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A jam entry

LABYRINTHView game page »

A short turn-based adventure game with Greek monsters and wine.
Submitted by Griffonmender with 1 day, 15 hours before the deadline

Play game

Visit LABYRINTH's game page

Judge feedback

Judge feedback is anonymous and shown in a random order.

  • PRESENTATION

    Most graphics are custom and simplistic in design. They fit together quite well. The monster battlers are cute too. Mapping is a maze, but since this is a game based on the Labyrinth, that's completely understandable.

    Sound effects really help the atmosphere out when interacting with various objects on the map. The music is used well and doesn't get boring over time despite the limited amount of tunes used.

    There isn't much in the way of writing and dialogue. What there is is competently written. The story is pretty straight-forward - find and kill the Minotaur before escaping.

    GAMEPLAY
    Gameplay consists of battling, crafting and interacting.

    Being that the game is based on the myth of the minotaur and the labyrinth, there's a lot of maze-walking to be done. There's pots around the place which you can mix wine in (which you find in chests, wine bottles and as enemy drops) to dilute it and get a few weaker healing items in exchange for a wine (which has random status effects on use, but full heals).

    There's also upgrades scattered around the maze in chests, and a character to join you and help you in battles.

    Battles are in tiers - there are enemies that walk around on the map and random encounters. Random encounters are easier and can be ran from. On-map encounters are harder enemies and bosses and cannot be ran from. The on map enemies do not chase you but run around in a set pattern. Bosses don't move. This is explained to you and makes it easy to see which each are.

    Battles are pretty decently balanced, though they skew more to the difficult side with enemies hitting hard, especially with magic. That said, you also hit hard and learn some very useful (and in one case, broken) skills that help even the playing field.

    There's one skill that is supposed to hit a random enemy nine times but ends up hitting much more than that when in a single-enemy battle (say, boss battles~) and with a magic and defence debuff added each time an attack hits, it can make a boss into cheddar pretty fast.

    ENGAGEMENT
    I played all the way through. It was an enjoyable little romp through a maze. Granted, I got a bit annoyed with all the dead ends, but I kept on and it was worth it to windspin the minotaur to death in the first turn. Well worth it.

    THEME
    The theme was Greek mythology and it did a really good job at showing it off through the visual and mechanical aspects. Spells were aimed towards the type of skillset the son of Poseidon would have (water) and the use of wine and amphorae and the like really set the scene well.

    59/80

  • Theme 

    You play as Theseus tasked to slain the minotaur in a labyrinth. However aspects of the game makes this theme not work out.

    Gameplay 

    The game is technically pretty straightforward and just tons and tons of grinding. The encounters aren’t really hard, they just kill you through sheer stats alone. Strategy doesn’t feel like an aspect of this game. I feel like my ally should’ve had spark, considering his claw attack is even thunder, and instead we both got splash so in terms of elemental weakness/strength the player has a major disadvantage. Character skillset is so samey, lack of polish or character synergy, honestly not really a good dungeon crawler. I never found a use for money.

    Presentation

    The maps are bland and boring. The labyrinth structure doesn’t make sense which I guess is the purpose of the labyrinth but it makes navigation a bit of a chore as you try to remember where you went. You go through wades of brown some more flora or ground variations will remove the tedium of exploration. There are enemy encounters and some “puzzle” elements but I don't remember much about them. It needs a lot of polish.

    Engagement 

    Promising game barred down by lack of polish and boring battles.

    Total – 40/80

Engine
RPGMaker MV

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Comments

(+1)

Woo-hoo! I made escaped the labyrinth! So I'm a sucker for all things mythology, and I really liked the little pieces you got in. Your custom art was adorable, and there was a wide range of enemies so random encounters didn't feel dull.

There were just a few things I thought could be improved on; 

  • Remove the money. Since there's no where to spend it, it just feels pointless to be picking it up in every fight and 1G per chest.
  • Having the Amphorae sprites change after getting the wine from it (helps to keep track of where you've been.)
  • The Hippalectryon's splash skill was the same as Thesus' so it has the 'like father like son' description which is a little odd. 
  • Theseus has a dual attack and a double attack. By name, that would both of these are actually just double attacks, since dual means two parts, although it's just an 'attack harder!' skill.
  • Items could be balanced a little better, I had 4 wines and 50 diluted wines by the end, but only 1 cave plant. 
  • Since TP wasn't used, you might as well just remove it by unticking this in the database-system


I didn't find the third boss, but I enjoyed wandering around and the small barricade puzzles that needed to be figured out. I would have liked a little more story as motivation. It was a bit sad at the end when all I got for leaving was a single message. Not everyone is going to know the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur, so I think it would be appreciated.

For reference by the end, Theseus was lv 13, Hippalectryon was lv 14, and it took me 47 minutes. I did feel a bit overpowered by this point, and even fighting the Minotaur was just spamming some skills. I had so many healing items that I never felt in fear of game over which was a good thing for someone like me who often forgets to save, but I think might lose you a few points with hardcore rpg players.

Overall, very well done for a first game! Keep it up! :D

Developer(+1)

- The splash attack comes from the Coral Necklace item, so there's not much I can do about the description.

(Although considering that Poseidon created horses, it could technically still apply.  Pegasus and Polyphemus are also sons of Poseidon, so its not like the chicken-horse would really be the strangest branch in that family tree.)

- There actually is a button to remove TP? I looked all over the place for basically the entire month before giving up.  How did  I miss that? ^ ^;  (I can fix that.)

- I can definitely remove the gold once the judgement period for the game jam is over- it was mostly my way of testing to make sure the chests were working at the beginning of development.

-Likewise, can definitely adjust the amphorae sprites.

-I do plan on adding a proper intro/outro later on, but I had to leave it off due to time constraints.

(It was a choice between that or the instructions, so it had to be done.)

- The bosses are hippalektryon, Arachne, and the minotaur.

-Getting the healing items balanced has been tricky. I had issues during play-testing where it was too easy to magic everything into oblivion.

I lowered the  number of creatures that dropped cave plants to try to limit mana supplies, but I suppose I may have gone overboard. ^ ^;

Likewise, I had issues with the healing items getting too scarce and too plentiful- one testing round had about fifty diluted wine, another barely had any and I had to go maenad hunting. (There was also the round where Theseus was dead for a long time because I couldn't find an undervine, but  that was a separate issue.)I'll see if altering the "dilute wine" common event can fix that.

- Balancing the minotaur has likewise been complicated. I don't think the 2-3 rounds where Arachne was impossible, thus making it impossible to reach the minotaur, helped in this regard.

I basically started with a minotaur who in battle-testing looked like he would be just fine, but turned out to be too weak in the actual game. After that, it turned into invincible-wimp tennis for multiple rounds, Arachne ended up invincible for two tests in  a row(and barely beatable in the third), and then the event refused to show up for seemingly no reason, at which point I had to make an identical event slightly higher on the map.

That last bit happened on the last day I could realistically work on this(I had important things on the 3rd-4th, and the entry was due by midnight on the fourth)

Needless to say, when I finally got a functioning minotaur,  who was actually beatable, I asked no questions and proceeded to figure out how deployment/ithch.io uploads worked.

I'll try to fix him when I can. I  think giving him a unique skill or something (like envenom with Arachne) might make him more challenging without rendering him unbeatable by mistake(again). That'll have to wait until after the judging period, though.

-Looked up the definition- dual is an awkward name for that. I'll change it something else when I can. (Maybe smite?)



Anyhow, I'm thankful that you enjoyed my game despite these issues. ^   ^