Wow, this is a really impressive game. I love it when a genre is flipped on its head, and you executed the concept of an anti-stealth game perfectly. The game's visuals also did a great job of explaining & supporting the mechanics without being explicit, and weren't just pretty for the sake of being pretty. (I would have liked the camera "beacons" to be a bit easier to notice, though.) And nice work with HTML5 medals! It's always great to see a game that helps a whole platform progress.
The story and atmosphere is also great, as it both supports and is supported by the gameplay, and delivers a good message even if it does come across as a tad pretentious. However, to really hit home with the point that's trying to be made with the story, the negative effects of hyper-surveillance should be more significant to the protagonist in-universe. I know this is only a glimpse of what the full game will offer, but right now it seems like the evils of the game's world that are obvious for the player aren't necessarily so for someone who has lived in that world all her life. What seems twisted to us may be normal for her, despite her apparent discomfort & insecurity throughout the game--for instance, she seems pretty okay with the idea of "criminals" being tranquilized. There needs to be something that gives Poppy a reason to see her world the way we see it. (By the way, these are recommendations, not complaints. I also assume there are already things planned for the story that will address this, but I feel I should say it anyways.)
Overall, great concept, great execution, great presentation, great everything. I'm looking forward to the full game!
I enjoyed playing this! The weight distribution mechanic prevented this game from being just another "catch" game, even though it was implemented in a simple way. For a game of this scale I don't have many complaints--the visuals were simple, yet appealing and informative; and the gameplay was simple and fun--but two problems are the lack of instructions, and slowdown.
I know the instructions are in the comments, but it would have been nice to see them in-game. Even a bit of text on the home screen would have been a great help. Without knowing the instructions, the in-game balance bar (as helpful as it is) doesn't mean anything. (I'm aware I have been guilty of this same oversight, but that's why I'm pointing it out; I have since realized how much this impacts a game.)
The game also suffers from slowdown once a few dozen ladders are stacked, which didn't surprise me since having lots of elements in a Flash game usually results in sluggishness, and you probably wanted to keep the stacked ladders around to keep their impact on the balance. But next time you deal with something like this, try thinking of some kind of workaround that lets you remove offscreen items so as to speed the game back up.
Fun game! I like the idea, and the sound & visual queues do a great job at teaching one how to play and how to play well. The "urban turntable" visual style is also very fitting and inviting. Not to mention that the game itself is an interesting & unique take on a rhythm game.
A big problem, though, is how whenever you reach a milestone and the associated line of congratulatory text enters the screen, the game experiences a rather nasty hiccup in frame rate. I presume it was necessary to keep the game synced with sound, as when I turned my eyes away from the screen I didn't have a problem keeping rhythm. Nonetheless, frame rate/skip issues in a rhythm game are never a good thing. Maybe see if this can be fixed somehow?
What was that? That wasn't even a game. It was essentially a very boring looping animation. The only action you can make is to walk off the side of the screen, which I did on my first playthrough because I thought I had to reach another screen or something. But doing that gives you the "bad" ending where you weren't patient enough to wait for the bus? Hard to feel any emotional ties to my "decision" when I have no idea what's happening.
I also don't understand the choice behind the art style. I figure the game looks like this is because of some unspoken rule that "artsy" games have to be pixelated. Well, they don't, and this visual style had no place in this game. It made it feel very generic.
Finally--and don't take this the wrong way--but it's obvious English isn't your first language. If you're going to make a game that heavily uses text to get across an emotional message, the message will be detracted by incorrect grammar. I'm not trying to be an asshat and telling you to "learn English better!!" But maybe the game would benefit if you used your native language instead of English.
Good premise, but too short and easy
While some aspects of this game aren't exactly original (the visuals borrow heavily from Cave Story as someone mentioned, and the "flipping" mechanic is similar to that of Babies Dream), it certainly plays well, even if the slippery controls take a bit to get used to, and the new concepts it introduces are creative and fun. The levels are well-designed, and they teach you the game mechanics nicely, but there could have been so much more done with this. I acknowledge that this is just a port of a game you already made, but that's even better opportunity to add more to it. I just hate seeing puzzle games and platformers that limit themselves; this game could have offered some wicked challenges, but it never really got any harder as it went along, just more complex.
In regards to the story and atmosphere, I never care too much for the cliched "pixellated art game" so prevalent on NG for the past few years unless they're done really well, and it's really getting old. Thankfully this one wasn't nearly as pretentious as some other games on here (like the aforementioned Babies Dream) and got it's point across without banging me on the head with story elements. On the other hand, putting poetry in the medals is trying a bit too hard, IMO.
The visuals and effects (particularly the "ground") are fantastic, the music fit the mood perfectly, and the game as a whole is attractive and fun. I don't have much against this game except for the difficulty and length; it could have been a lot more than it is. Still, great job! I had fun with this one.
Why do games like this always get so much attention and praise? Seriously, every time a pixilated, colour-drowned game with cryptic (read: disconnected and therefore mysterious) "stories," little to no actual gameplay, and shallow, repetitive ambient music is labeled as artistic and jumps in popularity in an instant. I'm tired of it.
