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A jam entry

CatharsisView game page »

A Kitten's Adventure
Submitted by JAF with 6 hours, 47 minutes before the deadline

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Judge feedback

Judge feedback is anonymous.

  • PRESENTATION

    The custom graphics are pretty cute. There's a lot of faces which add a lot of character to the three cats and other critters they meet along the way.

    Maps are pretty big but not bland, so for the most part they're decent. There are also some maps that have very rookie mapping errors like not having walls or having walls at different heights.

    Music was RTP as far as I could tell. One or two tunes didn't fit but otherwise, it was okay. I couldn't hear much in the way of sound effects, but that may be because the music was way too loud and it might have drowned them out (yes, even if you turned it down).

    Writing had some issues when it came to punctuation. A lot of sentences didn't have periods or commas, so it looked and felt a bit unpolished. There was a lot of writing, though, with everything being commented on in some way by one of the kittens, which was nice.

    The story itself was alright - the humans head out for the day and Mum-cat goes to sleep so three naughty kittens find their way out of the house and into an adventure. The characterisation of the three main cats was cute and naughty and a bit jerkish but fit well with the caricature of cats, so it worked.

    That said, the ending was incredibly abrupt and it didn't need to be. A small scene of them sneaking back into the room and locking the door behind them, before hiding the key and having their mother wake up and ask how they got so dirty or something like that would have sufficed to round the story up and still leave an open end for more adventure (the key shining from the hiding spot or something as the scene fades, to hint at there being a possible sequel or something). It just felt like a 'to be continued?' was slapped on for the sake of padding when it really didn't need it.

    GAMEPLAY
    Gameplay consisted of battling, puzzles, interaction and collecting items.

    The biggest issue was that there were more than a few areas where you'd be stuck for a long time looking for something or trying to make sense of what to do next. Even with the aid of a mouse who would tell you what you needed to do (at least in the house). Speaking of the mouse, was he ever meant to trade you anything? Because why did that command even exist?

    The puzzles were a bit too hard and when you finally figured out what you were supposed to do, ended up becoming too repetitive - case point the ice puzzle where you had to push some boulders around to form a path to push one on the switch. The issue was not only that the puzzle itself was difficult, but also that once you realised you had to pile the boulders into a line you just ended up following the same pattern with all three boulders. Which was annoyingly boring.

    And straight after that puzzle there is no hint to save, so you head to the next area and automatically die from a 'boulder run' (where you have to twitchily dodge obstacles in front of you so that you don't get hit by the boulders) where you get an automatic game over once you get hit. And it's very, very easy to get hit. On top of that was the design choice to make the end area of that obstacle course NOT the end of the run, as you had to find the right pathway to dodge to, not just reach the 'finishing line'. It took me a LOT of goes to get past that run (after I did the ice push puzzle again and saved just before the run.)

    There was also after that a battle, which was made difficult by having lost all my items healing up from the battles earlier where you had to push a bunch of switches and deal with the enemies. I was unlucky enough to lose two of my cats to the chicken boss and got close to losing the third (game over) before I beat it.

    The game suffered from a lack of intuition or proper explanation for some things. There was no way of knowing you could jump up a box to get the last shiny object that was necessary to get the mouse to open the door. Nor where the key was (in fact, I had to reload the game because for some reason I couldn't get the key after going into the bathroom - even though I'd checked every nook and cranny of the room, the prompt to push the chair out of the way - of which there was absolutely no hint to do and only unlocked after you'd checked everything in the room - just didn't show up.) It even took me a while to get out of the first room because you had to interact with a rope (which I'd interacted with before a few times) only after you find a shiny thing (which had nothing to do with the rope and thus made zero sense to interact with afterwards).

    ENGAGEMENT
    While I liked the characters (in so much as there were characterisation) and the overall goofy feel of the game, I can't say it was an enjoyable experience. The puzzles were quite difficult to figure out and after you did they became repetitive (the ice puzzle, the darkness puzzle).

    Battles existed for no reason - you didn't get any experience or gold at all. They were just there as padding and 'challenge' which is, in a word, boring. They could have been replaced with a switch puzzle instead, which would have been a bit more fitting for the game.

