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TL;DR

All Day Dying is a very interesting game. The gunplay and unique health mechanics take a lot of getting used to, but once the player does it is a blast. The music is decent and fits the feel of the game, the level design--though a little rough--is solid, and the parkour works pretty well. However, the trial courses suck. An overall solid, if very repetitive, experience.

Full Review

The parkour mechanics are smooth, reminiscent of games like Dirty Bomb or even its predecessor, BRINK. They can be a little janky though, and the system could certainly be improved. There are a number of details that just make it slightly weird, such as an inability to kick during a slide, or how some of the momentum feels artificial, such as the player reaching the edge of something while sliding and suddenly stopping dead in their tracks on a surface a few inches below.

As for the guns, I really do appreciate the limited number of weapons available in the game. Each serves their purpose, one more suited to certain situations than others. The pistol is good for close to mid-range combat against a couple of enemies; the shotgun is useful in close-quarters, particularly against a group of clustered enemies or an enemy within jump-boost range;  the rifle is useful for ranged combat against a single enemy; etc. There could be a couple more though, or at least some more fine-tuning done to the current ones or to the levels they belong to. As an example, the rifle on the train level is next to useless, the pistol better served for every situation on that level. It's only purpose is for that one sniper in the starting area and to achieve the diamond score. Also, the kick-back for the pistol is just a little too strong. It feels like it is meant for rapid-fire at mid-range, yet the huge kick-back makes the weapon only a little more useful in that regard than the machinegun.

 

Moving on to the basic game mechanics, the things that really try to get the main idea of the game across, there is the timer and the medals. Now, the timer is a bit of a mixed-bag. On the one hand, it makes the player try to optimize their routes to accommodate it, and for the majority of levels the timer really works to push the player without deciding the routes for them. But on other hand, it can negate the whole idea of "finding the most optimal route," particularly in the later levels, since the only one there is time for is running around firing like a mad-man, allowing "gamer instinct" rather than logical reasoning and experiments to decide the best route.

As for the medals, for the most part they are fine-tuned to the levels, fair yet challenging and making sense for the levels they appear in (though this is not always the case; e.g. "platformer" on Factory). I really appreciate that not every medal has to be earned on the same run, or has to be earned individually: A player can get a really low score and still get a context medal, and a player can—usually—complete every medal on the same run if they are good enough. A notable exception to the latter rule is the train, where the player has to complete the level once without firing a single shot, and then again by getting 8 headshot kills in a row. However, this is not really a bad thing, since these "forced multi-run" levels are handled tastefully and used sparingly. Overall, the medals are actually fun, very few of them feeling like a chore or repeated from earlier levels.

 

The levels themselves tend to be well-designed and work with the mechanics of the game to create a fluid experience. The levels can be a bit rough around the edges, such as platforms being just a little too high to jump up to or a little too far for a long-jump, though there is nothing specific I can really point out.  As for the style of the levels, this could do with some variety, as the orange and black aesthetic can get tiresome after a while. It feels like a color scheme that works for something artificial, like it was crafted not to look pretty but to be practical, such as for a training course.

The only aspect of the game I really have no positive feedback on is the trial courses in the prologue. The player can only really use a pistol or a kick to take them down, as the only other weapon that can knock targets down is the shotgun's secondary fire. This on its own would not be a problem, but then every target has to be shot multiple times before they go down, and the number of times is inconsistent. This would also not be too big of an issue, but then the type of targets are also randomized, meaning there is no way to memorize which to shoot. This is a huge issue, as it goes against the very design philosophy of the game: No procedural generation or random spawns. It does not matter if the positions of the targets are still the same, the fact that the type of target changes means there is no way to plan an optimal route. It is impossible to work on muscle memory, as the trial courses randomization requires the player to stop and check. The player just has to go in and hope for the best.


As a whole, All Day Dying has an interesting premise with a good game to back it up. I look forward to seeing how this game develops in the future.

Very appreciated by your review, I agree on many points (you do make a very good point on the trials, it wont be something I will be changing soon as there are other priorities, like making it easier for the player to understand the game mechanics and be into the right mindset for the game, but I should take into account making some changes to that).

And the timer, I like the pressure of the race against time, but honestly you are right, that pressure is overwhelming so the player does feel the need to be a mad-man. I will make the timer optional and off by default, as an added difficulty and pressure for anyone that feels like it has conquered the game. It would basically make it a speed run mode of sorts.

Really liked your review because you clearly justified why you didnt like certain design choices, and for that I will take them very much into account.

Kind of weird, seems like I am reviewing a review, but yeah, I can see you did put a good effort into the game and your critique, so I should really say thank you, and thank you for playing.

Have a bug!!!


heh you have too much spare time