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If I do end up expanding the project into a full game, I probably would do so by making the battlefield and what happens in it more interesting and varied. I would lean harder into the "participator" appeal, which not many games try to accomplish. Being a neutral party and experiencing the chaos without being directly involved in it is what I think games don't do often and some playstyles in multiplayer games were born BECAUSE of that desire, like being friendly in shooters. Because of that, I'd probably stay away from player objectives - you're a flag, you aren't helping the team as much as you are a goal, one part of a giant simulation. The game would have a bit of a different appeal, yes, but I think it's an angle that's still fertile ground.

Thanks for the comment still, I very much appreciate it!

Well, you ain't wrong! Quick reading and assessing the situation is key to victory!
Thanks for checking out the game and writing a comment!

There is two timers: at the top (the winning condition) and when almost grabbed you have a health bar above the flag, which you shouldn't rely on, it's a split second, more of a warning and a leniency feature. 

As for strategy, well, it changes constantly, there is not one dominant strategy that will guarantee victory! Some do get close, but the AI is designed to keep you on your toes. It's a game where you have to adapt to the current situation at hand. Sometimes it's worth it to stick around your teammates and look out for cheeky aggressors. Sometimes it's better to bail and run as far as possible. Sometimes you have to do do something risky and jump above the enemies and abuse slow motion to make it easier. Sometimes you also have to use platforms to your advantage to slow down your pursuers. Sometimes you have to rally the team together in order to help them win a team fight and so on.

Thanks for your comment and checking my game out!

Didn't even reach that point in the run lol

I was super looking forward to playing this one! Amazing intro and simple premise!

With that said, I couldn't get past the first level and it got annoying to place every single entity again after every unsuccessful play. This game makes me wish there were more puzzle games where it was more about discovering different interactions between entities rather than the standard fair.

Creative idea and decently polished! Nicely done!

This one specs it all on execution and polish instead of an original idea. Saying that, I immensely enjoyed my time with the game, more so than other jam entries! The retreating mechanic does add that bit of extra depth to make this one. I couldn't really get past level three, but that's ok. I also thought the knights were entirely worthless as a unit.

Oooh boy, I was looking so forward to this one! Got the vibes, the gameplay is kinda jank, but it's all good. I enjoyed playing through it.

Second funniest concept for a game and I dig it!

Early levels were super fun, but when more stuff appeared, it became extremely frustrating. Don't know what the point of the cowboy hat is if there are no enemies to dash through and the distance isn't big enough to get everybody into the pen simultaneously. Maybe there should be a longer cooldown before someone decides to escape the pen? I think this one mechanic takes away from the goofy fun atmosphere that was so well established within the first moments and kind of spoils it.

Was so mad that animals in Animal Crossing don't cross regularly, so this game already sparked my interest.

Joking aside, it's an interesting concept, but I did some stupid stuff on my first go, like accelerate a car into an animal instead of speeding up the animal so he can make it. I think the powers should either affect only animals or only obstacles, not both. Should streamline powers a bit.

The game is extremely polished, looks extremely good and it is extremely tough. Couldn't save two-three animals in a row.

I was so tempted to not give this game a try because I was greeted by a huge text dump explaining every single mechanic. Not a great start.

Then I did give it a try and... I still have no idea how to play the game and if I'm even doing well or not. I think it's some sort of tycoon game where managing money and resource is key and getting more of it is the main goal, but I don't have the motivation to try and penetrate this iron wall.

Not the most player-friendly implementation of a quest giver idea, but I think with a good tutorial it can become a much deeper experience for those that are looking for it. I just don't think the game itself wants to be played or understood...

Looks great and plays well, although it does quickly lose its charm.

I didn't quite get how the upgrading mechanic works. Sometimes I was able to make it work and other times I didn't and I had no idea what I was doing wrong. At first I was also overwhelmed by all the different types of bricks I had. I think having each type should be slowly introduced throughout your first session as you keep playing until you can play the entire level with every option.

Can I call it a tower defense game? Because it's totally a tower defense game.

The theme idea doesn't really work and the game isn't all that much fun. I do appreciate the effort put into the presentation though!

Thank you for your comment! We were pushing hard to make the platforming fun on day 1 and we kind of took a gamble on AI that paid off. If you're interested in how it works in the broad strokes, I made a reply earlier.

Thanks for your comment! For the jumps, I already thought the jump buffer was excessive, but I guess not xD

Didn't expect the concept to vow me, but I, like, really dig it yo. Feel like Fruit Ninja with the focus on being fast and accurate and having tons of stuff flying at you from the sides of the screen.

I really like the shield mechanic punishing you for babysitting the cursor, but I wish the balls were thrown in such a way where it complimented this mechanic. When balls are lobbed high up into the air, it give you time to line up a shot, which makes the shield a great mechanic, but it doesn't work if balls aren't thrown as high or are spawning at the top and are falling straight at you. I also wish balls that got bounced from the shield also disintegrated or something, so I know I've lost my chance at getting points. Sometimes they also auto-aimed at your hoop and I have no idea why.

Aside from that, all it really needs is some synthwave and maybe come fancy backgrounds and you've got a great time waster.

