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Micro-review thread: Review the entry of the poster above you!

A topic by HighwireAct created Oct 10, 2016 Views: 1,276 Replies: 63
Viewing posts 1 to 36

Hey everyone! I've going through the entries page for a little while now, and even just glancing at some of the thumbnails blows me away. There are some tremendous looking games out there, but there are far too many for me to review on my own, so I thought I'd outsource the job and get some of you playing/talking about each others submissions.

Here's how it works: If the poster above you submitted a game for the jam, play through it and write a few sentences about your experience with it. If you didn't finish/didn't participate, make sure to pick a game from the submissions page for the next poster to review.

I've been having a great time this past hour with Shuriken, by rxi. It's a fast-paced, twitchy action-platformer that pays loving homage to the graphical quirks of the GameBoy (the screen fade effect was pulled off especially nicely) while incorporating some more modern design elements (frequent saves, infinite lives) to keep the gameplay flowing smoothly. I still haven't finished this one, but I can tell from what I've played that rxi put in a ton of effort to get the movement, the jumping, and the shuriken-throwing feeling punchy and responsive. The whole package is tied up with a lovely art style and a catchy soundtrack, making for a thoroughly cohesive, enjoyable experience. Really hope rxi decides to expand it into a full-sized game!

(The next poster will review One Small Favor, by nadia)

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One Small Favor is a RPGMaker like game where you make breakfast. It had a good soundtrack and quite a bit of charm. https://itch.io/jam/gbjam-5/rate/90476

Hey Bamboy, Nice work!

Lovely presentation and spritework in-game and despite the lack of sound I had a good playthrough to around level 11 there which was pretty nice! The mouse controls marred the gameboy-ness of the game for me a bit but yeah, a nice entry overall.

Here's my Gameboy ROM Biotic Limit, good luck!
https://refreshgames.itch.io/biotic-limit

(Edited 1 time)

Was unable to get it to load without crashing on any of the 3 emulators I tried for Mac :( shame cos it looks awesome, and the fact you actually did a .gb file is incredible. Nice job for getting it done! I'll have another go on PC later and see if I can get it working on a diff emulator.

edit: Ok so I got it working now, for some reason it works perfectly on anything on my PC but my work mac did not like it.

Biotic Limit is a horizontally scrolling shooter that sees you playing as a white blood cell that has to patrol blood vessels and exterminate infection! There's quite a lot of variety of enemies given the short timespan and the fact this is on an actual gameboy, the death animation is really cool and an interesting use of the 8x8 sprite sizes.

The antibiotic power could be a little more powerful I guess, but the screen isn't filled with enemies all the time so it's not that big an issue. Some of the multi-hit enemies don't make a sound or indicate that they've been damaged.

Really cool game! Nice work!

Kitty Quest is mine! https://itch.io/jam/gbjam-5/rate/90133

I'll bung a video of the game in action later on today somewhere, sorry to hear you've had problems with emulators all the ones I've tried (BGB, Gamejolt) and on a lil Gameboy Pocket have worked well without issue over here.

Got it working and updated :)

Thanks :) I'll be sure to play your game in just a moment :)

Kitty Quest seems really decent. I like that it plays really smooth and the visuals are pleasant. Sadly the UI bugged out when I died once.

Gave you a very good rating, good job!


This is mine https://itch.io/jam/gbjam-5/rate/89913

Thanks! That's a shame! I'll try and fix that later on

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Panzermann vs Spielejunge! It reminded me of the old good times playing Battle city on my Gameboy! Also I'm experiencing a bug with the Unity's webgl builds here, the input axis is always pushing the player to the right so I have to hold left to stop it, no idea why! still had fun playing it!

Here is mine -> https://itch.io/jam/gbjam-5/rate/89228

(Edited 1 time)

I'm glad you liked it, thanks for comment. And yes, I added in the description where I got my inspiration ^^

I never heard of any similar bug with Unity's WebGL like you had. Maybe try a different browser and check any connected gamepads?

yeah it's because the gamepad connected but I've tried a webgl build of my game and is not happening at all, neither the webplayer nor windows executable, also my other two browser games are unity's webgl builds with gamepad support and they work just fine... so I have no idea why it's happening on the few webgl games I've tried here :S

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SpaceMiner is an infinite shoot 'em up in which you have to make your way in your spaceship through many asteroids, destroying them without you to be destroyed. You can shoot asteroids with laser, and you also have a special weapon (a must in the genre!) that allows you to cast a very large laser beam that destroys every asteroid it meets, but as a special weapon you have very limited ammo.

The game is fast-paced and difficult. The Game Boy-ish look & feel is high, because of the graphics and the beautiful sound effects. It would have been better if there were also enemy spaceships, but as we all know the time is limited when making a game for a jam. Overall it's fun!

Here's our game: Pahlawan https://itch.io/jam/gbjam-5/rate/90403

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Pahlawan is a side scrolling platformer, that reminded me of Mario. It has a very nice GameBoy feel, along with very nice mechanics. You get 3 lives, and after that, you have to restart, making it kind of rougue like. It's very difficult, and it needs skill and patience to complete. You jump on enemies to kill them, and it also gives you a bounce. Overall, the game is a lot of fun, and reminded me of 10~ years ago when the GameBoy was a big thing, with games exactly like this one!


