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Unfortunately I did not have enough time to give this a full play. I did have the crashing issue the first time I ran the game- "UE Fatal Error" after selecting the character and hitting start. Second time worked and I don't know why. It's visually very impressive and the gameplay seems fun.

That was... an experience.

It wasn't the strangest game in the jam, but it's a lot closer to Thesmothete-level bizarre than I thought it would be.

I will disclaim that I suck at fighting games, and I have no friends so I was only able to play against myself, so the amount of real useful feedback I can give is limited. Although- and I'll get to this later on- I don't think that matters all that much.

If I were to take it seriously, I'd comment on the impressive visuals- backdrops, characters, and effects- amount of mechanics and overall feature set. It may only have one working character so far but there's a lot of stuff that's working. I would mention that I found some of the animations stilted and that it didn't feel fluid overall. I would complain about the text to speech in-fight voices which are more distracting than generic groans.

But I really kinda couldn't take it seriously. It's a Touhou fighting fangame, which I guess is off the beaten path a bit but it's not unheard of. It could still be a serious game. But this has gratuitous splash screens, obnoxious gamer bro language everywhere, and dialogue in Russian or something despite the game being mostly in English with occasional Japanese. The visual design is best described as loud, which I guess works but doesn't really feel like a game made in 2023. And then the loading screen was an inexplicable upskirt shot overlaid with bright red text.

At that point I kinda went, wtf am I even playing?

Now, I don't know if that was the intent. I don't know if this was intended to be a bizarre experience or an earnest one. If this is meant to be a serious, good-good-game, I'm truly sorry. It just doesn't hit those notes for me.

Really, though, I think you should lean into the unlicensed foreign bootleg pastiche. Don't try to make it earnestly good, but take refuge in audacity. Make it feel like a game you bought by accident trying to buy a much bigger name game. Go all out with gratuitous foreign language, local memes that nobody is going to get, bizarre but entertaining design choices, hell even throw in some characters from a completely unrelated franchise for no apparent reason. The fighting mechanics are good enough, it just needs a whole lot more janky content.

In the end, though, it's your game and it's up to you. I will say that you should take the game in the direction you want to, in a way that you enjoy the development process instead of dreading it, and not try to make every random person on the internet happy.

First impressions were mixed. The main menu looks good, but the options menu is basically empty, and some of the UI elements are rough. I found the font used throughout most of the game incredibly hard to read. I'm not sure if it would be better or worse on mobile.

I'm always impressed when I see customization options. That's something I love to see in games and would like to try someday if I can ever figure out how to do it without sending my scope to the moon. It definitely felt very WIP, though, with limited options and some buttons appearing to do nothing.

Visually, it's an impressive game. All 3D with some nice environments, good use of effects, and spiffy animations. The character models are kinda uncanny valley, especially the female one which appears to be literally the default one with a bra, but maybe that's the point.

I'm mildly concerned about how performance is going to be on mobile. And a 700MB APK would be absolutely massive. But neither of those things are problems for the game in its current state.

Unfortunately, only the desktop version was available to play, and the controls really don't translate well to a mouse. I can sort of see how they're supposed to work with touch input, but it's incredibly awkward with a mouse. I also sometimes didn't get the prompts, and sometimes didn't throw punches even when the prompts came up. I'm not sure if that's because of some game mechanic, or because it's not registering my inputs.

That, by extension, makes it really hard to evaluate the gameplay on its own merits. There seemed to be some complexity to when I could attack and when that attack would land, but for all I know it could just be totally random with inputs being dropped or attacks not landing because of bugged colliders.

Not that I know much about fighting games. I've played quite a few: various Street Fighters, King of Fighters, Samurai Shodown... I suck at all of them.

I really feel it needs an ingame tutorial of some kind, but maybe that can come later in development.

I'm not really into fighting games, nor have I followed the development of this game, so it's hard to get a feel for where it's coming from, where it is along the journey, and where it's eventually planned to end up. I was impressed by the graphics and overall presentation, but struggled to make sense of its gameplay. It's really a shame the Android version didn't work because it would have been nice to see this on a mobile platform as it's intended to be.

Unfortunately, I only had time to play one level. But it really was a delight!

The game is quite polished and well executed, making a good impression from the get-go. To be honest, I'm not really into the lowpoly aesthetic in general, but this game is cute and charming enough for me to give it a pass.

As a 3D platformer it's solid. The mechanics are- once again- well executed. The only oddity is the shift to walk slowly; I'm not really sure where that comes into play. The hitboxes on the saw hazards might also have been off, but maybe I just couldn't quite tell where I was standing. That's a bit of a problem, but it's hardly unique to this game; it's an issue with basically every 3D platformer ever.

It really does remind me of some of the early 3D games of the mid-90s to early-2000s. Almost Super Monkey Ball meets Super Mario 64, although maybe those are just the games on my mind at the moment. It doesn't seem to really break any new ground, but maybe it doesn't need to.

This is a very polished, very charming platformer. I love the concept of it, and once I figured out how to hook onto ice blocks (this took me an embarrassingly long time) I got the hang of the basic mechanics very quickly. The graphics aren't totally to my taste- I'm not a huge fan of pixel art- but they're well executed.

I do really like that it's a chill game both figuratively and literally, and that it's relatively forgiving, with icicles just knocking you down instead of killing you.

Unfortunately, there were a few little frustrations that ultimately killed my run. 

The first is that I just found the controls really awkward. I played with the keyboard, and I really wish it was arrow keys and zxc instead of wasd with space and jk. It also felt like there was one too many controls; maybe hook and tether should be the same button, or jump and hook, or hook on and hook off, I'm not sure, but I kept hitting the wrong button.

The second is that momentum isn't really preserved the way you'd expect coming off a swing, and that renders what should be easily doable jumps into barely doable ones that need split-second timing and pixel perfect precision. It seems to work a little better if you enter a swing with momentum, but I was rarely able to pull that off because I kept getting cross-fingered with the controls. 

I got stuck in the second large cave with the grappling hooks and eventually just threw in the towel.

Honestly, I think the game is probably fine the way it is, as long as you use a controller and are good at platformers. For me, it doesn't quite hit the mark.

That was a neat little game. It's short, but I think it's as long as it needs to be. It has a lot of charm to it, too, and reminds me a bit of an old Flash game.

There are a lot of nits I could pick. The homemade grappling hook probably wouldn't work, and all the items being conveniently there pushes suspension of disbelief. The game has an inventory, but you don't use items from the inventory and sometimes ones you shouldn't have anymore don't disappear. The music is a bit too loud.

But ultimately, I'm nitpicking. The game is short enough that nothing really grows from a brief thought at the back of your head to anything that really sullies the experience.

I think if there's one complaint I'd really level it's that the art is really inconsistent in both style and quality. There are some beautiful handpainted backgrounds, but these clash pretty heavily with the almost mspaint looking foreground objects and whatever style the lighthouse is supposed to be. Having to work with whatever stock assets can be had and whatever can be scraped together can be rough; I'm not an artist and I've been there. Ultimately I ended up trading fidelity for consistency in most of my projects.

