Sadly, I can't get this to work under Linux; it starts up and plays the background music, but the screen is plain grey. I'm happy to provide logs or similar if that'd help and you can tell me where to look.
Recent community posts
I wrote up all my reviews of games (and some thoughts on the jam generally) on my site; these reviews were all posted during the jam so if you entered and I reviewed your game you'll have read that review already, but I thought it would be useful to collect them all in one place for future reference! If others did that too then that'd be cool; I like that there's a Twitch stream going on to review the different games.
Many thanks to @jackoatley for running this!
Thank you! Yeah, part of the feedback that's been most useful is that I need to tweak the difficulty curve, or more accurately stick a big knife in the difficulty curve and redo it from scratch :) Something definitely to look at after the jam finished. And I like the idea of the fixed amount of fluid entering; I'll have a think about that one!
What a fun idea! There have been lots of games in this jam which have done well despite the 64px limitation, but this is the only game I've seen which thrives upon that limitation and actually puts it to use. The spider's path being much more complex in a way that the person doesn't see, because it's too small for them to notice, is a really clever way to take advantage of the limited size: if you've not got much space, zoom it up even further and show all the hidden detail! Very impressed. I also like the graphics; the spider is cute, despite being only six pixels. Evocative. If I have a complaint, I'd say that the difficulty curve is quite high; the first couple of tutorial levels don't show any complexity but instead just explain the mechanics, which is fine, but then the very next level is rather complicated as we suddenly introduce the idea that the spider's path is very convoluted. This is not helped by the spider's physics; it can walk over gaps or fall in an arc as long as it's moving fast, but I didn't realise that for ages because when contronted with a puzzling path I move slowly to explore different details. So I kept falling through gaps, and assumed that the goal was to work out how to approach the other side of the gap from a different direction, not that the gap isn't meant to be a barrier at all as long as you're walking at speed when you hit it. But these are small issues; the concept here is great, and I like this game a lot.
Thank you! I did think about a "continue" option -- the main reason I don't have it is that I couldn't see anywhere obvious to put it in the UI, but what someone else suggested is a whole new screen for "level select", which is a good idea and is probably the way I should solve this in future versions!
Find the one important object which solves the riddle and bring it back to the starting room. This seems deliberately designed to punish the player; you must bring one object and only one back in order to win, and it needs to be the right one. The actual pictures of the objects are, in most cases, not detailed enough to be able to tell exactly what an object is, so I assume that there's no way to win other than to repeatedly try each of the objects, fail, die, and start again, over and over. The "learn by dying" game method, in other words. Also, the game seems to be built on a 128x128 resolution rather than 64x64, but since the graphics don't really need the extra resolution I assume this was an oversight rather than a deliberate attempt to ignore the rules. Anyway, not much of a game, but maybe the next one will solve some of these issues!
A game about anxiety. I haven't been in the right frame of mind to play this properly yet and so I won't rate it because that would be unfair, but it's courageous of the developer to put this out there, and I applaud that.
Charming little platformer. The player is a very engaging little fellow, and he moves fast and jumps high, both of which are good and contribute to a very flowing feel. He's pretty vulnerable, though; I died all the time, through accidentally walking into enemies. And although I really liked the hole falling animation and look of surprise the first time around, it's much less cute on repetition after I've died a bunch of times and have to wait through it. Also, having space for jump and X for attack is really rather awkward to control; the up arrow for jump would be considerably easier. There's a nice vibe about this generally, though; with some polish, this could be a fun little dungeon explorer game.
Weird concept. The graphics are (deliberately) childishly drawn, and the gameplay isn't up to much (move around the screen while avoiding obstacles, and that's it) but it's given a jaunty, feel-good sort of vibe by the ukulele background music! Not something one would play over and over, but it got a smile and will cheer up people's days, and there are many, many worse outcomes. A tiny technical complaint; the up and down keys aren't suppressed by the game, so they also take effect on the embedding web page, which is really annoying; that's something worth fixing.
