Great gameplay with deep mechanics! The lack of music makes everything tense. Roguelike elements keep you on your toes. Difficulty curve is steep, but exciting. Graphics are minimal, but informative and enjoyable. Fantastic game!
Here is pt. 2 of AloneInTheHalo's walkthrough:
***CONTINUED FROM ALONEINTHEHALO’S REVIEW***
***SPOILER SECTION PART 2/2***
2.2) Killing gadgets
Pistol (x4): RRT: medium. RNG: a lot of squares, in front of you unidirectionally. Notes: it kills 1 enemy at a time; alerts all mobile enemies (***).
Sword: RRT: high. RNG: all squares until a wall, in front of you unidirectionally. Notes: it kills all enemies in your path; you'll find yourself at the last square affected by this attack; you won't be detected even if the attack PASS THROUGH enemies' fields of view.
Matchstick: RRT: high. RNG: some squares, in front of you unidirectionally and adjacent ones. Notes: it kills enemies weak to fire in its range; kills also the shopkeeper and destroys gadgets on the floor; gems and keys are immune; squares are covered in flames(*).
Bomb: RRT: high. RNG: 3 squares, every direction around you. Notes: it explodes as soon as you use it; kills all enemies in its range; also destroys walls and doors; you, shopkeepers, gems, keys and gadgets are immune; alerts all mobile enemies (***).
2.3) Utility's gadgets
Lightbulb: RRT: low. Notes: it illuminates the entire floor; if the floor is already enlightened or if you’re using a cardboard box, it does nothing.
Skateboard (x3): RRT: medium. Notes: you'll move forward until bumping into an obstacle, consuming just 1 turn; you won't be detected even if PASSING THROUGH enemies' fields of view.
Drill: RRT: medium. Notes: it makes a hole in front of you (all wall squares until an empty square); it does nothing if used in front of an empty square.
First aid kit: RRT: medium. Notes: it heals 1 life. Protip: don’t keep it if you’ve lost 1 life, you need slot for other gadgets.
Teleporter (x3): RRT: medium. Notes: it teleports you somewhere on the same floor; if your arrival destination is within some enemies’ field of view, they'll be stunned. (**)
Time stopper: RRT: high. Notes: it stops time; lasts for 19 turns or until you attack someone or use some types of gadget; you won't be detected even if walking through enemies' fields of view(****).
Portable door: RRT: high. Notes: a door is placed in front of you; if there’s an empty square, a wall or a locked door in the destination’s square they’ll be replaced with a normal door, whereas if there’s an enemy nothing will happen; similarly to bananas, if there’s a gem or a gadget in the destination’s square the 2 elements will coexist, while if there’s a key the latter will be destroyed (probably a BUG).
Cardboard box: RRT: high. Notes: it hides from all enemies' field of view(****); lasts for 49 turns or until you attack someone or use some types of gadget; alerted enemies return at their normal behaviors; visible explored part of the floor will return black; it reduces your field of view. (**)
Helix wing: RRT: extreme. Notes: you’ll instantly escape the game with your current number of gems. If you've this gadget but you escape without using it, you’ll lose 10 gems.
Error: RRT: extreme. RNG: 6 squares, every direction around you. Notes: everything on squares in its range (with few exceptions) is affected by error’s dimension; it alerts all mobile enemies (***).
(*)Every few turns flames on the floor spread from a square to adjacent ones, don't taking into account walls or other kind of obstacles; "elite bots", "rooks", "terminators" and "living flames" are not affected by squares covered in flames.
(**)Protip: best use is when you’ve to deal with a horde of alerted enemies.
(***)Those already on the floor, the ones entering later and those recovering from stunning condition.
(****)You'll still take damage if walking on a square covered in flames.
I’ll illustrate them by subdividing them in 4 subcategories, for descriptive purposes only: 3.1) Basic enemies, 3.2) 2.0 enemies, 3.3) GPS enemies and 3.4) Special enemies.
Note: lengths will be expressed in squares, speeds will be expressed in squares/turn.
3.1) Basic enemies
If you’re seen or perceived by an enemy of this subcategory it’ll be alerted and/or alerts all mobile enemies on the floor. Mobile enemies of this type doesn’t open doors if not alerted.
Camera: Field of view's max depth(FVMD): 7. Field of view's max width(FVMW): 5. Normal speed(NS): 0. Alerted speed(AS): 0. Notes: it usually rotates between 2 directions forming a 90° angle; it doesn't attack, but if you're seen it stops its rotation and alerts all mobile enemies (*).