Here's mine -> https://itch.io/jam/gbjam-5/rate/90214

Get Out is a short level-based platformer! I didn't think I would actually make it to the end, at a glance the game looks pretty tough! The objective of each level is to make it to the portal which leads the player to the next level. Anything that is red will instantly kill the player and force them to restart. The first few levels can be pretty tough because the enemies are just constantly running at you, but with some well timed jumps you can get by them pretty quick. Eventually you're given 3 health points that decrease whenever you touch something red/an enemy! Once all you HP is gone you're sent back 1 whole level. This game was really satisfying to play through because it clearly had a big focus on level design and each level felt like a continuation of the last! Overall very fun game, I only wish there player was a bit smaller height-wise and there were more enemies! Good job, 135hussein!

Here's my game, Lunar Lich:
https://itch.io/jam/gbjam-5/rate/90305

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Lunar Linch has you Lazer Focussed!
It's hard, and it makes you feel both smart and scared.
The combat puzzles are tightly lined up, requiring memory and mastery.
And quite frankly, the mechanic kind of sells it.

Adequate sprite work, the music is very minimalistic, but helps sell the atmosphere immensely.
All sprites are used in a very thoughtfull way, and each place looks unique.

Thank god for checkpoints, the game intensifies in difficulity in the middle,
Since you stand to loose a lot of progress, it feels correctly tense, which works great to intensify the experience.
The difficulity slopes off near the end, but there's a scenery change and a nice flow to the new enemies.
That gives the game a good sense of pacing.
The variety gives you a great sense of progression.

The second colour palette is a nice touch.

I had some small gripes though:
The health indicator could use more visibility.
and player damage sounds the same as enemy damage,
so I was would miss hits i was taking.

I could discuss the end game, but that would be spoiling it :)
I'm inspired by this. It has an actiony feel, but plays smart!


Here's mine Nightingale: Dying Commander:
https://itch.io/jam/gbjam-5/rate/90296

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Nightingale: Dying Commander is a Fire Emblem-esque tactics game in which you control a small band of warriors fighting their way through enemy territory. The game features perma-death, so if one of your teammates dies in battle, they are lost forever.

The visuals in this game are stellar. The title screens feature detailed pixel art, while the combat sections are clear and straightforward. UI and sound effects are all nice, too.

The perma-death is a really excellent addition. The characters in your squad all have names, and you really feel an emotional gut-punch when one of them dies. The game is quite hard as a result, but the difficulty curve is pretty smooth.

One gripe I have is the game doesn't explain its combat systems very well. You can attack enemies adjacent to you, but I didn't realize you could dash over an extra space to hit an opponent. Knowing exactly what you can and can't do in the game, rather than having to figure it out, would have spared me some trial and error that cost me precious team members. Enemy AI is a bit inconsistent, but is overall very strong.

Overall, I think this is an exceptional entry, giving a great GB Jam spin on tactics games and managing to deliver an emotional experience in a very short time.


Here's mine: What Was Left In The Arena:

https://itch.io/jam/gbjam-5/rate/90341

Thanks for the kind words. This was my first stab at pixel art, so it ate up all my time.

I played What Was Left In The Arena, and I love how you fleshed out the world! Blood & Sand ^^

Thank you! Looks like we tried to accomplish similar things with our stories. My first stab at pixel art too.

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I like this idea. I look at all the entries and I get overwhelmed, but seeing just the 1 above me makes it easier to find something to play.

REVIEW OF WHAT WAS LEFT IN THE ARENA

Well you have the resolution correct, but I question the choice of yellow and black. Maybe your GameBoy screen is just so old or contrasted sitting in the sun that this is what it turned to. I suppose in a sea of green, it will help you stand out.

Anyway, the game is a fight simulator with a point and click game visual aesthetic. There is a good amount of talking as the story revolves around you being stuck in a dungeon and forced to fight other prisoners.

The fighting is simple, up and down to block respectively, left to dodge an upper cut and right to punch. Think of it like a side view of Mike Tyson's punch out with different controls. In a way its like simon says. You follow the foe's movements, although a few times I was lead to believe there would be a high punch and it was a low punch.

When the player gets hit I feel it, I can see him get knocked back and forth and that's good. However, the lack of effect of your punches is my real sticking point here. My punches aren't even hitting their target, yet I guess they're hitting? On the plus side, what did feel good was knocking the opponent down and the mounted punching. Having to left and right. The red on yellow color scheme accented things nicely for the blood while still maintaining the four colors.

I do like the feeling of progression, winning fight after fight unlocking the next area just beyond a guarded door. Its a nice detail. One thing that did bother me is how close to the edge of the screen I need to be in order to push the map forward.

Overall, its a fair little game that I think polish and improving how the fighting feels will go a long way.

If anyone would like to review our little MetroidVania here it is:
AlienVania
https://sitebender.itch.io/alienvania

Thanks for the feedback! Definitely had some issues making the fighting feel as responsive as I would've liked and ran out of time.

Yeah that clock is a killer. I was happy the game had fighting in it. At first the text was scary to me, just because I wasn't in a reading mood. I think the story will benefit your game as now there are competitors rather than people you fight against if that makes sense. You meet them before hand and see them afterward if you so chose.

