This game was fantastic-- the music, the gameplay and the artwork are all beautifully molded together into a game that is worthy of carrying the title 'A Work of Art'. The subtle piano melodies on the main menu set the tune and tempo of the game itself, and the text lends to the atmosphere the game gives us. When you look at the work, you know exactly what kind of a game you will be playing, and it doesn't disappoint.
Before I let you bask in the glory that is your glowing review, I only have one piece of feedback to be made. While we clearly explored a Hero's Journey, we missed one crucial portion: the 'Journey'. The game can be completed in a manner of minutes, which is nice, but it also shows how little content is present. For elements of play like the falling fruits and the monkeys, we only got to experience a glimpse of what we could have. We see groundhogs once and they vanish; in no way are we prepared for the change of play that the demons bring. If you pursue a game like this in the future, with a well made concept and playability, remember that players want to mess with their new tools over a SPAN of levels. Too much information at rapid speed does not give the player-- the viewer-- time to appreciate the world they lives in and become attached to their characters.
This is certainly one of the best games I have played despite this lack of content, and can you consider that a flaw? I craved far more than you gave me, and that only goes to show how well put-together this game was. I'm surprised it didn't hit first place or rank for the weekly trophy-- you must have just released during a good time for games. Try and time your releases for maximum impact in the future! You can do it, I can tell!
I'm not sure if it's entirely fair to critique such an old game, but we often learn best from looking back at our successes (as well as our failures). This game was composed well, but I can't help shake the feeling some of those songs have been used before. As for gameplay, well...
You had some brilliant use of the Heavy/Light/Special/Block combo that many fighting games use. In the typical fighting game, I often don't block or don't have to block to win; not so with this game. The way wolves travel in packs and you teamed up dangerous characters are just various ways you showed you knew how to set up mechanics and make them useful.
So the problem didn't lie in how the levels were set up; you did a beautiful job of that with the resources you had. The problem instead lay in how those mechanics were programmed. The hitboxes were way too big for both parties: the player's own hitbox should be entirely inside of all body parts (such as in the center of the torso), and collisions with attacks should be more precise. As for enemies, I was often able to hit them from a large distance with a sword (and vice-versa-- spearbearers often hit me from impossible distances). By shrinking collision boxes, you make fighting more realistic and close-combat than what we experienced here.
Additionally, the transition from one sprite to another does not always keep the origin (the 'center' actions are performed from) the same. I often found goblins glitching through my shield as the transition from one sprite to another moved them forward, just to make one example.
Introduction of mechanics ought to be slower and take place through gameplay, not force me to look to the summary for the control scheme.
To give some last feedback, cutscenes should be able to be navigated as if they were a slide show. The 'skip' option was a good inclusion, but I wanted to move to the next section of the cutscene-- not skip the entire sequence. Make sure that players can manually advance the cutscene with a key-press.
I think I'll go take a look at your other games when I get a chance! If you can, try and improve these details in future games (if you haven't already). I'm sorry about such a retroactive review, but maybe it's good to look back and see what you did right and wrong in your previous titles.
Well now this is a blast from the past! :D
Thanks for the in-depth review. This game is one of my first games I've ever made and yes, it has many flaws, but I did learn a lot from making it and from great feedback like yours. I'm actually still struggling with hit boxes and hit detection in my newer games, but I think I'm getting better. Oh, and yes I agree those cut-scenes could have been done a lot better by giving more control to the player.
As for the music, it has probably been in countless games and animations before. It was made by MaestroSegments (also known as MaestroRage) here on Newgrounds. The reason why I used his music is because it is amazing, at least at the time it was royalty free and not all of us possess the skill or the time to compose original music on top of programming, game design, animation etc... but I have composed my own music for quite a few of my other games. I do not see anything wrong with using somebody else's free music though. It helps to promote them!
Thanks for all the feedback, it's much appreciated!
Personally I do not think this game deserves only 1.5 stars all things considered, but I'm probably biased, and it's your review and your opinion :)
My general thoughts about this:
There's a big issue that accounts for most of my score-- if it had not been there, you would have at the very least gotten a two and a half star submission. You've probably spent a lot of time getting the physics right on this game, but I'm afraid no amount of physics will help you when the game lags so badly I cannot play it. I'm not sure how this is coded, but I can make a reasonable assumption that you run very inefficient algorithms. While loops, do untils and 'for' statements tend to flat out stop a game in its tracks. It's your job as a programmer to make sure the game is efficient as possible when it comes to algorithms -- try doing research on Big O notation.
As for gameplay, you need to do more research into user interfaces. Find the best games here on Newgrounds and see how they fit neatly into the box provided-- not into a corner. All of the user interface is of the same color pallet, and text is never hard to see. Your elements show when they are being hovered over, which is fantastic, but there needs to be more to make it a 'good' interface. Development teams often have swaths of programmers dedicated entirely to the interface-- keep that in mind.
