This is fun as a novelty game but overall does not have a lot of depth.
First I want to point out the parts of it that are appealing.
Randomly generated characters make for a large variety of individuals with unique 'personalities' and movesets. Even though the variations are simple, this made for more interesting gameplay.
The selection of player moves available also allows for a variety of gameplay allowing you to mix and match play styles.
The interface is simple and easily understood through simple fiddling with keys; no tutorial is necessary. The memes were also occasionally amusing even if they got old after a while.
However there are a number of things that could use some improvement. I will not necessarily refer to these as cons but they do limit my enjoyment of this game.
I'm going to start with something simple. The game needs a Cancel button. There have been times when I clicked 'Edit Profile' accidentally when I didn't actually want to edit the profile. Another problem is the fact that dates disappear and move on to the next one when you move away from the main screen even if you did not swipe left. This makes it annoying when there is a date available that is the right level and I want to check moves or check the options, and I come back to a candidate that is not as ideal for gaining experience or money. Now on to the other things more involved with gameplay!
The game is missing balance. What I mean is that there are moves that are evidently better than previous moves and have no penalty for being better than the older moves. Obviously these moves will see the most use because they are the most practical. The only thing that could be considered a penalty is their higher price, but even that is a low barrier of entry.
In Pokémon games more powerful moves tend to have less PP or have lower accuracy, and this adds an element of risk to using the moves. Use it too much and you'll run out of it, use it in a crucial point of the battle and you have the fear of missing.
Adding PP would not only be beneficial to discouraging overuse of powerful moves, having a limit to move usage is good in general. This prevents players from being able to spam healing moves infinitely. Admittedly this problem could be gotten around by using buffs. (P.S. While buffs are spammable, I believe the buffs and debuffs actually top out at +6 and -6 respectively but the message box does not display this fact. Do you think you can employ a quick fix that says "x's y cannot go any higher."? Thanks).
Nonetheless adding PP might also lead to more interesting AI. Perhaps you could employ AI that prioritises saving PP for example. At the moment the AI seems to buff when you debuff, debuff when you buff, or else attack when they have something useful enough against you or they have no other options. This might be an oversimplified view of the AI's activity but should be an accurate overview (correct me if I'm wrong). Adding a PP system might allow for more complex strategies.
Talking about more complex strategies, there was a time when an AI attacked my player with 'Hope' when I debuffed them to -2 Def, and the move did a lot of damage. Can you confirm if debuffs affect the damage output of this move? If that is true, that is a neat effect. I do feel like moves could use more secondary or conditional effects. An example I could think of is for 'Interrupt' to have a 10% chance of preventing the opponent from having their next turn.
I understand that this game is a parody type game and is meant to be simple, but when you have achievements like "swiped right/left 1000 times" and "had 1000 successful dates", you need to give players a reason to want to attempt those achievements. At the moment, this game is rather barebones and after you've gone on 10 or so dates you've basically seen the whole game, there is no incentive to keep going beyond that point. The battles are the same, you could keep using the same strategy and win every time. It just becomes a grindfest with no foreseeable reward other than an achievement. Adding extra elements to this game and making it even the slightest bit more complex would really assist in improving its longevity and keeping it fun.
Overall this is an enjoyable game but only in the short-term. I see a lot of potential for a more entertaining game if aspects of it could be better fleshed out. Even if you don't flesh this one out hopefully your future games would also offer good entertainment value. Despite the middling score, do know that I had a blast with this game even though it was only for a short while. I hope you continue developing more entertaining games in the future. Peace out.
Wow, thank you for the really in depth response!
I'll definitely be taking all this into account for future games! :D
This game has great level design, an original concept, and very responsive controls. There are also a good amount of levels available so it's satisfying for a short game. Plus the Level Maker feature is really great, giving players an opportunity to create their own levels if they're not satisfied with the current levels. The jump mechanic is actually really novel, and I think it's a great idea given my propensity to get my character to fall off platform ledges instead of jumping in platforming games (I'm sure I'm not the only one who's ever experienced this).