(Edited 1 time)

AlienVania Review

This was a fun little game. The shooting was satisfying and I liked how the particle effects were done. The ending was pretty funny, I was fooled and didn't think there was going to be a boss but there was! Also I read everything after that, if you care to know. The music was really nice, it wasn't banging or interesting enough that I'd want to actively listen to it on repeat but it was nice for background music and gave the game a cute ambiance.The art as a whole was very nice although I think the default palette should have been the 5th one I believe it was? One of the available palettes towards the end that has nice contrasts, definitely better than the default!

I noticed in the options menu a little oversight, it checks for inputs down every frame rather than checking if a key was just pressed down or released, which means it cycles through the options very quickly when you press left or right. There were some issues with the climbing mechanic as you remarked at the end but it wasn't overly annoying.

I think the biggest issue in this game is a big combination of weak proportions and controls. First off, your character is very tall compared to the monsters, and the speed at which they and bullets move compared to the space you take, makes the game harder than it should be. However that is not the only problem, because this issue could have been avoided if you could crouch and aim up as well as diagonally. On the other hand, it wasn't that bad because you had a lot of health to offset it, but still was kind of dull.

The level design was nice but not always, there were some level design choices at certain places but nothing major. Also, it was hard to discern where you could walk and what was the scenery sometimes.

Finally, one nitpick I could add on weapons is that the muzzle flash should render over the gun, not behind.

All in all, it was a good entry. Some issues for sure but it was fun and all of the weapons were very satisfying to use.

(Edited 1 time)

Thank you so much for the detailed, quality review. I took a lot of your comments (and another poster) and made changes and fixes. I agree with you about the color pallet, but I lost the discussion at around day 3. :-) Its good to have choice though. About the directional shooting or even ducking to shoot. You are correct, but I think that will be for the next game to have Contra or Metroid aiming rather than the Mega Man style that we have now. I will just balance the problem weapons to aim lower or make the enemies taller.

- Modified explosion splash damage does 3 damage rather than killing
- Modified muzzle flash is now over the gun rather than below it.
- Modified enemy projectiles to move at half speed or 1 pixel per frame.
- Modified some of the solid tiles to stick out from the background.
- Modified the left and right in both options menus to cycle slower at 1/3rd a second rather than 1/4th.

I really appreciate the review and the valuable feedback.

Can you suggest a new game for the thread to continue? you didn't suggest any :)

If the poster doesn't reply, I just went to the page and this was the first one that was showing.... The Visitor:

https://itch.io/jam/gbjam-5/rate/90385

Since no game was suggested, I will take a look at both Worldwide Weirdos and One Strike.

Worldwide Weirdos

I found myself questioning whether or not this game was made with four colours...if I'm not mistaken, black and white also count as colours, not to mention shades. I mean, if that was some good use of the colours simply being dispersed around the palette to look otherwise, colour me impressed. The graphics themselves, however, are actually pretty nice and fitting for a game with this sort of idea. I liked the globe, too.

I can see why such a game like this would come off as offensive. After all, it plays off of stereotypes with the voices and the premises, etc. But as a Canadian, I found the first mini game to be kind of hilarious. Can't say exactly how I felt about the other ones, though. It would have been ideal to include a tutorial at the beginning of each mini game. Even just a bit of text that says which keys to press and what actions they do. While the first two games were pretty self explanatory, I couldn't figure out how to play the snake charmer one or the fighting one (which I read was broken, but still would've been nice to know).

That was probably my biggest issue with the game overall, along with the questionable palette and uncompletable stage 4. The audio and graphics, even the gameplay premise, are fine.


One Strike

I didn't have another player available to try this out with me, but I was definitely reminded of Yojimbrawl, except in this one it's a 1 hit KO. The thing that stands out most to me about this is the detailed background, not to mention the design of the players themselves. I think it's interesting that there's no jumping involved, just fighting and dodging. The sounds were fitting; I like them. There really isn't much to say about the game besides that, since you basically just play endlessly until you quit it seems. So a next step for a post jam version could be to incorporate a points system, perhaps. (And maybe change the player count on your page to 2 instead of single player :P )


I'm going to pick the game I helped contribute to during the jam, Angler. :D

Random-StoryKeeper

Thanks so much for the review. I really couldn't find HOW to change the game to 2P. I looked more than once :(.

If you don't mind, it would be great to test it with another player. (Please, do :D) That's where the game really shines, in my opinion :)

Points system is being developed at the moment, unfortunately i couldn't implement it in time for this Jam.

The next steps will be create at least 3 more totally different fighters.

Will do! I tried to get my sister to play it (we usually play multiplayer games like these together), but she was preoccupied. I'll give a proper review with two players on the game page when that happens. :)

Thanks again :) Much appreciated!

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REVIEW OF ANGLER

Angler is a challenging and engaging game that puts you in the water as an angler fish. You need to eat 42 lesser fish in an undersea maze while dodging sharks, urchins and jellyfish. Oh the jellyfish. I enjoyed the game, the music is soothing and the blue four tones make it stand out from the pack of other GameBoy games. It took a lot of calming skill navigating the west half of the map with the tight tunnels and spikes.