Patrol bot: FVMD: 7. FVMW: 5. NS: 2. AS: 1. Notes: it moves forward until reaching an obstacle, then it rotates of 90° (180° if in a corridor) and moves forward until reaching another obstacle, and so on; if you're seen it starts following you, hitting when it reaches a square adjacent to yours (not diagonal).
Guard dog(**): Perception's min radius(PMIR): 0. Perception's max radius(PMAR): 2. NS: 0. AS: 1. Notes: it sleeps all the time but it can perceive your presence when its sleep is weaker, so it's more correct to talk of radius of perception instead of field of view; for 8 turns its perception is null, for 4 turns it perceives from 1 square away in every direction, for 4 turns it reaches its maximum radius, then for 4 turns it returns to 1 square, then again its perception is null and the cycle starts again; if you're perceived it awakes and starts following you, hitting when it reaches a square adjacent to yours (not diagonal). Protip: especially in higher level floor, they usually start to appear in packs of 2, 4 and finally 9, so take some time to study their sleep cycles and learn how to avoid waking them.
Sentinel: FVMD: 7. FVMW: 1. PMIR: 1. PMAR: 1. NS: 0. AS: 0. Notes: it's field of view is composed of 4 equidistant lines that rotate uninterruptedly anticlockwise around it; it also always perceives you if you're 1 square away from it; it needs 48 turns for a 360° rotation; like cameras it doesn't attack, but if you're seen it stops its rotation and alerts all enemies (*).
3.2) 2.0 enemies
Enemies of this subcategory are advanced version of some enemies of the previous one. The main difference is that these enemies are armed with laser, so that a field of view (and/or radius of perception) is ALSO a range of action.
Laser camera(**): FVMD: 7. FVMW: 5. NS: 0. AS: 0. Notes: it works like a camera, but moreover it remotely fires at you EVERYTIME you step on a square in its field of view.
Laser patrol: FVMD: 7. FVMW: 5. NS: 2. AS: 1. Notes: it has the same characteristics of a patrol bot, but moreover it remotely fires at you THE FIRST TIME you step on a square in its field of view.
Laser sentinel(**): FVMD: 7. FVMW: 1. PMIR: 1. PMAR: 1. NS: 0. AS: 0. Notes: it has the same characteristics of a sentinel, but moreover it remotely fires at you EVERYTIME you step on a square in its field of view or in its radius of perception.
3.3) GPS enemies
Enemies of this subcategory are always aware of your presence, even if you hide using the "cardboard box". They constantly make their way to the shortest path to reach you, opening doors (not locked one) on their way. Because of this characteristic, it’s more correct to talk only of range of action instead of field of view. Also their speed doesn't change because they're already aware of your presence.
Elite bot: Range of action’s max depth(RAMD): 6. Range of action's max width(RAMW): 1. Speed(SPD): 2. Notes: it remotely fires at you EVERYTIME you step on a square in its range of action. Protip: when it's in the unexplored part of the map, it's marked with a RED question mark.
Rook: Range of action’s min radius(RAMIR): 1. Range of action’s max radius(RAMAR): 1. SPD: 1. Notes: it can change direction only on squares adjacent to a wall; when it starts to move along a direction, it doesn't stop until reaching a wall or another obstacle in front of it; if it hits you, its radius of action will be canceled intermittently for some turns. Protip: wait a turn as soon as you enter floors 12-14. If you see a question mark that moves it’s surely a rook, as it’s the only enemy with this speed. As floors 12-14 are usually composed of cramped rooms with narrow and tortuous corridors, rooks can be very annoying, so try to outdistance them more than possible.
Terminator: RAMD: 6. RAMW: 1. RAMIR: 1. RAMAR: 1. SPD: 2. Notes: It has the same characteristics of an elite bot. Protip: it's a f****ing terminator, run!!! (However don't forget that, eventually, there're ways to stun or kill it too)
3.4) Special enemies
Living bomb(**): PMIR: 0. PMAR: 0. NS: 0. AS: 1. Notes: like guard dogs it sleeps all the time, but conversely its radius of perception is always null; it works exactly as the "bomb" gadget, but the explosion harms you too; if it explodes when you step upon it you’ll lose 1 life; when alerted of your presence because another enemy or a gadget you used, it starts following you and, when the distance is lower than 10 squares, a timer starts and it'll explodes after 9 turns; if you're caught in the explosion in this case, you'll lose 2 lives; if you use a "cardboard box" when it's already alerted it'll explodes immediately, but you won't take any damage even if you're caught in the explosion.