    Or you could have learned some skills in the house to make them less about mashing the attack skill. There were plenty of opportunity to invent skills (pushing one of the cats in the water, slashing things to break them, cooking food for the dog, lighting the fire, etc). You could have made skills from those interactions (Splash, Scratch, Dinner, Match Strike) but they were wasted chances to add more interesting and tied-in content to the game, unfortunately.

    I really didn't like the map with the broken ground. The first few times I thought there were traps because it was hard to see that you were breaking the ground around you since it was so dark. It also got very repetitive having to backtrack all the way and follow the various paths. We had matches on us, why could the cats have used one to make the area brighter for a little while so they could see better?

    I will say that I liked that everything was reacted to by the kittens, though. That was a good touch.

    THEME
    The theme seemed to be about adventure and being naughty and that worked as far as the characters went. They were naughty, breaking things and causing havoc, trying to get the dog in trouble for what they did... it was one of the better parts of the game.

    The player never really got much in the way of instruction on how to play or progress. They had to bumble their way through everything and interact with everything (sometimes multiple times) just to figure out what to do and where to go. Progression was stumbled on and some of the mechanics just could have been done without (the battles, for example, which added nothing to the game at all).

    The lack of intuitive instruction really damaged the game a lot, making no sense in some areas where you needed to have a certain item in order to continue on, but not actually explaining in any way that you needed that item. At one point I interacted with an item many times but couldn't do anything with it only to have to get it after a certain event, however it made no sense to need that item even after the event because there was no reference to even needing another item in order to progress.

    It was confusing and didn't explain what was necessary to do or not.

    Score: 33/80

Team Members
JAF
Liz

Engine
RPG Maker MV

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Comments

Omg! This was the cutest thing I have ever seen! And funny too! Which is a plus! ♥
If it's not obvious already I'm a cat lover and I so feel in love with the kitties in this game! I love how unique they are! (I laughed so hard everytime Perla would say something! Chaos and destruction at every  corner! haha) And their art is so cute too! :)
The gameplay was really good too. Exploring the house with the kitties was really fun! I found the battles a bit to easy and maybe because I'm a clicker and interact with everything I could go through the game easily enough at first, tho eventually I got kind of stuck. Atm trying to open the bedroom door but I'm missing one shiny object. T^T 
Overall: I thought it was a really fun game. A very cute (because it's with cats!) with lots of witty and funny dialogues, which was what made this a win for me! Good luck with the contest! ^^

Developer(+1)

Thank you very much for the comments, feedback and testing our game.

Maybe the Shiny Object you are missing is the one hidden in the backyard, in the tile just below of the hole in that map (you need to stand over that tile and press action as it's a Below Character Event)

We really appreciate your support

I'm one of the many people out there that is a sucker for cats so I had to try this one. Great characters/art with the three cats. But some of the collecting earlier on isn't very intuitive. Took me awhile to discover some of the shiny objects. Perhaps there could've been a couple more extra than you actually need hidden throughout the map so if one wasn't clear to someone they'd have a chance of stumbling on another. Then I flat out couldn't get the key in the bedroom to work. I don't know what the exact trigger for that is but I clicked everything and couldn't get that stool to move like the playthrough posted below.

Developer

Thank you for testing our game and commenting about it.

About the Bedroom... You need to interact with every piece of furniture inside of it (only the ones in the bedroom), so 19. The bed must be interacted with from every tile (4 interactions). After all that you can move the stools to get access to the key.

Notes

1) This game can be made unbeatable by the fact that the rodent will still take shiny objects from the player even if he is giving the player information they already have.  Though, I've only ever experienced this glitch if I've asked the rodent to previously open the door while not having enough shiny objects.

2) The section where you get chased by the boulders should probably include a better indicator on where to go.  Since, it's not entirely obvious that you need to take the final downward path in order to advance into the final area.  Plus, it might be wise to tell the player to save before that section.  Since, if you get caught by the boulders it will lead to an instant game over.  And your bound to get caught more then a few times while trying to clear the area.

Developer

Thank you for the notes, review and videos.

It helps a lot to watch your playthrough and hear your impressions about our game to improve later.