I'm also confused. Are you saying that a game that is playable by any number of players, good habits encouraged and bad habits explored is a hangman game? That seems very very open.
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Hey, that was an awesome mechanic. It did take a little bit and some hard puzzles before you actually introduced it, but once you did, there were some clever puzzles in there. I think a really neat design choice was to give the player the choice of which key they were going to lose when exiting the slime puddle -- it adds complexity to the puzzles in an intuitive way and gives room to more interesting puzzles. And later the rotation mechanic is really clever.
Oh yeah, I did have it crash on me on that level, but if you press space it resets and redraws the level with your robot still on that tile. By the time I completed it, there were three robots, my own, and one on each tile (who were ghosts collision-wise).
Hey, great job on making a game that's not like anything else in the jam. One design decision that I thought was pretty good was to make the walls destructible over a period of time, that way even if you totally walled off your sheep from the wolves, they might eventually break in.
Well reading the how to play was definitely essential; I kept dying without realizing I was leaving the battlefield at first. But hey, the mechanic is simple, but also pretty interesting, original, and the game works quite well.
Well, for me, this is the best looking game in the jam. The pixel art is absolutely amazing, I love the Windows 95 theming and aesthetic, the way the UI is set up is amazing (especially because there are other games with this kind of taking away controls idea, and their UI for displaying this does not compare to this game's). The level design is fantastic, getting really creative with all different kinds of ideas. Then my favorite thing that no other game of this kind seems to have is how a button gets linked to a mechanic -- jumping might also activate platforms disappearing or appearing, or it might shoot a cannon. And this game has a lot of levels too. It practically feels like a commercial game that was made and completed in just two days. Really good!
So I liked the map design, and it's really nice to see a Pico game this year, since while there seemed to be so many of them previous years, I think this is the only one I've even seen this year. But controlling the kitty seems less like an interesting game design choice and more like an experiment in frustration. Idk, maybe it'd be more interesting and less frustrating if the kitty always followed the laser pointer when it had full battery, but might wander randomly when it was charging between uses?
Love the concept. When I heard the theme, one of the things I thought of was using a tank and shooting backwards in GTA to gain incredible amount of speed, but I wasn't sure how you could make that into a game, and here, you did just that.
I think it might've helped for players to acclimate to the unusual controls by introducing them one at a time. There's a lot going on at first, and while following the text on the ground is very helpful, I foolishly messed with the controls before even realizing A went straight, so I was just bumbling around in the corner for a while. And like some others said below, checkpoints would be nice.
Also, I should mention too that I left that comment around level 6, edited it around level 9, and now I've just finished level 18 (which was pretty difficult, but totally fair in the end). I'm impressed with the longevity of the game, it's probably one of the longest I've played in the jam, and it was neat to see you introduced a new mechanic halfway through with the buttons.
I really like this idea -- it's super clever, fits the theme really well, and the puzzles are well designed. Levels 8 and 9 are both great in the department of "Wow, this looks simple" but is actually much harder than it looks, which is a fun trope to pull to show the strange consequences of the mechanics. It does become a little hard to keep track of where you're going to land, especially if you have multiple regain control cards going -- I'm not sure what you would be able to do about that, the best I could think of is a button you hold to show a grid of numbers or something, but idk if that would even look good in the aesthetic or be intuitive.
Anyway, one of my favorites in the jam. Great game.
Hey, pretty good. I made a game for the 2017 GMTK game jam that had a similar mechanic. It would be neat to see the game be expanded into more levels so I could see what kinds of unique twists you could put on the fire mechanic. Already, a good idea that is new to me are the moving blocks -- they require you to move at the right time to block the fire from spreading as fast.
Agree with Bjorne below. Gameplay is alright, but the controls are really unintuitive without there being visual feedback on the screen of the direction and how far you're going to fling the cell. I wasn't even sure if I could move them at first. Once you figure out how to play though, the game becomes a lot more fun.
Game looks great, like others below, it does play a bit slow, but that's the nature of the game (though the game Oblivious Cartographer in this jam has a similar idea with less complexity that's faster paced). I was surprised no one else reported having trouble with level 5. All the other levels seemed pretty straightforward, but I was convinced that level had to be impossible for a bit and was surprised no one else was having difficulty with it. I really don't understand how the electricity works. It seemed like the first pad drained 2 inputs out of me (which having inputs being drained without that being explained is pretty confusing), but then the other pad only drained 1 input?
Also, I'm thinking about it a little bit, and is there any reason why inputs can't work immediately and give you an undo button? The puzzle nature doesn't come from having to follow the path in your mind, rather the action limit and battery mechanics, so abandoning the whole program everything ahead of time idea might help speed up the game's pace.
