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(+2)

This game is sweet.

The pixel art and the animations are all great. Especially the game page. Very nice. The sun animation is very cute. I don't like the dithering in the grass. None of the other sprites use dithering so it stands out (but I just hate dithering in general so maybe it's just me). I would have preferred little patches of tall grass to differentiate the dark and light grass areas. I think texturing the grass slightly would have looked great (google "pixel art grass" and that's what I mean by texture). Or some extras like tiny 1-4 pixel wild flowers; tiny so they aren't confused with the flowers you grow. Something subtle so you don't lose the worms or your plants in the background.

Enemies are simple, but having them spawn in bursts is a great way to do it. If they just spawned 1 every ~2 seconds, it would be much too easy to keep them under control by killing them one at a time. The burst ups the intensity of the game for a bit and you have to figure out which worms to hit first. The scythe stunning them was key to the strategy of killing them. And the scythe doing a bit of area damage meant you always wanted to try to hit as many worms as you could which added a lot of fun second-to-second decisions trying to perfectly aim your clicks. The slight cooldown on the attack means you can multitask a little early on. You need to attack some worms far away, then while the cd is resetting, multitask by spending that time filling up with water. Then going and finishing off the worms when the cd is ready.

I kinda had no idea what I was doing a lot of the time. Not that it made it any less fun. The game was easy enough to figure out what you had to do in a broad sense even if you didn't know the specifics. Like I knew I needed to water plants and slice worms. I  figured out that I could hover over the water at the bottom to refill my can without being told, because that's pretty clear. But I was unsure what watering plants did when they were in their final stage. I guess it keeps them alive, but I wasn't sure if I needed to fill up the blue bar to get to another stage. How does the chopping your own plants thing work? Sometimes it wouldn't work, sometimes I'd get 2-4 new plants. Does the plant need to be in the final stage to be able to be cut? I'm not really sure why I would want multiple plants. Do I get more points? They sort of act as lives. If I have multiple plants, the worms need to kill them all for me to lose, but they don't spread very far so the worms can kill nearby plants pretty easily. I didn't really know what the upgrades did. It seemed the upgraded scythe lowered the cooldown which was handy. I see now that the game page has the upgrade info.

All in all, the game is really fun to play. It has great flow between chill watering and stressful scythering. And this is your first game? What a great game to start with.

(1 edit) (+1)

 Making the art style consistent was definitely a struggle and there were some things that feel off (like the dithering). it's funny that you mention having tufts of grass/flowers because that was what I originally was doing, but felt it didn't look quite as clean.

I definitely tried to keep gameplay as simple and easy to jump in as possible, so I'm glad that the game had that feeling for you. I DID try to emphasize the importance of micro management and multitasking, Even to the point where I kept  in the ability to  use the scythe while also watering plants instead of making them exclusive actions.

The blue bars under plants are their saturation meter, which increases their growth if it is filled, but will drop over time if they aren't being watered. Max saturation doesn't do anything significant other than to just let you know your plants have water. When their saturation bar is at 0, they slowly lose their orange bar over time(even if not being attacked), which is HP/growth. You can only harvest crops in the 3rd stage (the goofy blue headed plant dudes) and harvesting them gives you points and cash, which can be used to get a higher end score as well as buy upgrades, respectively. You can also get points and cash by killing worms alone, but doing both harvesting and killing is optimal, as you won't have enough money saved from just killing by the time the difficulty starts to ramp up. It kind of adds to the micromanagement as well as the risk-reward of "do I keep more plants alive for longevity or do I harvest them all in a risky move to earn more points?". At least, that's how I saw it.

There's a bit more to upgrades that I could be more transparent about, but couldn't find a good way to show what they did in-game and didn't want to clutter the itch page with all of what they do. Scythe is mainly damage increase and cooldown decrease, however plants and the watering can have multiple unique features. Some of them I couldn't get to work by the deadline though, unfortunately :( I actually wanted to make it so plants shoot projectiles at level 5 that increase in power and speed each level after that, but I couldn't implement it properly with my limited knowledge.

Thank you for all of the great feedback!