Really no trouble, when I have a few minutes I don't mind helping folks out :)
What I was referring to with the directional prompts is that they don't match the positioning relative to your current map position, so when I speak of "the visuals" I'm talking about the map. Example, the first screen shows I can only move right, left takes me back to home, but the button prompts are positioned so right is in the leftmost position and vice-versa. I get the logic behind this decision, but it wound up confusing, for me at least. This may be something that requires more than one voice, I just found it somewhat clumsy, and thus frustrating for myself.
I think you have a good sense for balance, so the half-health mechanic is probably fine. What I would do instead is just give the player a bonus healing item or two at the start. When I was trying to learn your game, this would have been a big help. Part of the reason this wound up being a frustrating experience for myself is that I was being punished for not knowing anything, so to come back at such a disadvantage and literally unable to afford anything of real use, was discouraging. It didn't make me really want to try again.
100% believe you that once you get going this game probably becomes a lot of fun. That initial hurdle needs to be lowered, and my suggestion above may be the most elegant solution for you given the medium you're using. Of course, it is only a suggestion, and if you have a better idea then go for it!
I contacted my composer buddy to see if he has room/interest for a project right now. When he gets back to me I'll send him your way. I'll send him your account info regardless so he can get in touch with you faster.
Anyway, really was no trouble to help out. Hope your project is met with success and I'm looking forward to how you move forward with everything :)
EDIT - I forgot to mention about the monsters. When they first appear it would be nice to have a little descriptor. The first thing I encountered was clearly a higher level enemy but seeing that I hadn't seen anything before I had no way of knowing. I just got a name, which doesn't tell me much necessarily. I did notice on the base you get that info, but a small blurb when you encounter a monster (at least the first time) would be a good idea.