Hey, neat concept and it works pretty well! The balance seems like it would be really hard to design, but it seems both fair and challenging. For me, it did feel like things would explode and I didn't realize their health was low, probably because managing five health bars at once is a difficult task. You can keep the health bars, but as an additional visual aid it might be nice to have the part that's low on health glow red to give you a warning before it actually runs out.
Stylistically it feels great, and it looks good, others have mentioned below how sometimes it seems like matching 3 won't work sometimes, but my main issue is I the player didn't really feel like I was making meaningful choices. Really, every level was just swap the golden tile with the one next to it and get them closer to each other. Now sure, some match 3 games are supposed to be mindless, but this game reminds me of something like Hexic (which is very strategic). Though the main difference there is that you can only move a tile if there's a match. I played through until level Taro where the screen was black, and I didn't particularly feel challenged. I like the idea, and the rotation mechanic is great and the accelerators work well in introducing chaos, but I'd also like to have to think a few moves ahead, and it seems like the worst that can really happen in this game is the board turns and the golden tiles end up just a little bit separated from each other.
You took the concept of a game like VVVVVV and then managed to put an original spin on it that is totally in line with the theme. As you might be able to see if you look at my comment history, I usually have some constructive criticism, even for games that I really liked. But for this game, I have nothing. It's really good. Perfect score.
I found this game by searching for the Metroidvania tag and looking at ones from the GMTK game jam. I found some great games this way, but alas, yours was the last one and now I'm out of my Metroidvania fix. At least I saved one of the best for last!
Seems like you ran out of time. You never really ran out of inventory slots. But I did manage to grab the key and finish the game after almost drowning and being confused by the softlocks if I try to go anywhere else. Hope you keep working on this to make it more complete!
Hey, a neat little Metroidvania. Short, but really well made. I absolutely love the walk cycle of the controller, and the style of that combined with the music really makes me think of ToeJam and Earl. Perhaps really the only flaw I can say is that it's not the most original in terms of game design, but I love a good Metroidvania in a game jam.
So there were a few games like this in the jam, where you had a limited number of slots for each input, but I think out of all of them, I think this game really pushes that idea to the limit. In this game, you're only down to three slots, and you have to give up basic controls like giving up left, right, or jumping. There are actually some really clever puzzles in here, and you really have to think about what to give up before you do it. I did get the softlock my first time through, but I can see that you're aware of that.
Anyway, great job.
Congratulations, you made one of the best games of the jam.
It is very easy to make the game unwinnable if you're not paying attention, but that never became a problem for me at least. I do think that limited control/inventory slots is a little hampered by the fact that most of the upgrades you get are absolutely essential (you really can never drop your legs or jumping, so already 2 slots are sort of permanently fixed), so picking up a blood canister never really makes any sense. Though the possibility space for your inventory does improve considerably once you get the kick boots, since now you really no longer need the running boots. Obviously there's only so much you can do in a jam, but it might've been interesting to have water, where you can equip a fin or breathing apparatus, but now you no longer need to have legs or jumping, thus freeing up space for other things.
But anyway, one of the best made, most interesting, and most fun games in the jam. Perfect score.
Cool game and stuff. Would be better with a health bar and if the game didn't exit out when you died and maybe respawned you at the beginning of a room or something. Also it doesn't seem like it has anything to do with the theme. I got to the boss (where you press Q to shoot icicles), but died on my first hit there from a skeleton.
Also, it's annoying that the window size doesn't like me expanding it. I get that you can change the resolution in the options, but how to use the menu was the last thing I figured out about the game. Using the scroll bar to navigate the menu seems pretty unintuitive, I thought those options just hadn't been programmed yet or something.
But hey, fix some minor issues and it'd probably play quite well and be pretty good.
Yeah, just played the post-jam HTML version now, and you literally already fixed most of the issues I mentioned. Axe kitten before bat-kitten is still brutal, but you slowed down the axes so it's slightly less so. But yeah, the sequence order makes a lot more sense now -- it gives backdashing an actual purpose, though now dash-cat is a little cryptic to figure out how to get. I'm a little sad jumping while dashing was removed, but it makes it so you need the super jump to get bat-kitten. And it's good to see breakable blocks put in more places; it makes it more obvious that you're supposed to dash through it. Though there is one cat who's now been made a lot more brutal -- the windmill boomerang cat in the alcove the in the room next to where I sequence broke'd the jam version. Mostly because the uppermost boomerangs go above the floor on the pillars, so if you're standing all the way up, it kills you.
But yeah, post-jam version is a great game. Great job!