There's a good variety of hazards to keep you on your toes or cudals. The only real issue here was the screen size and abundance of jellyfish in the southeast quadrant. Since the jellies dash at you there's not that much reaction time, but you do have plenty of health. Otherwise there are health heart fish you can touch to replenish a heart on your five heart health meter.

I think the details are great, the waving grass, the scuba diver among the sharks. Its good to just explore and relax until you find big angry predators. If you wanted to push the game further I can only recommend a timer and even percentages of how many feeder fish you can eat in the time.

There were a few issues, such as going to the map, I couldn't always get back without using the mouse. Sometimes I would go to the map and then press enter to get back out of it just fine. The other odd issue happened only once and that was touching a feeder fish for the first time with my angler seemed to freeze the game for half a minute, but after that, there were no problems.

I like the game.

Since I've already had my game reviewed in this thread (AlienVania).... I went to the submissions page and just found the first game.

The Visitors

https://itch.io/jam/gbjam-5/rate/90385

I think its a good game to suggest, because the default image shows nothing about the game and there are no screenshots. You're going in blind!!!!

does the game have an windows build?

Doesn't look like it; I was wondering the same thing too.

Wow you're right. I guess I should have looked. Oh well new random game then.

DIAMOND DUST

https://ghostlyfeline.itch.io/diamond-dust

REVIEW OF DIAMOND DUST

Fun but short puzzle-platformer.

You make your way through a snowy landscape, armed with crystals that kill without mercy and toggle puzzle elements along the way. Shooting in four directions you blast your way past skeletons and floaty skull heads of blue and white variety! The chill music definitely enhances the mood of the game. In the end you sprout wings and fly to a final battle in the sky, the souls of the skull heads are back for vengeance and they want blood. If you are victorious you will be greeted with an IOU for an ending. :]

It was a decent game and was definitely worth a playthrough.


My game: https://itch.io/jam/gbjam-5/rate/90408

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REVIEW OF GB TRASHER


It's a fun skating game with the object to pick up all the flags on the way. After getting used to the controls and how you should collide with the flags you're on your way. Apparently you do need all the flags or else you can't finish. The jump gap in the first part immediately creates great difficulty for me because you have to move fast while also keeping the board in control.

All in all, difficult, but feels rewarding and fun to play!

Has that nice Gameboy feel, and the graphics to match!


My game: T-SWAP

(A Portal-like 2D puzzler)

REVIEW of GB Trasher

You have to pickup all the flags in this nifty skateboard game. You skate back and fourth through a cool looking neighborhood. The music is great and the art is very gameboy like. The controls are good but a little swift for my taste, I got stuck going up the curb alot. Extra points for the curbside grinding possibilities.

I had some problems getting it started in the browser because it wouldn take my enter button but after downloading there was no issue with that.


I really enjoyed it and would be happy to see more of it.


My game Tally Castle can be found here...

https://itch.io/jam/gbjam-5/rate/89539

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RVIEW of T-SWAP

A 2D puzzle game where your gun has the ability to swap your speed with one moving object from the room. To proceed, you need to slow down the objects that blocks you by moving too fast. Of course it's easier said than done.

The game has a clever game design that keeps you going. My only complain would be that when you swap your speed with a really slow object, your own speed is greatly reduced and it can be a bit tedious to move around. But since speed swaping is the very root of this game's concept, there's not much you could do about it.


REVIEW of Tally Castle

This one has a quite simple concept and yet, it's extremly effective. You are in a room with tiles that represents math operations (mainly adding, but also substracting, multiplying and dividing). To proceed, your number must match the number on the exit door. So now you are trying to step on those tiles in the right order.

I'm not much of a math personn, but i had a lot of fun going through this anyway. I could easily see this concept become a hit as an app for smartphone.


Now here is my game, Captain Crack :

https://itch.io/jam/gbjam-5/rate/90026

REVIEW of Captain Crack:

Captain crack is a vertical platformer where you fall down each level trying to make it safely to the bottom while getting the highest combo you can. There are several enemies to stomp and traps to avoid, which makes the game both fun and challenging!

I played the game several times back to back trying to get the highest combo I could, it's really addictive! Eventually I did a speed run to the last level because I got too caught up in trying to make a huge combo that I'd make too many mistakes. The only issue I had with the game was at first I wasn't sure if my goal was to make it to the bottom (or if there even was a bottom!) or if my goal was to get the highest combo I could. Regardless Captain Crack is a really fun game! It can easily be replayed over and over again, trying to get the highest score!


My game, Lost sleep, can be found here:

https://itch.io/jam/gbjam-5/rate/90210

REVIEW of Captain Crack

My hats off to Ourson. CC was very addicting and triggered that "must try again one more time" part of my brain over and over again. Loved the loosing your hat as a health mechanic, thought it was very clever even tho, I did die a couple of times trying to pick it up again. The combo system feels rewarding and makes you want to try and better your combo score instead of just getting to the bottom as fast as possible.

All in all, very enjoyable, creative and easy to recommend to others to check out.

