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hcs64

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A member registered Jul 15, 2017 · View creator page →

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Thanks, glad you liked it! For reference the full rule is: at least two adjacent squares are shared between forms. Hopefully it's possible to get by just cycling through the options to pick up an intuitive sense of it.

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I so badly want to be Hot Dog's pal, but I wasn't able to survive long enough. The jump height seems to be pretty random, when I hold down Space I seem to jump somewhere between 2 and 4 tiles, but sometimes much higher. I like the look, but I found it hard to see projectiles and platforms against the noisy green background on Forbidulon Prime. My main difficulty was that I don't have the dexterity (or, with my left hand, sinisterity) to handle directions and jumping with one hand on the keyboard while shooting with the mouse in the other hand. A few hits starts the whole level over, including a long conversation, so I quickly got fed up. A shame because I really like what I see, I'd have liked to have gotten to the gravity mechanics I see others mention.

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I escaped with 48 coins! This is an interesting design, lots of potential for puzzles and I enjoyed most of the ones there. I think with some tweaking it could be a really fun game. Here's some analysis and suggestions, please take this as constructive criticism.

Movement accelerates instantly, even when turning around, and it takes a while to stop rolling, so coming to a stop to stay on a platform is hard. It also makes the shape levitate off a slope if you move downhill. I'd look into making movement accelerate the character instead of instantly setting the velocity. At the same time the top movement speed seemed too slow, and the gravity a bit too low.

I'm not sure how much of this was intended, but it seemed like shape sometimes just wouldn't jump when I pressed the button, especially the non-circle shapes. Maybe these leave the ground even when they seem to be rolling because of the edges?

I kept getting confused which blocks would let only one shape through and which would block only one shape. There was one place (the yellow platform just before the 25 coins door) where the platform appeared and disappeared depending on your current shape, consistently doing that might have helped. Another possibility: If a block doesn't allow a shape to pass through, show that shape crossed out (like a "No Smoking" sign).

I'm not sure how the "25 coins" door is supposed to work. When I first saw it I assumed I needed to get 25 coins to pass through it, but once I had 25 coins it blocked me. Not sure if it would have blocked me if I tried it earlier. After I died I went back with < 25 coins and got through, leave the bonus coin area still with < 25 coins; later I came back with > 25 coins to check if it would block me again, but it just let me through. Maybe this got into a weird state after respawning, or maybe it only blocks you with exactly 25 coins, if the latter that makes little sense.

There seems to be exactly one place you can die. Given that there was a blind fall earlier this felt unfair, especially since it completely resets progress. I almost gave up after I fell for that.

It's occasionally irritating to need to switch to another shape family first to "downgrade", such as to switch from the heavy square to the normal square, or from the white circle to the yellow circle (in order to pass through a white block).

After playing all the way through I still couldn't choose shapes without deliberate thought. Does the onscreen layout S,E,W correspond to some keyboard layout? It definitely doesn't match with QWERTY.

You almost lost me on the sequence of jumps near the end where you have to keep switching shape, sometimes in midair. (Not the ramp, that was fun enough, when I was able to make the square jump.) When I would mistakenly make the switch before jumping, I'd begin to fall, and I'd have to flail trying to find the right shape to catch a platform. This was probably just the right amount of difficulty, but it'd be easier if the shape selection was more natural.

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Oh, because there are no files on the game, this doesn't show up on the submissions in need of ratings list, that's probably related to the low number of ratings. Er, never mind, the link counts, it just doesn't show for me because I already rated it.

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Rockin' music! This is a cool design, I regret it was too hard for me to get far. At first I was having a lot of trouble with the default form being too fast for staying on platforms. Where I finally got stuck was a section of 3 glass walls along a conveyor which seemed to require 1) Jump as the default slime, 2) Transform into the stone crab in midair, 3) Break a glass wall before hitting the ground, 4) Without also accidentally breaking the lowest section of glass (which holds you on each of the three stages of this challenge, otherwise you have to do them all in quick succession); this requires a pressing right and jump, then shifting to Q, the clicking the mouse, which was too much for me to handle with the requisite timing. There was a lot of "rule of 3" in the level design, this can be effective but here it mostly seemed repetitive.

I'd be happy to play a more forgiving version if you continue with it!

This was a lot of fun, such an athletic little slime! The shooting animation is hilarious, and even before full flight was unlocked it was funny to just keep holding Jump, bounce and fly up ladders. The bosses were really easy, but didn't seem to out of place with the light tone. The grey enemies were a nice surprise, normally I'd be irritated by camouflage like that.