Finally, when in testing mode there was no demonstration of where the air currents were going. A good simulation game lets us see the air currents long after we placed the fans; the adjusted currents, even. Consider making the system draw a thin line that rebounds off surfaces and other currents of air, to represent the air currents.
In the end, I can't judge this fairly as a complete gadget. I have faith that you'll either be able to get your Big O to a reasonable level and improve the user interface before you resubmit, or find yourself working on an even greater game in the future.
I'm curious what browser/platform you're using.Everything in here is O(N): there's no interaction between the particles and it uses a fixed, pre-calculated velocity field for all the fans/etc that is not updated during the simulation, so I doubt its the physics that's making it lag for you. The only thing I could really do to speed that up would be to use fewer temperature or dust particles, or to change the timestep (at which point the dust and temperature particles would start tunneling through the heat sink elements).
My guess is that there's some poor interaction between the canvas tricks I'm using and your browser (I'm testing with Opera 12 and Chrome, and it works at a reasonable rate for me in both of those). That suggests that there's either a graphics optimization that needs to be done, or some particular thing I'm doing here that is interacting poorly with your browser. Anyhow, if that is the case it'd be very useful for me to know so I can try to address the issue.
The air current/velocity field thing is a good idea, thanks for the suggestion!
As per the rules of Newgrounds, bins of links are not allowed to be games. Despite how useful or not this guide might be, I am forced to give it zero stars. I hope you find a better way to host this gadget which must have taken a lot of your time.
Your artwork is not cohesive or consistent; it does not set a theme to the work. Please hire an artist or do all of the artwork yourself.
Jumping and collision is not well-designed. Both enemies and the player have a box that envelops themselves, but they do not pass through one another. If I land on a snake, I stand on top of it, slowly losing health. Collision boxes should be smaller than the actual sprite, and some collision boxes should pass through one another.
Sounds and music are not present at all. Please hire a musician, ask for permission to use existing work, or find royalty free music to use.
These are just a few of the things that are not present in your submission. Had you more patience, skill and money you could have released a game worthy of having the Newgrounds badge of pride. Until you address these things and do serious research on both the psychology and the mechanics of games, I'm afraid your attempts at producing quality games will not succeed. I wish you luck and skill, and I hope that in a year or so we see a beautifully polished game from you.
This game is cute, with a cute premise. The art style is cohesive, and the levels are simple but tricky-- all you ask for in a puzzle platformer. The interactions between Anski and Blip really tied the whole 'best of friends' concept together into a cohesive whole, and any layman could instantly recognize the bond between them.
This game is not without faults. The timing for some obstacles is particularly nasty-- I'm looking at the dinosaur, here. He's almost impossible to get past on the first try-- in the future, make sure that a player who has not been on the development team is able to complete any one obstacle on the first try. Other obstacles that were similarly hard to tackle included the jumping obstacles, which had relatively little mid-air control.
The most aggravating mechanic, however, is the pause Anski and Blip make whenever an obstacle is reached. There is no 'interrupt' for the interaction; you must watch the entire scene repeatedly, with no feedback, anytime you reach an obstacle-- which, as it happens, is often. Were this mechanic able to be interrupted, you could have retained the 'feel' of the interaction cutscenes-- by allowing it to play whenever the player finds it in their convenience-- while saving the players with less 'time to kill' the headache. When you take control away from the player, there should be an important reason for it-- to represent a loss of control in-story, to demonstrate something that cannot possibly be demonstrated with mechanics, or to provide the player a respite from action while the next level loads. Use it sparingly, and not every five centimeters as in this game.
On a final note, you should work on keyboard placement. Look at the typical keyboard. Shift keys are found on both sides, and the space bar rests comfortably in the center, but the arrow keys are relegated to a corner that is hard to access the space bar and shift keys from. To prove my point, position your hands on all three keys at once-- awkward, isn't it? Adding 'WASD' support is crucial if you are using more than one of the three 'special' keys-- spacebar, shift and control.
I hope to see more games from you in the future! You show a lot of potential!
Thank you so much for this amazing review! I wish more reviews could be as helpful as yours! Your constructive criticism really helps a lot, thank you! :) Glad you liked the game!
This game falls into the maze genre, and so I will rate it as a maze game.
To begin, there has never been a rule stating that maze games must be black and white. Still, this was your choice to make. As for the graphical side of things, if you plan to make a simplistic game with no graphics whatsoever, then make sure your graphics work properly. The finish line (for some reason named 'Meta') had a clear graphical error. Of the three graphics I was able to encounter (this game not having a 'level select' screen), this was the sloppiest I could remember.
Your 'mute' button does not work properly, nor visually demonstrate the music has been turned off. Wait on the start screen after muting for me, and you will see what I mean.
Your gameplay is clever at points, but mostly dull and repetitive. If this entire maze game had been like Level 5, it would have been far more enjoyable. With a level select, you could have tied all of the loose ends left in the review together.
This is a much better game than the submission in the submission pile I have just reviewed. I only wish you had taken this more seriously.
If you're going to post something to Newgrounds, please take the community seriously.