Well, didn't read your comment about the ontime version being impossible. But firstly, that's not true (it is possible, because I beat it), and secondly, because that's the version I played, that's the one I'm commenting on here.
So this had the potential to be one of my favorite games in the jam, but there were definitely some design decisions that were very questionable. Clearly it seems like that was because of a lack of time, but I'll outline them briefly.
What is with the very first screen? It's literally superhard for no good reason. And is "You're" really mispelled as "Your"? Oh well, maybe it's a cheeky reference to spelling errors in old games. OK whatever, just press R then hold right, cool. OK, so now there's a split path. Take a right, and the hammer throwing enemy will mercilessly block your path. I couldn't even get past this guy, so I reset and took the left path. OK, now the game gets good. It's cool, everything is going well, the graphics look good, the controls work well, the game feel is great, and the whole thing is very fun. Until you get down to a dozen or so of these cats left. You realize you can get through a wall of breakable blocks by dashing into it. Hmm, that's an unexplained mechanic... What other unexplained mechanics are there? There was a wall jumping cat earlier, was it trying to teach me how to wall jump Super Metroid style? Hmm, that doesn't seem like it works... is it just really hard to wall jump?
Dashing around a bit, I realized the dash ability also greatly increased your jump height. AHA! So I can get back up these walls. I try every place I can though, and I'm just not high enough. The leftmost room with the two blocks and axe throwing kitten above though, I come really close. Maybe it is possible here? I give this a few tries before realizing if you jump before dashing off the platform, you can use your double jump in midair. OK, this seems possible now. In fact, there are two ways up here. One is to get the timing just right and the jump height just right in order to jump up to the platform above, or you can get hit by the kitten's axe and you'll respawn above. OK! Sequence breaking, cool. It has to be unintended, although I can't for the life of me figure out the intended way up (little did I know it wasn't possible in the intended way).
Anyway, I played for a bit more, the room before the bat was brutal because of the axe throwing cat (so many deaths...), but hey, this bat upgrade will surely help me get anywhere. And, hey, why am I getting this super jump ability when I already have the bat ability? And why was I supposed to have wall jump in order to get wall jump? Oh well, let's just go through these buzzsaw rooms with the bat. Oh, it's absolutely relentlessly brutal. OK, whatever, it took a while, so let's just get these last two dogs and win...hey wait, hold up, am I stuck in a wall? It turns out there was a misalignment at the topmost room and I got stuck in the wall. There was no way out, so I had to reset.
So, again I go, sequence breaking, getting past brutal axes, finding all 25 (hey wait, there was one I didn't get, why am I down to 0 already? And, oh the game's over and it quits out and I can't go for 100%. Hmm...OK. Well, I'll just play the whole game again just to see if I missed anything. Oh ok, there's just 27 total kittens. You don't even have to go through the buzzsaw room if you don't want to. Alright.
OK, anyway, great game. I made a Metroidvania last year so I totally understand that these games are massive with many working parts and you have to get everything done as a priority or else the game won't work at all. I hope the other post-jam version fixes these issues and stuff.
Was not expecting a total gem within this game. Of all the jam games I've played so far, it has the most gameplay out of any, which explains why you had no time to do any graphics work. It's even got a boss and a lengthy and difficult escape sequence. I had 411 deaths for a total time of 68:13 (a lot of those deaths and that time was during the escape sequence, that double right angle turn toward the end is absolutely brutal).
However, I would not be surprised if most people gave up on the game before they even realized it was a Metroidvania. The game feels pretty impenetrable until you get the ability to shoot, and before that the game is very open, but it is very difficult to get around. I went up first and wound up at the blue switch palace (having tried for a while to get past a difficult corner turn), and realized I couldn't activate it, so I just refreshed the game because I didn't feel like getting out of there. I think maybe limiting the space before you get the first weapon might have helped -- openness is great, but not when you don't realize that there's an easier way through those red balls.
There were some smaller things that I appreciated -- one of the simplest is that the checkpoints have a memory for the direction that you entered them. It's a subtle design choice, but makes the game significantly less tedious. It was also great to have those shortcuts, reducing backtracking and making the game feel more holistic. Though one thing that might have helped were some landmarks. Obviously, you were probably very low on time and didn't have any time for graphics, but everything is just pink, and even just some colored dots here and there would help the player find their way. It wasn't that big of deal since the game wasn't that large though.
It was also neat that checkpoints were so frequent. The game is pretty difficult and hitting walls is very common, so it reduced frustration. Except for the escape sequence, which was brutal.
Anyway, great game. Just make the graphics look like an Atari game and it'll make the presentation go from eh to WOW pretty quickly.