Living flames(**): Notes: it's a living flame and it's evil, you don't need to know anything else about it. Protip: if you step on the same square in which it is, or if you try to kill it, it'll explodes, putting out fire from squares covered in flames in a radius of 5 squares in every direction around it. Moreover you won't be harmed by this explosion.
(*)Those already on the floor, the ones entering later and those recovering from stunning condition.
(**)Its real name is unknown, therefore I gave it one.
Update about number of key's on a floor level:
I've actually discovered that on some floors may be generated a kind of room, that I've called ritual room, closed with a locked door, which contains 4 "patrol bots" going around a gadget of medium or high rarity, with a key located on the external southeast side of this room. So, when a ritual room is generated on a floor, the number of keys on that floor is incremented by 1, as well as a safety vault increases the number of floor's gems of 2 units.
This is well thought out, well designed, and well crafted! All the aesthetics point towards that minimalism core. The gameplay is simple and clever. I beat level 24 feeling very accomplished! I do have a few complaints and suggestions about a couple things, but none of them kept me from enjoying every moment of this game.
The graphics, while simple, clearly differentiate each object and its purpose. The simple shapes gave clear indications of what each object did. I like the contrast of the bright puzzle elements against the dark sky, it really helped each element stick out. The simple choice in gray-scale with a splash of red or blue here and there, made it easy to identify elements to aim for and elements to avoid. The color is flavorful without being so vibrant that it becomes distracting. Letting each usable element enlarge when mousing over it helps the player quickly identify whether an item can be interacted with or not. It is a small gesture, but important nonetheless. The graphics work in tandem with the gameplay and the music.
The soft, ambient music was very fitting, and varied just enough to not become repetitive. I did not notice the loop transition until I was done playing, which is great! While it is soft, the music was full enough (as in: covering the frequency spectrum) that it acted as a sort of white noise to help block out audible distractions. However, I would recommend attenuating the volume of the sound effects just a tiny bit. It is not critical, but it would have helped reign in my focus on the gameplay.
As for the gameplay itself, the variation in such simple mechanics made for very interesting puzzles and the difficulty curve was well crafted. Each new element was added right after I became confident in the last, keeping me on my toes. Whenever a new element was introduced, the initial level layout helped highlight the element's function. (the only exception would be level 20, I would have placed the breakable arrow in the launcher's path as part of the initial setup) Here is my complaint about the difficulty curve. While it was smooth and the transitions between each level felt natural, I would recommend letting the difficulty have some back-pedaling once in a while. One level is easy, the next level is hard, the third harder, but the fourth might take a small step back and become a bit easier before turning up the difficulty again on the fifth. This whole process helps the player feel smarter after a couple levels because they can accomplish one with ease every so often. It is very much akin to leveling up in an RPG, everything gets a little easier until the difficulty goes up again.
All in all, this game is fantastic. Keep up the amazing work! I cannot wait to see more!
Considering the time frame, this is great!
As others have mentioned, the game needs a bit more polish. Between the lagging graphics (although I have not tried the desktop version) the clunky controls, and the somewhat odd graphics, I am sure you would have tweaked everything if you had more time.
I did manage to finish the game. Despite the clunky controls, which are not game breaking, the game was fairly solid. The platforming parts were difficult, but not impossible. I ended up having to "game" the mechanics to finish the blue room. By that I mean, I jumped into the air while looking down. Then, mid-flight, I sprinted forward until I was lined up with the next platform. This "cheese" method made me feel like a cheater and rendered the blue room helpless to my will.
My main criticism actually has to do with the mechanics not lining up with the aesthetics. The art style was very nice in its own unique way. The color palette and particle effects made the place feel foreign and intriguing. Even the beginning music helped add to this atmosphere. These things played in favor of the game being about exploration. However, upon entering any of the challenge rooms, a loud and intense trance music filled my ears, tearing me away from the sense of exploration that I was experiencing. Plus, the game became less about exploring and more about making finely tuned jumps across gaps. The red and blue rooms became almost a different game, which undercut any sense of an exploration game that the intro had built. The green room, however, is different. The maze did feel like exploration, but the music was still jarring, and there were no unique landmarks to help me link the paths of the maze. Had there been designs on the walls, statues, or anything to help me identify my location, the maze would have let me engage my brain while I mentally mapped the area I explored.
