.  
  119. I Wanna Escape the Mansion [Arthur]
  120.  
  121. Firstly - the voice lines are great. This can't be stressed enough and ignoring the rest of the game this is an amazing touch. Its something simple but its something that sets this game apart from basically every other fangame and it was really enjoyable and gave this game a personality of its own.
  122.  
  123. Beyond that though, its a great stage. Execution was solid throughout - tutorializing the gimmicks very well and using them in many different ways. I love this kind of stage design and you did it great. The production played into the atmosphere great and was really clean, and you put consideration into it in your design which was excellent. The arrows giving some foretelling of what the player would need to do while maintaining the fear of the unknown that the darkness offers was very well done for maintaining a smooth game flow.
  124.  
  125. The boss was interesting too, I really liked the way you incorporated the gimmick into it in multiple ways, but there were a couple aspects to the attacks that I wasn't the biggest fan of. The fact that its super easy until you actually fire made the flow feel a bit dragged down, and that most of the rocks/ghosts weren't really threatening but occasionally would force you to stand around for a bit wasn't the best. Still, it was fun enough and again - the audio here is the real shining star.
  126.  
  127. The game wraps itself up nicely and I appreciate that you were able to do that, something a lot of shortventure submissions struggle with. Overall I think this is a great little project and I'm looking forward to seeing more - and more than anything I'd love you to continue adding that unique flair that makes your game really stand out.
  128.  
  129. Ratings:
  130. Theme: 8
  131. Level Design: 8
  132. Atmosphere: 8
  133. Audio: 10
  134. Overall: 8
  135.  
  136. I Wanna Get Freedom [Neos]
  137.  
  138. So it can't really be started any other way than this looks incredible. The parallax background, the particles, twinkling stars, lighting effects, animations and effects all look amazing.
  139.  
  140. Its a little uncertain what to do at the beginning - which is fine, it fits into the theme and is hardly at risk of getting anybody lost. It promotes exploring out, seeing the locked door and wondering about the cliff and all that.
  141.  
  142. The stages are very simplistic, but manage the theme/environment well. Though its more general halloweeny than implying fear of anything in particular, it still plays into the atmosphere well. I liked the midway fight and the first boss looked and played great. The effects were great and the blue effect transition into warning marker looked great and played well. The second boss does have the unfinished feel but looks like it has some potential.
  143.  
  144. The finale is clean and I like the transition over to the final bit.
  145.  
  146. The only real criticism I'd have is that I wish it expanded out the platforming a bit more, and generally that there was more of it but what exists was very well done and I'd love to see this finished. Right now it feels like there's a lot to see and not a lot to do, which is a shame because what there is is compelling.
  147.  
  148. Ratings:
  149. Theme: 5
  150. Level Design: 5
  151. Atmosphere: 9
  152. Audio: 6
  153. Overall: 6
  154.  
  155. I Wanna Go Trick-or-Treating [Cosmoing]
  156.  
  157. Neat mechanics. I like the subtlety associated with the plant growths and how to anticipate them. The town setup is cool and the setup for future progression with the upgrades/'fear overcoming concept' makes it seem like you had some lofty ambitions with this for which you have a great start.
  158.  
  159. The platforming interacted with the gimmick nicely but still felt smooth. Different player control can be strange to change up but you kept the jumps intuitive, which is good. Progress was steady through the stage and it never felt like I had to wrestle against the changed physics.
  160.  
  161. Boss was nice. Clean aesthetic and interesting concept, plus I'm a sucker for creative arenas. May want to have a check to stop the tree from spawning immediately next to where it was though. Outside of that, I loved the ambience - the visuals really played well into the concept without ever being an issue in terms of whether or not you'd be able to see/react to the attacks, even from off screen in the dark.
  162.  
  163. Overall, its a great start and the mechanic has so much potential for future usage, I'd love to see this expanded out and worked on more.
  164.  