Run around and shoot things. The graphics here are very basic, but in a weirdly compelling way I rather like them; it's stripped back to absolute minimum. As the developer notes, it's not 64x64, so low rating for that particular thing, but I liked this game rather more than I expected to. As with all games with unlimited firepower, though, there's no reason to not just hold down the fire button the whole time, which is exactly what I did. I think there are too many controls -- left and right are expected, but "fire upwards", "jump", "fire", and "dash" are all separate keys, which is hard to manage in a twitch game like this rather than something more contemplative and thoughtful. There also seem to be some issues with the key handling; sometimes, if you're firing and running at the same time and then press "jump", the jump doesn't register, which is pretty annoying. But this is more fun than I admit I thought it would be at first!
A fairly basic walk-places-and-attack-things game, but nicely implemented, and the player sprite is quite cute which is cool. Since enemies move around very fast, attacking tends to end up being button-mashing; enter into a room and hammer the space bar to attack until you've killed everything. Sometimes a dead enemy drops a heart, which I assume gives health back; one thing missing is that there's no health bar on screen, which is a bit of a problem because you don't know how close you are to death. There are also fire squares, and there's a rather neat effect where touching a fire square not only does damage but turns your sprite a darker colour; increasing amounts of being burned make your player look more and more charred and brown, which is cool. I should also note that the player movement is too smooth; it doesn't move on the 64x64 grid, but can move in sub-pixel increments. And the music is the same 16 notes over and over; but the developer explicitly calls out that this is a demo and is still under development, and I'm sure all of these things will be fixed with further work!
This is more detailed than I thought it would be at first. It's essentially, tower defence; you're attacked by an endless wave of heroes aiming to smash your collection of crystals, and you create monsters to fight back against them; your monsters are confined to the square they're on, but you can upgrade them with points. Points (well, "souls") get generated by your crystals, so you have the normal tower-defence decision to make, of "do I have a whole bunch of quite rubbish monsters", versus "do I have only a couple of monsters but upgrade them continuously until they turn into the Hulk"? And I'm not sure which is actually best here, which is a good sign. The upgrade tree is complex, though; all created monsters start as a blob, and depending on which of their stats you upgrade, they turn into a variety of different monsters, and I never had a very good handle on which collection of upgrades turned my blob into a mega blob, or a skeleton, or a demon. It would be good if there were some sort of on-screen indication of where the next upgrade or upgrades will occur and what they might be, so I can choose to evolve in a different direction without having to try to make notes about what the upgrade tree looks like. One of the upgrade paths even leads to crystals, interestingly, so you can breed more crystals to get more points, thus regaining your power source after the heroes have destroyed some of them. This is a good mechanic, and I liked the ideas behind this game quite a lot. It suffers from the 64px restriction, though; the playfield is bigger than the screen, so you end up scrolling around the battlefield while looking at it through a pinhole, which is pretty annoying. But that doesn't affect the core gameplay much, and I like the core gameplay. Nice work.
Also, since I'm a developer and all, I thought, hahaha, I'll just stop the game in the debugger and give myself 100,000 souls and then I can upgrade everything and win massively. I was rather crestfallen to find out that the hero generation rate is actually tied to the number of souls you've got, so my little hacking adventure lasted about a minute before an unstoppable wave of hero death overwhelmed my monster force faster than I could upgrade them or add reinforcements. Very clever, developers. :-)
This feels (deliberately, I expect) very Spectrum-ish as a game, especially the colour blocking and font. It's very basic, but it certainly works; I remember playing games similar to this back in the 80s. The music is a bit too repetitive, but for what this is the game certainly works.
A rather fun mouse-only game; the titular "blind bird" keeps walking, bouncing off walls and reversing direction, and you can move one magic block from place to place to help the bird climb obstacles or change direction in the right place. The first few moves give you all the time you want to place the block, but subsequent ones require quite accurate timing, as the bird (an eared dove, apparently) walks off your magic block onto a small safe place and you have to quickly move the block so they can walk onto it again and continue the journey. Because the resolution is so small, the screen camera moves quite a lot, and so I found myself putting the block one space higher or lower than it should be... but that's my fault, not the game's fault! Tiny, tiny graphical complaint: the bird's eye isn't green, it's transparent, which means that if it walks in front of some of the tutorial writing, you can see the writing through the bird's eye. Which looks a bit weird. But that's seriously the only thing I have to complain about; this is a tiny nugget of joy, this game. I like the four-colour green palette and everything. This is good stuff.