Despite what you might believe, many artists, composers and programmers on Newgrounds slave over the work that they provide for free to a userbase of thousands a day. They do not come here to make jokes, get their content reviewed for quality, or laugh as thousands of users play their game only to be disappointed. Your efforts (or lack thereof) here show that you are not a mature person, you do not take us seriously, and you feel that Newgrounds itself is your [sic] personal pissing ground. We are looking for quality content, games that were made with love and care for the community-- every man's 'best shot at making a game, movie or musical composition'. We are not here to be taunted, and users are not here to mess around with internet trolls. We're here to play.
Please come back when you have matured-- plenty of us in the community want to see more quality work from artists and programmers.
As for the review: There is no tutorial. There is no point. You have graphics that took five seconds to draw, and no animations to be seen. The colors and aesthetics do not have a theme, and the gameplay is mediocre at best. There is no element of story. There is no element of fun. There is only you, taunting us.
This game is all I want out of a Flash game. Sincerely!
You've clearly had some brilliant ideas, and they really shine here. The levels were difficult, but not that sort of difficulty that makes you scream and tear out your hair. You knew how to introduce concepts by slowly ramping up the difficulty-- the first time seeing a concept was always an easy level. Later levels were more difficult, but the environment always provided clues to the solution. The mechanics were tight, the levels were tight, and I see no way a user could break this game. Combine this with your expert level-crafting and you had a wonderful game that went beyond what someone would expect.
The art style and the music really made this game. A simple greyscale was all you really needed, but the sound effects and user interface always gave great feedback. (I love the jiggle that elements make as you hover over them.) I would recommend adding more tracks in the future, because this single track would get tiring with any more levels than you had. Still, you have found the perfect music for this type of game-- catchy, fast-paced and fun to smash to.
Now that I've given you warm feedback, I only have a few pieces of criticism for you to take into the future-- nitpicks, really, but they make all the difference. Number one: don't make luck based levels. The level with the three 'geeks' might have had a skill based solution, but I ended up making it a luck based level by waiting for them to make the wrong path choice. You never want to make your user feel helpless, do you? No, no you don't. Make levels always rely on skill, with a predictable outcome.
The last piece of advice I would like you to take to heart is story. This game was clearly a game that told a story-- each of the blocks you killed with had a pithy phrase on the front. However, this game had a very incoherent story-- one that was easy to ignore, as well. A good game makes it hard to ignore the story, even if it is composed of tiny little details like the 'burgers' representing the levels. Try and make it more obvious while still being unobtrusive. A cutscene at the beginning would have done well, even if the cutscene was just an interactive element-- perhaps use the mechanics to set up scenes? There are millions of ways to approach it, and I'm sure you're up to the task.
That said and done, this was one of my favorite games in forever. I hope to see more wonderful games from you in the future!
Thank you for the great review! This review is all I want out of a review! :D
About level with luck. For me it's the best level in the game, because there is the best connection with the word. Expectations in real life is very painful and harmful thing. So you feel here exactly what you feel in real life, when your expectations are not met.
I wasn't able to beat level 10 (and subsequently levels 11 onward), but I still grasped all of the concepts needed to write a review.
This game isn't hard because of the environment or the concepts, which would make for a truly challenging and engaging game. This game is hard because of bad mechanics.
Let's start with inertia, or how this game lacks it. Inertia is the simple idea that something in motion stays in motion. As I jump, I don't expect myself to suddenly stop moving forward and fall when I release the arrow key, but I do. Consistently, a lack of inertia has made it hard for me to land jumps in narrow spaces properly. Adding inertia to future titles should be a must-- it's a simple 'once a moment, divide this number by a certain amount'. Once it gets low enough (read: less than 0.1 pixels per second), change it to 0. With inertia, Level 10 and everything in between would have been a cakewalk-- much less challenging than it is currently, but having proper inertia brings its own fun challenges to build around.
I have just two more suggestions: bear with me.
Having platforms move your character in tandem with themselves is necessary. To not do such a thing as add to the player's speed in a certain direction is a sloppy job for sure. That, and having the player wait for a platform? That's about the worst sort of thing you can do to a player. It takes all control away from them, and therefore limits their power. Never unnecessarily limit a player's power. A better way to solve this, and a way that would only work if the player moved in tandem with the platform, would be to drastically increase the speed and proximity of the initial platform to the player. Don't make them wait.
As for your progression skills, they aren't looking too shabby. Once you start using professional art assets and spending more time on a physics engine, you'll be able to create high quality flash games. Final advice, I swear it: don't try to make the game more challenging than it needs to be, and PLEASE remember to think twice about where the source of the difficulty lies-- engaging rooms, or bad mechanics. Thanks for being a developer!
Truly a great review! I understand where you're coming from with the inertia. I think I just played it so much I forced myself to just merely "enjoy" the gameplay. I was lying to myself whenever I though the mechanics were great. Thanks for bringing this to my attention! Thanks for this long typed out review of my game!
newgrounds.com — Your #1 online entertainment & artist community! All your base are belong to us.