  165. Having a different animation/effect/sound for when the kid dies to fear would be neat. Additionally, maybe a little leeway on the candy to kill a tree for people who have really terrible aim, like me.
  166.  
  167. Managed to glitch through the platform as it was coming up on the trigger screen by having high vspeed. Not a huge problem since you can jump up anyway. Also, screen transitioning while off the top of the screen gets you stuck in the floor.
  168.  
  169. Ratings:
  170. Theme: 7
  171. Level Design: 6
  172. Atmosphere: 7
  173. Audio: 7
  174. Overall: 6
  175.  
  176. I Wanna Play Kiduija [MattinJ]
  177.  
  178. Just astonishing as usual. The story is cheesy but that's fine - the gameplay and general level design is amazing though. This one feels more complete to me than Knight did, and just plays really well. The bosses are superb and the amount of variety and content in this for the contest is huge as always.
  179.  
  180. I loved the really consistent aesthetic and cohesive design of the game world and the finale was a nice touch with the various fangame fears. The alternating larger bosses and minibosses was great. As always with these kinds of games, its good to have the inventory system to help the player have a kind of progress marker as they move along.
  181.  
  182. There's not too much more to say, the game is incredible as usual. As expected trying to put that much together in that short a time there's a lot of little things which I kind of scribbled down below.
  183.  
  184.  
  185. Other feedback:
  186. Typos:
  187. On key pickup, should just be a key.
  188. On necklace - should be She always keeps it with her
  189. At end - worshippers instead of worshipers, burst through the ground and okay not okey.
  190.  
  191. Looking at the clocktower thing, I got a text box saying something about the painting (same as the one in the hub), later on it said insert, not sure if it was just carrying on from the last thing I looked at.
  192. On the head boss, he was using the downward acid attack while I was in the far right and it was instead impacting about 2/3 of the way up the screen and he kind of drifted out of the area - after the attack finished it reset back to normal though.
  193.  
  194. A number of screen edge obstacles seem to do basically no damage (floor during the first section, fire chase) which feels kind of weird and trivializes parts of it. Another example is the gas mask area, you can just walk/jump under entire sections.
  195.  
  196. Breaking the brains shield while the middle ball attack charges freezes the graphic there but the attack doesn't continue.
  197.  
  198. Goblin crossbow enemy seems to still hurt as its dying where many others don't. Not a big deal but a bit inconsistent.
  199.  
  200. After love door, the bouncing orbs from that enemy seem to do no damage.
  201.  
  202. Ratings:
  203. Theme: 7
  204. Level Design: 10
  205. Atmosphere: 10
  206. Audio: 10
  207. Overall: 9
  208.  
  209. I Wanna Return From Silent Hill [Smartkin]
  210.  
  211. Alright, this is a bit hard to give feedback on since you're already very aware of its state. In terms of bugs, there's definitely some weird stuff around your/the boss's hp that had issues. Not sure why but loading from save would leave me insane but restarting the game would reset hp. This was kind of an issue in general in that I didn't understand how the kids health worked and it seemed to go on for a long time after the 'insane' point was reached.
  212.  
  213. In terms of general design - its cool. Obviously this looked to be very ambitious, which I'm glad to see and I do hope you stick with it. The combat system felt a bit janky with the pipe but was really easy to use with the pistol (outside of having to load the ammo). The premise/story setup even if rushed seemed like it had some real potential since the town felt well laid out for a suitable build-up/tutorial area.  The enemies were distinguished themselves from each other in function, which is good, since no one wants to feel like they're fighting the same reskinned things over and over. Unfortunately, perhaps partially due to my lack of understanding of how things were working, I found it much easier to just ignore interactions with the enemies and just facerush past things. Basically - the foundation is here for a lot of cool stuff which seemed to be the expectation for where you're at at this time.
  214.  