Turn-based fighting; a board game, essentially, but with an outer-space theme. It's quite fun to play and there's an interesting variety of movements and skills -- some ships have a shield, others a laser, or the ability to "hack" which is actually altering the turn order. It's also presented in isometric rather than overhead view, which is unusual in this jam; it's a clever idea, but I think it might be unusual at 64px for a reason, because if you've got two ships, one behind another, it can be quite confusing to see what's going on (where this would likely be a lot clearer with more resolution). Nonetheless, this is a complete game, nicely explained, fun to play, and with simple but good audio. I also found all the text very easy to read, which hasn't been the case for a number of games I've played in this jam, so that's a good piece of design too. (And I appreciated the use of text ("ATK", for example) rather than some hard-to-identify icon!) Two thumbs up!
Thank you! Yeah, a level selector may be a good idea; I did originally plan to remember the level you reached and restart from there, but I didn't have a good way to add a "reset" button into the (already rather cramped) UI. But a level select screen would work quite neatly, especially if there were more levels in a tutorial stage. Thank you for the feedback!
Not a game, per se; it's a procedurally-generated landscape you can walk around in. Technically impressive, although it suffers rather from being bounced down to 64px -- the resolution's just too small to properly express the design, and so the screen does occasionally feel like it's dissolving into random pixels. The audio is nicely done too. This would be an impressive base for an actual game to take place on, or done as a non-interactive art piece.
Excellent board game. This is a tafl game, from a long tradition; it’s a kind of small-board version of hnefatafl. Good fun to play, although the AI is not very sophisticated; I spent time being really careful about moving my king until I realised that the orcs just don’t care about the king at all. But I suspect they will start caring in future versions, so I am right to consider moves in detail. The game maps really nicely onto the 64px layout, and the graphics are quite illustrative (I like the subtle shadows on the players); the audio is good, too, in a simple way. This is a great implementation, and I think it could become something really good with some tweaking.
A more complex game than it first looks. The premise is simple; identify identical pairs of beetles in the 4x4 grid and drag them together, which causes them to explode, clearing part of the playing field. But this is quite a lot harder than it looks because all the beetles look roughly the same! You have to watch them move fairly closely to tell which ones are actually pairs… and if you pair up two non-identical beetles, they turn into a sort of pupa which blocks up a square on the board. And then once you get the hang of that, right-click drag moves the playfield and you realise that the 4x4 grid you were seeing is actually just a 4x4 section of a much larger grid, which is completely full of beetles, all madly moving and needing pairing up. This is clever stuff; the realisations of each of these things gave me quite a surprise as to how much bigger the game was than I first anticipated. I do have a few small issues to think about, though. Incorrectly pairing two beetles turns them into a sort of red pupa, which is bad. But it doesn’t look bad; I didn’t realise at first that I was doing the wrong thing! Perhaps that pupa could look a little more… incorrect, somehow? Also there are two issues that others have brought up: moving the camera to show a different part of the playfield is way, way too sensitive, and the score at the top of the UI sits on top of the top row of the grid and makes it hard to see. The developer has already acknowledged these, and I’m sure they’ll get fixed. Even despite these, this is a really interesting puzzle game, and fits really nicely into the 64px pixel restriction. Great work!
A simple Bitsy maze game. Sadly, it's in violation of the 64x64px requirement; it seems to be on a 128x128px grid, which means it's got twice as much resolution as the jam dictates. Beyond that, it's a maze game; move around, collect the key, open the door. The maze being on multiple screens is a nice touch; this feels rather like a first game for the developer, and it's perfectly playable, if basic; finishing a game is important in itself. Hopefully they'll go on to bigger and better things; a complete game would also have audio, a more detailed title screen, and some measure of extra challenge, and that's something the developer can work on in future games to make them more accomplished. Good first effort!
Lovely little Sokoban-style puzzle game, with an interesting frame story. It's not very difficult (I won third time out), but I think that this could be the basis for a real game with loads of levels, and I'd happily play it. (The first two times I failed, one of them was not realising that one may need the fire to burn away obstructions before killing it, and the second was trying to pick up Mr Bernt himself to take him to the cabin, at which point I discover that... well, that that doesn't work, and it made me laugh, but I won't spoil it for people reading this!)
Oh, and I liked the "dollarone" scrolling credit as the game opened. Nice.