However, it's not perfect. My problem is not with the gameplay itself; that is mostly good. The difficulty was very fair too. The occasional bugs are what's annoying. You can easily get stuck in a level if you accidentally go back to the previous room. I had this problem with level called "An Obstructed Pathway". The following level had an arrow that changed the "gravity" of the room. Since the door to the previous room was still open, the character accidentally fell back to the previous room and since he was upside down there was no way he could exit the room. This is made especially annoying that if you exit to the menu, and if you want to get to that same point in the level, you have to play through the entire level from the beginning again. I'd say implement a checkpoint system that allows a player to return to a later room even after exiting the level, but I have a simpler solution (I actually think playing levels from the beginning is mostly fine); make the previous room inaccessible as soon as the player enters the next room. I see no reason to allow the player to access the previous room when there's nothing gained from doing so.
Mediocre story but fairly fun and challenging game.
Despite me saying the story was mediocre, I did like the 5 multiple endings! They were predictable but it's still mildly interesting seeing how differently Dora responds based on how long Danny's beard is.
The 2-button restriction was also implemented very well. In the beginning it was a little frustrating but after some practice, the movement was actually very easy to master. The maximum beard rank is very attainable even with minimal effort. The game is fun once you get over the learning curve, which honestly is not that steep.
PS @trollface68. If arrow controls were added that would mean there would be more than two control buttons. This game was made for Ludlum Dare 34 which had the theme of growth and using only 2 buttons. Adding more controls would not only not meet the specifications of Ludlum Dare 34, it also makes the game way to easy. Have you seen the level design? You could get the highest score on the first try with the arrow controls. What’s the fun in that?
When Danny gets caught by his dad and sent back to his room, you have to press the Up key to get rid of the Dad’s dialogue. This means as soon as Danny “respawns” he immediately jumps off the top centre platform and onto Hill the Bully on the middle left platform. It’s easy enough to avoid him while you’re in a period of semi-invincibility but this doesn’t stop this from being annoying. It may have been better if the 3 “enemies” at the top (Dad, Mom, and Kylie the Cheerleader) were similar to the bullies, i.e. their text automatically disappears and you don’t have to trigger it.
It doesn’t make sense that Kylie the Cheerleader pinching Danny’s cheeks or even her thinking Danny’s a dork would be emasculating. Wouldn’t that make him more popular because a cheerleader is into him? (The one talking about Dora’s date is more morale-depleting than emasculating too). He would really be emasculated if she asks him to go shopping with her or play Barbie dolls, or manicure their nails together.
When Danny’s dad catches him he is sent back to his room but when his mother says he’s “grounded” he stays on the same platform. I found this to be an inconsistency. Wouldn’t “grounding” Danny indicate that he was forced to stay in his room?
This is fun for a short game and is a good time-waster. You really did a lot given the restrictions you had. As you see I didn’t really have a lot of negatives to say regarding this title. If it were a professional release I might, but as it is it’s okay. Great work!!
This works really well as a faux "idle clicker game" and it was enjoyable for quite some time. Particularly, I liked being able to customise your character, the training minigames which were very fun skill games, the collectibles in the home, the Easter Eggs and the medals, and the semi-turn-based mechanics of the battles which was very interesting. Indeed, this is very very good for a Flash game. Nonetheless it could be better. Here are some suggestions:
1. The typical progression of the next more expensive weapon being stronger than the previous one was very vanilla, very characteristic of the idle clicker mechanic. It would have been preferable to have a choice of strong weapons so that all but one weapon fall by the wayside. I say take some inspiration from Fire Emblem and Pokémon, and implement their "one weapon more effective than the other" mechanic.
For example, Fire Emblem has the weapon triangle which goes like this:
Swords beats Axes
Axes beats Lances
Lances beat Swords
You could have used this instead of making "the strongest sword to beat them all" the last purchasable item. It requires no thinking at all to get to the very end and just use the same sword over and over again regardless of your opponent. You could include a weapon swapping mechanic in the arena, whereby if you see an opponent with an axe, and you're wielding a lance, you can decide to switch to a sword so you have an advantage.
I can see this playing into other enemies too. Like bows being more effective against birds and apples, but not very effective against enemies wearing armour. Poison not affecting those mushroom opponents, and being not very effective against opponents wearing steel. Fireballs could be very effective against armoured units and plant-based enemies, Ice magic would be very effective against flying enemies and also plant-based ones. There are many more I can think of, but I'll leave it there because I think you get the point.