Some minor bugs: Going back through the Grand Agonizer battle I fell off the world (though I'm not sure exactly how this happened). Generally fading everything, not just the background, near the biome exits means that it's possible to hit an invisible enemy there. The power icon shouldn't overlap one of the health hearts.

I like the atmosphere, the landscapes and sounds are pleasant. The character animations and sound are pleasant. Some complaints:

  • Are you supposed to be able to jump? I saw this mentioned in another comment but nowhere on the game page describing the input.
  • The character idle is about as energetic as movement.
  • Movement seems weirdly slippery for a character that looks like it should have great traction.
  • After falling in the pit with a smiling fish monster, it is very easy to fall off the world. Is there any way out of here?
  • The environments are pretty, but it can be very hard to tell where I'm supposed to be able to go, e.g. what steps are shallow enough to slide up, especially on the other side of the cave where everything looks like steps.
  • Echoing some earlier notes: there aren't clear instructions or progress, the counter seems meaningless, and the landscape often blocks the camera.

Some bugs:

  • Got caught in a corner here
  • Respawn happens twice after a fall
  • If I press E before a message has shown fully, it will eventually end the dialog but I can't move. I need to reenter the dialog and go through all of it.
  • At one point the walk cycle wouldn't play if moving up or down
  • Character becomes invisible near the waterfall

It'd be cool to see this developed further!

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This is a neat idea, very ambitious! I thought the graphics were glitched at first, but once I got the eye it made sense.  I like the animations, the hopping with one leg is neat.

I got up to to picking up the harpoon tongue. A few issues stood out:

  • The jump and land sounds are irritatingly harsh, especially compare to the nice clean clink of taking damage and the pleasant music.
  • As others mentioned the framerate was annoyingly low in some rooms, particularly Volcano Access.
  • The minimap is confusing when both you and doors are tiny green dots.
  • It was frustrating having to switch between the game and the itch.io page in order to find out the controls, and when I got the harpoon tongue it took some time to figure out it needed to be selected like a weapon.
  • Is there something I'm supposed to do to interact with the monoliths that seem to be save points? When I died from being attacked (while trying to figure out how to use the tongue) I respawned back at the beginning with no parts (and then when I got the eye the blob no longer rolled, just faced the camera). When the monolith was highlighted I tried every key to try and save, but something when I pressed "G" I think I respawned outside the map, had to quit.
  • When I fell into the Precarious Grove with just the eye and leg, it seems like there was no escape but death, but after falling in the lava to burn down my health I respawned outside the map again.
  • There were a few jumps that were just on the edge of the single leg jumping ability, it seems like I needed to have a running start before I could jump high enough to clear these, probably would be better if it wasn't so close.

It's a shame there aren't more ratings for this. I expect the huge download scared people off; generally in-browser stuff gets played a lot more than even small native apps. Also perhaps reconsider the name, it sounds a lot less interesting than the game really is.

A cute little game, glad I could find my cubs!

As others have said, the double jump is awkward. It seems that to get the maximum height you need to quickly double press the button, as if you're adding together two separate jumps and they somewhat cancel out if they're not "in phase". Usually this would instead work by the second button press starting a whole new jump, with the initial acceleration resetting as if you were just leaving the ground again. If I'm guessing about your implementation correctly, I think you could just cancel the first jump and let the new jump take over.

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Great entry, extremely well polished for a jam!

My main complaints are around difficulty, the section returning from the dash pickup and on the section on the way to the double jump pickup took me waaaay too long. I had a hard time going from wall jump to dash, might just be a dexterity issue. Those little blobs are such a pain! Getting up out of the shaft was very irritating, it seemed like the way to do it was with a double jump to get around the edge, but in the middle there was a screen transition with a short but significant pause as the screens loaded; somehow I did this fairly easily the first time, but when I returned I had difficulty getting the timing right, maybe fatigued by then. It really couldn't have been that hard if I could finish it with my limited action platforming skills, though. I finished with 12/16, I went back after I first encountered the boss to pick up a few more to make it easier.

I had no idea there was a wall jump available at first, so I was stuck until I read the comments here mentioning that.

I played through the difficulty because the presentation was so strong. Graphics, animation, music, atmosphere, a bit of humor, all great. Well done, team!

Whew, I'm shaking. I found it frustrating and hard to control, even once I figured out the mechanic. At least I think I figured it out, I was unable to consistently drill upward, jumping and then drilling down seemed to work the most reliably. In the areas after you get the dash there's many places that require very precise timing. I wouldn't have even gotten as far as I did if the game hadn't taken pity on me and occasionally moved the checkpoint past spikes after I died just on the edge. That second room you showed here is where I gave up.

