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Having played roughly 50 jam games here are my top 10 picks for innovative games with great mechanics!
1)-Sunburn- Truly a masterpiece of a game with beautiful visuals and a core mechanic that is incredibly impressive.
2) -Shifting Dungeon- Amazing puzzle design, amazing mechanics, all round an amazing game that fits the theme perfectly!
3)-Hardwired- An outstanding mechanic with great graphics and overall well polished experience!
4)-Torchure- Extremely well polished with great visuals, and while there is an element of trial and error, it feels a lot more fair due to there being subtle things to look out for that reveal the traps locations!
5) -The Oeuvre- The best implementation of dynamic difficulty that I personally have seen while rating games! Joint with GhastlyWhich is an incredible puzzle game with an awesome mechanic and really good pixel art!
6) -Evolution- Amazing level design and has great progress through each death (eg new areas you can reach)
7) -Wizard of Chaos- Absolutely beautiful pixel art with dynamic difficulty that has options
8) -Ideas- One of the best narrative interpretations of the theme!
9) -PrismGrid- A really great concept of reversing a tower defence game that is implemented very well!
10)-Snakefice- A great movement mechanic surrounded by great puzzles which fit the theme perfectly!
There were loads of other games that were amazing and I really struggled to narrow it down because there were so many outstanding games this year!
Thank you to everyone who joined in on any of the live-feedback streams too!
What are your favourites of the jam? Leave them underneath this post for others to see!
The graphics are really good and the level design was on point! The animations also looked really good, and the sound effects worked perfectly with their actions! The amount of interactive objects in the game is also incredibly impressive and makes the game feel as though its taking place in a very alive and working building, it kind of reminded me of Hitman in this way (which is a really good thing!)
I think some sort of interactive tutorial would have really helped so the player doesn't feel overwhelmed at first (but its a jam so I totally understand the time constraints), some of the guards appeared to have question marks above their head for no apparent reason (like being seen or deactivating a camera) maybe a small thinking bubble could be used to communicate what the AI is searching for so the player can improve their strategy.
Overall, I really enjoyed playing and this was a very unique game!
This game had great atmosphere and the sound effects worked very well! The screen effects when the monster gets close to you was also a nice touch! The use of lighting also really added to the games visuals!
I think even though getting lost was kind of the point some more visual difference would have been nice just so looking at walls doesn't get repetitive.
Overall, this was an amazing horror game and the atmosphere really made it stand out!
I really liked the toy-box style visuals and the concept made for some very interesting and rewarding puzzle! The music worked nicely in the background too! The puzzle design was great and I especially liked how they each led into one another! The map design also looked great too and the little indicator for each car worked well! The camera controls also worked nicely!
I think the controls were a bit confusing and needed something that would work with perspective in mind, maybe dragging each car with the mouse to move them instead. Some animations also might have been a nice addition.
Overall, I really enjoyed playing and this is a great puzzle game!
Really nice concept of having your "beast" evolve over time and the music worked well with the game too! The cross hairs being teeth was also a good idea to remind the played or what they are!
The lighting is some of the areas could have been brightened and the overall speed of the player seemed quite slow. Maybe having the beast unlock some new abilities would have been nice, but I totally understand the time constraints of a jam. I'd also recommend for your next jam, if there are cool things to be found towards the end make sure that the player can get there within a reasonable time as the difficulty was quite high.
Other than that, the game was a really good idea and the overall mechanic of having your stats increased worked very well too!
Really cute little game which had a very nice core mechanic and great pixel art! The way in which the music changes was also very nice as well as the different player sprites for each state!
I feel like more levels should have been about the rage mechanic (like the last one was) rather than just an add-on that was avoidable if players were skilled enough, having said that though it definitely did fit the theme! While the experience was short it was definitely well polished and the little "Kill counter" was a nice touch too!
Overall, I definitely recommend giving it a go as its a cute and responsive controlled (aka the controls felt very good) game!
The water mechanic certainly made this game unique and allowed for some surrealist puzzle solving! The lighting was also very nice and having the text be on the wall was a nice touch!
I think the game needs to explain to the player what's going on a bit more as the game felt quite abstract, maybe that was intended, but I wasn't sure what was entirely happening.
Other than that, this game's concept definitely fit the theme and the water mechanic was really good!
I really liked the neon graphics and the lighting was very nice! The sound effects and overall polish was also to a high standard! The general feel of the game was good, controls wise! The variety of different weapons was also very good and provided for some different ways of gameplay!
The graphics, whilst lighting was very good, seemed mismatched in quite a few places like there were some voxel graphics here and some smooth and sloped there, which felt a bit out of place. The enemies didn't feel like they posed a lot of threat (the smaller ones mainly) meaning it felt like a chore at the ned of each area to have to go around and clean them up.
Other than that, overall I really enjoyed playing and the lighting was definitely on point!
The graphics were truly amazing and the animation of the player was also really nice and the whole lighting sett up just improved the overall look of the game that much more! The idea also worked very well so the player can slowly generate there own path over time meaning that incorporates the theme very well! The upgrade system also added to the use of theme even more, meaning that not only in a path generation sense but also in a physical levelling up sense: progress is made!
