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When I first played Cataphract OI some months ago, I recall looking through the rest of the things you made and seeing this game, which particularly piqued my interest as someone who strongly enjoys tests of navigational skill. I wasn't in the mood at the time, so I held off, but after reading your thoughts on Minelvaton Saga - particularly the blog post you wrote - I realized I had decidedly been bitten by the Navigation Game bug. However, I also recognized that I probably would not terribly enjoy Minelvaton Saga itself given the amount of busywork it seemed to contain as an older RPG, so I thought back to this game, and decided to get it a try!

And I've gotta say, this is such a treat as it comes to navigation games. The way the limited view will sometimes give you just a peek of a town or pathway, the way paths and water have unique benefits to walking along them, the sense of excitement as you loop back around to a place you've been and gain just a little more understanding of the world (or the mild but amusing frustration of realizing I'm back at the start again???). For its limitations (both of scope and engine), I think this is about as good as anyone could make a game from this perspective about navigation - the game's extremely simple tileset is all you needed to create marshlands, a bay, islands, roads through mountains, plains, and so on. Even things like the color limitations of the map feels well-considered - shoutouts to the one map hint that I thought featured road when it actually featured desert, leading to a huge "oh my god" moment followed by me instantly finding the one georb I was missing. When it came to how I personally played the game, I elected to draw the map chunks, but never screenshot them - the latter felt like cheating, but the former required me to take some time and also opened me up to possibly making mistakes - and it felt realistic for the setting. Other hints I kept in memory, there weren't too many anyhow. All in all, the game took me 60 minutes to complete the first time, but that 30 minute time limit had me so curious that I immediately jumped back in and cleared the game in less than 6 minutes, having felt like I thoroughly mastered the landscape, and the reward for this was so perfect in its aptness and raw simplicity that I could not help but smile. Between this, and Cataphract, and various things you share on Twitter, it's clear that you have a big appreciation for exploration, which I appreciate because it can be tough to find games which dive into the concept so wholly.

My only critiques would be as follows: there are a couple cases where the language was a bit too loose to clearly interpret what I was reading to the map. As it regards the boots, this specifically mixed in a way that I felt was a *bit* awkward with the fact that you have to tap the action button over bits of nondistinct ground in order to actually pick them up. Fortunately, the *concept* of tapping the action button over bits of nondistinct ground is set up just fine by how the georbs work, but unclear language and this mechanic in concert meant that I ended up tapping Z over many different little bits of ground for several minutes in a way that felt a bit antithetical to the rest of the experience. That said, I admittedly... can't really think of a simple alternative? Putting something clearly visible on the map screen would basically remove the whole point of putting together the given clues... hmm. At any rate, even these little concerns things shook themselves out and were never really show-stopping (and I found the boots anyway so lol w/e go fast). Anything else would just be me wishing for more - more little upgrades to expand how we can traverse and perceive the world so as to increase depth, more detail in the visuals and soundscape to create a greater sense of place, and bigger towns, again for more of a sense of place but also because hah, uhh, it turns out that 60 straight minutes of hard-nosed, genuinely challenging navigational exercise is actually a bit mentally taxing?? But all of these things would necessarily, drastically increase the game's scope, so again, for what it is, this is just about flawless, and has left me decidedly inspired for whenever I get the chance to create an exploration-heavy game of my own. Excellent work, and thank you for making it!