My game, INFEST:STATION Endless Swarm :

https://itch.io/jam/gbjam-5/rate/90418

Review about Captain Crack (https://itch.io/jam/gbjam-5/rate/90026):

You are a man with a tophat falling down in a dungeon. I loved how the character moves fast and the double jump hability, it was so funny to play that i did until the end, the endind animation with the treasure chest was pretty cool too. I hope you let the idea go far and make more about this game :D

Here is my game: https://itch.io/jam/gbjam-5/rate/90332

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REVIEW OF CAPTAIN CRACK:

I really liked playing this game. At first sight it will not impress you. But when you start playing, all you want to do is play some more.

This game is a falling game + Mario + Arcade + Ghouls and Ghosts mixed together.

The objective is to get far down as possible, trying to hit over enemies on your way down for combos. To control you fall, you can go left or right, or use a double jump, either, to get to some monster and continue a combo or to start a new one, jumping over enemies.

If you hit enemies sideways, you'll lose some clothes (lives) until you die, turning into a skeleton, just like Ghouls and Ghost, pretty fun!

The sfx are good and fit well.

The music is pretty cool as well.


For the next review, if you have someone to play with you (2P game only), try my game: https://inc4nus.itch.io/onestrike

if not, try my friend's one: https://cassio-kenji.itch.io/daydreaming

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Review of Day Dreaming

I didn't have a second player handy to review Inc4nus's game, so here are my thoughts on Day Dreaming:

The graphics are simple, but they work and they look GameBoy-esque.

The audio is decent. The wind noise gets a little repetitive and the sound that plays when you die is grating.

The gameplay could be more varied. I ran into some glitches and some unintentional puzzle solutions. A button to manually reset a level would be good, as I ended up quitting after a glitch froze the game towards the end.

All in all, 3/5. Not bad, but not stellar.


Our Game: Reflect Raider (Please play the downloadable version--the browser version currently has a glitch that causes bullets to move very slowly. We're hoping to fix it soon, but until then the best experience can be had via the download. It's a small file and it is a standalone executible, so you don't need to install anything).

https://rubycat.itch.io/reflect-raider

Reflect Raider provides a simple yet addictive gameplay experience, with easy to learn mechanics, upbeat music, and accessible visuals. The layout of enemies allows the player to decide how difficult their playthrough will be, since the challenge increases the closer you get to multiple turrets. While gameplay feels slow at times, the difficulty increases appropriately, requiring the player to carefully maneuver to best protect themselves later on. The timer gives a small added challenge as well as a sense of urgency, which is a nice addition, albeit frustrating when the play movement is so slow.


One small personal challenge was the use of WASD + arrow keys, as they were assigned differently than many popular PC "twin stick" games (Binding of Isaac, etc). But that speedbump was easily overcome with practice.


Music: 4/5

Visuals: 3/5

Gameplay: 3/5

Design: 3/5

Overall: 3.5/5


Would certainly recommend for a fun quick play. Nice work!


Our game is called Homeward and like many other submissions, is a level-based platformer. Assume the role of Mort in his quest to get home before dark. While a bit had to be rushed, and a bit was unfinished, but ultimately the experience we wanted is there and we're proud of what we accomplished in a few days. Please check it out and enjoy! Windows and Linux builds available.

https://piloneconsulting.itch.io/homeward

(Edited 2 times)

REVIEW OF HOMEWARD

Homeward is a blue skinned tough as nails bare-bones platformer where you play as a skull rolling along the ground. From the very onset you run into stones making the skull tumble so it demonstrates this is not a feet on the ground platformer. You will roll all over the place.

The game looks similar to a Gargoyle's Quest. Black backgrounds, dark trees with white outlines. You play as a skull and need to avoid being smashed by giant jumping rams. The interesting thing about the rams is that their horns make for a nice platform up top so you can jump higher.

Let's discuss what makes it so tough. Its the technical stuff surrounding the game. The resolution and window size are stuck in 160 x 144. There is no screen stretching or full screen. I tried Alt + Enter, F and a few other full screen commands. So instead, I had to pull my monitor closer and adjust the resolution on my screen.

You use WAD keys to move left, right and jump. The jump isn't that high, so you need to use the tumble mechanic to basically jump at a certain angle to hit a wall and tumble over. You can stick to walls until you stop pressing against them. I setup my controller to make it easier for me to play rather than WAD keys.

Other than that the screen is setup similar to a forever runner where 90% of the view is on the right side. So if you miss a jump, you need to carefully go to the left almost pixel by pixel to avoid getting smashed by the giant rams. There is quite a bit of momentum here as well. You can't just stop on a dime, you'll keep sliding.

It gets high marks everywhere but the gameplay. It looks like a GameBoy game, sounds like a GameBoy game, its just a struggle to even play. Even though the jam has ended, please modify things. If not for this game, then please for the next game.

Since I've already had my game reviewed here (AlienVania)... I will go into the random grab bag and suggest the first title without a screen shot that shows up:

WILD GOOSE CHASE

https://itch.io/jam/gbjam-5/rate/90185

(Edited 3 times)

Since I did not realize AlienVania was already reviewed, I did two reviews!