This is a cool idea, there's something really freeing about being able to tunnel straight through, it's almost like swimming, and well developed for a weeklong project. Thanks for submitting it!

Clever, nice job working within the limitations! I spent just enough time wondering if it was broken, and being surprised. (I wasn't sure what was killing me when I fell into the acid, since it didn't kill me when falling in or just going to the right.) As mentioned earlier the boss fight wasn't much fun. The music was nice enough for the length of play.

This is an interesting idea, but I couldn't get very far. It seems like there is a puzzle element in figuring out how to get across the level without running out of blocks  to place, but the jump is so that I couldn't tell if I was platforming poorly or I hadn't figured out a puzzle. Sometimes I'd seem to jump two diagonal spaces, but not reliably enough. Jumping shouldn't automatically retrigger once back on the ground if the key is held, the player should have to push the key again first; given that the only control while in the air seems to be how long the jump key is held, the player is going to be holding down the key for a long time to put more "oomph" into the jump, even if it's stopped having an effect. Usually the action from a click takes place on mouseup, it feels somehow "rushed" to place the block on mousedown.

Good choice of backgrounds, most of the other graphics are ok. I had to mute my computer because of the music, sometimes it's better to just have silence.

This is definitely a good start, congratulations for getting it into playable shape and submitted, keep at it!

P.S. Years ago I made a dinky little puzzle "game", A Change of Plans, which kept coming to mind.

Aw, I reached the end. If there was ever a jam entry that suffered from being unfinished, this is it: There's a lot to like here, which makes the emptiness regrettable.

I loved the graphics! The backgrounds in particular are beautiful. Fading out slightly as health got low was a nice touch. The music was quite good, though it got a bit repetitive. The "getting hit with a projectile" sound effect is weirdly cheerful for damage. The checkpoint sound effect is particularly satisfying.

Platforming controls were mostly good. But, as mentioned earlier the fall is oddly fast. I can remember no use for the dash, which is just as well because it'd be hard to use on the mouse (though I'd have liked to watch the fox dash more!) It was hard to use the mouse to attack: WASD and mouse might be doable, but WASD to maneuver and Space to jump and mouse to attack made combat too hard for my dexterity level. I ended up trying to run past enemies as much as possible, though this wasn't always feasible (at least until the fish dash): An individual enemy can have a whole lot of projectiles in the air at once, and they'll all catch up with you. There's a hitch when jumping and pressing into a wall that stops short of the full jump height, which made jumping up large steps more awkward.

Kudos on making the whole map available at once, that saved a lot of time going places with nothing but unusable money. I noticed that the gold doesn't actually get lost when respawning. Kind of cruel putting a checkpoint at the dead end of the forest. I found myself relying on the map to navigate, as I didn't get much of a sense of place out of the level layout.

I'd love to play a complete version of this game, I'll be following for progress!

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What a great idea! It neatly solves the problem of tedious backtracking. The cool new mechanics just keep on coming, and then there's the night section! I had a whole lot of fun but my clickin' finger got tired and I had to take a break, would love to come back and finish it. As IronPowerTGA said, might be better for touchscreens, a lot of tapping is easier than a lot of clicking. And like Gearless said, dragging to cover a lot of ground, even if only the basic 1U grow, might really help, maybe only pan if dragging where there's no planting possible.

I noticed I could charge the orange meter just by toggling fans, might not be intended.

Edit: It looks like I was already almost at the end. Great work, thanks!

Cool! I shattered 59 times. As others said, the music selection really makes the whole experience. The controls were fairly good once I got used to them, fit with the lightness of the music.

As I found the game fun enough to stick with I accumulated some criticisms:

  • The collision detection for jumping has some odd hitches. I found myself doing extra jumps midair (before the double jump) sometimes, usually when near platforms or a wall. At first I thought this was an intentional wall jump mechanic I didn't understand.
  • It was hard to tell how many hits I could take before dying, didn't seem consistent. This made it harder to take advantage of the forgiveness of multiple hits; if I got hit early in a room I'd just die and restart rather than risk dying after getting through most of the room as I might have only one hit left. An indicator would help.
  • The jump sound effect seems too long, and the grunt damage sound is weird for a featureless square (it was almost funny, but mostly grating).
  • I think the Automaton of Fun couldn't actually hit me unless I ran into it, it'd just stand there swinging its sword without connecting. And maybe half the time I'd dash through it without it taking damage.
  • Because the square is featureless I can't see which way it is facing, so I'd sometimes dash in the wrong direction.
  • Dark grey platforms are hard to see on a black background. Same with the dark blue used often in enemy bodies, particularly with the spikes on the end of the wide flat enemies which were practically invisible.
  • The knockback on ceiling and wall spikes would tend to drive the player back into the spikes, along the wall, though sometimes the subsequent hits didn't seem to do additional damage.
  • I kept expecting to have to do more backtracking, fortunately I could check the map and see there weren't any doors I'd missed so I didn't have to redo much needlessly.