2. Put a limit to the amount of skills and talents you can buy and/or equip. It's so easy to make your character invincible and just max out everything. If you limit the amount of equippable skills and talents this makes the gameplay a little more complex so players are not only relying on a single strategy to just plow through the game. They could swap abilities around to better suit their needs. This would fit in well with another suggestion I'm going to make (see #5).
3. Make the enemy characters smarter. All enemies were very boring. It was just kill this and kill that. Their attacks were all the same too. Even the boss characters! They don't use different spells, they don't get critical hits, they don't activate abilities, they don't get skills or talents, not even *SPOILERS* King Sir Scarow gets, and he's supposed to be the guy honing your skills! it's just headbutt over and over again! This doesn't make sense. He should at least be able to get a critical hit in. *SPOILERS* If you made the bosses much more remarkable it would have been better. All the battles are quite unremarkable. Even though I praised you on your interesting battle mechanic, all the opponents take almost no skill to beat especially if you've grinded up sufficiently. You should penalize players who just grind and overpower their characters without thinking.
4. Add a better story. What the hell is the point of battling in the arena? Are you just some dude who wants to kill a bunch of monsters? Why does the Scarecrow guy even take interest in you? Why are you so special? Aren't you just some stupid weakling? And if he's like the master trainer in all of the realm aren't there stronger warriors?
Heck even if it's just a generic good vs evil story. This game doesn't even develop plot regarding you and that woman in your house, nor does it explain why there are missing children everywhere. You don't really get anything from collecting all the missing children except for a trophy.
I think point #3 can also be added to this element. You can make the hero save the village from a dragon who collects rubies and diamonds, or maybe there are evil ravens stealing people's bags, or maybe a child-murderer in the loose who is super strong.
5. Add more "battle spots" that aren't the Arena. ALL of the battles take place in the arena. It would have been nice to have other places to go to, make them unlockables because this game got boring super quick. Maybe there are some dragons in the mountains? Or maybe a cave full of trolls? Sea enemies like sea serpents and pirates? There are soooo many options.
6. Improve the post-game! There's not much to do after you beat the final boss, save for continuing to play the minigames to try to beat your highscore and improve your stats, and playing in the Arena to fight never-ending opponents. After a while there's really just nothing to do anymore and improving your stats to ridiculous amounts becomes rather tedious and unrewarding, especially since the opponents don't really get genuinely harder. They're just a higher level, they don't become more complex, their attacks just do more damage. And if grinding is your game and that's what you find fun, that's good for you, but I prefer to be challenged in another way. The additional maps suggestion would be good for post-game, and maybe multi-player is a good idea too, especially if you implement all the other things i've previously mentioned. You could even include character classes. That would be great.
Anyway, in summary this is a fairly good game, but it's lacking in a lot of aspects. I'll give you a 4 anyway, because I think this deserves AT LEAST a 4 because it's a really good independent flash game. So with that said, if anyone bothered reading this review, yes I do recommend you play it despite all my criticisms. It's better than a lot of "idle clicker" games out there (even though this game really is nothing like an idle clicker). Have fun!
Wow, thanks for this impressive review! Since you put so much efforts into this I'd like to try and answer you on the points you mentioned:
1. Although I love Pokémon and Fire Emblem, I've never been a fan of the Rock Paper Scissor system. It does bring a lot of depth to Fire Emblem since it's a strategic turn based game involving multi units interactions, but I always found it dull in Pokémon where it comes down to "oh, a fire type, okay, go Squirtle" this is a no brain :p (unless you go in advanced meta PvP) and I think it would be the same in S&S since it's basically one on one fight.
2. I agree
3. Couldn't agree more! I've great plans with enemies pattern system which will be quite unique in S&S2, and true epic boss fights are planned!
4. Definitely going to fix that as well in the sequel, I've already written down a bunch of stuff concerning Sir Scarow past, the exploration of the Neverseen, etc. with lots of new NPCs with depth and character.
5. I almost added that in S&S but realized I didn't have the time needed. So, in the sequel, you'll be able to travel around! Beat troll in cave, goblin in forests, and dragon in mountains :)
6. It's really hard to design end game. I have a few more idea to make S&S2 end game more engaging tho. But no multiplayer, that's just not technically possible for me.
