... very unforgiving, unashamedly harsh and without giving out any sort of initial crutch, but an excellent and clever idea that's very well executed and is much more interesting than most games out there, this is very, very good. Allow me to detail my review:
- Graphics, oh boy, this is just too clever. You deliberately use a isometric projection to create an intensely tricky illusion that's very hard to deal with and requires readjusting our mental processes so that we can make progress. That's the core essence of the game and, as such, it's vital that the projection is spot-on, as it is in this case. Kudos on that alone!
Now, the actual pixel art is pretty good, but not exceptional. The designs are somewhat sparse and functional, which I guess helps to keep the focus on the puzzle resolution, but a bit more eye candy throughout could have made the game even better. I will say that the outside the 'main puzzle areas' there are a few very nice areas, though.
- Music is pretty solid, it fits the tone of the game well and is well used. The sounds effects are very '8-bit' and fit the bill very well.
- Gameplay, oh boy. It's very interesting to be able to explore the illusions presented and I think you provide us with a good diversity of challenges, mixing things up just about the right amount, to keep things interesting throughout. But it really is very unforgiving, a necessary consequence from the lives system, clearly an attempt to stop people from simply brute-forcing the solutions.
In other words, it works, but it's a tough game.
- Story-wise, well, it's very bare-bones, so keeping things vague and allusive is a good choice; it sets the right tone for the game and doesn't distract too much, which is probably ideal in a (relatively) short game like this. I like the comments that Naya makes, they usually work well.
- Finally, the pacing and length are spot-on, again. The game could have been longer, a lot longer in fact, as there's plenty of ways to expand on the gameplay, but that would have required a lot more effort, so given the chosen length, I think the pacing is very good, providing infrequent stops to help create an atmosphere (but see above about eye candy) and give the players save points.
So, to summarize, a clever idea that's very well executed and a challenging and demanding game, that's fun, frustrating and interesting to play; well polished, but could have been a bit more rewarding to the players in some ways.
Finally, a note on some of the frankly abusive reviews below: this is not a game for everyone and does it show, unfortunately. By not providing a clear tutorial and/or demonstration of the game mechanics, a lot of people have failed to grasp the very basics of the game, and even some that clearly understand how it works, have despised it, which is a shame.
The former are reprehensible (in that modern games are too generous in that sense and have spoilt people a bit too much), the latter more understandable, since, as I mentioned right at the start, this is a surprisingly tough game; the mental adjustment necessary to be able explore the game and succeed is non-trivial and the game is frustrating in many ways, so a lot of patience is required; sadly, I guess most people's expectations of a flash game preclude the notion of having to have patience, with the resulting reviews.
So I say kudos and congratulations, Terry, this is a great game that deserves praises for executing a deceptively clever idea very, very well.
... oh man, this is the game I wanted to make all those years ago, but ended up not being 1/3 of the quality of this, I truly admire your skill, talent and dedication that lead to such an exceptional game. Seriously. But wait, you probably don't have a clue what I mean, so I'll explain at the end of my review:
This has quality oozing out of it's pores. Polished, lengthy, clever, interesting and funny, it's a huge accomplishment and you sincerely deserve huge praises for managing to pull it off. Very impressive stuff. Let me detail my review:
- Presentation-wise, this is excellent. Very well drawn, even if it is stick figures, and despite the sparse animation, the cut-scenes flow very well. Good choice of buttons and menus too, everything is clean, functional and professional-looking, whilst fitting in with the light-hearted tone of the flash.
- Narration is very, very good. Egoraptor is, of course, a solid voice actor and he manages to convey sufficient emotion and sounds interesting enough to enhance the lines he reads. Similarly, the choice of songs fit well and complement the on-screen action well. Overall, in terms of sounds, it's all very good too.
- The games are a masterpiece of design, an excellent way of conveying the player choices without making things dull or too simple. They are simple, but work well for something like this; the last thing you'd want is for them to overwhelm the player. As such, they provide interesting ways of allowing the player to choose for different paths, as opposed to simply presenting the options and asking for a selection. And on that basis, they work well and a short-but-fun and keep the overall flow of the movie going, by not being too time consuming.
- The writing is excellent. The rhymes aren't the most complex around, nor do you follow a rigid structure, but who cares? The story themselves are highly imaginative and interesting, telling all sorts of different tales, and they connect really well. It's good enough that it compels you keep going and explore further choices, not to mention revisit them too. The overall tone is good too, you keep the writing 'light' and match that with everything else.
So, overall, a truly fantastic game, rich, polished, fun and smart, you deserve accolades and kudos for producing of this quality.
And to explain my cryptic comments at the start: this game is uncannily similar to a game I created more than 3 years ago. I too had a poem, narration, multiple choices, and told very different stories. I imagine that you were inspired by the same source material, choose-your-own-adventure books, which explains the many similarities, but what I created pales so insignificantly in comparison, that I can only express my sincere admiration, understanding all too well the problems and difficulties of creating something like this entails.