Really well made, but pretty short. It feels like the tutorial section of a much longer game where you explore the surface of Mars and spelunk through many more caves and get many more abilities.
Oh neat, if you hold R you can spew out dozens of your ghost self in a matter of seconds! Anyway, I made a game just like this for last year's GMTK game jam so it's neat to see a different take on the idea. I like the way you could see less and less over time, and how one ability (the wall jump) really opens up the map and gives you extreme mobility, revealing a pathway at the beginning of the game that was there all along. I also liked how getting hit drained your time rather than say, immediately killing you.
That worked pretty well. You did end up having to repeat a lot of stuff over and over again, but the game was short enough to where that wasn't really a big deal. If you extended it though, you might have to add multiple "homes" (like in Minit) or make like a hammer that can knock down walls.
Anyway, I love Metroidvanias, so I enjoyed this.
Hey, that was a good and neat idea. My only problem seemed to be that the UI took up so much screen real estate -- it was nice that you allowed the player to hide it, but it was so essential I didn't really want to do that either. I get the whole appeal of using the whole keyboard, but maybe you could confine it to just the qweasdzxc keys or something so both the UI takes up less space and also so the player doesn't have to stretch their hand strangely across the keyboard?
But hey, fun game, good difficulty curve. I like how the player has two ways to solve a level -- get better at planning and thinking when to use the buttons, or get better at execution of the plan.
You have a neat mechanic, and the whole mechanics as metaphor thing (the abstract concept of thinking ahead in the game applies to thinking ahead and not getting out of control in love) is neat, but once you understand that one mechanic, there's not much else gameplay-wise. A simple way to extend the mechanic might be to have certain tiles mean you have to think two, or three steps ahead, and then mix them about the board.
I was about to sit here and write a five paragraph dissertation on the deep meaning of Unbearable Pain, but then I realized when you look away, the painting changes. I like the painting Theme Relation though, a bit of self-deprecating wit.
The one about the walking dog though made me think it would be neat if the shapes followed the outline and movement of someone walking a dog when you moved, but if you stopped moving it just looked like any other piece of abstract art.
The concept works really well. It's a neat gameplay mechanic because you have to choose between being certain of where you're going and not running out of gold. It does seem like there could be some things done to make the game more clear -- when you push an arrow key, there should be some visual or audio cue of some kind to show that you actually did it, the spike squares should maybe be more clear, there are levers on the wall that seem interactable but aren't, and it seemed like at one point my controls got reversed for a bit and I wasn't sure why. Also, was the room with the big chest the end of the game? I got a bunch of gold but the staircase wouldn't take me anywhere.
Anyway, like I said, the concept at it's core is actually really clever. Great job!
Having learned Kanji in the past month or two makes this I think a lot easier for me. I don't really like the movement of the kanji on the catch screen -- it's too jaggy and random. The goal of the game is more the edutainment of identifying the characters less so then trying to be able to click them, so I think the movement should be smoother and more predictable (I guess maybe you did that to fit the theme more?)
My experience playing this game: "Hey it's Flappy Bird but from another perspective. I died? Hmm, maybe the camera angle makes it a little hard to tell where the hit boxes for the pipes are. Level 1 Clear. OK, something weird is happening in level 2. Oh, the gravity is getting more and more each time. Oh no, I died. Hey, the gravity didn't reset when I died. It seems kind of impossible for me to press the space bar fast enough to keep this -- hey wait, I went through the floor. Oh well, maybe it still has forward momentum and if I wait a bit, it'll clear the level from down here. Hey wait, why's the ball turning black? Now it's turning into a planter? Now it's a cylinder? Now it's a circle and a needle? Now it's a beam of light that does not want to be contained to the likes of this small screen?"
Currently, my screen is entirely red, but every few seconds the Flappy comet will flash by, letting me know that I'm not alone in this world.
That worked pretty neat. It was only a few levels, but it was neat to have to think quickly about where things had to go, and if you made a mistake, you were scrambling to correct everything. It did seem like if you were quick enough (click, move slightly right, drop), you could abuse the platform to put the character anywhere and cheat the puzzles (maybe that could be prevented by not allowing the player to move the platform the character is currently on?).
Japser's comment above also inspired me to see what happens when you turn off terminal angular velocity. It's neat! There's a bunch of geometric designs, then ghostly versions of the character appear, before eventually you're spinning so fast that everything returns to normal (but really what's happening is you're now moving 360 degrees each frame). If you go to my site you can just right click -> inspect to activate the console (press Esc if the console isn't there), then type in "gaTopSpeed = 100000;" to turn off terminal velocity, and to get rid of the hint type "terminalCount = 0;".