Thanks a lot for taking the time to write all that! Much appreciated.
Not a very fun game. I'll summarise what I found to be important things to make note of:
Simple gameplay. I think the potion mechanic was executed quite well, especially during the last few levels.
Good for a short game. The level lengths are just right for people who don't have much time to play a game. The game shouldn't take longer than a couple or so minutes to finish.
There's too much backtracking. This got annoying really quick. I think it adds artificial difficulty to the game and it's not really very fun to backtrack, especially when you already know how to finish the a level from the onset. Level 19 was probably the greatest abuser of this backtracking mechanic. The level went something like this:
1. Get the yellow potion,
2. Jump to the other side making sure to avoid the purple potion,
3. Wait for the moving platforms so you can go up then right to that walled up spot with a button and a gate.
4. Press the button to activate a platform down below,
5. Go back down and jump to the starting side to get the purple potion,
6. Jump back to the other side and wait for the activated platform to take you up because you can't jump high enough,
7. Run under the moving spikes and don't get hit,
8. On the other side of the spikes, take a platform that takes you up.
9. Jump onto the platform with black bricks
10. Step on the button to open up a gate.
11. Go back down,
11. Go through the moving spikes again but this time from right to left instead of from left to right,
13. Jump back to the beginning side,
14. Repeat steps 1-3
15. Go down.
16. Jump off the platform to get the key and jump back to the platform just in time to avoid the spikes.
17. Go back up to that platform with the gate and the wall in it.
18. Jump back to the place where you started
19. Unlock the locked gate
20. Go through the door behind it to finish the level.
If that's your idea of fun, I don't know what fun is.
Sometimes the potions were placed in stupid spots. Personally, I didn't encounter much of a problem with accidentally stepping on potions, but I could have, and anyone could have regardless of skill level. Do you think it makes the game more difficult if you place some potion in a place that would force a player to reset if they accidentally stepped on them? That's not good game design.
Advertisements after every level. I guess since this game has gained some popularity you think it's appropriate to monetize it by placing an ad. I don't mind ads in the beginning but having ads after every level is really not something anyone wants to see.
Unseeable spikes. This one's kind of unfair mostly for the first time it appears, you kind of just expect spikes to be there in the following levels. You should add a function for the down key so players can look down and check for spikes. A lot of games have that, and it shouldn't be too hard to program.
None of the levels were really challenging. Sure they were challenging but through artificial means, like the things I've mentioned above. Technically none of the puzzles were too complicated, and they were all fairly easy to figure out.
Overall, this game has some potential but it's really not a good puzzle platformer. I just wish your level designs weren't as gimmicky as they are.
It's so wonderful how the other hidden things were already there since the beginning but just aren't salient because in the first part of the game it was only the cat you were looking. Such great attention to detail.
The simple storyline is also very delightful, and the ending was nice. Plus the background music added a lot of flavour to the game!
Very entertaining game This game reminds me, very much, of the Bionicle Toa Mata Platform Game from the Toa Mata Nestlé Promo CD - a promotional item found in many Nestlé cereal boxes back in 2001. I've had the pleasure of playing that game when I was much younger. The similarities are unmistakable: the scrolling platforms, the increasing difficulty as you get to the later stages of the game. It's probably just a coincidence though.
I commend you on how charming this game is. I especially like your choice of music and the cute visuals (even the bloody splatter when you plummet to your inevitable death or hit a thorn is kind of cute). I also like how the platforms are randomised. It seems people don't like this but everyone would be bored to death if all the same platforms appear each time. It is unfair sometimes (I got a high score of 99 on my second play-through after missing an impossible jump, for example) but that's just the way it is. I have no problems with that.
I will raise some points that I found annoying - mostly the balloons. It's quite frustrating when you're on a platform and you don't really want to step on a balloon but you bounce of it anyway. I thought, at first, that the balloons were either poppable things (they weren't; stomping on them multiple times didn't do anything) or something you could use to help you, which is true in some instances but for the most part they were a nuisance bouncing you around when you don't want them to. I'm not saying get rid of the balloons; they're part of the game's charm, but I do hope they weren't so annoying and bouncy when the dog's paws are already on a platform. Nonetheless, this wasn't really such a huge hamper to the game's enjoyment.