Yes! I did get inspiration from the Choose Your Own adventure books.
There's a lot of reasons the game turned out this way. Some people say it's sexist or not fair to the LGBT community, which is fair seeing the extreme inequality.
All of these things are being fixed in the sequel, which should address every aspect of this game and enhance them all. The games will be a little longer but they should yield more results too.
... I love this series, but sadly, this instalment is, at the time of this review, suffering from slow-down issues, although that could be the results of my ageing computer. Still, of all the bullet hell games I've ever played, and I've played quite a few, frantic remains amongst the absolute very best, this one included!
This is an early review, based on the few elements I've seen so far (i.e., I've barely scratched the surface of what seems to be a very large game!), but I'm doing it now because I enjoy the series so much and I felt it was about time to leave a review for at least one of the games, specially since they share so many (good) elements, and I certainly don't want to forget to do this. Allow me to detail me analysis:
- Graphics remain top-notch. I like the clean design you use for everything, and the overall aesthetics of the ships, and that you purposely use plain backgrounds so as to allow for better contrast. I also like the shot patterns and the small animations throughout, it's pleasing on the eye.
- The music selection is very good, although not quite as blood-pumping as the songs from the original game, which I feel fit the game better (but maybe that's because I haven't gone far enough yet). Sounds effects, whilst sparse, are well used and feel about right.
- Controls are perfect. Seriously. This is what makes this game so good, the keyboard controls are very good, but the mouse controls feel just so natural and well developed that it's always been a stand-out element the games. And, given the nature of these games, this is probably the single most element of all, so huge kudos for continuing to get it right!
- Gameplay remains as challenging and as interesting as ever, with lots of enemies and ways to play. Thanks to the immense amount of customization, this game always provides so many different ways to tackle it and lots of interesting, self imposed challenges, that it's huge asset. Love the addition of a one-hit shield mode too! This flexibility comes at the cost of any narrative, but frankly, who gives a damn; gameplay is king.
- Sadly, I've suffered significant slowdown whilst playing this time around, which is a significant problem for a game like, particularly when the game then suddenly speeds up! I.e., if it was consistently slow, it'd be a shame, but still enjoyable; but inconsistent game speeds is a big issue, when finesse is such an important part of the game.
still, overall, this is an fine addition to the series and I look forward to your future games, in addition to, hopefully a frantic 4!
.... a typical game from you, auntie pixelante, but not as good as some of your previous efforts, as it suffers from a sever case of repetition and lacks a reward effort. Good, yes, but lacking. Allow me to detail my review:
- Graphics are simple but very well done. You have quite some skill when it comes to making pixel art and this game showcases this quite well. The diversity of the backgrounds was also pretty good, as was the sparse animation. Overall, this might be the game's strongest point (ironically, given your focus of gameplay).
- Sound, well, ouch. I managed to get used to it and it wasn't too bad, but the pig's squeals were very, very annoying. You surely must have known the effect it would have had on the player, so this was a personal choice of yours, one that I can't really fathom. Were you attempting to add an 'extra level' of challenge by forcing the player to hear it? Reward them by playing perfectly and not having to hear it?
In any case, I assume that this was intentional and, in that case, you succeed in making the game significantly more annoying/frustrating thanks to it. If not, then please, please consider using other sound effects and/or just music next time.
- Gameplay, well, it's complicated. The game's responsiveness is adequate, as is the acceleration that the pig undergoes when moving (in any direction), as you wanted to make the game challenging, but not 'impossibly' so. So the controls are quite reasonable.
The game's difficulty level, although quite high, was tolerable and you deserve praise for it. It's quite hard to make a game difficult without making it 'fake difficult' (which can be fun in itself, if it's done ala I Wanna Be The Guy) and I feel that this game doesn't make that mistake. It's difficult because it requires high level of precision from the player, as well as patience, but not unfairly so.
However, there is a problem when it comes to the level design. Now, I know that given the sort of gameplay this game has, there is a limit on how creative you can be when designing challenges for each level, but it got far too repetitive far too quickly.
I mean, about half-way through, already the game was presenting screens that were very similar to a previous one, just significantly more difficult. To be frank, facing a challenge you've already overcome, if not presented in a drastically new manner (stuff like new graphics, new abilities for the game character), gets a bit dull and becomes more of a chore than fun.
This is, I feel, the game's greatest flaw and it could have been corrected only in a few ways: by having more diverse level design (ideal, but difficult to achieve), new game mechanics (which would have been against the spirit of the game) and/or more diverse presentation (not a very reasonable request, given that the game already has a diverse presentation); or by making the game shorter. I know, I know, it's short as it is, but I can't shake the feeling that it's too much of a one trick pony...
