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A jam entry

IceboundView game page »

Submitted by Luchi (@PixelLuchi) with 14 hours, 16 minutes before the deadline

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Results

Ranked 86th with 2 votes

CriteriaRankVotes
Judge's Choice#15n/a
People's Choice Vote#862

Judge feedback

Judge feedback is anonymous and shown in a random order.

  • 34/80

    Clipping near the start. If you manage to beat the second boss, the game ignores the victory and acts as if you lost. The second boss is already potentially difficult due to the element of RNG and as the game does not tell you that there is no advantage of winning, it can be frustrating for anyone trying to beat the second boss, but hitting an issue due to RNG or setup. 

    You can't use items in the field, making it a pain to deal with multiple battles as you need to spend a turn to use the item during battle. At least one skill seems effectively useless. This ends up being a short game if you don't try to win the boss fights (no noticeable benefit for winning).

    The plot seems rather crunched together and feels like there is a lot of potential story that is missing the ending just felt odd as the enemy seems to have a rather abrupt and serious change of heart despite having been beaten twice already.  The color scheme is nice, but care should be taken that collectible items aren't mistaken for tinted rocks.

  • Theme

    Defeat Fimbul the genie to gain both your freedom.

    Gameplay

    The battles are pretty straightforward, there’s not much to talk about it. Once you figured out that you're supposed to lose on a lot of the earlier fights and that there is no reward to beating her early on, you just stop engaging and just 'watch.' You also collect orbs that probably blend too well with the tilesets that it makes it hard to find them.

    Presentation 

    Character walking graphics need work. But otherwise it’s OK. I think the maps sometimes have too much details, finding a blue orb on top of very blue things is really hard. The writing is OK for the most part except for some scenes that just seems jarring to me. Instant Scene Transitions, padded cave which could’ve been much shorter, or how the game felt the need to say she’s the first woman and first person to have thought of freeing her from this pact. It just didn’t feel natural and felt a bit preachy.

    Engagement

    It was alright. I almost wanted to quit when I couldn’t find the last two orbs to get to the first area. It's just blue on top of blue, even the character design is blue. There’s some pretty bland characterization and too much telling not enough showing.

    Total – 63/80

  • This was a very atmospheric experience. The environments and the music were both gorgeous and really created a haunting effect. The story reminded me a little of Star Stealing Prince but not to the point of distraction. Battles were a little confusing at first, mostly because it took me a while to realize that you had to scroll down the menu to Equip if you wanted to use the augments and such. Interesting skill ideas for the characters and the final skill that unlocks at the end was really satisfying. Impressive work.

    Score: 58/80

  • PRESENTATION

    Graphics were a mix of different types however they all worked well together to create a cohesive whole. The mapping was very well done and the designs of various areas were also well done.

    The sound was quite good. Sound effects were used to create atmosphere and nothing stood out as odd or jarring.

    Music was very well done. There were a lot of great tunes and they all fit their scenes and areas. A lot of the tunes also added to the overall atmosphere of the game.

    Writing was quite good. There were no spelling and grammar issues to note and the writing was well done for the different characters. They didn't really stand out too much as characters, but what was there was well written and both coherent and instructive when it needed to be.

    The story itself had a very good premise and the presentation of it was well done too. The jumping back and forth was a little jarring at spots (mainly the jump from scene to scene) but overall it was done very well.

    GAMEPLAY

    Gameplay consisted of battles and exploration. Enemies were on-map sprites and some were avoidable. There wasn't really a need to have enemies - really they just blocked the way and let you get used to the battle system a bit, but otherwise they weren't too difficult to handle.

    You needed to collect items on the map in order to turn them into key-like objects through a shop menu, in order to open the paths to the boss.

    There were no puzzles or NPCs to deal with, nothing besides the environment, cutscenes and finding items to use in battle.

    The boss battle was very well done and enjoyable to play. This is as should be since it was the main aspect of the game.

    The main component of battles was changing your equipment each turn in order to change your fighting ability. There were a few choices of equipment and slots to use, so you could opt for a more conservative and protective style while waiting for certain skills to end their cool-down, then change to a more forward attack-based style when your super skills were ready to use. The equipment also gave passive and non-passive abilities to help you in battle.

    There was a crash right at the very end after the credits for some reason.


    ENGAGEMENT
    I quite enjoyed the game. The story was well told, and once I understood what was going on, it felt good to get through it. Going back and forth in time was a nice touch. I would have liked it a lot if your equipables grew as you went, as I beat the boss on the second go and it made it sound like I'd lost, which was annoying (this could have been fixed by having you find certain skills through your journey to the boss room - you had to find the items anyway, you could have tucked the equipables in those chests with them or near them for finding and slowly building up your power, even if it technically didn't make sense).

    That said, the battle system, once you understood it, was pretty fun. It would have been nice to have a little more of an explanation as to how to use it properly since I only realised that I could change equipment through scrolling down just before I lost the first battle to her.

    I think something that annoyed me a little was the jarring jumps in the storyline from area to area. For example, jumping to a scene in the library. I understand why it happened but I can't say I liked how jarring it was.


    THEME
    The game revolved around the theme of freedom and duty. The story-based part of the game reflected this nicely when it came to dialogue (of which that's all there was), and some of the mechanics of the game also reflected this aspect (the in-battle equipping that allowed you to change your abilities and passives as you went).

    66/80

Engine
RPGMaker VX

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Comments

Ahh that was a really good story. I loved it. I'm such a sucker for a good story driven game!
The maps too! They were beautiful. I lovely the snowy maps.. and the ice cave at the end too.. so pretty! :)
I noticed that the image of the Ice Elemental monster has some issues with transparency, I could see the edge of the image in the game.
Oh and I also got a pop-error in the title screen when I tried to shutdown the game. 
Overall: It was a really good game. A solid contest entry for sure! Good luck! :)

(+1)

This was really enjoyable! The atmosphere was perfect, everything tied together so well with the music, the maps and the artwork, just really well done! 

I think I might have missed out on a few nuances of your battle system, I wasn't really sure what the execute command did and I did get to a point where the on map encounters didn't seem to be doing any damage, but I don't really know much about battle systems anyway. I liked the end of turn confirmation.

It would have been nice to have a faceset for Fimbul, or to have emosets for Farren and Sabine, but it didn't detract anything major. I wasn't sure if saving the game and talking to the smaller statues actually restored by HP and MP, so I think it would have been nice to still be able to open the menu to check status, items and pause the game without needing it to be a save point.

There was also a pop up error when using the shutdown command (although I suppose at that point it doesn't matter if the game crashes!)

Overall, I'd recommend this game to anyone looking for a nice little adventure. The story was easy to follow, the characters were sympathetic and it was very soothing to walk the world. It took me about 35 minutes. :)