I don't really have too many negative things to say about this game. It's plays like one of those viral mobile games - simple and easy but not really too interesting; the only thing keeping you playing is the prospect of beating your high score. And for that reason I agree with CyberDevil that you could add a leaderboard.
Another suggestion I have in mind is to have unlockables, similar to what theplayer234 said. New backgrounds would work really well. Maybe the platforms could be made to look different too, e.g. snow instead of grass and sharp icicles instead of thorns. I remember the Bionicle game I played had unlockable backstory cutscenes for each character when you collected all the things you had to and finished their part of the game... if I remember correctly. I'm thinking too much here, but you get my point. It's fun as it is but adding more stuff would make it better.
To be honest though, I got bored after I got 100+ and I didn't want to play anymore. I know this wasn't really meant for me, or anyone else here anyway, so I understand if you don't want to bother with a leaderboard or future modifications. As a gift for your girlfriend this works really well. It's simple, cute and fun. It doesn't really matter that it's imperfect. It's great for what it is. Plus, you always make really good games so godspeed to you!
Wow, thanks for the awesome review and all the feedback! :)
I'm really glad you liked this little game of mine. I've never heard of the Bionicle Toa Mata Platform Game, so it's just a coincidence, but it's nice to know that this game brought up some nostalgia within you. I like all your suggestions. New backgrounds, unlockables, a leader board etc., would be awesome. If only I had more time to work on this, but unfortunately I'm extremely busy with other projects. Anyway, thanks again for the comments! I'll keep your suggestions in mind for future stuff!
Great idea, but not executed in the best way.
It appears that most people reviewing gave positive reviews based on the pixel art aesthetic and unique gameplay. What worries me is that this game has an average score of ~3, but not a single negative review! This means people are not pleased with a lot of things but they're not telling you what those are. I think you, as the game developer, deserves to know what people are not pleased with.
Some people have raised some issues, but no one really went into enough detail mostly because they have not played through enough. However, I finished the game before writing this review so I can give an honest opinion, and not judge it merely on initial impressions. But before we get to my criticisms, I will give you praise for the potential of this game and the originality of the gameplay.
All the issues of this game could be summed up to one thing: It is often difficult for the wrong reasons. It seems that some people didn't even get past level 4! But of course, just saying it is difficult and leaving it at that is not enough so I'll provide you with more details. I'll list, numerically, some issues I had with the game.
1. Why can't you unlock any gold medals until you unlock the 3rd character? Even after unlocking the 2nd character and running through the whole of the first level, I was still not awarded the gold medal. I was stuck on a score of 3300 and a silver medal, and this is only the first level! I was only able to get the gold medal after unlocking the 3rd character. The amount of precision required to get a gold medal is incredibly high.
2. Why aren't you allowed to slow down? I understand your comment about backtracking slowing down the pace of the game, but completely removing the option to slow down is unjustifiable. Om the description you state that "gameplay=WASD or arrows". I've tried pressing the "W" key or the up key repeatedly with no results. You can speed up but you can't slow down at all! This makes it so easy to run past the ball in error, and also increases the chances of you crashing into obstacles through no fault of your own. This is especially problematic with the moving cardboard players. If you're barrelling through the course at a constant speed and you're not able to slow down you will crash into them no matter how skilled you are. I think I only managed to get past them in the last level by bearing left and wishing on my lucky stars that they don't come back before I reach the other end. Dodging with precision is made more efficient with a slow-down button. Even racing games have brakes on the cars!
3. The difficulty curve is awfully skewed. I'm not sure if it's just me but levels 5-8 actually felt harder than levels 9-12. This is probably a result of the change in player skill level. Though I like how you modelled characters to fit the series they play in. For example, character 2's long (though imprecise) running kicks work really well in levels 5-8 but not as well in levels 13-16. Though everyone else but player 1 seems to play well in levels 1-4. Basically, starting out is really difficult then it seems to get a little easier. Personally, I kind of liked the fact that as you unlocked more you can do more, but maybe you could have made the introductory levels play more like introductory levels rather than alienate a lot of players from playing the rest of the game through its difficulty. Instead of allowing players to get a good grip of controls, they're thrown in and they are forced to grapple with great difficulty. Sink or swim.
