Play gameCarpentry Story's itch.io page
Ranked 53rd with 4 votes
|People's Choice Vote||#53||4|
Judge feedback is anonymous.
The game visually is decent. There's some care taken with animations and the maps aren't too big or spacious. There's some percent mapping that has gone into the game when it comes to housing, too.
The writing has a few issues, mainly bad use of punctuation. There's a lot of ellipses at the end of sentences and choices and it comes off as kind of shoddy. I would have liked to have seen more dialogue but alas, the game had issues that stopped me from seeing it.
The sound is... well, sound effects are okay, what few of them there are. There's no music. At all. It leads to an empty atmosphere and doesn't help the game shine at all.
The story is simple - your grandfather left you a farm, uh, carpentry store in a town that has died out. Restore the town to it's former glory. Unfortunately, you don't get to progress beyond that point in the story due to the downfall of what could have been a good game: bugs.
The gameplay involves interacting with on-map events and menus.
This could have been pretty great. In fact, it looked promising, feature-wise. Build a town by fixing it up. And what systems are in place work well - you can chop trees by interacting with them, build different items (though you'll only want planks to fix everything in town) by making choices and fix structure issues in houses over town by interacting with them.
That would have been a good start if there'd been more and it wasn't quite so clunky. I could forgive the clunky menu choices (having to pick the same choice over and over and over in order to do the same thing is a bit annoying) but bugs barred the way through the game.
The biggest issue was the bug where if you go in the inn again it restarts the whole intro scene. The issue with this is that you need to talk to the old lady in the inn after the first day in order to continue the plot. Otherwise you're just left to fix the different houses and then... nothing. There's nothing you can do because no-one will enter the houses even after you fix them. There's no one to talk to, nothing else that needs fixing, no more content to play (bar the smithy who arrives on the weekends). Just blank nothingness.
There's also an option to move the furniture in your house around, which is actually pretty cool except for two issues. One - you start with a bed, table and bookcase but the event that teaches you how to move stuff around removes the bookcase, leaving you with just a bed and table. Two - after this event, every time you enter your house you are given the event again, with extra beds and tables each time. And you can't sell either, so your pack slowly fills with beds and tables.
Another issue is that saving the game takes a long time and I can't for the life of me think why that would be. It might be the customised menu. It might be some of the events or scripts causing issues. Whatever the case, it lags for well over 10 seconds (I counted almost 30 at one point) just to save... and it uses the default save feature of the engine, as far as I can tell.
A gameplay question is why you can't sleep if you're not empty of hearts. Sometimes you might be down to a sliver of heart and have to find a tree to beat on in order to remove it so you can progress to the next day. What if you want to sleep and progress the day without being dead tired?
There's also a house where you can't go left or right in (the house next to the well). This is likely due to passability issues on the floor tiles.
Another house has a teleport that misplaces you.
Oh, and do enough and you can run out of trees, meaning no sleeping, meaning no progression, meaning end of game.
Honestly, at the start I was enjoying the game and looking forward to some relaxing town building. It seemed like a great idea and I wanted in. The bugs wrecked it, sadly, and having no way to progress after a certain point certainly ruined what had been a promising start.
Also, grinding. I don't mind chopping down trees - it's easy to do and didn't take long. I did mind having to spam through the same choice over and over again just to make some wood to fix things though. That was annoying and should have been handled better (there is a number input system in the engine that could have helped a lot).
The lack of music certainly didn't help - something boppy and energetic or even peaceful would have helped to ignore at least some of the grind.
Running out of trees was also a big problem. That stalled any kind of work I could have done eventually. It would have been nice to have something like in Stardew Valley where you can replant trees and they grow over a number of days, so you could replenish the stock (so to speak).
The game's theme was about growth and restoration. It was about taking a dying thing and making it better - and the game started out doing that well. Fixing the houses felt like you accomplished something and that you were reviving a community, growing it up. However, the bugs stopped that in its tracks, leading to a stagnant game.
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