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A member registered Dec 06, 2016

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Ok, I beat the game again. The game still feels much harder than before, but obviously it's not impossible, despite by griping last night.

Had to use a totally new strategy this time:

Enemies drop more money, so aggressive play is rewarded more than ever before. Beat every spring challenge presented so I had a ton of seeds to choose from. The flail seed seems like a steal right now, costing only one crystal, but also, finding a situation where you can go fast AND not run right into a group of enemies is really difficult, so it doesn't feel broken either. Used that one early on to take out a group of purple homing bugs. Horizontal seed saved my butt a lot too. Then from the desert onward I used a now-renamed Thwomp to take out worms and anything else chasing me.

Then once I got the missile seed, the last world and the final boss became substantially easier. I had the money to buy missiles, and in the final battle, I could take out those terrifying pink homing monsters (the missiles exploding is HUGELY helpful). Spent most of my money on missiles. Had a star seed ready to go but never used it. Finished the final battle with one heart, with a turret aimed right at me.

Overall, I think the new updates encourage prioritizing offensive options earlier than before. Mastering the spring seed rooms makes this easier, as does the sacrifice room. (Gonna trade in those unwanted seeds, Gamestop-style.) I still find myself adopting two strategies I didn't use as much in the last version: 1) I'm going to slow down and attack everything until I move forward or 2) I have to run like hell because I can't possibly kill all these things. In the last update it felt more like I was in the middle of those two strategies, moving up carefully. Now that I've realized how much money I can get by focusing on murder, I'll probably lean more toward 1) than 2).

It's great to see the leaderboard up and running, too! Hot damn!

Oh my goodness, you guys. Feels like a totally new game.

The good:

  • I love finding the spring minigame in the wild. i've reached a point where I can beat it about half the time. Two seeds seems like a fair reward, and now that this minigame is more frequent (once a world? at least in the forest), I'm happy with it.
  • Love being able to throw away 2 seeds I don't want to pick up a new seed. I will probably never use the poison or cure seeds, since laying a 2-step trap (poison, then kill) seems like too much effort, but maybe that'll change.
  • Love the new intro and towns
  • Love the new seed videos
  • I'm hearing more music in the huts, right? and it's so flippin good.
The bad:
  • 15 seconds is absurdly too short a time for that shooting minigame. I'm lucky if I fire one gun in the first 8 seconds, then I have to wait 1 more second to fire from the same one again. The guns always seem the spawn in the middle of the room, and I'm coming from the bottom left corner, and I don't even feel like I have a chance. Huge huge bummer, but I like the concept. The pistol seed is a huge underrated seed and encouraging people to get comfortable with it is a smart move. If there are other shooting gallery concepts that encourage you to play with seeds, hot damn, that'd be great.
  • I still think it's silly to not be able to pick up the next quest after cashing in my last quest. I'm cashing in a quest because I enjoyed doing the quest; asking me to play the game again and potentially not complete my next quest (because I can't pick it up until I play again and die!) is frustrating and unexpected. It encourages me to start and a game and quit just to get back to the village and pick up a new quest.
  • The gaps are so much more narrow in the first world, it seems! I consider myself to be pretty competent at driving the ol' Tumbleseed, and I'm occasionally getting gaps that are suuuuuper narrow in the first world. As in, gaps that I have to squeeze through to proceed because there is no other way forward, not just gaps in general. I'll snap a screenshot when I play again
  • First and second worlds have so many enemies I feel overwhelmed. Purple homing bugs in the first world are always present and numerous, and those black teeth monsters that rotate and zoom at you seem to be everywhere. With the paths in the first world seeming more narrow than before, sometimes I only have one valid path to go up, and when I'm being chased AND there seem to be more enemies than before, it feels cheap. Occasionally I pull of a set of maneuvers where I feel like a badass, but I mostly feel overwhelmed very early into the game.
  • Did the crystal seed animation get longer? This is more an extension of my previous point, but I just had a couple runs in a row where I straight up could not pick up my crystals in time because there was a yellow snake behind me and that little animation before the crystals pop out was so long I had to just run away instead of picking up my dang crystals. And then with the gaps being more narrow than before, there wasn't often a way back down to claim my crystals, because the only path down was full of homing jerks.
  • Expected the cup game to mix up the cups in a way where I can pick the right one if I'm sharp (e.g. the minigame in Tapper), not present them in such a way where I have a 1 in 3 chance of winning without any skill involved. I guess this makes sense (you could totally farm hearts this way!), but dang.
  • Overall I feel a lot less in control of my own destiny than with previous builds. Between the (I'm assuming!) increase in the amount of enemies and the less open playfield, death seems more the result of being overwhelmed than it does because I made a mistake.
The bugs:
  • The second quest (collect a seed from a diamond room) isn't checking off for me when I pick up a seed in a diamond room.
  • I rage quit upon dying and the game went back to the title screen, then when I went back into the game, it resumed showing me my death sequence. I'd expect to just go back to the title screen.
  • I have absolutely no idea what the ripple rock does. It sent a shockwave throughout the screen but didn't kill enemies or seem to have any noticeable effect. This is after watching the video and using the demo room.
Also holy shit I watched a slug pick up a "shoot horizontally every second or so" powerup and it was very very silly to watch that silly enemy fire shots while it slowly moved upward. Fun addition, letting enemies pick up weapons.