  215. The design issues I would be concerned of based on the demo is that some of the tiling (mostly on the vertical room) felt like it wasn't entirely clear where the top of the blocks were. It was a minimal issue though. The other thing that came to mind is that on the boss, if you run out of ammo, you'll probably have to consider the potential for the player to be able to interact with the melee attack. Only one of the attacks really stood a chance of getting some pipe hits in and if that ever becomes a real concern further along in the game its something that will have to be strongly considered. If the pipe is just meant to be a filler weapon then its less of an issue but you'll have to be able to establish to the player those expectations.
  216.  
  217. Keep at it though, love seeing the ambition.
  218.  
  219. Ratings:
  220. Theme: 7
  221. Level Design: 4
  222. Atmosphere: 7
  223. Audio: 6
  224. Overall: 5
  225.  
  226. I Wanna Travel the Night [RandomErik]
  227.  
  228. Soundcheck - always good.
  229.  
  230. I liked the story continuity - always a fan of makers having their own silly storylines and an intro to give some scope to the whole game is always nice. The TTS is always a nice touch too, if a bit ridiculous. Also noted that the blech is back and in full force for that personal touch.
  231.  
  232. Stages were cool - nice length, each one had a couple very defining features to make them stand out and give you that great adventure feel where you're going from place to place and seeing new things and as always, the art has that distinct style that makes the game stand out.
  233.  
  234. Stage 1 - cool stage with a nice enemy variety and really simple platforming otherwise. The only issue I had with this area was that the leaves from the trees felt a bit too foreground/pronounced for flavor objects. Boss was cool, only thing I thought could be changed is maybe having the volley at the end alternate as you can really easily stand in one place, but as a first boss that kind of low difficulty is more than fine.
  235.  
  236. Stage 2 - I would've liked to see a save - the autosave was fairly apparent but you never know. As a player I like to jump into cactuses immediately to test and with a save there you can feel more confident with it. Nice reach the moon refs, though I personally have to dock a tiny bit for the upside-down GB room because that room is GarBage. The spike gimmick is neat, gives the player a nice opportunity to slow down and think for a moment. Always a big fan of the mid-stage miniboss thing you frequently do too, the mummy was a great little interlude. This boss was solid but I felt like the least noteworthy of them.
  237.  
  238. Stage 3 - This felt like it had a bit of the blocktroid problem. It looks great but I feel like there's too little contrast. A lot of the spikes blend into the water as do some of the killers (the little eel things right as they spawn, for instance). Once you know what you're looking for its not a big deal but it felt like there were a number of instances of just hitting things and not realizing what happened. The start of the boss was weird on this, just because the trigger to start him was a little unintuitive, I think I'd like to see something small in the middle of the room just to draw the players attention. Noted that from this stage on there wasn't really much on the spooky/fear side and it was just kind of a general adventure game, which is fine.
  239.  
  240. Stage 4 - Super reminiscent of your other games in this stage, just a solid stage, not much to say. SephBot was a great boss and a nice touch, though knowing what exactly would and wouldn't kill you in the first phase was a bit weird and I have a personal distaste for DKC sprites. Still, the final phase was unexpected and just a great touch. Final boss had a great first phase followed by a known issue, the egg attack felt totally off the wall but was an amusing concept.
  241.  
  242. Overall just a great game - the aesthetic is always top notch and consistent and the production touches with audio and particles and all that really give a great living world. The theme incorporation was pretty light, but thats not a detractor.
  243.  
  244. Few more specific things:
  245.  
  246. I wasn't too big a fan of the fast darkness when the player dies, I think a fadeout or something would serve better.
  247.  
  248. Air bar behind the water looks weird when you're up against a block and its a different color at the edge.
  249.  
  250. Not sure how it happens but if you jump on the far right of the second platform after its lowered after the double gun guy boss, sometimes you die to the spike and sometimes you don't. This is kind of unfortunate since you wrap back around there right before the final jump on a pretty long screen. Spike doesn't seem to really stop much so might be worth just removing it.
  251.  
  252. The invisible death in the double zapper room, I believe this is something that has been pointed out.
  253.  