That being said, the visual contrast does make finding objects much less of a pixel hunt than it could have been.

All in all I think this is a pretty solid game. It's simple, but it doesn't overcomplicate things.

I did understand that it wasn't meant to be an actual level, but I still feel the level design is the biggest weakness with this game in its current state as a mechanics demo. It doesn't do a good job of demonstrating the mechanics unless you already know them. I think another way of putting it is that the current level is a sandbox, but the next iteration should be a showcase. Still not a real level in that the goal isn't really gameplay, but rather to show off all the platformer mechanics in such a way that the player won't miss them.

I think there's a good start here. It's very WIP, but it's a solid foundation.

This works well as a mechanics demo. There are a lot of platformer mechanics in here and all of them seem to work pretty well, movement is solid, and there are even some neat visual effects on display. The level seems to be set up to let you explore the various mechanics, though as someone coming in from the cold I was sometimes confused as to what was supposed to be used where.

This works less well as a complete game, though (correct me if I'm wrong) that isn't the intent. The level is a confusing maze, and I have no idea what the goal is. The UI is confusing; it's not clear what each bar means in the game itself. I'm not entirely sure what's an enemy and what's friendly, what damages me and how to damage enemies.

But again, it's a demo.

I think the one real criticism I have is that this is described as a speed-based platformer but that isn't really evident from my experience with the demo. I didn't really feel any need for speed and there didn't seem to be any advantage to zooming around versus moving carefully.

I think if there's one thing to improve for a second demo, versus a complete game, it would be reworking the level and possibly the mechanics to emphasize speed and to push the player to utilize all the mechanics on display.

This is an interesting concept. It's an RPG. About RPGs. An RPRPG, if you will. I don't know if that's been done, but it's new to me, and I really like the idea of having to manage real-life events around fantastical battles.

It's definitely rough in its current state.

There are some major sizing issues. The iframe and/or embedded page is kinda messed up; it's much wider than it needs to be and stretches the whole itch page. The game itself, though, is cut off, and big chunks of the UI aren't visible at all. Going fullscreen fixed that, but it wasn't a good first impression.

The UI is pretty rough visually, but it's a game in its early stages so that's not really a big deal. Similarly, it would be nice to have some music and sound effects, but again the 

To be honest I didn't play this game much. There's a lot of complexity to it, which is a double-edged sword. It means there's potentially a lot of depth and staying power to the game, but it also means that new players can get overwhelmed quickly and never really give it a chance. It's possible to manage and control complexity to ease players in and get them onboard, usually by trickling in mechanics or other aspects one by one.

At least in its current state, the game doesn't do that. Everything is thrown at me from the starting line, and there's very little in the way of help. There's a tutorial, but it only covers half of what I need to know, and I've forgotten most of it by the time the game actually starts. I have no idea what gear score is, what any of the stats mean, what the types of character are, or how the real world affects the raids or vice versa. I did a raid and lost, but had no idea what I did wrong or what I could have done to do better.

I may be preaching to the choir here, maybe this is something you already have in mind.

The other thing that seemed to be missing was any sort of progression or risk/reward. I could recruit all the players I wanted and nothing bad seemed to happen after losing the battle. I think this is something planned, though, so I won't say too much about it. It'd be interesting to see what you come up with for an overall gameplay loop here.

All in all, it's very much a prototype but I like the concept and I think it has a solid direction.

I feel you on the "damn it still looks default Unity" thing. I managed to make a set of UI graphics that wasn't actually stock, but was so similar it was confused for stock on multiple occasions. That was my UI basically from when I started what would become CommonCore up to when I implemented theme support in 2020.

I had a suspicion that the weapon reset was a new bug introduced with the new functionality.

Getting the crosshair right is hard. Most of my games have ADS so it's somewhat less critical.

I think I found the slam finicky because it's not clear how wide the damage radius is. The lack of impact doesn't help either; it's hard to tell when I'm not doing damage because I was too far away and when I'm not doing damage because I'm not triggering the slam.

It's the audio/visual effect of the slam that lacks impact. I think it's better than the initial version, but it's still not there. While there is an effect, it gets lost a bit in the frantic action, and it doesn't really have the weight that it should. I can't really nail down why that is. Maybe it needs a different sound effect, or more particles.

I get that the trampolines are only supposed to trigger under certain conditions, but during frantic gameplay I just found it way too finicky to actually make it happen consistently. I'm not really paying that much attention to how I'm getting onto a trampoline, just trying to get up to the next level before I'm completely shot full of bullet holes. Usually I basically just mashed buttons until it worked.

I'm talking about player-being-hit indicators. I don't think they're prominent enough; I honestly did not notice that they were even in the game. They got lost in the noise.

To be honest, I don't really get the gameplay concept of this one.

To me a runner thrives on speed and fluidity. It's all about staying in motion and keeping the momentum going. You should be avoiding or blowing up stuff that slows you down so you can keep speeding along until you can't keep up anymore.

Throwing clicker segments into that doesn't make any sense to me because it absolutely kills that momentum. It's kind of like an RPG with excessive random encounters where you just want to get to the next segment, except even worse both because of the aforementioned killing of momentum and because the clicker segments don't really add anything to the gameplay like an awesome battle system does. It just slows things down.

Maybe I'm missing something. Maybe it's just lost on me. But the gameplay really doesn't click for me.

The skybox tiles poorly, and it feels weird that motion is limited to a 2D plane.

The music is a banger though.

As an aside, the devlog link is broken.

I really wanted to like this one- I love the idea of it, and there's a few things I think it does really well- but unfortunately I found it really flawed in its current implementation.

The environment design of the level is excellent. It looks great. Dusk is hard to pull off, but this is done well. There's lots of little detail objects to keep the level interesting, and it's a very natural looking environment even considering the visual style.

The only real knock against the environment design I have is that it doesn't really do anything about the edges of the map. That's one of the hardest things to deal with, to be honest. It's hard to come up with something that looks good, looks natural, and does a good job of blocking players in.

Moving from a realistic night environment to a lowpoly dusk environment was definitely a good choice. It feels serene instead of terrifying, which is a much better match for what this game is trying to be. So you can definitely feel vindicated in that choice.

The gameplay design of the level is... fine, I guess. It's a walk around a lake. The owls are spread around enough that you have to look for them, but not so far that it's a pixel hunt. Honestly, it's hard to judge this because of the other gameplay issues I'll get to in a moment.

I get that it's supposed to be a slow-paced, chill game, but the movement speed is really painfully slow. The player doesn't need to be Usain Bolt, but they need to be sped up a bit. It was incredibly tedious to go back in a few instances where I realized I'd missed something.