4. Sometimes the control gets stuck. This happens most of the time while running. I would press left or right but the player would continue going straight. This is also a problem when a player is running and I want to change the direction of the ball while the player is running, since the game wouldn't recognise the controls. This is a true hindrance preventing the acquisition of gold medals.
5. Not enough reward for amount of effort required to comfortably handle the game. People play games for the effort to reward ratio. They expect to get more rewards than the efforts they put in. If we wanted to get less rewards than the amount of effort we exert we'd play real life, and at least we'd get real life rewards then. I think you could fix this by pacing the game better, allow for sufficient build-up of difficulty and increment the rewards with the same increment in difficulty. With the way it is now most of the levels are just frustrating and rather tedious. It doesn't begin to get a little fun until later, and even then the amount of fun received for the amount of frustration experienced does not balance out.
6. More levels? I could see this possibly being a phone app. Maybe extend the length of the series and add more levels for each series. I think you may even add more of the first levels to help the player get acquainted with the controls so that they don't get daunted with the difficulty.
Overall, I see a lot of potential in this game and that's where most of my points are going. 2 stars for a potentially super amazing game, and 1.5 stars for how it is now: mildly entertaining but not enough.
I think I may have repeated myself a few times, but hopefully I've gotten the point across now. What I'm trying to say is, make the game difficult for the right reasons, i.e., success in the game is mostly reliant on the skills of the player. This is all you really need to take into consideration.
thank you for the impressively detailed review! UltimoSoccer: UDC is developed with mobile phones in mind, all the feedback I get on this HTML5 browser version will be taken in consideration and put in the advanced mobile version. I want to make this game the best mobile soccer game ever! :)
so, thank you mr Kolter for helping me out!
Fun little mini-game
Very simple controls and fun short gameplay! I especially like the emphasis on accuracy and speed. It's an all or nothing deal, you either punch only animals or you're toast. This is one of those games that's easy to do well but much much much easier to majorly mess up. It's like a non-rhythm-centric Guitar Hero meets Minesweeper - all accuracy and no forgiveness for error. This game sets a high bar for entry into the leaderboard.
For the most part this game is fun and very entertaining. The difficulty is perfect for a game of this kind. I also like how you chose to forgo music since it could be really distracting in a game like this. If you included music I'll probably find myself punching animals to the beat.
While I do like the game as it is, I have some suggestions that I'm not sure if you'll want to take into consideration:
1. In TimeAttack mode, i tested when the timer started by waiting 30 seconds before commencing my punching. After 30 seconds I started punching at a pace that was relatively slow, slow enough to punch accurately but not so slow that it would have taken me more than 20 seconds to finish. Surely enough the counter registered my time as being 43.78 seconds. I do believe my real time in that run was 13.78 seconds not counting the 30 second lag phase.
Now, my suggestion is, wouldn't it be better to start the timer when the player presses a button? You may think it's better to start the timer when the game says "Go," but personally I think starting when the player presses a button may give a better indication of their speed. I don't think this is a game-breaker, but this is just my 2 cents.
I think the current timer works better in the LongRun and Handicap mode though.
2. Make the game available on the Google Play Store. I see you have it available on App Store, so why not Google Play as well? I'm hazy on the specifics or how difficult this would be but it might give your game a wider audience.
I don't think much else needs changing other than maybe adding more game modes to make the game more interesting or introducing other animals, etc.
A good game and a fun puzzler.
There are a lot of things to like about this game, among those are: the game mechanic of manipulating gravity, a concept which harks back to games like Time Fcuk; the absence of artificial difficulty, i.e. no cheap tactics which make the game frustrating for the wrong reasons; a very straightforward objective not requiring extremely complex tutorials, it has that pick-up-and-play charm.
On the other hand, there are a few things I do not like as much. For one, the puzzles are not too challenging and they seem to take on a linear route. In fact for the first few levels the concept of failure was practically non-existent, and even in the levels when the spikes started popping up, there was not many obstacles which stop the player from reaching their goal. This game would benefit from red herrings, i.e. paths that seem to lead to the destination but actually don't. Please implement this in later stages to add a bit of a challenge and require more planning on the player's part. You may also want to add more enemies or more complex game mechanics! Some truly mind-bending levels would be appreciated.
newgrounds.com — Your #1 online entertainment & artist community! All your base are belong to us.