A good concept here, I think. I would agree with other commenters, though; it really suffers from the 64px limitation. I've seen the screen essentially be dissolved into what looks like a random collection of pixels and I've got no clue what's going on; this is essentially because the graphics are, I think, at higher resolution inside the game engine and are being rendered and dithered down to fit 64px. A more standard game resolution would likely help a lot with this. I'm also not sure about the overall feel; the ship moves, explicitly, rather slowly (with a "turbo boost" button which speeds it up) and that rather implies that the overall approach is that you pilot slowly, take your time, consider each shot, move gradually and thoughtfully into place, attack from ambush stealth kind of thing. But the first real tutorial is a fast-moving laser space battle between ships, which would much better fit a quick-moving, react-on-instinct, blast-everything twitch style of gameplay. So I don't know how I'm meant to be playing, which makes me confused. I was also a bit taken aback by having to use a whole bunch of keys to do different things; again, that's something more suited to a thoughtful slow style of play, which is at odds with the laser battle I'm made to participate in. There's some good things here (in particular, I think the graphics would look pretty good if they weren't harmed by being rendered at such a low resolution, and the acceleration audio is evocative and let me know exactly how fast my ship was going), so it will be interesting to see what happens when development continues.
Thank you for the review! Useful feedback; I think the solid outline might be better too, having thought about it a bit (it would fit more in with the pixelated nature of everything). I prefer the look of antialiased fonts, but you're right that having both those and sharp edges looks a little inconsistent. Something to think about...
An interesting premise; you're preparing to embark on a great quest. Unfortunately, you're pretty lame, and so even passing the initial test is a challenge. This is partially because the vermin you have to kill move really fast, and partially because your magic power is rubbish; to attack an enemy with the default fire spell you have to be really close to them, and if you get that close you're likely to touch them, which (a) costs you health and (b) more annoyingly, thrusts you away in a random direction, so you have to approach the enemy again, causing the same problem. This is improved a little by the second magic skill, which actually fires bolts of ice from a (short) distance. Over time your magical abilities wane, but there's a little minigame that I'm very impressed with where you literally descend into your own psyche and chase away bad thoughts, clearing your mind and restoring your magical power. I like that idea a lot; very cool. Those bad thoughts also move really fast, but the minigame is easier because it's in such a constrained location. I kinda got the feeling that you get when you play games originally intended for a 386 on a modern computer and everything's sped right up; I'm sure this wasn't intentional, but it feels rather weird. There is definitely the seed of a good game here, if the balance can be worked out (and the graphics made a little less blocky, perhaps). And the developer explicitly calls out that this is a work-in-progress, so fingers crossed for the improvements!
This is, well, it's Metroid-style, hence the name! Basic mechanics are sensible and easy to get a handle on (although I always take a while to get used to jump being a key rather than the up button), and I was soon bouncing all over the map shooting things. Those little gun turrets that don't wake up (and are invulnerable) are really irritating because every time I jump to wake them up they fling a bullet directly into me, but that's not the game's fault, that's me being rubbish :) I have a bit of a complaint in that I didn't really have a good sense of how well I was doing; the "readout" section at the bottom of the screen is rather abstract, so I didn't really know what my health was, or what difference collecting the different-coloured drops actually made to what I was doing. The sound is very PC-speaker squeaky; lots of seemingly unconnected beeps, so I didn't really gather what they all meant. Fun little game, nonetheless!
Thank you for the review! Yeah, I think the feedback has been pretty clear that I need to get better at audio choices :-) I did actually think about resuming from the level you got to, but I'd also want a "reset and start again from level 1" button and I couldn't find room for it in the UI! So that's why that's left out. I'd probably add it if I did this again, though...
Something like the venerable "Same Game" puzzle, but with a larger playfield comprising pixel art pictures. This is a take on the puzzle I've never seen before, and it's surprisingly difficult, which is refreshing. It's also very useful that you don't have to entirely clear the playfield to progress; getting down to four pixels or less is fine, which is good because I'm not sure that some of the levels are actually completely clearable. I was expecting fallen columns to slide to the left to avoid leaving any completely empty columns, and they don't, which made solving the first level more difficult until I realised that! But the game works, and it's good to see new approaches to old ideas.