The rules of where you can walk and where you can't are all over the place. I was stopped by insurmountable invisible obstacles, and the path across the bridge is super finicky, but I could bunnyhop my way up sheer hills, walk right through the lake, and even launch myself off the edge of the map.

The camera appears to zoom by moving closer to the subject. It is possible to move past the subject while zooming. I only wish my telephoto lens could do this, it would make photographing buildings without power lines and such getting in the way a lot easier.

I really wish there was a way to "call it" and end the game. I'd explored all I wanted to explore by about the three minute mark. I took a few photos of birds, bunnyhopped off the edge of the map, and then left the game running in the background to run out the clock while I wrote this up.

The game is sorely lacking in feedback. There's no real confirmation that I've actually captured a photo of an owl. There isn't even a shutter sound to indicate that I did capture a photo. There's no photo gallery or counter within the game or after the end of the game. I get that it's not really trying to be a game about score or progression, but I feel it needs something of a reward mechanism, even if it's subtle and even if it's qualitative.

This is probably down to personal preference, but I really wish it was more of a camera simulator. Give me a simulated viewfinder, rack focus back and forth when I go to shoot, add some vignetting and chromatic aberration to the resulting photos.

While the visuals of the game are one of the major highlights, they're marred by a smattering of visual glitches and oversights. I've already mentioned the camera zoom. There's also this weird doubling effect where the world (or part of the world) seems to be drawn twice in camera view. And you can see a random sphere when you look down. There's also a lot of pop-in of shadows, detail objects, and even the skybox.

The UI seems to assume the game is only ever going to run at 1920x1080. On my 4K monitor, the timer was in the middle of the screen and the end screen didn't cover everything.

The audio is well done. I can see the background ambiance getting annoying after repeat plays, and I wish you could hear the owls from a bit farther away, but honestly that's nitpicking. I really do like that the owls have those audio cues.

All in all, I think this a really solid concept with a lot of interesting ideas, and it has some fantastic environment design both visual and aural. There's no one big flaw that holds the game back, it's just a bunch of small issues that kind of add up to sully the overall experience.

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I really have a soft-spot for post-apocalyptic settlement builders. Maybe some nostalgic memories of old Flash games. In general I liked this one and I finished it on my second attempt.

Having a huge iframe full of empty space, plus some debug messages before the game actually starts, doesn't make a good first impression, but I understand this game is still in development. So that aside...

I do like that there's a clear end goal, which is something this type of game often doesn't have. I wish the story was fleshed out a bit more but that's not really that important for this kind of game.

I felt the game was overly harsh and overly luck-based, especially early on. The fixed and high lethality rate makes sending people out an extreme dice roll, and if you lose too many early on you end up in a very strong negative feedback loop where you can't get people to replace the people you've lost and can't get resources to support the people. Since what structure you can build is also randomized, it's pure luck whether you can build the building you need or are stuck with the choice of something useless or nothing when you need it the most.

I almost feel like structures shouldn't be randomized at all, but that would make things too easy. Maybe it can be modified to give you a limited amount of free rerolls, or a choice of a few cards of the day, or the random generation can be biased.

I didn't like having to assign all humans especially since the lethality rate is so high; I wish I could keep some in reserve. I'm not sure if that choice is actually one that makes sense, but I wish I was given that option.

Once you're over that initial difficulty hump, the game almost seems too easy. You hit a very strong positive feedback loop where you have a glut of resources that makes it really easy to collect more resources that gives you a massive amount of resources... I think I finished on Day 24 or so, with the settlement almost full of greenhouses and refineries.

I think some events could really break it up and add some challenge and variety to the game. The only one I ever saw was "slave market", despite the changelogs mentioning more. I'm also not sure if raiders are implemented at all; there are Mercenaries to counter them, but the raider mechanic isn't explained and I never encountered them. I could see that helping to control the positive feedback loop a bit; as you get more resources you also get more attention from the bad guys.

One minor typo: "sacrificed" is misspelled in the end screen.

One minor bug: Cultists spawned from a Shelter near the back of the build area never come to the front visually, though they do seem to collect resources just fine.

One minor complaint: The death sound is very loud, overly harsh, and feels out of place. I think a better one could be chosen.

The music fits the game well, and the graphical style seemed odd to me at first but I really grew to like it. All in all I think this could use some more tweaks for balance, and maybe a bit more content, but it's a great concept and fairly well executed in its current form.

Hey, thanks for playing!

You're correct, there isn't anything new in the castle. The full update will add some collectibles to the castle, and some achievements for doing certain things/taking certain paths if those end up implemented.

There's no dialogue file for that character yet, so it tries to load it and fails. "Gracefully handle missing dialogue files in DialogueController" has been on the board for a long time, maybe it'll finally land in Edgewater (though that'll be too late for Shattered 2). Fortunately there's an autosave when entering the temple (you can also clear the dialogue through the console but that's obtuse and not really documented).

I wonder how much of what you're seeing with the enemies is placebo effect- I was surprised to hear they seemed to be acting more intelligently. I haven't made any changes to them for Shattered 2 specifically, nor any major changes to actor logic upstream. However, a few bugs and minor issues with actors have been fixed, so maybe they were being extra-stupid before and are now working properly.

I'm glad you feel the sidequests are worthwhile. To be honest, I was worried that most players might just skip them entirely, although that's one reason why I'm planning to add achievements, to kinda push people to explore and do the side tasks. I played with speeding up the sword attack way back when building A Dream of Valhalla, and it definitely felt better, but I felt a slower, more powerful attack made more sense for non-gameplay reasons.

That pull between narrative and gameplay and the inevitable compromises I had to make have been a recurring thing throughout the development process of this game especially.

The "four aspects" pantheon was partially conceived before the game was first released but there was just no way to incorporate it past passing mentions and that one texture.

I do like the idea of people who worship the "evil" Beast, and there's certainly a lot that could be done with the religion and culture of the Kingdom, but I have no idea how much of that will ever make it into a completed game.

By the same token, it would be interesting to explore the other cultures of the world, but most likely the East will never be developed beyond "mysterious foreign land we sometimes make reference to" for scope reasons. You never know, though. It would be the ideal setting for a game loosely inspired by East Asia the way "normal" fantasy is loosely inspired by Europe.

I do actually have one game in mind that's set in this world, but in a different part, different time, and not formally part of the Shattered series. We'll see about that one, though.

I'm hoping the next update (which will almost certainly be the big one, no in between steps) will be done soonish, but I've got a lot of stuff coming up IRL, so we'll see.

I'm kinda in the same boat as the other commenters. I'm not really into frustrating, tedious games, and I didn't get very far. It's rough around the edges, but for someone new to game dev it's not bad. It's mechanically complete and fully functional. It's an interesting twist on the Flappy Bird concept, it's just that I was never really onboard with Flappy Bird in the first place. 

If I may editorialize a bit, it definitely feels late to the party- Flappy Bird was a long time ago- but this is the first Flappy Bird clone I've seen that really adds something new to the formula (versus just a themed coat of paint).

It's back and as zany as ever! I haven't played this since the initial SBIG Jam version, so I guess my feedback will be for all the gradual improvements and not just the ones specific to the very latest version.

The menu UI is pretty rough, but it's an SBIG game, so that's kinda to be expected. It did all seem to work, though.

One thing I noticed is that my chosen weapon seemed to reset to the strongest when loading the next level.

The hit indicator is nice, not sure if that was in the initial version. I found the crosshair too big and opaque which sometimes made shooting enemies at a distance difficult.

I did actually use the slam this time, and found it pretty useful though still finicky and lacking in impact.

I didn't find the big room as fun the second time around. I could tell that there was some bugfixes and the enemies actually went active when they were supposed to this time and couldn't be cheesed around. But I found jumping finicky especially on the trampolines which only sometimes seemed to work properly, and I found it hard to tell when I was being hit by enemies and where from.

Hit indicators would be nice. Yes, I know I need to implement those someday too...

I almost got stuck on the level bosses when they died in the doorway. Not sure if it's possible for them to die in a way 

The end boss is an anti-climax boss, which worked well for SBIG Jam, but outside of that context, well, I kind of wish there was a real boss.

To be honest I didn't really use any of the new quality of life features, though I think all of them are good additions.

All in all I think it's a decent update to a very weird but solid game.

I'll start off with the good- well, the great, even. The presentation of this game is excellent. The art is high quality, stylistically consistent, and works well with the story. The music, too, really works well to convey the mood intended.

Some might complain about the limited animation but to be honest for this story and style, it isn't needed.

The references to gacha games went totally over my head; I don't really understand how they work well enough to get the jokes.

I found it a really weird game to try to relate to, to be honest. I know people who are like the MC, but I'm not like that myself, so I wasn't really able to put myself in those shoes and that really limited the impact the story had on me. I think depending on where you're coming from, this may hit much harder.

I have incredibly mixed feelings on the general lack of actual choice in the game. It makes sense for the themes it's trying to convey, but as a player it feels incredibly railroaded. I may be wrong, but it seems that there's one choice at the end which affects the ending that you get no matter how you played up to that point, and it's very obvious which choice is the better one. That makes the rest of it feel a bit... pointless, I guess. I don't know how to improve this specifically, but I wish that there was more nuance in some way.

Right click opening the menu got annoying but I think that's a Ren'Py thing and isn't specific to this game.

Ultimately, I think this is a pretty good game, it's just one that missed the mark a bit for me, but depending on where you're coming from it could hit a lot harder.

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Honestly I love the idea of this game, but there are a lot of minor issues with the current implementation that really kill the potential fun of it.

The game moves way too slowly, and there's no way to speed it up through manual intervention as far as I could tell. Most incrementals are also clickers and some have management mechanics to give you something to do, but this one you basically sit and wait for the number to hit a threshold, and that takes a long time. This might be because of a bug, which I'll get to in a bit.

I think it doesn't help that you can only have one summon at a time, so you have to build up enough forbidden knowledge to unlock the next to increase your rate, which requires unlocking a bunch of items to hold that knowledge, which altogether makes the beginning of the game feel like a slog.

Sanity doesn't work as described, and feels a bit half-baked. The description makes it sound like there is a chance of losing sanity on each tick and it's higher with stronger summons, but as far as I can tell you just lose sanity by having more forbidden knowledge than you can hold. You can buy items to increase your sanity cap, but there's no way to regain sanity, which I would have liked to have seen (although maybe it makes sense as a hard end condition). If sanity worked as described I'd also really like to see items to decrease your chance of losing sanity.

I didn't try it on mobile, only on desktop, but the UI is really awkward and in a game that's basically all UI, that's a problem. The biggest problem is that it's in this little window that you have to scroll up and down, which is in a page that scrolls up and down. Unfortunately I think this is where the desktop experience was sacrificed for the phone experience, because I can see how this would work on a phone. Even still, I'd have preferred the 3D view and tabs to be fixed in place and only the submenus to be scrollable.

The game is pretty buggy in its current state. The biggest problem is that the tickrate seems to be all over the place. Sometimes the forbidden knowledge rolls in quickly, sometimes it trickles. There are also issues with the UI sometimes not responding to clicks on the buttons, or taking a few seconds for it to register.

While all of these are pretty significant issues for the game, I think most of them could be fixed with only minor changes. Tweak the numbers, maybe add a clicker mechanic, tweak sanity a bit. The biggest challenge is going to be that tickrate issue. Once again, I really do like the concept and the aesthetic of this game- it's got a neat dark fantasy thing going on and the graphics are simple but appealing- and I think it could be a neat little incremental if those crippling issues are worked out.

EDIT: I also do echo the sentiment that I wish this game had background music built in.

There isn't really anything in the way of accessibility options for this game. It doesn't have voice acting or text to speech, and the user interface isn't designed for accessibility.

I understand the importance of accessibility features, and I am sorry that my game doesn't have them and you likely won't be able to play it. Unfortunately, as a solo dev with limited resources, it's something that isn't often feasible to provide. Just getting the minimum viable product out there is often a struggle. My own approach is to do what I can to make my games playable for as many people as possible, but I recognize that's in many cases not enough.

I'm not aware of any playthrough videos that exist, though I haven't specifically looked.

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Hey, KryoBright, could you message me on the jam discord at your earliest convenience? As with previous jams, I am offering an art prize (of sorts) to the lowest ranked game. I'll let you know the details once you've contacted me. If you aren't interested, just let me know and it'll go to the creator(s) of the next placed entry.

EDIT: It's been over a week with no response. I am assuming you are not interested and will be offering this to the entry in the next place.

Thanks for playing!

I have a lot more stories in mind for this universe, and I've started to branch out from the original formula and try various mediums and genres. I think this one in particular was the right fit for a visual novel. Maybe some of the other stories, too. We'll see.

Quality of life is definitely worse than something like Ren'Py, agreed. I wanted to keep things simple this time, but I am planning to add some of those features in later iterations of the VN system. I don't think rewinding will ever happen, because dialogue can arbitrarily modify game state in ways that aren't predictable or reversible. There's some wiring for dialogue history, though, just nothing to actually turn that into a viewable log yet. Being able to save and load at arbitrary points is possible, but would require some work.

Who knows if I'll ever get to any of that, though.

I'm happy the audio has been well received, but I'm kind of surprised by that given that it was super rushed this time around.

Ditto, to an extent, with the animations, although those were a lot more time consuming they're also pretty janky. That being said, looking back I think they did add more to the game than I'd initially thought.

Honestly I'd love to see more smaller, more experimental entries in the Basin Lake series going forward. I don't know if all of them will work out, but I think there's room to explore with less risk there.

  • I did get that I could paint across multiple targets, but it didn't really seem worth it to do so over just spam-clicking. Maybe something to tweak in the future. I absolutely get that combat is something that had to be pared down to limit the overall scope.
  • I'm still not a fan of this sort of vague storytelling in general, but if it's setup for something later, then I'm willing to reserve judgement until the possible future payoff.
  • I think the mix of art styles struck me as dissonant and odd because in some ways the backgrounds are "nicer" than the foregrounds. In particular, they have colour and shading, while the manga-style foreground graphics have no colour and only pattern shading. I think the paper texture and hard outlines present in the foreground graphics (both portraits and UI) clashed with the much softer and more natural backgrounds a bit. It might also be because the background elements have a hand-drawn look to them, while the foreground elements look more synthetic, probably because of the pattern shading. I do think a mix of art styles with the foreground standing out from the background can work, I just don't think this particular combination was the best.

As usual, I saved the ShibeyFaceGames title for last. I don't want to say I'm saving the best for last, but I like to end on a high note and for the most part the Basin Lake games have all been excellent.

There's definitely a bit of roughness around the edges compared to some of the previous titles in the series. There's two very different art styles in use. Skipping through the third of the dialogue that's the same on subsequent runs is annoying. The music doesn't loop properly. The combat is basically just spamming clicks (it feels like you should click and drag to paint, but that's not how it works). The first time I played, fighting nightmares didn't actually run the clock down.

Of course, "rough by ShibeyFaceGames" standards still means a very well made, highly polished game. Though it suffers a bit from style mismatch, the art is still fantastic. The music is still great. There weren't any game breaking bugs, and the mechanics all worked well. I'm nitpicking about a good game that isn't quite perfect, not breaking down the major flaws of a seriously flawed one.

Despite or maybe because of the limited scope, I think this game has some of the best and most creative design in the Basin Lake series. Overall, it reminds me of some old flash games, but with some new elements I haven't seen before. Having to manage time and balance visting locations with fighting monsters is a great core mechanic. The visual indicators of good/bad interactions are a great help. The narrative integration of repeating to find the golden path into a groundhog day loop, with different title screens, was a great addition.

I liked the premise of the story, but I think it was a little on the sticky sweet side for me. I do like the Tama/Paisley romance in general, though. I also wasn't a fan of dancing around the issue with Paisley's mother rather than just throwing up a content warning and stating it outright (I'm still not 100% sure I interpreted this scene correctly).

It's definitely a downscope from previous titles, but oddly enough, I don't think it's a downgrade. It's not perfect, it's clear some issues stem from limited development time, but I think the more constrained design worked really well overall.

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I really wanted to like this game. The production values are very high, and there was a large team behind the game that clearly put a lot of love and work into it. I'm totally on board with the narrative and gameplay concept, too. Unfortunately, there are few major issues that really brought down the experience for me.

The biggest issue is the performance. It ran like cold molassess on a winter's day on my laptop, which is not a weak machine by any means. It's a gaming laptop from 2021, with a mobile RTX 3060. I got between 15-20 frames per second when trying to record and a few more frames without, which is completely unacceptable and borderline unplayable. Honestly, I wish this game didn't have all the fancy lighting, motion blur, reflections, and other fancy effects. Some of it is cool at first, but the novelty wears off fast especially when the game is chugging along at an unplayably low framerate.

I should note I have a 4K display. I have no idea if the game was rendering at 4K, and there didn't seem to be a way to check or change it.

Paradoxically, this is both an extremely polished game and an extremely rough one. There's voice acting, which is always impressive to see. But the voice acting is highly variable in quality, and there are some serious issues with the synchronization between the text and the voice lines. There's a very nice main menu that makes musical notes when you hover over the different buttons, but there's also no options, not even volume. There's an NPC that guides you through the game, but the signposting is inadequate and inaccurate, with them referring to a stack of boxes that is mostly composed of chairs, and telling you all your attacks without telling you how to use them. There are scripted cutscenes, but they are very rough with enemies appearing out of thin air, no camera control, and sudden transitions between cutscene and gameplay. Controls are clunky and sometimes effects don't appear.

To be fair, I think I'm coming down harder on some of those flaws because the initial impression of the game was such a strong one- it felt like something almost professional with a lot of talent and a lot of work behind it. Because of that, it was both all the more surprising and all the more disappointing to see it fall down in fairly basic ways.

Once I figured out the game mechanics, I did have some fun with them. The double jump with the little butterfly effect is very nice. You have a lot of mobility in this game, and jumping around environments is pretty fun. I found the magic hard to understand, but all three abilities had impressive effects. I wasn't expecting to see a shooter in this jam, and this one is pretty solid.

I managed to clear all the enemies in the first area and made it to the storage room with the key. And then... nothing happened. No cutscene triggered, I couldn't pick up the key, and there didn't seem to be anywhere else to go. Normally I'd assume I'd just missed something... but every Unreal engine game I've come across in a jam has been buggy for some reason, so who knows. If it weren't for the severe performance issues, I might be inclined to search more, but the game was really starting to give me a headache by that point.

I should reiterate that this is a very visually impressive game. I'm not sold on the heavy post-processing, but the game does have a distinctive visual style and some very nice looking models. Though... Hayley/Elara is a bit uncanny valley. Everything else looks super nice, though. The magic effects are a step above basically anything else I've seen in any MGGJ. The environments are detailed, compelling, and they even have physics!

I think there's a ton of potential here. A lot of the work has been done; the assets are there, the mechanics are there. It just needs tweaking to address some of the weaker points... and some serious optimization.

EDIT: After editing the config file, I was able to get a playable framerate, at the cost of losing most of the lighting. I noticed that there were prompts for some of the controls, which did not show up before. I was still not able to get past the key area.

The premise is silly and could end up being tedious if done wrong, but it's an interesting twist on the genre.

The game is pretty barebones, with very simple gameplay. You can talk to people, pick things up and try to give them away. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it feels very thin in its current state especially since there are only two screens and a handful of interactions. There's also no music, which is always a disappointment.

I wish the movement was a little less touchy. I accidentally went to the second screen a few times. The dialogue boxes are also cut off by the edge of the screen, the lemon shows up on the second screen for some reason, and the checkmarks are all different sizes.

I couldn't figure out what to do on the second screen. I was able to pick up a box and put it down, but couldn't interact with anything else. I'm not sure if I ran into a bug, this part of the game just isn't finished, or if I was missing something.

The art is cute, colourful, and charming. Some of it seems to be scaled oddly, but it doesn't distract too much when playing.

Overall, I think it's a good start, and no doubt you learned some lessons making it. It is pretty rough in its current form, though.

The premise of a girl slighted by magical girls taking vengeance is interesting if a bit cliched, but to be honest I found the specific way it was handled here to be quite distasteful. Spoilers, but I think an important warning: you play as a school shooter in this game. Much as I might like or dislike other aspects of the game, I can't really get past that.

I think the storytelling with the initial cutscene was done well. It's more the way the subject matter was handled narratively that irked me.

The graphics are pretty nice. They fit the old console game aesthetic well, are visually pleasing, and have solid animations. The mechanics, too, are pretty solid. I found it annoying that I couldn't shoot to the side while in the air, but I think this was a deliberate choice.

The music is a good fit, and the sounds, though questionably legal, fit well.

I do wish there was more variety in the sprites even if it was just palette swaps, and I do wish the initial enemies put up more of a fight. I gave the boss two tries and stopped there; I'm not good at this kind of game and the difficulty was well beyond me.

Not sure why it's called Luzbel Maho Shoujo Slayer when the main character's name is Rosaline.

Overall I think there's some potential here, but ultimately I'm bothered too much by what this game is about to give it more than a cursory glance.

This game is one of those games that leaves me conflicted. There are a lot of good ideas in this game. The premise is interesting, and in some ways it's a very ambitious game. Unfortunately, it's very poorly executed overall.

The art assets are (almost?) all stock RPG Maker. That's fine. I've built games like that, and I won't judge harshly on it. The only thing that really bugged me was the battlebacks and battlers all being at different scales.

The environments are a swing and a miss. They're generally very detailed, fairly realistic, and make good use of the available assets. But they're huge and empty, and the majority of the game world serves no purpose. There are so many rooms that you can go into, but have nothing in them to interact with. It's incredibly tedious and frustrating to run around trying to find which buildings have something important in them.

If the signposting about that was better, that would help, but I'll get into that in a bit.

The little callouts that appear when you move next to things that you can interact with are appreciated. That's a neat little feature.

Doors at the bottom of the screen that are entered via the tile above the wall are really unintuitive, and I don't think I've ever played another RPG Maker game that does this. I will call this out specifically because there's one switch behind a door like this that took me ages to figure out.

The gameplay is disappointing overall. It's essentially a switch hunt, with glowing orbs that kinda-sorta make sense in the context of the game but not really. It was at least pretty clear how the switches, orbs, and locked doors worked together.

Which is... fine, I guess, but I feel the game is kind of a bait and switch. I thought it was going to be a detective story where you run around finding clues, talking to people, and solving a mystery. The game starts that way, with a few initial clues to check out, but two of them (the hotel manager's son and the office corp executive) go nowhere and as soon as you find the sewer the detective concept is pretty much gone by the wayside.

I was, however, not a fan of the passcode puzzle that requires you to go count objects, especially since the hint that starts that puzzle is in a building I didn't realize could be entered at all. The rest of the switch hunt is okay, being more disappointing because of what it isn't than what it is, but the passcode puzzle sucked. Ironically, I think this one would work okay in a detective game if it were better implemented.

A detective game screams for a journal or log system, but that's not really how this game ends up playing, it's not too much of an issue.

Honestly, I wish this really had been a game about a magical detective without the twist. The real plot has been, frankly, done to death, and I saw it coming a mile away. It doesn't really resolve cleanly- I'm still not sure how the evil girl factors into it- and I was left with more questions than answers. A nice little detective mystery but with magical girls would could have been a lot of fun.

The writing, in general, isn't great. There are some typos and non sequiturs, there's way more telling than showing, the pacing is weird, and the dialogue is really unnatural. The way the main character just blurts out all the necessary background information in the first lines of the game is a case in point. Some of this can be handwaved by the twist, but I don't feel it fully excuses any of it.

The text-only "cutscenes" at the end were pretty lame. I'm assuming time was a factor at that point, but the ending is one of the most important parts and it falls flat here.

I don't have a ton to say about the battles. They're barebones RPG Maker battles. There's not a lot to make them interesting, but there aren't so many that they become unbearably tedious. I did find they generally devolved into a loop of spamming heal until you have an opening to attack, then repeating the cycle a lot. There are elemental attacks, but how elements work was never really explained. I wish the attacks had explanation text; the game does appear to be set up for it.

While I didn't enjoy the slimes, at least they weren't random encounters. Trawling through random encounters would have driven me up the wall.

The game is incredibly sparse musically. The stock RPG Maker music on the title screen is not great, but at least it's something. Most of the game is silent. I would have taken more stock RPG Maker music over that.

I really wanted to like this one. I think there are some really good ideas in it, both in the narrative and in the gameplay. I just don't feel the game as submitted does a good job of exploring any of those ideas.

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I went into this one not knowing what to expect, other than that it would be dark and mostly grey. I was very pleasantly surprised by it.

The visual style of this game is unique, with a mixture of pixel art and manipulated low-fi photos all with a one-colour-plus-grey limited palette. There are lots of great little animations; the animated battle backgrounds stand out in particular. The whole thing has a sort of (neo?) Victorian, gothic horror vibe, and it's all very consistent and well done.

The story is dark, and the warnings at the very beginning are much appreciated. For anyone reading this and thinking about playing the game, be advised that those warnings are there for a reason and it's not just the creator being overly careful. I did finish the game but it was definitely skirting the edge of what I'm comfortable with. Once again, though, neo-Victorian gothic horror with maybe a touch of Lovecraft, and done quite well. The ending is ambiguous but I like to think it's ultimately a hopeful one.

It's off the beaten path of mahou shoujo, and while it's not the sort of thing I'd normally go for it certainly stands out in a crowd and I enjoyed it quite a bit.

The music is well chosen and some of it has a low-fi effect that normally I'd be critical of but just works in this game. The sound effects are less memorable, but serve the game well.

The difficulty is spot-on. The major battles feel intense and challenging, without feeling unfair or unreasonably difficult. I did not have to redo any sections, though I came close to dying here and there. The unique soul type system is simple enough to understand and does make enough intuitive sense that even I, with my notoriously poor memory, was generally able to pick the right one.

I have a few nits to pick, and I think it's telling in and of itself that I only have relatively minor complaints. The item shop isn't adequately signposted, and I almost missed it completely. The random encounter rate is just a touch high for my liking, and random encounters were getting annoying toward the end. The first scene with Reapy was weirdly campy and upbeat in stark contrast to the dark, brooding tone of the rest of the game. Finally, having to remember phone numbers feels like a throwback to the old days of gaming, and not in a good way. I wish these were just discovered and remembered by characters, or went into a note in your inventory.

While it's not for everybody, I enjoyed this game a lot and I think it's one of the strongest entries in the jam.

EDIT: One other minor nitpick: Reapy's jittery movement sometimes results in them getting in your way. I've never gotten stuck, but I did have a brief moment of panic the first time it happened before they moved out of the way again.

EDIT 2: I realized after writing this comment and leaving a rating that the version I played was not the initially released version, and as far as I can tell it's no longer possible to download that version. While there is a relatively detailed changelog, I still can't be 100% certain the version I played is actually representative of the game at the time of its release. Had I known that earlier, I would have refrained from leaving a rating.

I played the initial version, so some of the points here might have already been addressed.

The intro is way, way too long, especially for a jam game. There's too much text and the scroll speed is too slow. There is a way to speed it up by holding spacebar, but I didn't know about that ahead of time and was afraid to push buttons lest I skip the intro entirely. I'd prefer if the backstory was presented differently, like in cutscenes, but time was probably a constraint here.

The story itself was pretty cliched and generic. As an excuse plot for a boss rush it's no big deal. If the game was longer or more story-driven I'd come down harder on it. Depending on where you plan to take this in the future that may or may be something you'll want to address.

I only played one set of battles, but it was pretty fun. It's mostly stock assets (with some custom scripts?) but the effects are pretty, the animations are fluid, and the sound effects have plenty of impact. It had some challenge, but wasn't super difficult. The battles were definitely on the long side, but they didn't get frustrating or repetitive. Both of those things may change in later battles, but I can only comment on what I actually played.

I found myself overwhelmed at the overall complexity. I never even understood what the icons for elements or attack types meant, I had no idea what the default attacks did until I tried them, I still have no idea which element is weak to which, I only discovered what "Lore" meant in the last battle and I never developed a good grasp on which character was good for what. I think in a full game where mechanics and powers are introduced more gradually, this wouldn't be a problem (or at least not as much of a problem) but as it stands the game just throws way too much at you at once.

Part of this is on me for not even looking at the character tutorials. I'm not sure if there's a manual, but if there is, I didn't read that, either. I can't speak for everyone, but for me, learning a whole bunch of complex systems is a bridge too far for a jam game.

I also found it weird that limit break is in the same category as the normal attack. Reading the changelogs, I think that's addressed in a later version?

Overall, I think the core of this game is good. There's lots of complex RPG mechanics that seem to work pretty well, and though the art is mostly stock it works well. The one thing that's sorely missing is progression; it needs to start off a lot simpler and perhaps a bit easier before gradually introducing complex mechanics that the player needs to master to finish the final battles.

I did recognize this as a Ren'py game, and I was mostly familiar with Ren'py's built-in features, but for some reason it totally slipped my mind until after I'd played the game. Auto-save on decision branches is new to me, though, so thanks for pointing that out.

Visually, the game is a mixed bag. Some of the sprites are very nice drawings, others look like they were done in MS Paint in five minutes. I'm actually okay with either style, but it's not consistent here and I'm not sure what aesthetic the game is going for overall. The music is fun and fits the game well and the sound effects work pretty good, too.

Using the themes as weapons is a creative idea, and I think it fits the overall mahou shoujo feel well. The sweet definitely looks like a sweet, but the smile feels like a bit of a stretch- it looks more like a boomerang or generic energy wave.

I'm not really a fan of the automatic shooting with fixed cooldown. I found it almost impossible to keep track of the cooldowns while also dodging enemies and lining up shots. It is something that makes the game stand apart, though, and I think abandoning it would be going too far. I think just speeding up the cooldowns so missing one has less impact would help a lot. Moving the indicators to the magical girl itself so that they're in my field of view would help, too. I'm not sure if the cooldowns for smile and sweet are synchronized, but they should be.

The difficulty curve is a bit steep for my liking, but it's not horrendous, and I think a lot of players will find it just right. I do wish leveling was a little faster, just to break things up a little, even if the improvements each level were weaker.

I found that every wave inevitably devolved into circle-strafing the enemy, which seems to happen for top-down wave shooter. This is definitely not a good thing, but I'm not sure what can be done about it.

Thanks for playing!

Art is not my strength, but I'm not sure what you mean by too serious. I'm trying to improve my poses, so I'm glad that's come through a bit, and yes, the beer shirt is one of my favourite subtle jokes.

It's interesting that I've managed to hit so many traditional magical girl story beats given that I have very limited exposure to the genre. I literally didn't know it was a specific genre when I made Shattered, though I've educated myself a little bit since then. 

There is some lore around the magic and monsters in my head, but you're right in that it wasn't the point of this game and was deliberately glossed over and lampshaded. I've kind of danced around it in every entry in the series so far, in fact, but I'm going to start going into the lore soon, maybe in the next game or maybe in some kind of side content.

For better or for worse, the credits sequence often ends up my favourite part of the game. I always try to include credits and a post-credits scene unless I'm super tight on time. I kept the scope under control pretty well, so that wasn't an issue this time around.

Thanks for playing!

You're right, it's essentially a single linear path. Generally I like player choice, but decided on that early on to keep things simple to limit scope and preserve my own sanity. It is more of an illusion of choice- kinda a Fallout 4 ish "yes, yes, sarcastic yes, no but actually yes" dialogue tree. I put a few of those choices in to give the game a bit of interactivity, and it does sometimes affect the next line/response.

The music selection was done in a hurry this time. I think it generally turned out pretty well, though there are a few parts I'm not totally happy with.

I have a bit of a mixed history with metroidvanias. I've found that either I get stuck five minutes in, or get much further and then get totally lost in a game that's a lot bigger than I thought. For better or for worse, I had the former experience with this one.

The graphics are really nice, with a 16-bit style. The menu is hard to read and I don't think the bitcrushed look works well for it, but none of the in-game graphics have that issue. The music fits well and the sounds are mostly well chosen. I do have to bring up the attack sound, though, it just sounds weird.

I wasn't expecting to see a story section that long or that polished, so I was pleasantly surprised by the opening. I don't know if there are more sections like that but I'd definitely appreciate seeing them. The gameplay seemed alright, but I'm just no good at metroidvanias or platforming in general. I could never master the double jump, fell out of the world a lot, and had no idea what to do about the monster with all the cutty tentacles.

Personally I'd prefer if there wasn't a lives system and it just respawned you where you were, but I think think three lives and then you get kicked back to the save point is a decent compromise between that and a strict lives system where losing all your lives is game over.

Overall, a neat game, but way too hard for me.

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I have mixed feelings about dungeon crawls, but I usually end up enjoying them, and this one looked pretty interesting.

The graphics are okay. A lot of the sprites seem to be crushed, but others are crisp. I think it would look better if it wasn't fullscreen. The total lack of sound is a huge disappointment, though.

I picked the default character for my first run. Not a fan of the molasses slow movement speed, but there's a boost ability that makes it more tolerable. I made it through the first room, then got murdered by the wedges on chains. I still have no idea what killed me. I didn't see anything hit my character, but I suddenly died. I tried a few more characters but died pretty much immediately with both of them. Some of the attacks some of them had seemed nearly useless, and I'm still not sure how the enemies were killing me.

I think the dearth of animations and the total lack of sound really hurt this game. There's just very little feedback for when your attacks connect or when you get hit.

The dialogue is just okay, but it's an excuse plot so I can forgive that. I do wish you didn't have to skip through it every time. 

Overall, I think there are some interesting ideas here, in terms of narrative and gameplay, but the game really struggles to express them. I felt like I was getting a lot thrown at me, that there were fairly complex mechanics under the surface, but they weren't explained and weren't discoverable. The narrative elements mentioned in "How does your game fit those themes" might be in the game itself, but I couldn't figure out where.

This game triggered a warning in my browser when I tried to download it (understandable, lots of things do that) and wanted to run an installer as administrator (not cool). Fortunately, it's possible to just extract the game with 7-zip.

This is definitely one of the more unique games I've seen in the jam, and one that kind of came out of nowhere and impressed me.

The intro is done without text or dialogue, only slow animation and shifts in music. That was a risk, but I think it paid off. The style is unique and the game stands out immediately because of it, and the storytelling works surprisingly well. Even if it hadn't worked, I'd give it props for trying something so unique.

The visual style is carried throughout the game. The biblically accurate angels are not really to my taste, but they're well done with great little animations and all the sprites are consistent. Luci's animations are charming, too, and the subtle parallax scrolling in the background really adds to the fluidity of the experience.

If I were to nitpick, I did find the closeup of blob hands in the intro a bit silly and a few sprites had jaggy edges or stray pixels visible when fullscreen. But those are really small nitpicks, and on the whole the graphics are fantastic.

I think some of the mechanics could be better explained. I forgot what dash was for half the game and then it took me a few tries to figure out how to use it, I didn't understand the difference in the two types of health until the last round, and I'm still not sure why only some enemies damage me despite seeming to fire the same projectiles. I also found some of the iconography confusing. None of this is deal-breaking, but could be better explained.

I found it pretty hard to dodge projectiles, between Luci's huge (and unclear) hitbox and slow movement speed. I think this was deliberate, though, to force the use of dash, but I was always reluctant to use it because I didn't have a lot of charges and didn't fully understand how to use it.

I did manage to finish the game despite absolutely sucking at this kind of game, though. It might not be challenging enough for some players but I found it about right for me. Not super hard but not impossible either.

I think the only thing I truly found disappointing was the ending. I was expecting something great like the opening sequence, or at least something more than a game over screen with my final score. It sounds like that isn't the intended end of the game, though, so I'm looking forward to seeing the real ending someday.

The other minor nit I'd pick is that the web version has a quit button which causes the game to just kind of stop. It should probably be removed or behaviour changed.

All in all a very unique and charming entry.

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I played the initial version so some of the stuff I'll bring up might already have been fixed.

This is, visually and aurally, the most impressive game in the jam I've played so far. There's one or two that might unseat it, but I'm not certain of that. The stylized boats and characters, smooth water, and carefully constructed lighting look great, and the mix of music, ambiance, and effects adds a ton to the experience. There's some great little cutscenes and animations, too. It's hard to put into words; it needs to be experienced. It may all be kitbashed together out of assets, but it doesn't have that asset flip feel and it's put together so well I don't care. Even the untextured jumbo restaurant didn't take away from it much.

I'm glad there was story mode because the game is way too hard for me. I can sort of dodge bullets and shoot at the enemy at once, but not if they're coming from different directions. While I was doing that, the ghost boat would sometimes come out of nowhere and at best I'd see it but not have enough warning to actually charge up an attack. Not being able to dodge bullets for shit is my problem, but I feel that the ghost boat should have more warning.

At least there's some stuff on the boat to take cover behind.

The story was both shorter and sweeter than I'd expected. I was expecting the game to be much longer for some reason (and maybe it was at some point?). It was paced pretty good, though, and the ending didn't come across as super abrupt or shoehorned in. I did feel the dialogue in the ending was a bit weak, and the dialogue interface wasn't up to the standard the rest of the visuals set.

As always, I love seeing the local connections and glimpse into Hong Kong culture, even if I don't understand most of it.

EDIT: One thing I should mention is that this game is incredibly demanding. Understandably so, but I think some people will have trouble running it. It mostly ran well for me, but certain effects like the ghost boat appearing caused the framerate to dip hard. This is on a laptop with a Ryzen 7 5800H and an RTX 3060 (mobile). I don't know if the newer version has some performance improvements.

I was pretty excited for this one- Stardust Crusaders is one of my favourites to come out of MGGJ and Elemental Guardians was pretty good too. In some ways, it was exactly what I expected, in other ways it broke from those expectations, in some good ways and some bad ways.

The RTP graphics, with a few edits by the looks of it, are what they are. They're used well here, with a good variety of characters and environments, and the game as a whole is mostly visually pleasing and visually consistent.

The full screen effects (haze and brightness) were used well in some places (near water, underground) but felt overused since almost every screen seemed to have them, sometimes for no clear reason.

The path I took was Blind Man's Bluff. Having three games in one is kind of a neat idea, but I honestly feel it would have been better to focus on one. If I have time, I might go back and play the other paths. But I'm not sure if I want to, for reasons I'll get into in a bit.

There really should have been a save point before choosing the path. You can't back out at that point, meaning if you if you want to choose a different path you have to start the game over from the beginning again. In fact, I don't think the game has any autosaves at all, and that's something that's sorely missing.

There's a ton of interactivity in this game, with some genuinely funny interactions. However, the flipside of that is that the things you actually need to interact with get lost in the noise. Sometimes characters will give you hints, but they're often inadequate, and at least one seemed to only be given when you need it, which makes them a lot less useful since I have to think to go talk to an NPC I've already talked to before.

The fetch quest for getting the ingredients to the pie in particular really needs to be signposted better; it was tedious and frustrating and generally un-fun. I also got stuck in the caves for a while because I didn't realize the pools acted as teleporters (which might have been exacerbated by a glitch where one square of the first pool can't be interacted with).

The large map is another two-edged sword. It gives lots of space for exploration, but also drags things out with lots of walking. Having to go back and forth between the town and the western woods repeatedly was infuriating.

I expected a certain brand of humour from Nova Kane, and it was delivered in spades. However, the story in general was a bit of a mixed bag. It started off pretty strong, with a story that was a bit generic but carried well by the characters and dialogue, but started to feel pretty generic by the middle. The ending felt incredibly rushed, with Hoder's sight being restored for some reason I don't understand and then everyone forgave each other. That the constant backtracking and fetch quests really killed the pacing didn't help the story, either.

I don't know if the other paths are better. I didn't play them.

There was no combat, at least on the path I took. While I'm happy I didn't have to slog through random encounters, I feel a fight or two would have been nice to shake things up a bit.

I mentioned that I wish the game had autosaves, and that's mostly because it was really buggy for me. The game locked up several times- it seemed to be responding to input but the screen wasn't changing, like the graphics had stopped working. This was on the desktop build. I had to replay significant portions of the game because of this.

I really wanted to like this one, but it's kind of a swing and a miss. There's lots of great humour, some neat ideas, and lots of potential in the story. I think the game is really way longer than it should be, though, and it drags on in a way that feels like it doesn't respect my time. I think it would work better if it was paced faster, signposted better, and polished up a bit, even if that meant less content in total. I'd be a lot more inclined to run through all three stories, too, if they were shorter.