- graphics and animation are stellar
- the platforming and combat mechanics are smooth, feels great and has amazing polish.
- music and sound effects are also brilliant.
not much else to say here. i think everyone can agree with this.
the needs work:
- using the bow to destroy the red crystals to drop the ladder wasn't telegraphed enough. i had no idea those things were destructible. perhaps give us an opportunity or scenario where you HAVE to break red crystals with your bow before that part
- i'm not sure if these level designs will be part of the game but i just don't know what this world is or what i'm doing here. there's not enough story exposition imo and the environmental storytelling isn't enough by itself. would love an opening cutscene. i know it's just a demo but it'd still be nice. more characters like the monster by the pond at the end would be lovely.
- in the span of the first 5 minutes i've already found 4 different weapons from arbitrary places in the map that seem to have more of a utility purpose than combat purpose. just having so many tools thrown at you is a little overwhelming and decreases the significance of each one.
- the pixel art is stellar but i feel like communication of gameplay elements is compromised in favour of just making the game look more beautiful. in the end, it's about communication. looking good is only a surface hook - i personally care much more about how clear things are in gameplay. i got stuck after i got the grappling hook because i thought the "walkthrough" block at the top of the level was solid and you couldn't walk through it. it was done in the same artstyle as all other elements in the environment. basically - the game's graphics builds up the expectation that certain environmental elements are solid but it also seems to break those rules? kind of confusing somtimes
- arrow signs in the environment are very "hand holdy" in my opinion. it's a game with exploration and adventure elements (unless i'm wrong?), let us explore ourselves and don't tell us where to go. i'm alluding to jonathan blow's point about how he hates games that just tell the player what to do. it eliminates the joy of discovery. respect that players aren't stupid, because we're not. find creative ways and level designs that lead the player indirectly.
- dog was cool but also completely random. i'm guessing there's going to exposition on that in the full game. i also didn't know how to avoid the chaser damaging you in that sequence. i was holding right but it didn't increase the distance? did i miss something there...
right now, my vibe is: really polished tech demo, plays and sounds amazing but doesn't bring anything new to the medium or genre. i'm being harsh but honest but it's because i can tell a lot of time and work went into this demo. this attracted my attention because it looks great but the game doesn't seem to dive much further down what action platformers can and have delivered in the past. what's the hook? i'm trying to find this game's hook and it's just not there. i can't make a final definitive judgment as this is "just a demo", but you've chosen to release this and this is just my opinion.
good: graphics, music, platforming
needs work: communication of gameplay elements, story exposition, less handholding, what's the hook?
anyway, good luck. i hope your hard work pays off!