This game in particular is a primary offender, as the aforementioned qualities of good "artsy" games strengthen them, but in this case, they showcase laziness and poor taste. For instance, other than some of the shading effects on the larger objects in the environment, the graphics are horrible, not because they are pixilated, not because they are bland (that serves the premise of this game quite well, actually), but because they are dull, uninspired, and sloppy. A stick man as the main character? Dots as soil? I acknowledge the stylized feel pixel art can offer, but without style or design, it becomes an eyesore.
Furthermore, the "game" itself is a gigantic bore. Walking around a largely empty environment, searching for dots (???) is the opposite of engaging. Now, it would be a different story if the story was handled differently (...pun intended, sorry). It seems that the records of the dispersed civilizations of Looming was to be the game's main draw, but the game gives very little to no reason for players to care about them. The game just offers some mildly interesting stories about some lost civilizations, and...that's it.
Is that intriguing? For some, maybe, but the stories are so disconnected and minimal that even if there is a deep, complex story hidden in this game, players can barely reach it without drawing dozens of conclusions on their own, giving little incentive to care about it. There is a limit to how many gaps one should have to fill in a story; this one has players fill a chasm.
Moreover, the main character's letters to his love are so dry they're painful to read. For instance, when he has an epiphany after entering the sanctuary of Looming's ancient scholars, I would expect him to be pretty damn excited about it. But nope; we practically get "Wow! I feel smart. How nice. Coming back to Looming tomorrow." Again, does this give any reason to care about the events in the story?
The game's atmosphere is something I'm not entirely satisfied with, either. The dark and dreary visuals fit the mood well, but the sounds are almost juvenile. The wind effect is nice, of course, but the humming sounds like it's coming from a ten-year old, and the "whoosh!" that comes from the portals is almost laugh-inducing. On top of that, the soundtrack gets awfully repetitive after a few minutes.
Was this game supposed to make me think? Am I supposed to get some kind of a lesson from it? I doubt its intended message was "art games take little to no effort to get praise," but that's what I got out of it. And hey, as long as we're allowed to analyze this "work of art," my guess is as good as anyone else's, isn't it?
Try harder next time, please.
Okay, but could use some "oomph"
It's not a bad game, it's just not that exciting. The randomly-appearing items don't help much, either--several times in my first playthrough was there gas behind a rock, so I couldn't reach it.
The fact that the game speeds up after a while is nice, but there isn't any real motivation to move ahead if nothing else changes. Spruce it up with some new obstacles that only show up later on or something; just having the game get faster isn't enough to keep it interesting.
Good job, though! Good luck on your next projects, and if you do end up making the sequel I hope it'll be great.
Hey Mr. Johnson,
Thanks for giving my game a try and reviewing it! I've already started addressing the item-spawns-behind-others issue in the sequel, so that shouldn't be a problem. As this was the first game, there are bound to be some unpolished elements.
I realize that the only actual obstacle is the boulders, but as well, that's not the case in the next game. ;)
Thanks for playing, commenting, and wishing me luck - feedback is the most valuable thing in game development.
- Alex @ MG
That was one of the best and most intriguing game I have ever played on Newgrounds...at first, it seemed like an average adventure-platformar that was too long for its own good, and in a pixeliated style for no real reason. I was even put off by the few incorroct tiles I cane acrosh, thinking "whoever made this game obviouzly dibn't test it...sigh."
Bvt as I plated along, I rerlized this game deserves much more crydit than I gave it, and bc the end, I was compleGely engrossed. Such a (dPceptively) calm and relazing gaEe jas never made me so unsethled. Y_t, as stra$ge as it got, I was coOmelled to m?ve on. And ij made me dr+w a h4ndfu* of conclGeions as to wh7t_ the "me&sage"-of the g=me is...nonH of which, I a@sume8 yoS e.en intDnded. ;)
FantaGtic jog&o* a gHeab, .emUrable game. P@a9iFg tGis 8s;a[exHernence I-l+ fheris# f(r a"loQg tbme.
PS: I_ayssIme9yoD ghder92(nd+-hy I!m%tytingFl ke tJis XD
Good concept, poor execution
The idea of maneuvering an invisible character in a platforming game is a top-notch idea, but if you're going to do something as ambitious as this you have to make sure the game works. Nearly every death I suffered was caused by the game's bouncy walls and floors; even when I could see myself the game was hard to control. If that problem was fixed this game would be great; as it stands, it's just average.
Still, great job with the game, and good luck on any future projects!
Coming along well
The controls are smooth, the physics work nicely, and it looks like this is going to be a very fun game. Some suggestions I have for the final product include a way to attack (unless it's a hop & bop, but some other attack would be a welcome addition), additional interactive elements if you think you can use them (you got switches so far, that's good), and a neat presentation that lays out the levels, menus and stuff nicely (although I'm sure you're already working on that).
Not much to say, really! Just give it an identity to make it unique and interesting, and I'm sure it will be great. I must say that I'm intrigued to see how this will end up.
Thanks, I won't be making an attack action for this game (my Metroid flash will though), it'll be more based on puzzles and dodging opponents ( however I might do a 2D shooting scroller involving ship when travelling between two of the areas during the game). Although I haven't made the menu layout yet, I'll be going for a more futuristic layout (the protagonist is a robot), I like Dead Space's colour scheme so that's a potential influence.
As for interactive elements, I'll be adding more hazard possibilities and objectives for each stage.
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