AlienVania
AlienVania is a nice platformer featuring super-juicy pixel art, a wide selection of weapons and enemies.
After few istants playing this game, you will realize it is very polished, from the game menu to the gameplay.
I particularly enjoyed the splatter effect when killing enemies and totally loved the music.
The size of the map and the quality of the graphics is impressive for a jam entry.
If you really need to find a small flaw, maybe a few things like explosion particles are not pixel-aligned, but that's not a problem to me.
What to say more? Try it, and you will have a nice surprise near the ending.
Music: 4/5
Visuals: 5/5
Gameplay: 3/5
Design: 4/5

Overall: 4/5

Wild Goose Chase
Wild Goose Chase is a nice meat boy inspired platformer, you play the role of a very nice character in his task of rescuing a goose.
Controls feel very balanced, graphics are essential but stylish and it's very fun to play.
I enjoyed how the tutorials got inside the level art: I would recommend it to give it a try!
Music: 2/5
Visuals: 3/5
Gameplay: 4/5
Design: 3/5

Overall: 3/5


My game is called Phone Throttle (https://santarcade.itch.io/phone-throttle) it's an HTML5 game where you do wheelies with a scooter, controlling it with your phone gyroscope but watching the gameplay on your desktop browser.
Unluckily, it requires an Android phone with gyroscope in order to play it.
Give it a try and let me know!

I appreciate the review. I've reviewed a few games here and well there's always the hope that I'll get reviewed again even if I suggest a random game that hasn't been reviewed here.

The map was made in 2 days when we realized plan A wouldn't be good enough. The artist will be happy you liked the art. It seems like no matter what the art, people talk about the music more.

What do you mean the explosions aren't pixel aligned? Like the sign that explodes explodes at the top left rather than the center?

How can I improve the gameplay in the future to score higher than a 3/5 in the next game?

As for Wild Goose Chase, i would have never expected a Meat Boy - ish game. Then again I only saw the title screen / default image.

Hi sitebender!
By pixel-aligned I mean that a few things, like particles, seems moving by subpixels (very smooth) and not respecting the 160x144 pixel matrix.
To improve the gameplay, I would:

  1. rework the jump feeling
  2. make sure there is no camera follow when jumping (on some platform this happens and it is quite disturbing)
  3. let the projectiles interact with enemies even when they are clipped out of the screen
  4. make the guns orientable to shoot higher or lower and not just horizontal

Those are the (personal opinion)-advices that came from the top of my head ;-)
Keep up the great work!

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Review of Phone Throttle

The first blocker was the fact I have an iphone. The game does not work with one. I tried with a nexus 10.

The main menu doesn't say anything about the game, just a couple of images with the game's logo above. The QR code disappears to fast for my skill with the QR reader app.

Once I got the game running, my first impression was that the motorcycle was moving randomly. After a couple of minutes figuring it out, I found the correct positioning for my device. It's a hard game tho. I manage to get 48 points somehow. But I got bored after a couple of minutes trying & failing.

Technically the game is awesome, the developer achieved a simple way to sync two devices. The graphics are just ok, they work. The same for special effects. The game doesn't have music, just the main menu.

  • Music: 1/5
  • Visuals: 3/5
  • Gameplay: 3/5
  • Design: 4/5
  • Overall: 2.75/5

My game is Le Gatuno: https://itch.io/jam/gbjam-5/rate/88875

Cheers!

One of the couple of images with the game's logo above, is the how to hold the phone tutorial ;-)

I tried. But maybe the gyroscope works different in a tablet :(

Oh, thanks for the input then.
I'm using a library just for gyro data normalization across different devices, but if that does not work properly, I think I will switch to my own calibration procedure then.

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LE GATUNO REVIEW:

A very well made game. It reminds me of Lemmings with a new layer in the platformer aspect of it, making the game pretty interesting.

The graphics are good, not exceptional.

The sfx are fitting and the music is pretty great.

Overall its a very fun game, i would totally play it in PlayStore.

  • Music: 5/5
  • Visuals: 3/5
  • Gameplay: 4/5
  • Design: 4/5
  • Overall: 4/5

My game is One Strike: https://inc4nus.itch.io/onestrike

If you gonna review this one, PLEASE play with someone, since its a 2p game.

(Edited 2 times)

One Strike review

Was looking at this for a while. Totally got into the mood and style when I saw screenshots.

The graphics are amazing, the animations very nice. Although I wished that the main characters were better visible against the background. Using the the mid color for the faces and sky only may have been wasteful. The outlines help a lot though! I just wonder if the overall visual was a bit easier to read if the background was one tone brighter.

This 2 player mode is addictive. It is a very basic concept of movement but it gives enough possibilities to develop strategic moves. The tension when waiting for your opponents move really fits the overall theme of the game. Good job, you totally deserve this!

The hit animations help motivating for a clear strike. Too much gore for my friend but I loved the reference to Japanese cinema gore in Lone Wolf And Cub style.

We had trouble distinguish a clear win of a session some time. Kind of felt a info screen was missing, sometimes on a rushed round we would almost oversee that the session was over. Also a winning screen, sound etc. might help motivating for the next round and gives the winner opportunity to cheer. Compare Street Fighter II and any other fighting game.

Also sad it did not have music or minimalist sound design to accomplish the stage. The sword hit sound was a bit too much if you ask me. Too loud and deep. I expected a "slice" instead, but this may be me. Please work on the sound, that would add a lot to the atmosphere of this game.

I hope this review was helpful and you find some time to address issues that you find apply.