One of our ideas in the brain dump was a horror game, but we picked something else. I'm still glad some people went into this angle, because I enjoyed the game, especially the art and vibes.

The gameplay barely changed or got harder though. At first I thought I would lose if the claw didn't grab a different toy and I had to bait the claw into grabbing at least something, but alas that's not a mechanic. I got caught mostly because I got tired of playing it, not because it got harder. Walking on toys is both annoying and super cool and it's a shame the machine got very empty late in the game.

I really like the cute art and mid 2000s mobile game vibe.

Found the game a tad frustrating, but grabbing food items is satisfying enough to keep me engaged. I think I prefer a level-to-level structure instead of endless, but that's just me.

I wish I could play a bigger version of this. "Blend into the crowd" games are always interesting to see.

If you just change the skin, you can get a cooking game no problem. I liked playing it, it was very smooth to control.

My only issue would be that some tasks aren't clear on what the completion conditions are. Sounds are also extremely similar, so sometimes I would get on with a task, thinking it was finished, but the bubbles didn't go away. Plant minigame was the biggest offender here, since I still have no idea which stage I have to leave the minigame for it to count as succesful. At first I didn't even register I had to wait for the plant sprite to change several times, other minigames are just "click button and move on".

To elaborate on the incapable hero critique, I never felt like getting caught benefited me in any way aside from reloading the magazine. My dude always died seconds later, since he always charges into danger without thinking and doesn't have any survival instincts. He doesn't try to keep distance or anything

Normally it would be fine, but you've made a game where you are forced to cooperate with the AI in order to finish the level. It's not like the AIs are optional and you can ignore them and still have a great time. Getting caught my people is part of the intended route, so all those issues become magnified.

I should know - I've encountered this issue.

The game feels more like an easier bullet hell with an interesting snake enemy. The snake premise is pretty much in the background. It is very janky and very easy, so I couldn't enjoy it, but for some reason the simple art spoke to me.

Extremely creative idea. The biggest issue here would be an insane difficulty spike in the second room before you've even figured out all of the mechanics. I couldn't get past the pit of people. I get the appeal of the idea so far, but I think having a more capable hero and better aiming (that doesn't make my mouse go into the second monitor) could make the combat segments much more fun.

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Game basically as a Pac-Man platformer (which it kind of was) without the collectibles. It was already fun in the prototype with only enemy AIs, but I'm glad we had the time to implement the allies. I think it turns the game into a reactive action platformer RTS sort of.

A lot of mechanics were planned for the flag, such as collectibles that spawned more allies, but were left on the cutting room floor, because I felt the game should be more about you being a neutral party in a chaotic environment, where you yourself aren't a hero or anything, but you're just placed in the middle of an interactive battlefield and you get to experience the carnage first hand without being directly involved. The flag is never supposed to help, it just sits there. You're prey, not predator. The world just reacts to your presence, which is something that I don't think is common in games. Having an enemy flag that does its own thing could be the next step towards this type of feel, with yet another variable that makes the world feel more lively.

Thanks for the insightful comment!

Another good take on the dungeonmaster idea. It's like a puzzle game where the job isn't to beat the level, but to do it as effectively as possible, which I don't see often. Looks and plays fine too!

One quality of life change I think would be to show the player the first second of where the enemy and the hero will head towards, which I think should get rid of more ambiguous moments, where the player will take the path of least resistance, but those several paths are all similar in length.

So people already mentioned the timer, but I want to mention a lack of a reset button. At one point the hero got stuck and I had to leave the level, but entering a level again softlocked the game.

I don't think the game idea lends itself to interesting conundrums or puzzles, but granted I've only played the jam levels. I just don't think they are that much fun to solve.

Cute art, but the cursor is pretty much invisible.

I like the art and the polish, but not really pushing the theme. Reminds me of Binary Land.

Super polished and super fun.

I just wished the level 2 tutorial was more obvious regarding the cursor blocking the player mechanic. It's super easy to miss it entirely. At one point I legitimately believed the game was bugged (as is tradition with jam games) as I tried pushing the box into the button (like in the previous level) and it didn't cross my mind the cursor prevented me from pushing the box. Only after a restart did I magically pass the level and figured it out in level 3.

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The game looks so beautiful and polished, I  really wanna play it more, but I couldn't put up with the card mechanics.

