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I like this; it's a nice change from the regular, sappy old dress-up games we normally see on NG's Under Judgment section. And besides, many people (myself included) are fascinated with old or medieval-style armour.

Maybe include more armour/weapon choices? Everyone can name the Spartans, the Romans and even the Templars when it comes to armour choices that stand out. The choices here are limited; only one of them vaguely resembles the Templars. There's more potential for maces, shields, daggers, shortswords and what have you to be included -- and you can include a whole arsenal on them!

Granted, it'll take a lot of prep and drawing, but the time I've spent browsing (online) weapon stores makes me feel that this game needs more content. It should be a bit like a sweet shop, where you WANT to dress up in armour and look like a Roman / Spartan / Templar / anything else, but you're so spoilt for choice.

Considering this began as an experiment and this is different from the vast majority of dress-up games, I am giving this a solid 4 out of 5. I still STRONGLY appreciate it if there should be more content added to it.

The atmosphere/BGM is surreal and disturbing, great job on that.

However, I can't tell which is which with the drawings. They seem to look like scrawls from a practice file or a sketchbook... I cannot tell if it's a torture chamber (what with the humanoid plastered onto the wall like that) or a rec room, what with the PC in there.

Plus the fact that I cannot tell which is the foreground and which is the background from these scrawls, because nearly EVERYTHING in it is white, it's disconcerting. A monochrome (black/grey/white) atmosphere could've been done with pencil drawings, but I see none of this! -- the monochrome atmosphere would've made the distinction between the foreground and the background better.

And besides, just because something is hand-drawn doesn't mean it has to be inanimate. Classic example is Snow White (yes, the Disney film) -- EVERY SINGLE FRAME WAS HAND-DRAWN. Now the reason why I'm bringing this up is because the game itself could benefit from some animated touches. The bubbles, for instance. Or even the floating monsters, or the electrical wires, or even the computer screen. While this won't affect playability, it'll have an impact on players' minds and make it stand out as a great game.

What's even more annoying is that there are some items that look like things I can interact with, but turn out to be just things in the background. If anything, the playability reminds me of an NES game produced by Color Dreams....... which should say a lot.

The fundamentals of game design are that you 1) have clearly defined lines, 2) are able to tell which is the foreground and/or the background, 3) are able to tell which things can be interacted with and which things are not. Maybe rule 1 can be bent a bit if you're seriously going for sketchbook-esque graphics, but rules 2 and 3 have been so badly broken.

Verdict: has a LOT of potential but is left really wanting.

1.5/5.

It's fun until Level 7, which is entirely luck-based but otherwise unplayable. Knowing that you have to get matches of THREE at least to advance the game, you have very little room and you often have combinations of gems that are less than three. To make matters worse, the timer is running and you have very slow gem loading/dropping sequences in this game, which chops away precious time which could be used to finish the level!

2.5/5. I gash away half the score for playability.

grainsalt responds:

Thanks for the feedback. Levels 1-6 are indeed the "learning" levels. Level 7 does ramp up the difficulty although the speed of the drops is intentionally that speed as the levels are generally designed to be right at what is possible as I wanted to give a sense of being "right at the limit".

The physics aspect does mean that sometimes gems do not always land in a way that has 3 items right next to each other but the trick is how you collect items at the bottom to collapse the items above plus the ability to "draw" lines was put in to allow you to match objects that are further away (as per level 2 instructions) to get around the problem of having less than 3 items close together.

It's a problem you get with physics based matchers I guess.

However, I'll go and look at Level 7 and see if it can be re-balanced.

Again, thanks for the feedback, much appreciated.

GOOD:
1. Instructions are succinct and pretty much say all there is.
2. The gameplay mechanics are quite good, and the game itself can be pretty addictive.

BAD:
1. THE MUSIC IS JARRING. Seriously, get something off the Audio Portal or have someone work with you on it. People are willing, you know.
2. It's not really aesthetically pleasing. Now you can use the squares etc. that you see here, but a bit of retexturing would be very much welcome. And believe me, that'd be the main reason why people even down-vote a game.
3. The scoreboard takes forever to load, and sometimes it just doesn't load.

2.5/5.

This one gets HALF OF ITS SCORE taken away: a lot of words which are known in the English language are not recognised. Classic instance: I had "exo-" as a seed and there were words like 'exoplanet', 'exonym', 'exoset', and a lot of other words which are expected to have a scientific or mathematical root. And NONE of these were recognised. Strangely enough, other scientific terms were recognised.

Someone needs to expand the lexicon -- the sheer narrowness of the lexicon is a big gash in and of itself.

2.5/5.

This reminds me of the trick treasure box puzzles from Onimusha 1, to a degree. Nothing graphically special, but still nice to play.

DasSG responds:

Game was supposed to be simple, I thought heavy graphics would be distracting.

While I don't mind the whole colour-changing thing, it's just reacting too slowly for anyone to play the game comfortably...

The concept is nice -- it isn't everyday that we see point-and-click telling a story in the third person. And I'm a musician, so I naturally got drawn to this game. The title screen looked really promising.

But this is where the fun ends, unfortunately.

I'm not sure if the game's entire message is meant to be macabre or otherwise, because every single character's artwork (to say nothing about Death himself) looks very zombie-like. The animation wasn't particularly great either. Much of it had single-plane movements, I am honestly beginning to wonder if you were actually even trying with that game.

The trumpet playing is "monotonous" as you said in the intro -- but so is every other instrumentalist! One single note, really? Effort could've been done with the music. Now I do know the credits tune and I loved the title theme, so there was a degree of familiarity (happy memories of playing Mad Maestro all over again), but otherwise..... couldn't you have worked with someone for the music somehow? So as to actually illustrate that this WAS INDEED a trumpeter's journey to success? There are people who are willing to help with jazz music on here that they'd be happy to give you something to make the game a lot more memorable.

The game has so few options, and it is really short. Now I will give credit where it's due: some of the options are quite clever you wouldn't expect to know where they are, but once you do, you're able to go ahead. But surely more interaction could've been made with the objects in the game?! There was one part where you only had a shooting star to interact with, it was literally THE ONLY THING! It feels like a lack of effort...

And a pet peeve of mine: cliffhangers that don't explain much. While I get the fact that the story is all about "losing one's soul vs actually finding it and getting on with pursuing the things you love," this could've been fleshed out so much more deeply. Dialogues? Explanatory text? Or even just moving, symbolic gestures? We had so few, if any! Our bandsman really is a two-dimensional character, if nothing else.

I would've certainly loved to see 1) more development, 2) a more moving storyline to build up on the one you have here, 3) better music (and not just single notes). The rest would follow suit. Point of contention from a musician's view: there is MUCH more to a bandsman's story than just that, and people need to relate. Work on this game accordingly.

1.5/5.

For a game made in two hours, this is impressive. Mechanics work well and the music was fitting enough that it put a smile on my face. : ) But it can really get repetitive.... would I be willing to only catch ducks for two hours, especially with their random movements?

At any rate, great effort.

zephyr6 responds:

I'm glad the game made you smile! :) I added saving functionality, so you can take breaks in between catching ducks and doing whatever it is that we do in between catching ducks. :]

Hey. I don't know if anyone does have the problem, but I'm stuck at the title screen and can't go further. Clicking or pressing any keys does not work. Can someone please fix this?

Otherwise, the graphics seem nice. I'll give this game a bit of a chance.

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

Annette Singh @Troisnyx

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Lancashire, UK

Joined on 6/26/11

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