Thanks for all the kind comments and feedback everyone! I updated the release, adding a checkpoint system and tweaking the difficulty a bit.
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I got a black screen when starting the same, but the sound still works. I'm on Windows 10 if that helps. The vast majority of GM games I tried worked, but there were 2 others that had the same issue.
The music, sound effects and art feel really professional on this. I got a bit confused on how to jump, because the "how to play" says arrow keys including the up key, while it's the space bar instead.
I was really confused for a while because you need to single press a movement key instead of holding them down, otherwise you don't move. The first time I started the game John was not visible (I suppose he was maybe generated on the first row of floor tiles), which combined with the key behaviour gave the impression that the game was broken.
I wasn't sure how to surf and what was causing me to stop repeatedly. Then I watched the trailer and I realized I was supposed to go completely right and left and the obstacles were either gaps or higher platforms. The main improvement point for me would be to make the obstacles more visually distinct.
This is a very nice little RPG. I like the pixel art, the dialogue, the gathering mini-game and the quest system. The mini-game is very RSI-inducing when grinding though, I'd recommend either adding more variety with different mini-games or reducing the need to grind that particular game.
The story was really lovely and the art is charming. I also liked the Zelda tribute in the second level. It was frustrating that you freeze when recharging, because there's nothing you can do to prevent it or damage to your flower. I think that giving the flower a slowly recharging energy supply and being able to partially recharge from that when you're near might mitigate this.
Nice job! It feels like a complete game. There was a lot of dissonance in the music. If you're in a rush and you're writing it yourself, consider using a pentatonic scale. It's easier to improvise in those and have it sound good.
The feel of the menu and the shooting was very satisfying. I think it might be a good idea to close the doors in the room like in The Binding of Isaac, otherwise it's easiest to just run past the enemies. And that strategy then results in a really grindy bossfight.
The sounds effects were charming and cute. The mindmap in the beginning was an interesting way to quickly explain how everything worked. I didn't really feel in control of the stealth. I think the randomness of the squeaking can work well to increase tension and risk, but that the player should then have some tools to deal with the resulting danger, like a limited sprint option or places to hide.
Wonderful little toy. I loved the art and the atmosphere. Would be great on a tablet. I didn't realize you could hit the birds. After reading the comments and trying that it became sillier but I was a bit sad that the relaxing gentle atmosphere from before was gone.
When the tutorial says "Ok dude, it's time to do your magic", are you supposed to do something in the tutorial or exit back to the menu? I first got the impression I had to press the spacebar and then the tutorial would continue, but this did nothing. I was able to open and close the drawers in the first level, but I wasn't able to figure out how to continue. The spacebar did nothing. For polish it's good to have an exit button in the menu or to respond to the escape key. The art style is rather nice.