  • It's a fast-paced real-time card game, but card text is lengthy and hard to read (it's a tiny pixel font), so inevitably I lost a lot of health just trying to read card text and grasp what it did. Make the text much simpler or make the game turn based, pick one.
  • Give the player a timer at the beginning of the game like in tower-defense games, so they can prepare for the onslaught (and read those lengthy cards).
  • If I want to pick a specific card, they are too close together, so often times I grab the wrong card by accident. Give them some space, so I can reliably grab a card if things get heated. It's not like you'll get 10 cards in your hand at any point anyway.
  • Because they are so close together, it also makes it much harder for me to see which cards I'm currently holding, meaning I gotta scroll my mouse across my entire hand pretty regularly just to get the basic info needed to form at least something that resembles strategy.
  • On the topic of cards, at one point I could only grab them from the left side or by the icon instead of center mass. That could be a bug, but it was very detrimental to the play experience and one of the initial reasons I stopped playing before giving the game a second shot.
  • If you're going to animate the cards, don't also animate the collisions. If I hover over a card, the animation can make it possible for me to choose a different card at the last moment, because the collisions moved. Same if I want to grab a different card instead of the one that is currently huge.
  • Thanks to those same animations, a bug can appear where the card stops becoming selectable unless I re-select the card. Again, frustrating. Those could also contribute to why the game got picky sometimes with grabbing cards.
  • When placing monsters, the placement is canceled automatically if if touches the wall at least a tiny bit. I think the game should help you here by moving them out of the collision and into a proper place, which should be easy if the level is grid based. Only cancel placement if I intentionally place them somewhere dumb, here nothing can fit.
  • Small touch: make the corridors red when grabbing a card, letting you know immediately you can't place them. At first I didn't know why I couldn't place them until I realized there is a monster limit per room and corridors are purely connectors.
  • Late game, the enemy swarms got so huge, I just started spamming all monsters and spells, since a single monster couldn't do anything against 4 knights and spawners work too slowly to act as a deterrent. I didn't feel like the fight were fair. I think slowing them down could not only make late game a bit more lenient, but also make the early game more inviting.
  • Maybe monsters from spawners shouldn't die if the cooldown runs out? I want to use them when they're at their most effective (away from the enemy, ready to build an army), but instead I'm forced to use them when they aren't useful at all, next to the enemy where they die instnatly. You have cannon fodder enemies, but you won't let me play them as such - they're treated instead as singular, stronger enemies (which they aren't).

I sound very harsh, but that's because I wanna love this game so bad and play it, but all these issues prevented me from even penetrating the game and giving it a fair shake. The game was constantly giving me reasons to quit. It's a card game where using cards is not fun or easy, and if that isn't fun, there's no reason for me to keep playing.

Really like the concept, but the penalty for casting the wrong spell is super easy to trigger if you get no time to react when the icon changes. You could give the spell casting a bigger cooldown between shots to prevent this and encourage single shots, which I think was the intention. I would also make AD pick spells and mouse to aim and shoot, should make things more comfortable and inviting for the player.

Thanks for your insightful comment!

I had no idea people would resonate so much with the allies, always thought of them as cannon fodder willing to die, a gameplay mechanic, but I guess giving helpful mechanics faces and cute noises makes them more relatable xD

Cutscene text at the start was extremely fast and I couldn't read it. Wish I could read it at my own pace.

When actually playing, I couldn't grasp what the enemies were capable of in top-down mode. Sometimes they moved with me as if gravity was still in play, but then sometimes they would just stand still not doing anything (in the same top-down mode mind). Because of this I didn't really know what I could trust and what I couldn't. I think if the elements would change sprites to indicate the behavior change I think it would be more intuitive and easier to learn. Or have them more consistent. Make barrels only move upwards if you're standing on them during top-down, not just when top-down gets activated.

Even with those issues, I like how the game looks and the atmosphere, it makes stuff less frustrating and makes me wanna give the levels a couple more tries.

About "defending the entire screen", there's an issue with that.

This is hard to do if the RNG decides all towers should be on the extreme left side of the screen, bullets take forever to reach their targets on the extreme right of the screen and the knockback means they aren't pushed back, but further away from your bullets, which becomes a problem when they get more health. This pretty much guarantees you can only reliably defend yourself from threats on the left side or the center (which become right side if enemies are pushed by knockback). It's a small niggle, but I think it leaves how much enjoyment you can have to the roll of the dice. Sometimes the game just screws you over for no reason.

Fun arcade romp, despite not being all that original. 

In the late game, new towers were always placed in the most ridiculous spots, like all the way on the left edge of the screen, which means some parts of the screen were impossible to defend. Otherwise, good game.

Got a score of about 100 or so. At first I didn't know what I can or can't control. When I got my first game over I got a spook and I had no idea what triggered it. There seems to be a lack of feedback overall to make the game enjoyable on a more strategic level, which is a shame, because it's an interesting take on a resource management mechanic.

Fun, simple maze game. I can easily imagine a game like this coming out back in the Flash era.

I swear this game was plotting to burn down my crops, poison the water supply, steal my gold and cattle, and stab me in the back if I looked at it funny... but it didn't. Having dialogue screens with no dialogue boxes was a diabolical design choice. More games should do it, I was having a heart attack.

Making a meta game about making games is not all that original, but I still like when a game just... talks to you. I think I can almost see the person that made it. Not because they made a bad game that was funny or charming, but because it actually talked to me.

It's not a game, it's an experience. Does this game a good jam game? My head hurts.

I was screaming at the cat, which was funny for 10 seconds then it got boring.
The house itself looks pretty neat, like a simpler version of indoor environments from Kill It With Fire.

Strange how your original comment made me self-reflect and I opened myself up to reminisce about my experience in such a way. Sorry if my response has touched a nerve, that wasn't my intention!

Keep on keeping on!