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A jam submission

Four GatesView game page

7drl game
Submitted by alexanderknop — 12 hours, 14 minutes before the deadline
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Four Gates's itch.io page

Results

CriteriaRankScore*Raw Score
Scope#213.0003.000
Aesthetics#223.5003.500
Roguelikeness#403.5003.500
Completeness#543.0003.000
Overall#733.0003.000
Fun#802.5002.500
Innovation#882.5002.500

Ranked from 2 ratings. Score is adjusted from raw score by the median number of ratings per game in the jam.

Judge feedback

Judge feedback is anonymous and shown in a random order.

  • Four Gates is a compact little adventure, at 7 levels long. That's not a criticism - many 7DRLs are either literally endless (a 'see how far you get' sort of thing) or don't make it clear what their end point is. Having a short game with a defined end point actually makes it a lot more playable. Being a Pico-8 game, it has a pleasantly retro look if you like that kind of thing (I do). The game is fundamentally very simple, and its control scheme is correspondingly straightforward. I found the lack of a way to wait a bit grating, and it caused me to take damage a fair few times. You can wait by bumping into something, but that's not always an option. It's a minor niggle though. I have to point out that that the game crashes quite a lot on death. That's not a big deal - if you've just died anyway then nothing is lost by having to refresh the page - but it bears mentioning. It took me a while to realise what was going on with the wobbling blobs which sometimes become people (or which people sometimes become, if you drink a potion). Once I got it, it was quite clever. You health gradually deteriorates, and as it does so it also causes more enemies to appear - in the form of animating these blobs. That means you can actually have some idea of how much more dangerous a room might become based on how many potential enemies are sitting in there. It's an interesting idea. My main criticism is that success or failure hangs too much on whether the direction you arbitrarily choose to walk in takes you to the stairs. Time is very tight with your fading health, and if you happen to walk in the wrong direction then that alone is a death sentence. I've heard it said on Roguelike Radio that in many roguelikes your death results from something that happened much earlier. That's the case here - if you spend too long getting to the stairs because you happened to walk the wrong way, you might survive another couple of levels, but you won't have time to make it to the end. While failure can quite rightly come at the hands of sloppy play or failure to make use of items, success really only comes with lucky choice of directions, which makes winning more arbitrary than it ideally should be. Still, the game is pretty pleasant for the short time it takes to luck into a win, and the mechanic with linking enemy spawns to health (and signposting their possible locations) is intriguing enough to make Four Gates worth a quick visit.
  • Neat Pico-8 roguelike. The mechanics are all there - bump combat, exploration, inventory and a hunger clock in the form of medicine. Nothing revolutionary but decently made.

Successful or Incomplete?

Success

Did development of the game take place during the 7DRL Challenge week. (If not, please don't submit your game)
yes

Is your game a roguelike or a roguelite? (If not, please don't submit your game)
It is a roguelike

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Comments

hard to understand what's going on

Developer

Oh, that's a pity. :( Was something specific unclear?