The shop UI could maybe be incorporated into the initial base somehow so that way the transition between gameplay is a bit smoother.
Overall, I really enjoyed playing and this is truly a masterpiece of a game! PS this game definitely deserves a top 10 spot!
Having red the description I thought the game was going to be a lot more complex but actually it was really intuitive once you were in playing the game! The music also worked well with the game! The concept also fit the no winning and no losing them really well! I also like how you incorporated being able to play as either a hunter or a ninja meaning you could experience both sides of the gameplay!
The map design could have maybe changed each round like having a rock somewhere or different patches of sand placed strategically for more tactical gameplay: this could have maybe been procedurally generated? But, I get its a jam, so time constraints are definitely heavy! Some particle effects for when you change into a hunter could have been nice too.
Overall, the concept was executed very well and made for a very unique and enjoyable game!
I really liked the pixel art and the gun sound effect worked very well! The concept was outstanding and worked very well and having the ability for previous ghosts to shoot your present self added a lot of depth to the gameplay, and the addition of the boxes also helped to make some really good puzzles!
There were some minor things that could be changed however (not bad things just little quality of life improvements) like changing where the restart button is and masking the gam fullscreen. The spikes could have also done with standing out more maybe.
Other than these extremely minor complaints the game had some incredible puzzle design and seemed very polished mechanic-wise, overall I really enjoyed playing!
The graphics looked very pleasing and the skybox perfectly matched the neon environment in which it was set! This was also furthered nicely by the glowing bullets! The game also felt as though it had a lot of polish including the nice bit of depth like having bullets have a drop off which made the shooting system unique, the slight bullet spread leading to high octane battles that weren't as easy as one-hit-kills and the wall running system felt very nice to use!
The sound effects I felt as though didn't really match the actions which they were assigned to like how the bullet impact noise was a high pitched squeak. I feel as though this would have added to the general feel of impact which some of the weapons needed like having an effect at the end of the gun, an effect for killing, and so on... I understand that its a jam so time constraints are pretty tough so its a 5 star visuals as the effects that were there (the bullets) looked awesome! The map design could have maybe been a bit bigger to incorporate parkour sections as pulling off a long wall run felt very satisfying!
Overall, I really enjoyed playing and would highly recommend checking this game out for the high quality visuals and variety weapons, great game!
Thanks you so much for all of that feedback! There are some notifications in the top right after the acts that you have done if you want to replay and see those, no worries if not! Thanks again for playing and thanks for taking the time for such great feedback!
Thank you so much for playing and leaving feedback! Yeah some more effects would have been nice and added to the atmosphere! When I heard the theme with the bit about “what’s a game where you don’t win or lose” the first thing I thought of was “not a game” lol. Thanks again for playing, everything you said means so much to me!
The visuals were really nice and the music fit well with the game! The overall concept and the implementation of the idea worked very well and perfectly fit the theme, and created some nice exploration elements like new jump height unlocking areas that are initially close to spawn which made for some nice Metroidvania/Soulsborne level design too!
I think maybe the countdown bar and the hearts could have been merged gameplay wise so that taking damage just lowers the countdown, this would mean the player only has to track one stat instead of two: maybe only by a small amount so jumping off of enemies is still a feasible strategy.
Overall, the game was very well polished and was a very unique interpretation of the theme (which it also matched flawlessly), amazing game!
Really funny game and the level of dynamic reactions from the narrator is impressive both on a writing front and a systems front in terms of dynamic branching! The graphics were minimalist which worked for the game however I feel like maybe there could have been some animation on the screen (maybe like some animated moving audio bars or some pixelated face for the narrator that could show reactions.) The graphics were really tricky to rate though as for this game to work the graphics really didn't need to be the stand-out feature, but some animation might have worked- that's probably just my opinion though!
Overall, the level of interaction with the player is truly remarkable and I can definitely recommend people play this game more than once!
I really liked the vibrant graphics and the concept was very unique and definitely fit the theme! While the graphics are definitely eye catching I feel like in some places the screen felt over crowded/cluttered though. The music also worked well with the game, and its a really cool take on an RPG! Overall, this is a great game!
I loved the cute visuals and the animations of the penguin were very nice and the general aesthetic was very pleasing to look at! The particle effect of he snow added some nice visual interest as well as the semi pixel art "wobble" and "bounce" animations and the black outline on the player.
The sound effects were also nice and added to the experience too and the general controls felt fine tuned and responsive to use!
I'm not sure how the game tried to fit the theme really worked as if the fish were replaced with some sort of "slow-potion" sprite the game would work perfectly fine as they are essentially another type of obstacle. But the theme was evidently there though! The camera could have done with being zoomed out a bit more too just so you can prepare a bit more for upcoming jumps, that might just be personal preference though.... or maybe the camera could zoom out more the more you die?
Overall, this game was very addictive and played really well, I'd definitely recommend giving it a go as the gameplay is extremely fun!