Note that I played the browser version, on a keyboard, so some of this may be due to timing bugs exposed in the browser. Sorry that the list is so long, it's easier to spot specific issues than things that worked well, and overall it worked quite well!

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This was a great entry, the first one this jam I stuck with to the end! I liked a lot of things:

  • The passive aura "attack" worked nicely, particularly when chasing/fleeing
  • Pleasant visuals. Possessed cat toys, oh no! And the pixelated bits at the beginning were interesting, I expected that to return.
  • Most SFX, jump in particular
  • Appreciated the checkpoint on the top level of the library
  • [Edit] Oh yes and the ending was adorable!

A few complaints:

  • Some platforming was irritating, like bumping into shelves from below. I was afraid the ending was going to have trickier platforming, thankfully it wasn't too hard as I was starting to get frustrated.
  • Dark vent sections, especially since I thought I needed to explore them. At first I had guessed my goal was to cleanse all the mice (since the floating things respawned), thus why I sometimes found nothing in the corners of the vents but enemies.
  • I guess there's a closed window at the far end of the ground floor of the library, but it looks like it should be passable (the solid part is only visible while scrolling)
  • It's tricky to hit F as it's so close to the direction keys.
  • Sometimes the snap for the cleansings was significantly louder and detracted from the jingle, I couldn't see a pattern to when it worked that way so might just be a bug.
  • The landing sound effect seemed inappropriately hard, I quickly got tired of hearing it.
  • I'd have liked an easier way to return to a checkpoint than seeking out an enemy to force a reset. In the last passage along the top level to the door to the final area, I kept falling down, and then it would reset to a lower checkpoint and I'd had to go all the way around again.

The complaints are mostly  minor, sorry for itemizing so many of them. Excellent job!

https://itch.io/jam/metroidvania-month-16/rate/1568491

I wound up stuck in the same place as BasketQase. Very cool, I enjoyed the music and more subtle sfx, graphics were great! The design had me interested, I may go back and see how much progress I can make in other directions.

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Starting with up/down might work, since it isn't used in bulk movement, and most of the time you need a transformation to extend your vertical reach. The "no neutral position" issue might be reduced if the transformation starts at some half step position according to common center of mass, rather than maximally overlapping or most recently used, so that there's nearly always least one arrow involved in choosing the position; something to try.

Another scheme: You might choose a block (with arrows) and then use the arrow to draw the new shape from there (similar to red zone), eliminating the need to look back to the catalog to pick a number. Seems more natural, but likely too many keystrokes, and going from choosing a starting point to drawing is awkward. (Edit: This would be nice for touchscreens!)

You're right about vim, though I tried to avoid keys having different uses in different modes. Earlier I did have transformations positioned with arrow keys, but I found it frustrating switching between that and general movement. There's a tension, the primary mechanic, in that two different shapes can never really be in the same place -- just overlapping to varying degrees -- so the "movement" of choosing the transformation target can't always start in a neutral position so that placing the new shape feels the same as bulk movement. This doesn't seem to be a problem for red zone movement, even though the physics are considerably different, I suppose because you're still directly moving an object (the head of the line).

But yeah, weakest part of the controls is still shape selection. Thank you for playing, and for your thoughtful comment!

Yeah the dash has a very wide range of functions, most of the times I got stuck I needed to dash somehow. The timing for dash-to-jump is kind of tricky so it's hard to find it's even possible.

This is very cool, I like the art, and the design is making me think just enough. I made it until I glitched through the floor outside of a boss door and had to exit and restore from a save, but the save didn't have any powerups and I couldn't backtrack to recover them.

If you're stuck where I think, there's a target on the side to shoot to open the ceiling door.

I couldn't continue past the bridge going into the foreground, is that the end?

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Clever! I like how the jump is up on a high platform, it fits a theme.

Gripes: I've had a heck of a time trying to use the grapple, it seems like I can never estimate correctly how far down I'll end up at the end of the swing, as if it gets longer. The orange area has too few checkpoints for me to put up with the frustration for now, I'd like one after making it to the end of the first left-to-right section. (But it may just be too hard for my slow reflexes.)