  254. Ratings:
  255. Theme: 6
  256. Level Design: 9
  257. Atmosphere: 9
  258. Audio: 8
  259. Overall: 9
  260.  
  261. Kid Story [KingSlendy]
  262.  
  263. This is an interesting entry. Very much not a traditional fangame in any sense of the word.
  264.  
  265. The gameplay being the exploring a house style with point/click inventory is an interesting touch and visually it definitely fits. However, (and maybe I'm missing something), it seems the story is not hugely fleshed out and the 'lost memory' trope of blanking words out is used to kind of gloss over some of this. Having the ability to view the inventory would help a fair amount with progressing through this, giving a feeling like you're accumulating these various things as you progress. I'm unsure if based on the story the player is aware of what room is what ahead of time - their familiarity with many of the objects seem to indicate so, at which case it wouldn't hurt to indicate when a locked door is encountered if relevant what room it is to limit poking around as time goes on.
  266.  
  267. I like the achievement system in this kind of style as it helps you get an understanding for what you've done and what you're missing without necessarily spoiling what exactly is happening, but a number of the achievements seem meaningless (like turning off the sound) which isn't necessarily indicative of progress. Even after getting them, like the ???, i'm not really sure what it was about and the others just kind of took some fooling around. Included in this is that breaking out felt like it should have a different ending, if I'm understanding the lore correctly.
  268.  
  269. All in all, there's an interesting premise here but it doesn't feel fully fleshed out. I'm unsure if the intention is to expand upon it, because it definitely seems like there's a lot more to be learned about this story and the foundation seems to be largely in place to make something more of this, but there just doesn't seem to be much there yet. More stuff along the lines of the flower puzzle would go a long way - things that offer the player a chance to think about what they've seen and tie it together.
  270.  
  271.  
  272. Note: Hitting R before using the save will cause the game to crash.
  273.  
  274. Ratings:
  275. Theme: 5
  276. Level Design: 1
  277. Atmosphere: 8
  278. Audio: 6
  279. Overall: 4
  280.  
  281. Phobophobia [Haegoe]
  282.  
  283. General:
  284.  
  285. Game crashed when player dies as the middle platform during sonic is coming up.
  286.  
  287. Ambience throughout the game is good, and while the gameplay of stage 1 is mostly straightforward needle (esp at the beginning), the progression with sounds and objects making it more dynamic as time goes on plays well into the theme. Sound effects are a big plus for this game, with custom audio for a lot of events and fitting very well into the atmosphere. I appreciate the graphical effects put into place as well. Difficulty is quite easy and fair and the rooms flow well into one another.
  288.  
  289. Boss 1 has a nice theme and is well executed for the most part. My main criticism would be giving the player a little more notice/warning on the transition to the central platform, as its not intuitive to be in that vicinity when it happens.
  290.  
  291. Stage 2 started out interesting, as it brought in a new mechanic though it was a pretty simplistic one. Of course it seems to have cut off rather abruptly but that's alright. The troll was amazing, as it lures the player further and further into expecting nothing and letting their guard down. Its amplified by the fact that the game does indeed continue after it.
  292.  
  293. Boss 2 was thematically weird, though it did fit in a way as all the glitchy objects were introduced earlier. My particular problem with this one is the lack of distinction between which white apples are shootable and which are not, otherwise the attacks were interesting and I appreciate that the final attack did motivate movement around the arena.
  294.  
  295. Ratings:
  296. Theme: 7
  297. Level Design: 6
  298. Atmosphere: 7
  299. Audio: 6
  300. Overall: 6
  301.  
  302. Return to Vibrance [Lumi]
  303.  
  304. First thing - good start. An audio check sets a nice first impression in the fangame world and the menu looks slick. I also like the choice of 'cease' as a quit equivalency.
  305.  
  306. I like that it sets up a quick setting and gives you a nice environment to get a feel for whats a block - important with abstract games full of weird objects like this. I didn't have any ability distinguishing whats a killer and whats not, which is a great sign and a good application of contrast and visuals to help the player identify correctly.
