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All 65 Game Reviews

21 w/ Responses

Let me make it clear that I support keeping the internet free from things like SOPA, PIPA and the FCC. And whether I like it or not, the internet is a resilient little thing, going through growing pains to get freer and freer, the way Sir Tim Berners-Lee intends it to be. Or rather, should I say, there are many internet users around the world who are resilient against this type of law enforcement.

Now, on to the interaction of this short game proper.

Music was well chosen, I suppose. It's bleak, and a desperate picture of what the internet could look like.

Graphics were boxy and simplistic, but it does make me wonder what this whole fascination of blank hitboxes is. Anti-SOPA games had this, and now this game has it too. Is this game trying to tell me that FCC would also prevent original content?

The atmosphere was brilliant, for the most part -- but why are the graphics resembling that of Web 1.0 websites? The internet adopted a whole new aesthetic years ago. Game-wise, I doubt there are any bugs, and I suppose there are only a few things that can be interacted with, in keeping with how bleak the situation is.

The dialogues and writing aren't. Are you trying to tell me that reading books is an inferior way of spending time to the internet, for example? It's shallow thinking at best. The only "beneficiary" from the FCC is the big guy in a suit -- but little effort is actually made to show WHO ELSE would benefit, and WHO ELSE would suffer, and WHAT ELSE they would say. I would have appreciated if the whole writing was a lot more thought-provoking than this. And this, I'm afraid, is where I have to gash away points. This kind of game is meant to raise awareness by putting us deep in thought, but it just doesn't, and comes across as yet another corny protest "game".

2.5/5.

As an original SMB1 fan, I've got some scathing remarks to dish out... with your name on it!

GRAPHICS
Great job using the SMB1 sprites; I liked the old-school feel. The main thing which gashed it for me is that the resolution is just too high. I guess it had to be done for the Tetris blocks to be dropped, but the res could still have been reduced by at least a third. More of this to come under Mechanics.

SOUND
Overworld theme, castle theme and standard Tetris theme. Alright, good choice. I wasn't sure about the castle theme being used for the bit where you had to build your castle from scratch -- I kinda felt it overdramatised the whole thing.

MECHANICS
This, I'm afraid, is where I have the most complaints.

The autoscrolling makes it very reminiscent of a SMB Lost Levels stage, but I don't know if it helped with exploration at all. You may as well have put in a time limit -- it would have served the same purpose.

That you didn't have a time limit, and that you put in so many blocks and areas to explore, means that I as the player ought to have been given the *freedom* to explore this! Autoscrolling really took it away from me.

Also, only World 1-1 was playable here.... but it was too darn long. I spent most of my time standing still and moving Tetris blocks. SMB and SMB Lost Levels, by contrast, are slightly more fast-paced. I feel like I've been severely handicapped, playing a slow and drawn-out level.

Now, moving on to coins, power-ups and power blocks.

1) You would normally expect, in an SMB level, to have coins strewn all about the place, not necessarily in coin blocks. There were absolutely none in this game.

2) The only possible power-up was the Super Mushroom. No Fire Flower? No Invincibility Star?

3) A lot of the ? Blocks were found in Tetris pieces, and were impossible to access. It doesn't feel like World 1-1 when you can only get 7 coins in the entire stage.

tl;dr: I liked the whole crossover idea, but it could have used a lot more thought. Resolution was too high, mechanics were not thought out, and it felt slow and drawn-out.

3/5.

The title graphics, UI and transition animations are great. Not sure what I can say about the actual gameplay itself -- it's a real pity you get knocked DOWN by the bird, rather than have the option of bouncing off some for distance bonus à la Toss the Turtle. That gashes points for gameplay, but you've got added points for UI.

What really annoys me is that there has to be an ad EVERY TIME you finish one round, rather than have it done and dusted at the beginning. Look, we know you're looking to earn with this game. But you ain't gonna get far if 1) it's the same ad every time, 2) the gameplay has to be interrupted by it all the time. We gamers get frustrated... and I am certainly frustrated at this. How are we even going to go through the process of unlocking more items if we have to be interrupted each time?

3/5.

PixelKick responds:

Thanks for your comments, they are helpful to me! You shouldn't be seeing an ad after every round, so i'm investigating that and will have it resolved. Thanks again! (UPDATE. FIXED THOSE ADS)

I quite like the trouble you took to make the puzzle elements -- they are reasonably easy, and sometimes reasonably challenging. And checkpoints all over the stage! The graphics look quite well done; there's a robotic aesthetic all round.

My ONLY complaint, one which gashes the playability by a fair bit, is that there is no Pause button! I tried hitting P (as is good practice) when I was given my meal and we were about to say grace -- and the game just did not pause... And of course, that affects score. I really, really DON'T like how you NEVER considered occasions like these, or occasions where you have to drop the game halfway because of a call, or go to the bathroom, and you happen to not be in a checkpoint...

3/5.