Pardon all my griping! I don't remember dying ever making me so cranky. I may get used to the changes eventually but 5 deaths into it and I generally feel unfairly mobbed and my blood pressure has never been higher while playing. I'll play more tomorrow. Always psyched to see more content.

Duuuude, nice! Interesting to see our different playstyles based on only the number of seeds and crystals you have.

What was your overall strategy? Looking at your seeds I'd guess you're diligently farming mobs with your offensive seeds then proceeding with caution and wealth. Holy crap, that's a lot of crystals.

Beat the game again! Here's how it went down:

Went all-money in the jungle. Was pretty rich by Camp #1. Beat the race and made about ~5 crystals profit, but money in the bank. Bought a star seed.

Picked up a homing seed in the second world. Used it to deal with all the mobs that spawn, got rich from that too. Got through the desert with the homing seed, mostly. Would plant on early so it'd seek out enemies I couldn't even see yet. Ended up rich from that too. Side note: Wow, homing snakes are terrifying. Nothing scarier than planting a homing seed with a snake hot on your trail, just to have the seed shoot inside the snake and kill it while launching debris at you.

By Camp #3 I had about 60 crystals. Spent 40 on a "turns holes into plots" seed. I thought I'd be able to cash out at the bank because I'm pretty sure I didn't cash out at #2, but I could not!

Made it through world 4 using mostly homing seeds and careful movement.

For the final boss, I used all a homing seed to take care of the initial blue turret, then spend homing seeds to clear out a couple enemies, then spent a ton of my crystals on "turn holes into plots" seeds. Since I was down to 1 heart, I spent my new plots on heart seeds, then on star seeds (which I then used to crash into the enemies I thought would kill me most, which were spiders and turrets). Only just now realized that each subsequent boss-damage plot adds another boss beam shot shot at you, so for the third-to-last and second-to-last hits I found myself rolling down into the safe area I'd made by spending a fortune on holes-into-plots seeds.

Never used teleport-to-next-splot, thomp, or boomerang seeds. Used a shield seed once but don't recall it absorbing any hits. Used a reflect seed once but it only reflected my own homing-seed-explosion away from me.

Still a very fun game!!! Gonna feel good the rest of the day, probably. Video games, eh.

Thanks dude! You've got this! Luck is still a huge factor. I'm sure in a matter of time you'll beat the game *and* my time

I dig this and tooootally see how the environment could just tear itself apart. There's got to be a good balance between an environment that interacts to certain things, and an environment that exists only to kill the tumbleseed.

The one example that reminded me of a Spelunky-esque moment where you set off a trap and evade it to let it kill enemies:

You know the enemy that hides in a hole and spins its arm around once when you're close? I expected that to hurt nearby enemies. It felt like a trap, and traps seem like they'd be indifferent to the greater world. Can't think of any other examples but that one in particular made me go "awww dang" when it *didn't* kill the enemies I'd lured close to it.

I 100% agree first biome is for accumulating that cash money. I try to avoid dropping a checkpoint seed at all, I'm that greedy.

