Thanks! I really appreciate it haha
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Very interesting mechanic! I don't think I've seen one like this before. Unfortunately couldn't get through stage 11 but this definitely kept up my attention longer than any other game I've tried from this jam. The difficulty curve starting with very simple teach-the-mechanic levels to more complicated ones works nicely too.
Some criticisms: I understand that you have some demons with a bigger radius of vision. I wish they also had a different appearance from each other, like the demon that can't be charmed. Also, sometimes it's impossible to tell which demon is gonna go to if they're equally far from two or more different ones, so maybe have some sort of tell (or let the player choose?). It might also be interesting to have the love spell take a turn to do and only last a few turns, so the player has to strategize more carefully about their movement.
Cool artstyle! I think the game would feel more challenging if you had to click the moment you get hit to reflect the attack.... but that might come in conflict with the "do no harm" limitation since you're making a conscious effort, so take that with a grain of salt.
Hey! We both made maze games :)
Not gonna lie I couldn't play more than 5 minutes because the camera made me really dizzy.... But it definitely was effective in making the game hell-ish. The music fit the game well too.
Gameplay is fun! I think in more difficult levels you could do with hiding the next few buttons you have to touch until you reach them. There's a lot of charming jokes in the names of the illnesses and the demons, but they don't really come through because most of the text is really small and the font doesn't help (also the green clashes a lot with the rest of color palette.. but at least it stands out). I also like the dissonance between the setting and the music. Overall the tone reminds me of Shin Megami Tensei games.
EDIT: Also I like the use of the theme + limitation. A doctor who's so evil that his hell is literally just having to do his job is really funny.
Like one of the previous commenter, I got stuck in a wall and the demon just killed itself even when I was out of health haha. I would've liked to have some sort of animation on the player when you use the shield, I wasn't sure if it was working until I noticed the blue bar at the top.
Having the demon destroy the TNT bars(?) in the losing screen is a smart choice to teach the player what they're supposed to do.
I'd also like to hear more about the game's connection to Buddhism. Besides the title, I couldn't tell. Is the demon or the player character inspired from Buddhist mythology..?
Thanks for the feedback!
Not having a reset was intentional. Theseus doesn't spend time in hell in the myths, but I thought of this game as his own version of hell: the maze is endless and there's no Minotaur at the end. Ariadne's thread is there, but it doesn't lead you back anywhere. Once the light goes out, you can technically keep going with just the sound effects as a guide and your score can keep going up, but it's a meaningless process.
Good point about WASD, but I'm not sure if I can remap the controls in Pico-8 x__x
Cute artstyle! The title also looks nice :)
Not being able to move while standing is an interesting quirk. I feel like the game is a tad too challenging on the first few playthroughs, maybe have the game start with a slower scroll for the first few platforms. I'd also keep a little bit of momentum to the frog's movement after you stop pressing, I think it would feel more satsfying.
Cool visual effects. I like how some areas of the level look warped, I would've liked to see more of that. The core gameplay is fun, but it can get boring to just stand around for most of the levels tbh, and this clashes with the really high-energy music and visuals. I'd suggest either having the levels last shorter (like 20 seconds) or make the player have to traverse the level themselves while dodging with the exit open from the start rather than just dodging and waiting for the level to end.
interesting that you get to learn more about the story only if you choose to participate in the conversation. i like that anon cites some of your comments, it shows that sometimes your words can have a real impact - and sometimes they don't, but it doesn't mean we should stop trying.
i feel like the "narrator says" in-between posts pulled me away from the story. i think the story is powerful enough to stand on its own and it would've been more effective to keep those at the end of the zine only. but i'm also already aware of what transmedicalism is and its effects, so i see how those lines could be helpful for those who don't know about it, esp. if your primary intention was to educate.
this is really wonderful, thank you for sharing it.
there's some really interesting design choices, like having the first letter being born christian in an ultrasound, and the idol one has you replace jesus on a cross with an actual idol. i really enjoyed the "how to save a soul" poem for its vivid imagery, i particularly liked the passage about invisible horns. the music choices worked really well.
the first and the last poem really spoke to me, as I've been struggling with similar questions. I was raised muslim, but when I started to diverge from the faith, I asked myself: would I ever have converted to islam if i was raised something else? at some point, it felt like i was just a muslim out of force of habit, so why should i be so lucky to go to heaven and not my unfortunate brother who was born in a christian family? i used to hate myself and pray to god that i wouldn't turn out gay, but now i'm grateful for my queerness because it led me to question and eventually reject my faith. of course there's a lot of atheists and agnostics out there that aren't queer, but it makes me scared to think that there could've been a reality where i kept calling myself a muslim because i didn't have a personal reason to question it. i grieve the time i wasted praying and forbidding myself things that could've been good for me. i also grieve that i'll never be able to fully connect with my parents and siblings because i know that no matter how much they love me and how rational i think they are, i'll always know that they pray to a god that would have me suffer eternally. i know that a small part of the guilt will almost be there and that i'll keep having nightmares about it, but i'm glad it's lesser than it used to be.
i hope this wasn't too rambley, i just wanted to show you how much your work connected with me. i look forward to more things you make.
woah! got curious after i saw this in the last indiepocalypse because the premise sounded a lot like a game i'm currently working on myself, and i'm glad i clicked! really cool glitchy effects, and i love the look of the interface
thanks! i initially tried to have some more "positive" options but they didn't feel very authentic as to my personal experience since this is auto-biographical. i appreciate you sharing your perspective though.