Here's my game Beat-Up-Boy: https://itch.io/jam/gbjam-5/rate/90271

(Edited 1 time)

Thank you so much for the review!

I've tested to background with another tones and the darker one was still the one that made the samurais more visible. About the mid color for the faces, you're right, but this will be resolved after the jam, since i'll continue to develop this one, but this time, with no color limitations :).

I'm so happy you've enjoyed the game! And also happy that you could figure it out what the game was all about and the feeling of playing it.

I agree with you that this game needs a Win Screen or something like that, took note for a future update.

You are right again, the sfxs could be better and we need some music, also noted for a future update.

Thanks so much for the compliments, I won't be updating the game for the this JAM anymore, since i've already started working on new content that won't be ready by the end of the JAM. So, the next steps will be working on a full game with new characters and some other features.

You can follow me for updates at: https://twitter.com/dmbarbosa1

Thanks a lot!

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Beat-Up-Boy Review:


Beat-Up-Boy is a classic sidescrolling beat em up action game.

The graphics and animations are solid and reminiscent of gameboy. The newspaper flying to the front at the beginning is an awesome touch. The character portrait was nicely done. I also enjoyed the dialogue while fighting enemies.


I thought the music and sound also fit the gameboy feel as well. Definitely appropriate for a beat em up. The music didn't get old fast which is a plus.


I don't have much to say about the controls other than they were responsive. Gameplay wise, it felt rewarding punching out the enemies.


I also appreciated the fact that the game didn't take itself too serious. I won't spoil anything for anyone else, but I enjoyed the little surprise ;-).


  • Music: 5/5
  • Visuals: 5/5
  • Gameplay: 4/5
  • Design: 4/5
  • Overall: 4.5/5

All in all, I enjoyed the game and would play again if this game is extended in some way.


Here's my game Demi-God: https://itch.io/jam/gbjam-5/rate/89271

Demi-God Review:

I'm not sure how to categorize it, but I'll try: Demi-God is a side-scrolling beat em up/shooting game where you have to advance forward while beating waves of enemies.

The game is very short with only around 4 waves, but it's just the right length for the amount of content present and doesn't overstay it's welcome.

At first, I just clicked the game window to get the focus, and it automatically advanced the title screen with the controls, if you wouldn't have had the controls on the game page, I would have missed them.

The transforming was a nice touch, although I'm still not exactly sure, what the animation is supposed to represent. The bullets you can shoot felt IMHO too weak, it could help to make them faster and bigger.

Killing the bats felt much better, than killing the aliens(?), because they died within one hit. And hitting the aliens the first time, did not really give any audio/visual feedback.

The music was a noticeable short loop, but nevertheless it did not get annoying.

I just saw that the art looks crisp in the screenshots, but when actually playing the graphics look blurry. Seems like they get scaled with "Linear" instead of "Nearest" Interpolation.


I reckon this might have been one of your first games? Don't be discouraged, if I sound overly negative/critic, I hope you see it as a way to learn how to improve the next time around.


Our game Pixel Soldier

I didn't find your review was negative at all, it pointed out the flaws in my game and I agree with them. This isn't my first game (3rd game), but this is my first game jam. I've learned a lot by making this game and playing the other games. Thanks for taking the time to write the review. :-)

Pixel Soldier review:

Difficulty scales up quickly but effectively; with simple sound and graphics, it looks like you were able to focus on developing interesting/satisfying mechanics, and on that front this game really delivers. The effect of hopping around the screen to dodge bullets is made to be a bit more rewarding because it also improves the speed with which you can dodge enemy missiles, making a skilled player able to avoid taking damage while knocking out the challenges set before them.

Supports a waves/ boss style; I'd say something a little clearer in the game itself about what the controls are might be helpful, the first time I was sure what all my options were was after I decided to try remapping them to see if I was missing anything. (They are in the gamepage though so that is helpful as well).

Music and graphics are a bit on the simple side but I feel like that suits the game's style and contributes to the overall gameboy feel. Bosses drop health boosters but I didn't see any power-ups along the way, I'd say that's what I want out of potential future additions to this game's development: the ability to shoot different projectiles, more of them, etc, as a direct result of the bosses killed and such to keep the gameplay robust as players progress.

Overall I'd give it a 4/5 stars, especially considering it's a GBJam game but looks rather polished.

My game is The Curse of Talon Cyphyr

Thanks for the great review. You mention many important points. Yeah we focussed on game play over graphics. But sadly the music/sounds were a last minute addition so they might not have turned out that good.

Some tutorial for controls would have been necessary, and reading your text I'm not even sure if we properly communicated that the player is invincible while dashing. Powerups and different weapons were planned from the beginning, but cut due to time constraints and I wasn't sure how/when they should drop, but you gave me an idea how to integrate them, without the enemies randomly dropping them.

Tuning the difficulty is always difficult, because I usually played the game already hundreds of times until it's finished, so I just included multiple difficulties (with a third one, that only even unlocks after you beat it on "Hard"), but I think I could have done more, like allowing the player to retry directly at the boss they died at instead of the beginning, at least on lower difficulty settings. But I thought it isn't a big issues since the game is rather short with 3 stages and can approximately be played through in ~7min (in a single run).

