Helpful review, man. Gonna check this game out.
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I actually respected the designer by making a semi-professional review. You, however, assumed I was insulting them and the game. Rather, I was just pointing out the flaws so they can learn from the experience. I even did a letsplay, so you clearly have no quarter.
Posting here to say thanks for getting this game back online. I'm sure I wasn't the only one even though I must be the only one who found you. I am, after all, a google master. I like the concept and art design.
The movement in this game is weird to get used to and the double jump mechanic itself is inconsistent and nonintuitive. It was only near the turtle guardian route that I figured out the double jump has to be executed a specific way, which isn't the case in other games with double jumps. To explain, you can't just spam the jump key to execute a double jump and the double jump itself isn't on a cooldown. Rather you have to press the second jump a moment after the first jump, almost like a combo in a fighting game, but even more inconsistent than a true combo as a 2012er from the FGC. The movement physics are strange in and of itself with the regular single jumps falling down abruptly reminiscent of old adventure platformers on DOS, so I cannot fault it that much even though that is a dated mechanic.
And as a fan of difficult platformers like The End is Nigh, which feels smoother, more responsive, and fair, I wasn't a fan of this game at all. The jump mechanics are atrocious, but the level design makes it far worse. The addition of ghouls that pop out, not only ruin the pacing of the game, but detract from any semblance of momentum when on a good run. The decision to make the enemies into bullet sponges is alright and make sense for those enemies that shoot projectiles, but for enemies like zombies and ghouls that stand still and even the frogs which mostly stand still and jump occasionally serve merely as roadblocks that take time rather than being a fun way to kill an enemy. The bosses themselves are for the most part good, but the buggy nature of the game where some bosses don't let you exit the screen and thus negates any difficulty in beating them as you respawn constantly while their health does not regenerate (unless as said you do leave the screen and come back). Most of the bosses allow this, but there are 1-2 bosses that make this impossible as the doors are shut locked. I didn't find any issue with hitboxes at all nor did I find the spider boss to be problematic. The baiting of bosses and dodging were on point, and I found the spider boss the most enjoyable, having left the screen if I died once to make things more fun for myself. Leaving the screen, resets the game screen with enemies as long as you don't defeat the boss.
The monochrome art style hurts the gameplay even more as you not only deal with ghouls that come out of the ground but you also deal with spikes that are white. This is also compounded with the fact that spikes on the ceilings that don't hurt you look very similar to dangerous spikes and they are all white as well.
The addition of checks to prevent the player from skipping a boss is still buggy. I managed to skip the wizard who says you cannot leave unless you met 5 guardians. I don't know how I managed, but I was pressing the interact key and the shoot key and managed to exit the conversation and enter the doorway past him. I did read that you should experience most of the content from the discussions here so I just exited out the doorway and found the final guardian before returning and playing it as intended.
I'm a fan of 2d platformers, even those with weird movement mechanics like Gish, but this game really didn't mesh with me. There is definitely a good game inside here, but with all its failings, I would not recommend this game at all.
Thank you so much! I was able to beat that portion in just 4 tries and literally 22 seconds. The second portion was easy to complete for that level because I had already solved that part countless times. I had narrowed down the puzzle to the 3rd or 11th rat pass but that made it a lot harder. It was your tip of going to the gap from the get-go that made it sooo much easier.
I really enjoyed the game and gave it an 8.5/10 (Great) and it is one of my favorite games on itch.io. It combines the old TI-83 version of Boulder Dash with Chip's Challenge level of speed and puzzles with the movement skills from competitive multiplayer Bomberman. I wanted to see how much harder the newer puzzles would become and it didn't disappoint. I do think it is possible to complete with the 3rd or 11th pass (not both options) but I am definitely not keen on trying that out! Got all the levels done, credits, and I appreciated how your home changes from completing levels.
One thing, I would critique is that the art style is really not my deal, but I stayed for the superior gameplay. I don't think many players will appreciate the level of work involved to making the difficult levels work being that this is a niche genre. Bomberman is not really popular in NA. I had competed in competitive multiplayer Bomberman on Nexon Korea's Seoul server. Asia has a lot of love for these type of games, but getting to said market would be difficult. I definitely would buy a sequel, but given that this game has such a low market value, I will not push you on that. It's definitely fun and got my rusty movement skills going to the higher level, especially because I had thought you completed that level with 3rd rat pass haha.
Edit: Out of curiosity, I tested the 3rd rat pass and 11th rat pass with Cheat Engine slowed down 0.250x and both are possible, the third moreso. The 3rd is possible using the method I was trying to use but it requires about 2-3 frame window to accomplish and at 1x speed is quite a feat. The 11th rat pass is even harder and almost impossible without TAS tools like CE because to outrace the rat, you have to go through two snakes after getting the cherry, but not the normal gap, but rather that small pixel window, go through and go up to safety at spawn point. 3rd is more humanly possible because you don't have to go through that small pixel gap between two snakes but rather a normal gap between the first and last snake.
I might try the 3rd rat pass route just for fun, but the 11th rat pass requires such precision that it would be on the level of SMB1 speedrunners.
Do you have any tips for World 4 EX2? It's the only level left for me and I'm stuck at the rat spinning around with the snakes. What I've been doing is go to the right, wait for rat to pass and then go down, pick up cherry, go left and try to go up but the rat gets me before I reach the spawnpoint in the middle. I completed all the EX levels and got the normal ending, but I am stuck for the past hour in this level even with trying different routes. I wait for the third rat cycle after spawn, go right, wait for rat to pass, go down, pick cherry and then go up, and always fail before reaching top even if I skip the key.
Thank you, this game was great. I found it by accident through googling for boid cak itchio (diff game). I did get soft locked with the checkpoint after death. I had purchased wall jump and quick charge and it showed as purchased but I did not have the abilities. This game was worth it so I just started a new game and died less, completing it without bugs. 8.5/10. Good spiritual sequel to Cake Quest. ;)