Second biome is where I try to build up half cash, half hearts. I try to have at least six hearts and twenty crystals by the end of the third biome.

I try to have at least one seed that does up-close combat well (knight seed, hot rolling rock) and one that handles projectiles well (reflect, shield). Possibly a third seed for dealing with the third biome's projectile hell (slow motion, invisibility). I'm keen on the star seed now too, as that one is super useful in the fourth biome and the final battle. Really lets you focus on moving upward without worrying about all the other chaos happening around you, and with enough time put into the game, you can make a ton of progress in that short star seed window.

Hole filler is huge in the fourth biome. It'd probably make the final battle easier, too, though I used a star seed to rush through that.

I think generally my strategy depends on what I'm given, and I try to buy what I didn't get for free.

So far I try to use the bank in the first camp. I'm still avoiding minigames for health reasons but I'll get back to them soon enough. Extra crystals would be great.

But at this point I feel like I'm mostly relying on luck to give me good seeds for free. The enemies and projectiles are tricky, but I love the increased hole density, since it's difficult but rarely feels cheap (the way being overwhelmed by too many enemies or bullets can feel cheap).

But to summarize my priorities are, in this order:

  1. Get money
  2. Get hearts
  3. Get the right offensive seeds (knight, hot rock)
  4. Get the right defensive seeds (shield, reflect, star, hole filler), ideally before the third biome

Possibly documented elsewhere, but:

  • Dying with an aura shows two dying seeds
  • The bomb aura leaves behind a trail of green which persists between games (like, at camp)

Beat the game tonight! Used the "pop out aura" twice on my way up, but had to stop using it once the final boss fight started. In the second or third biome I used the knight seed to destroy a massive cluster of enemies at least twice. At one point I had 41 crystals and 9 hearts. Don't think I could have possibly finished the boss without the star seed shielding me while I scrambled up to the special plots. Fell once during the boss fight, and the alternating rows of blood drops are fun but sometimes it's really hard to build up momentum if you're still. My hole dodging skills have gotten really good and that's deeply satisfying to realize.

Super fun but I felt very lucky! Never used my warp seed, knight seed was great for clearing huge swarms, and I went nuts with the heart seed once I had that sweet sweet swarm cash.

I've been thinking about enemy interactions. Like, you know how in Spelunky, things in the dungeon can interact with other things in the dungeon? I was thinking about interactions I would expect, but never see. For example:

  • Triggering a spinny laser and watching it shred nearby enemies
  • Baiting a spider into jumping into a hole (Like how you can bait the spring snake into jumping off the pyramid in Q-Bert. Classic and satisfying!)
  • Side lasers killing enemies that pass through it
Which gets me thinking about a more philosophical question: is the game world designed to kill you, or does everything just... exist? Like in Donkey Kong you're being hunted, and in Frogger the world exists, somewhat indifferent to you. The nature-focused look of Tumbleseed gets me thinking it's more the latter than the former, though obviously the game exists somewhere in the middle.

Anyway! I was wondering if y'all have thought about letting enemies kill enemies. I'm almost always disappointed when it doesn't happen.

Also: Purple followers only having 1HP feels good. Was it 2HP before? Anyway: Love the new feel of that.

haha I recently hit all 8 buttons but only managed to pick up four crystals. There weren't any gold crystals in my path and that was the best I could do given the time limit. I felt REALLY stupid carefully rolling back down knowing I'd just failed to make a profit despite completing a satisfying challenge.

I think I still approach all challenge rooms as like a carnival game. They're a place to test my skills and maybe lose money. The springs being free is surprising, but I dunno, maybe I'll use a warp and just dive into a spring map and play that until I die a few times. But the format of "pay 5 crystals to probably lose 5 crystals and that's the full risk" is what I *expect*, since both camp and a carnival-esque game both tell me "this place is safe."

I feel like a jerk hammering this. Maybe it's because these mini-games are fun and I feel bad getting salty about them. Like yes they're high-level, advanced challenges, but I can't practice them if I feel super discouraged. Like I can either focus on going up the mountain OR do challenge rooms at camp and take damage (making that run less likely to succeed), but not both.

Fellow alpha testers, how do you feel about challenge rooms?