Ok, this turned out longer than expected. To conclude: thanks again for the helpful review.

The Curse of Talon Cyphyr is a collect-a-thon styled platformer where you play as a little dog named Talon and collect berries.

The game didn't feel too long or too short which is something that I always appreciate. It appeared to have five different levels to the best of my knowledge, with an intro room and a central hub.

The first thing that jumped out at me was the choice in the color palette. Rather than being monochrome, the developer decided to broaden the palette a little with purple and orange, giving it more of an early GameBoy Color vibe- and it looks nice.

The game plays with you going through each level collecting berries in order to activate an NPC who then opens a barrier in the level which allows you to collect some... stuff. When you pick up berries, you need to howl which turns them white and allows you to gather/eat them. I'm honestly not quite sold on this mechanic, as it tends to unnecessarily slow the game down. I think that having either howling or pressing down to collect the berries would be sufficient, rather than needing to do both which ends up feeling redundant. Perhaps some other uses for howling would alleviate that issue as well!

The sound overall is pretty good. The sounds are typical GameBoy sounds and the music is pretty enjoyable to have in the background. More variety in the music would be welcome, however. Since there is a stage or two that just continues playing the hub music, I suspect that the developer simply ran out of time or didn't have more music prepared which is to be expected in jams.

The player control feels a little rough around the edges and could benefit from a little more polish. Jumping essentially teleports you in the air rather that actually jumping you, and the jump itself could probably stand to be given a little more height. Nothing too aggravating but worth noting nonetheless.

Now, I'm not sure if there's an ending. I (at least I think I did) collected all the items, berries, and spoke to everyone. When nothing happened, I noticed that the levels reset themselves when you leave and renter along with all of their items. Of course I could have just missed something and if I did, I apologize.

I think the level design could use a bit more variety as the obstacles are pretty much the same through all the levels with the exception of water in the first level and the spikes in the last one. I understand this is because of the jam (I know I wanted my game to have more variety but such is how it goes), but with the future in mind some gimmicks would be interesting.

Overall I had fun with it. I think with some spit-shine, the game could be pretty interesting. It gives me a castlevania vibe from the aesthetic with some collect-a-thon style things going on, which is a good thing.

P.S. to the developer: Please don't take my criticisms too personally. I tend to critique much more easily than I compliment, so if the ratio of compliments to complaints is off, I apologize.

My game is Super Skater Kid.

Thanks very much for the review! This is great advice. A lot of the things you've noticed are things I have been working to fix in the later development of the game. (V1.1 has some fixes for some of the things you have noticed, and I'm still working on a 'final' release with a fully triggered ending and such).

Your response to the howl + down to collect is really helpful; you're the second player to make this comment and in practice, I was trying something that doesn't seem to have panned out. Might not make a big difference for this game is it is right now, but it'll inform the things I try when developing future games.

The GBJam release doesn't have all of the music implemented properly, so you are correct about the music feeling more limited than intended. The note about more gimmicks is interesting; I will definitely keep that in mind for improving level diversity in feel!

I don't think this was over-critical or anything, I appreciate the helpful feedback and notes to improve on. This is my first game-jam game ever, and I was working solo so every piece of advice is a huge help! Thanks again!

I'm happy to hear that you've been working on fixing the little problems, as I'm also happy to hear that I didn't appear over-critical!

Good luck on your game and if you ever want an honest opinion in the future, I'm always willing give it a play!

Super Skater Kid Review

Oh my, what a fun game!

The concept is pretty simple: You're a bold skater on a suicide mission to be the best avoiding bicycles, jumping over cars and collecting coins. While you do that, you can and should be even more daring and perform radical maneuvers to win more points.

The music and sfxs are perfect for the game. Also the presentation.

The gameplay is where this game really shines. Its super fun jumping over cars, doing tricks and avoiding bicycles at the same time. The level progression is very well thought. Even though the game is difficult, you want to play more.

Where i think you could improve:

- Its kinda hard to see when the skate tricks are finished and sometimes you lose lives wondering why. A more visual effect could better tell this moment (maybe a action circle?). This should give the player more control of the jump and to better decide when to do a trick. Also, the maneuvers could be more flashy, its hard to see what he is doing since you have to pay attention to what is coming next.

- Background looks rushed.

Overall, i really think you should continue developing this game.

  • Music: 5/5
  • Visuals: 3/5
  • Gameplay: 5/5
  • Design: 4/5
  • Overall: 4.25/5


My game is One Strike: https://inc4nus.itch.io/onestrike

If you gonna review this one, PLEASE play with someone, since its a 2p game.


Thank you for the review! I'm very happy to hear that you enjoyed it!

In response to the critiques, I never noticed that the tricks are difficult to see at times, but I totally understand now that I think about it. Sticking with the GB theme, I'm unsure if there is an elegant solution while avoiding cluttering the screen. Post rating period, if I decide to open up the palette, I'll definitely keep a more visual indication in mind. Thank you for pointing this out!

Also, I'm not quite sure what you mean by the backgrounds looking rushed. I tried to keep them detailed enough to be interesting without cluttering the screen, but unfortunately I'm not much of an artist so they don't look that great, haha. I'm hoping to improve my art skills, however.

Thank you again! I very much appreciate the review!