All in all, I give you props. It was a fun little game to play. My advice: make sure that the art, music, game play, etc. all line up and point to the same idea, in this case: exploration.
In short, take out the funky beats, add some stuff into the green room, change the red and blue rooms to be more about exploration.
Keep it up!
Hey, thanks for the great review. I agree about the mechanics and the music. The challenge rooms were supposed to be boss rooms after exploring the ways to them. I had to cut a lot to at least have something playable. But I'm quiet satified with the parcour part.
*Spoiler*: The green room has a big hint in form of the green line. It shows the direction of the stairs on the floor. Same goes for the other lines. They show the direction of the artefacts.
The game is just a proof of concept in it's current state. I will for sure build it into something bigger in the future, and all the great feedback will be considered :)
Great idea with great execution!
This game is very well made! I love that the game teaches you how to play it. Each level asks the player to learn one thing at a time and solve a complex problem sightly more tricky than the last. The one mechanic that the game revolves around is simple, unique, and interesting. The music and art are good, but those aesthetics could match up with the mechanics a bit more. I like that the music is catchy, but never tries to actively grab the listener's attention, letting them focus on the puzzle.
My complaints are about one small glitch (probably not common) and an issue with the main mechanic. Getting the technical stuff out of the way, I managed to set the teleporting goo as I was falling across a corner, and the game placed the teleporter inside the wall. This allowed me to drop inside the wall and... interesting things happened from that point on. I really can't explain it any better than that, sorry.
As for the problem with the mechanic, there were some later levels whose solutions were not aesthetically pleasing. When I found the solutions, they LOOKED wrong. With goo hanging off the corner of walls, and goo piles sometimes overlapping, my solutions appeared to be wrong but ended up solving the puzzle. This created an inner conflict in the back of my mind, where my solution was not fully satisfying. My suggestion would be to make a clearer difference in the motion of the color pick-ups. If there is a GREATER difference between a green goo launcher and a red goo launcher, this would allow for different paths to stand out.
Still, this is a fantastic game! Keep up the great work!
Thanks for such a big feedback and that you liked the game, this means a lot to me as a starting dev :) I will do more testing on that teleport mechanic, it's a bit complex one, but I think I know how that happened.
Must admit that you're right about later levels, I got too impacient and didn't put as much effort in those before release. Luckily I got some gameplay videos and were able to spot those design mistakes, so I'm gonna get to it once I finish my finals.
Thanks again, won't ever stop making those :)
Don't give up!
Although this game feels incomplete, it is a start! Just listen to the feedback you're getting, adjust the game accordingly, and have confidence in your own creation!
Here's what I found playing for a little while:
- I figured out you have to click coins to get them, but that was only by goofing around with controls. This should be clearly explained.
- The controls forced me to bounce my hands back and forth between the 'A' key, the arrow keys, and my mouse. I would recommend allowing a different method to pick up the coins or to shoot. If the coins dropped down to the wall to collect by making contact, that might work. If the mouse could be used to collect the coins and to shoot, that could work, too!
- Personally, I would recommend increasing the speed at which everything moves. (player AND enemies) Although having to think one step ahead of what I was doing was fun, (in order to collect coins and line up shots) the time it took between exciting things happening (killing an enemy or getting loot) was too long.
- The music was very quiet, I had to crank my speaker to get a normal listening level.
-I like the art, its rudimentary, but on the right track!
-The music is cool, it just needs to be louder.
I DO want to see you make updates! I realize that you didn't officially "publish" your game in every market on the web. I see this as more of a prototype. Prototypes are supposed to be rough around the edges. The faster you find the flaws, the faster you can fix them.
Don't apologize for your work, stand behind everything you do.
And don't give up!
Thank you for taking the time to write this review it really means a lot
Not sure if I'm having technical issues or I'm just stupid, but I am not able to confront the killer.
No, no, no... You've got it all wrong.... It's "Free to Play" not "Pay to Win."
Absolutely Amazing Game! I loved the puzzles in the Zelda: Oracle of Ages that were similar to this game (except that used squares and enemies to distract you). Ingenious design, colorful yet simple graphics, great music for thinking (I actually left the game on when I took a break just to listen to the music) and wonderfully designed levels. I actually finished the entire 30 levels and I was very satisfied after completing it. Make some more great stuff!
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