Yeah, the tumbleweeds, like the avalanche snowballs, are big objects that use a shadow to convey where you're in danger, right? And since I'm not sure where they're doing damage to me, I tend to avoid them WAY more than I need to. Like I only use avalanches when I can hide in a weave to the level design so snowballs won't hit me.

The tumbleweeds section is fun in theory, but I've gotten super frustrated when it's tumbleweeds AND a ton of holes AND I'm being shot at by something. Maybe a clearer hitbox will help! I'm down to test anything.

I like the Frogger-like analogy. Any sort of bonus room or stage layout that uses them like that would be fun.

Though I mentioned this in another thread: taking real damage in a bonus room completely discourages me from using the bonus rooms at all. Racing all the way up there just to carefully navigate down is kind of a chore. If you won, and you knew you could safely fall into a hole after winning the race, that'd feel more fair and fun. Like, I already spent 5 crystals. That's the risk: losing crystals. Adding damage / death makes it too much of a gamble. (Oh, and the the spring layouts look fun but they're super difficult so I don't bother.)

Kind of a tangent, but I just imagined a tumbleweeds bonus game and immediately thought "oh if I take real damage, though, I'll pass." I'm pushing myself to try bonus rooms more often, and taking damage is killing my enthusiasm. As soon as I get to a between-levels area, I go into money-management mode. Is the bank worth it? What's in the shop? Thinking "do i have enough health to justify trying a bonus race?" is the only time I think more about survival than planning ahead and it feels weird.

The jellyfish-looking things that pop out of new holes and then fly down: it feels really cheap that spikes don't hurt them. Sometimes they appear so suddenly that I can't dodge to the side, and I've thought "well at least I have my spikes" then nope, they hit me and I lose all my spikes. Suuuuper frustrating. I'd feel less frustrated if they telegraphed their arrival sooner, or they moved more slowly.

And here's a random thought: I agree that the "last heart" noise is annoying, but it's serving an important purpose. Consider adding a new layer to the soundtrack instead? Something heartbeat-y? This is a completely unsolicited idea but warning noises are rarely not annoying. (The "you have 30 seconds left" alarm in Katamari Damacy struck me as surprisingly bad and that game came out like 10 years ago.)

I was surprised that tumbleweeds were an insta-kill. I discovered this with four spikes and three hearts, and that sudden death suuuuucked. (Roguelikes feel best when you feel like every death is a learning experience and not a cheap death, so I'm trying to share when a death feels "cheap.") If they were anything else that better telegraphed insta-death, (say, a giant boulder) I'd be less frustrated, but for now they look like big fluffy clouds that should do a heart's worth of damage and pop with one spike. Also: holy fuck there are so many tumbleweeds. Between them and the holes, more often than not it's about waiting a looong time time to see an opening, since most of the time they appear to be presenting an unwinnable configuration of tumbleweeds effin' up your business.

(I am loving the game so far, by the way. It can get difficult right out of the gate, and I appreciate that.)

Loving the Shield since I can take a few hits. And once I found a wild Pistol seed spawned that thing easily killed three enemies on screen

This isn't a favorite, but: if I see that a seed can damage me, I pretty much avoid it every time. Once I laid down a homing seed without getting out of the way immediately, and it immediately spawned a missile and killed me, so now I kinda grumble "ugh never again" and go with a seed that can't hurt me.

Oh man, it's a suuuuper bummer that falling down a hole in the timed race hurts you. There's a chance I just lost money AND lost my spikes AND now I've lost a heart, even though I'm in what I'd consider to be a safe space where I couldn't die or take damage.

Have y'all considered just dropping you down to the bottom without penalty? As soon as I hit camp, I expected to be able to take a breather and focus on resource management before venturing into the next area. But once I realized I can get hurt in the bonus race room, I stopped visiting them altogether even if I had good health (since I still didn't want to lose my spikes).

Also: the springboard challenge room looks really fun! But it's so difficult, and I risk losing a heart if I fail, that I pretty much only tried it once before vowing to never try it again.

And while we're talking about safety in camp: sometimes those green flies end up in camp. Is this a bug or a feature? Again, with camp I expect to stay safe, so any enemies appearing is more annoying than usual ('cause I just want to relax in that sweet sweet camp!).