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I really like the way you introduced horror elements in a seemingly common 2000' aesthestic and gameplay theme. Visualy your transitions from level to level are smooth enough to really get the sense of going down through the deep waters bits by bits. The music fits well with the visuals and the era it's evoking. The experience feels complete and coherent, i'm pretty impressed with the level of polish you managed to achieve.
The money//collect curve around the end of the game feels a bit stiff though aha :)
Thanks for this experience !
This is a really fun play on tone and atmosphere, somehow being able to merge many things: an arcade-style collection game, a horror game, and a sort of interactive fiction segment at the end. I like how you committed to the bait-and-switch in a Frog Fractions way. That playfulness is very fun.
I guess I have to assess the tone of the game on two levels. The bright, happy Dreamcast vibes are on point. The breakbeat soundtracks, playful Mario Sunshine -esque (?) fonts and the low-poly colourful textures really set the mood for the kind of game that you're evoking and is executed super well.
The horror aspect is a delight and you clearly had a lot of fun thinking about how to slowly subject the player to more eerie and strange environments, before bringing in the darker setting and using the narrative to introduce its concepts, before bringing the game to a really bizarre horror climax.
I think the only constructive criticism I'd add are that, although the lack of sound works for a time to support the darker mood, some ambience could have worked. The ending text is great, although the level of exposition is probably a little too excessive to really succinctly hammer home the story.
I did a playthrough of the game below: