Gross! (Bad pun, I know.) Excellent!Time to share this experience with others :)
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This was beautiful. I knew something was up early on - I saw numbers begging to be marked in puzzle 5 - but it wasn't until puzzle 8's little drawings (and of course puzzle 7 making it clear we're solving Angle Searches now) that the true nature of the puzzles was clear to me. I promptly went back to solve all of them properly before moving on; I did of course get the remaining-letter messages right away (in part because I subscribed to Games magazine in the 80s and always check for those, and in part because of the 'foe carton' XD). I promptly saw the mirroring of the right-side clues; I didn't realize the significance of the letter/number pairs at the bottom of each page until puzzle 11 (the 'foe carton' was an especially nice way of confirming that), and it was only after catching that did I realize all puzzles had exactly twelve entries (despite solving ten of them already) and that their ordering around the blue line matched the bottom (except where duplicates were involved - the way that was subtly clued with the two Zodiacs was sublime)... which is exactly what I needed to find 'leftovers' in there to finish it! I saw puzzle 0 was labelled "Rules" and utterly refused to look at it any further than that (checking it afterward confirmed it told me nothing I didn't already know, although the full 150 mentioned on the back page clearly counts the six terms there) - if I were to present this to my friends, I'd omit that page entirely, as it breaks the flow of the rest of the puzzle set and feels like a slap in the face ("All that clever stuff you figured out? Wasted effort, I was gonna tell you all along."). But maybe that's just me being a professional puzzlesmith. Anyway, puzzle 12's assembly handily redeemed any bad blood from the previous page, laying bare just how genius all this comes together, and the self-reflexive final answer reveal is one of the most satisfying things I've encountered in any puzzle ever.
Also, yay, dwarf planets! And I wonder how many people knew of 'lengua de gato' right off the bat (I certainly didn't) and caught a theme immediately. (Cookies being "little warm-ups" is a TOP-TIER fridge-logic hint and I'm guessing most solvers never realized it at all!)
The only criticism I could levy is that some of the puzzles technically had multiple solutions with how the letters in the grid are apportioned to the words (such as the 'ra' at the start of 'rat' and 'rabbit' in puzzle 2), but none of the remaining-letter messages are affected by that (and of course puzzle 6 is that way unavoidably and hilariously) except of course for needing to choose the right 'a' in puzzle 11 (which is obvious enough). I also really wish there was no puzzle 0, but I understand why it's there - I can't fault that.
For the record, I solved this entirely on paper, with the "for printing" edition of the file. I used a highlighter to start, inspired by how 'eclipse' is pre-marked in puzzle 1... which proved to be an unforseen boon, as it didn't interfere with when I used a pencil once I started actually solving the puzzles XD
This is literally the most impressive game I've seen the PICO-8 ever do. It looks amazing and plays even better. Bravissimo.
EDIT: My 1-credit record is 553,009 - a double knockout with the final boss SMH
So THAT patch is finally out, and I can now play without my ears wanting to bleed.
HOWEVER. Now all the text is misaligned. "1UP" and "HI-SCORE" are cut off at the top of the screen; "CAST" and "SCORING" in the intro are half buried under the game logo; the coin count doesn't line up with the coin; other messages stick half a character height above the black-background box provided for them. Even Achievement messages are cut off.
There's "clearly didn't playtest for even half a minute", and then there's "clearly didn't even LOOK at the patched game before shipping it". It's beyond reprehensible - it's pitiable at this point. This game deserves better than this. I look forward to three months from now when this is patched and something even more obviously and immediately apparent is needlessly broken at the same time.
One of my videogame pet peeves is escorting total idiots. This jerkwad in the first real area I visited, upon being freed, saw fit to run right past the landing pad beside them and jump off the cliff beyond it. They seem unable to be rescued from there. (Trying to land on the flat rock near them doesn't work.)
Oh wow. This is conceptually genius. Admittedly, as noted by others here, the fact that there's a Sudoku element and yet guessing can be required leaves a lot to be desired, but the idea is sound and solid. I'm going to try crafting some of these in paper-and-pencil form, and if I have success, you just might see a Sudo Sweep in the next U.S. Puzzle Championship!
Holy crap, how did you... how does this even... okay, this is one of the most impressive things I've ever seen on a computer. Not just games, not just apps, THINGS. This is astounding. This makes me want to go back over the history of everything else I've ever rated 5 stars on Itch and scale it back, because this just raised the bar into outer space. I love being able to drag the drain window over the bosses; I love the twin-stick controls (I was setting up JoyToKey to fill in for the arrow keys only to discover I didn't need to); I love how you can adjust the game's difficulty by changing your desktop resolution! My personal best (I can't seem to get a screencap attached right now for some reason): 991 coins, 635 seconds, 2678 bullets, 256(!) enemies, 4 bosses. If I may suggest some quality-of-life updates: some sort of indicator noting you can afford a new shop item; not locking aiming to a controller once one is used for movement (I'd really like to be able to use the analog stick in one hand and the mouse in the other, so I can still have access to dragging windows without changing the device one of my hands is using back and forth); this might not be possible to fix, but a boss first spawning in causes the player to stop firing, needing me to release and press the button again before something kills me, and that's awkward and feels unfair and ideally would be remedied if possible. I hope this goes viral and prompts a full experience I'd gladly pay for and becomes, say, the new Vampire-Survivors-level hotness.
Okay, I think I know what you meant to say with rule 5: no number may be duplicated in any row or column. None of the tutorial levels required this, but the daily puzzle today did. That would be a failure of the tutorial. (Since none of the other rules make any quadrant of the puzzle dependent on any other, this would be a very important rule, and thus especially important to phrase correctly.)
Rule 5 makes no sense: how can all of the 16 numbers appear in each 8-number row and column? That's literally double the quantity that will fit. I seemed to solve the Rule 5 tutorial puzzle regardless of this, completely ignoring that "rule"... but the buttons that appear when it's completed are at least half below the bottom of the window and unreadable. (The "restricting bits" thing is NOT explained well AT ALL, but I was able to reason it out. I doubt many others will...) Needs more work to be interesting to anyone other than math/puzzle/programming geeks like myself, and even among us it's a stretch. There's a good puzzle concept in there somewhere, but I'm not about to try to make my own instances of it.
Nice! It wasn't until the final level that I realized the water only moves when I do, so I was very much trying to race rather than optimize. Obviously this didn't work for the final level XD (And here I thought I was able to "hold up" the water when I first pushed a block out of its way...) 275 seconds, 835 steps, 17 deaths on my first playthrough.
This is "it's not the destination, it's the journey" personified. Amazing how much there is to do and how little you need to in comparison. (Although I'm guessing I'll have to if I want to see some other endings!) Fantastic work.
Just wanted to note that the patch is out and my vertical-capable monitor is very happy now :)
...But, uh, the in-game music is now failing to loop properly. About every 17 seconds it starts over. It gets even weirder when rubies are grabbed. How did this even get messed with? It's insufferable. Guess I'm waiting for ANOTHER patch to fix what this one broke :(
Oh wow, this is excellent! I missed this back in the day, so it's great to see how it got started and the various little differences. Love seeing the original cutscenes! (Hopefully you don't mind my not paying for this, given I've paid for the original twice XD Speaking of which, I hope Summitsphere finishes that patch soon, I'm still waiting for not-upside-down TATE on Switch!)
Bug in the current Steam release: I just watched the Persians AI play Cathedral when it was the only card in their hand. A message even appeared at the bottom saying they have no card to ditch in response, but the card got played anyhow. And they were significantly in the lead already. Cheating bastards.
You mean the one with the two monitors and Greek letters for answers? [SPOILER] All five lenses are supposed to be centered right on the celestial object. One of them clearly isn't. But since you're always looking through two lenses at the same time, you need to see which TWO configurations show it out of place; the answer is the lens those two configs have in common.
Blind 1cc! Score 26,770, time 21:31. That was tricky, though. Tricky, but fair. It feels so claustrophobic! I really like the buying-a-weapon-also-heals-you mechanic; sanity knows I don't often feel like buying a weapon in Fantasy Zone is worth it for the very short amount of time it lasts, but here it's more like buying the heal and also getting a chance to escape the onslaught for a moment and a stronger shot for a bit to turn the tables. Excellent design!
Today, I learned that return addresses are put on BACKS of envelopes outside the United States. Heck of a way to discover that. I'm guessing a lot of players (like I did with the first letter on the final day) will automatically void everything at that point, wondering why they're being told it's incorrect to do so, not even knowing they CAN flip envelopes over (I'd discovered that accidentally earlier). Nice little game, though the interface is a bit wonky (it seems random whether clicking an edge will flip something/turn a page or not; it's obnoxious that the text boxes from the customers cover the weight display until they disappear) and that cultural difference (which I'm guessing you had no idea about, I certainly didn't) will unintentionally stump a LOT of players.