Let me just say right off the bat: I had uncertainty writing that music track, but I'm glad many have enjoyed it. Looking really good. Kudos to everyone.

Also, 3 out of 4 medals for the time being -- I'll break the Flash later. :P

TurkeyOnAStick responds:

:) Merry Christmas!

Lovely short game, and quite a nice idea for LD. The music fits, the graphics fit nicely.

My only frustration, which really gashes a lot, is that I am NOT used to WASD. Arrow key controls would've been massively appreciated here. It feels unnatural, as a right-hander, handling all controls with the left hand. >_>

The GOOD:

1) Splendid choice of music.

2) Very homely graphics.

3) At least there's the autopause function when you leave the screen, e.g. for a review.

The BAD:

1) The gift targets in the Classical stages aren't triggering as well as they ought. Sometimes it doesn't record when I've drawn a line of peppermints over it.

2) Sharp spike in difficulty starting Level 8. You've basically made this into the Touhou of match 3.

3) On the harder stages, whether you win this or not depends on COMPLETE RANDOM CHANCE. That is, if you're lucky enough not to have your stocking filled by dumb teddy bears.

4) You're expected to play easier levels multiple times to beat the harder ones. How is that really replayability? Those are stages you've felt proud of beating, you want to go to the next and you want it to only have a REASONABLE chance in difficulty. For those of us who don't have as much patience, the game gets very old very quickly.

3.5/5. A lot of work went into this, I'm aware, but it really hasn't been the best experience for me. Plus points for the effort, graphics and music.

Tut, tut. If this is annoying for single-player, imagine what it would be in co-op.

GAMEPLAY
This is the area where I gash the most points. The ghosts appear in places where you are relatively safe, half the time appearing SPLIT SECONDS after you have gone to safety. This takes out more health than you are able to recover with the power-ups that come about.

SOUNDTRACK
Kinda fun, I guess, but doesn't detract from the annoying gameplay -- if anything, it does aggravate it. I've had to keep it muted.

GRAPHICS
Fair, I guess. Not the most stylised, and I can't find much that stands out.

If this was done in the time span of 48 hours (say, for a Game Jam), I'd have been more forgiving about it -- but considering this has been developed and released at a relatively free period, I can't support this.

2/5.

I'm afraid I have to agree with MessiaH.

1) No background music, and option to mute. While it does work in my favour as I often have music playing in the background, your choice tracks would be MUCH appreciated here.

2) There is no indication as to when the game ends. Is this endless, or is this after a set amount of levels?

3) The first level is insanely easy, and then after that, the rest of the levels become immediately difficult. Don't get me wrong, I have completed them within the time limit, but there's no gradual progression.

4) No keyboard integration. This game borrows a similar concept as OMGPOP's Swapples, but the one thing which Swapples DID RIGHT and you DID NOT was this-- KEYBOARD INTEGRATION. It is tedious to click and drag every single letter when you have a timer running against you. Speed typists, myself included, are going to be easily frustrated with this game when they realise that their best method of finding words against a timer is handicapped.

5) The visuals are..... meh.

So in short: aesthetics are meh, there is no simplicity, functionality is lacking, difficulty progression is off the rails, and you haven't really put in a personal touch. I am a fan of well-done word games, and seriously: this one FALLS FAR OFF THE MARK.

Key to improving this:

1) ALLOW KEYBOARD INTEGRATION DARN IT.

2) If you're running this on a dictionary, make sure it is Oxford or something widely recognised.

3) You've got a timer running; make the game fast-paced rather than slow, drawn-out and tedious.

4) For visuals, consider something a *little* more vibrant. The blue-and-white colour scheme is okay for starters... until you realise the entire game is blue-and-white. That makes it really boring to look at. Try considering basing the tiles off Scrabble -- they're that colour for a reason. People's eyes are caught at the sight of those tiles.

1/5.

saathvikputhran responds:

ok .I dont think there will be a sequel made by me for this game but if I make one I will definetely add music, nice colours,great graphics,tougher challenges.If I will not make a sequel I can make another type of puzzle game.I hope you understand me.

Some thoughts.

1) Side-scrolling bullet hells aren't very commonly seen around here, so it's nice to see one coming from you.

2) Why are there no mouse controls? A lot of us who have handled vertical bullet hells have found it far easier to handle it with the mouse because of the hitbox, it's easier to do precision navigating through fields of bullets with the mouse.

3) It works fine for what you've given.

4) Depends on what graphic style you want to shoot for. Are you going for a Touhou-ish style, something from Epic Battle Fantasy, or a Western cartoon style? Or are you going for something completely quirky? You've only given us the enemy without backgrounds or even a glimpse of what the player character looks like, so we can't say much for now. If you have any concept art whatsoever, put a screen or two up!

leonidoss341 responds:

thanx for comment and advises :D

IPA: /tʁwɑ.niks/ || Singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, visual artist, writer. Member of ARM Circle. Drummer with The Just Numbers.
Speaks in various tones of meeps.

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