  307.  
  308. Overall this is a great game and a very unique experience. I love the aesthetic and how bizarre it is while still maintaining its own degree of consistency and the style of obstacles and mixing and matching of them throughout makes the gameplay very interesting. They each seem unique in their own way so none of it feels redundant. The second stage being kind of a halfway between weird and happy land is great too. The one issue I would say to watch out for with the platforming is the save balance felt a bit off in places - a lot of your most complicated obstacles also felt like they were part of the longest saves (to mind this seems like the 2nd to last room, the top save of the big first room and the one with the two fast shooters going back and forth in the first area). I'd consider reviewing some of those to get a good feel for it - while the game certainly isn't very difficult you have to consider that the appeal for these shortventure games aren't necessarily the hardcore fangamer and I can see some of those being a real blocker for some new players. The other design consideration I would consider is that some players may take longer to get through certain sections than others or leave and come back, and with the large rooms and harder to parse visuals it may be worth including some path markers in certain places.
  309.  
  310. The bosses were also quite good - disturbing in their own way and certainly enemies that one would not normally expect. The combination of the two threats was done in a cool way and the attacks felt a little chaotic at times because of it (something I'm a fan of). Individually none of the attacks were complicated but understanding the behavior between the multiple parts of the boss made it fun and challenging without the attacks being that hard on their own.
  311.  
  312. The one major problem with the bosses is the transition to the last phase on the final boss - this felt a bit rushed and may have been a time constraint thing but there felt like a ton of problems with this one thing alone. The eye doesn't move with the boss but moves to it (doesn't seem to be a killer) but it will throw players off. The transition into the last phase is basically guaranteed instant death if you're on the right side of the platform which I'm definitely not a fan of. It requires a specific strategy and could be dealt with by moving it to the position on the path based on the players X position. Finally, the sideways shooting projectile is difficult to see normally (which I'm fine with for the rest of the fight), but that it sweeps the entire platform and is even harder to see with the screen flash and that combined with the hand diving for the player immediately makes this transition feel SUPER gibby and that's not good.
  313.  
  314.  
  315. Note: Hitting R during the intro cutscene crashes the game.
  316.  
  317. I'd consider having continue be the default option rather than begin on the menu if a save exists, just because a double press could overwrite the players save.
  318.  
  319. I'd recommend putting a save on the first screen just so the music doesn't restart when the player dies.
  320.  
  321. The standard JR sprite really stands out, not sure if that was just something you didn't get a chance to fix but you put a lot of work into this cool, bizarre aesthetic but then the JRs are just bland regular old gray circles.
  322.  
  323. Ratings:
  324. Theme: 7
  325. Level Design: 8
  326. Atmosphere: 9
  327. Audio: 5
  328. Overall: 7
  329.  
  330. Under The Stairs [WetWookie]
  331.  
  332. So this was certainly an experience. Ties into the general wookie timeline in a good way and is, without a doubt, a very memorable experience. I liked the approach, it managed to keep the fangame style feel and charm while incorporating a totally different play experience, reminiscent of point-and-click adventures of the past.
  333.  
  334. The content is ... hard to discuss, managing to bounce between the creepy and the comical at a moments notice. It had a ton of personality and was just entertaining the whole way through.
  335.  
  336. Gameplay wise, its a little light obviously but I think it worked out alright with some light platforming, some mixed gimmicks and a little thought.
  337.  
  338.  
  339. Concerns:
  340.  
  341. The down to go through platform thing I don't recall seeing an explanation for, would've been nice to be aware of that.
  342.  
  343. Escape closing inventory or being able to skip the splash screen woudl be nice, since I'm an idiot and repeatedly hit it to close the inventory for no reason and thus restarted the game.
  344.  
  345. The dog hitbox is good.
  346.  
  347. Ratings:
  348. Theme: 10
  349. Level Design: 4
  350. Atmosphere: 9
  351. Audio: 9
  352. Overall: 7
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