- Finally, the ending provided no satisfaction for the player. Given that in previous game's of yours you've provided at least some tentative rewards, I feel that you should have made the effort here and added a little something. But, so as to not end in a sour note, let me say that the overall presentation of the game is quite good and that the premise, as silly as it is, was stretched out and well developed.
So, overall, a good game, with good overall presentation and a difficult but fair level of challenge, but lacking when compared to previous game's of yours (although, now that I'm thinking, this may be due to your unfamiliarity to Flash), by being too repetitive and unrewarding.
Still, cheers! Hope to see more games from you on Newgrounds in the future! I <know> that you're a talented game maker and that you can make really good-but-hard games.
... this is a fun game, but lacking in user friendless, as Hyrus mentions. Once you get past this flaw, however, you can really enjoy yourself. Let me get detailed:
- Graphics were adequate, but nothing special. I guess this sort of game doesn't need sophisticated graphics, but maybe a little more diversity in the backgrounds or in the men would have been nice. Still, everything looks clean and well made and the design screen is interesting enough, with catchy details and the like. Overall, good and serving it's purpose, but could have been better.
- The lack of music was a bit of a letdown, but not too much. I mean, in this sort of game you need to find a song that's not a too repetitive, nor irritating, which isn't always easy to do, so the lack of background music isn't too bad, but the game would have been better with it. Sound effects, sparse as they are, were ok.
- Gameplay was very, very good. You've had a pretty good idea and you implement it in a great manner, that works well. I mean, the bridges work well, in the sense that bridges have to be well built to work, and building them is quite satisfactory and is easy to do, once you get the hang of it.
That, however, takes a little while, and using keyboard shortcuts would have made the game more dynamic, which would have been a definitive improvement. I think that an example bridge or a tutorial level would have helped the game have an easier learning curve, which this game needs.
Finally, a little more diversity in the challenges and/or bridge components in alter levels would have been nice (albeit, I haven't finished the game, so maybe the game has this but I haven't seen them yet). How about adding wires or a raising mechanism? That would spice things up nicely.
So, overall, a fun game that works and is quite satisfying, but could have been more user friendly and more diversity, as well as more eye / ear candy. But the emphasis should be on the fun!
... one of the most thoughtful, well written, fun and dense tutorials I've ever seen. I must commend you for taking the time and creating such an useful tutorial, it shows dedication and appreciation towards the community as a whole. Allow me to detail my analyses:
- Graphics were way above average for a tutorial, very impressive. By using such quality stuff, I think you really help encourage other authors, as it shows just how good flash can look.
- Music-wise, well, very repetitive, as you only use 3 songs (from my count) in the movie, but that's ok, as you clearly wanted to keep the file size down. However, I think that the choice of songs wasn't so good, to be honest. As most people will hear the songs will trying to read the tutorial, it's important the songs be non-distracting (so that they can concentrate) and non-tiresome (as they're going to be re-used).
Unfortunately, I think that both your main songs had both these 'qualities', so this is the only aspect of the tutorial that I think could have been significantly improved. On the plus side, as you can mute the songs anyway, it's not such a big deal (I only focus on this aspect as it is the only one where I can present useful criticism).
- The amount of details you go into this tutorial is fantastic. I'm very impressed with the fact you try to deal with all aspects of animating a flash movie and offer lots of tips that can really help a budding artist. I can't help but think that this tutorial presents some tips that you can't find anywhere else... at least, not in such a clear cut, easy to understand way.
The tutorial would have been more complete had you included a few tips regarding the use of sounds, be it music or sound effects, but since you were focusing on animation, these aspects are (usually) significantly easier to implement and there are plenty of places where you can learn those sorts of things, it wasn't really necessary.
- The text is well written and easy to understand, two things that aren't easy to pull of as they seem, so kudos on that. I think that placing buttons in the middle of the text was a great idea! I also loved that you focused your overall message on 'story' and 'practice', as they really are the two most fundamental aspects any amateur flash artist should focus on.
- Presentation is top notch, everything looking clean and well placed, in a logical manner that helps understanding the text and makes things feel fresh. Good choice of a background too, as black on yellow(ish) doesn't tire the eyes like black on white does and good choice of font.
So, overall, a top-notch tutorial, with great presentation, oodles of density, excellent tips and with lots of motivation for a new flash artist. This is a really generous and selfless piece of work (when compared to a standard movie) and I hope that it gets the attention it deserves. So much cheers and kudos for this great tutorial!
Finally, on a personal note, I loved your personal encouragements to the viewers and couldn't help but think that you keep close to your heart Matthew 22:37-40, particularly verse 38. And amen to that.
... very, very impressive. You two have taken a great, but very dificult to implement ideia, and made a really impressive game. I'm suprised, however, at the number of abusive reviews being made by people who obviously don't have flash 10 installed or can't graps simple game mechanics. Anyway, allow me to detail my review:
- Graphics are very interesting. Highly stylelized and looking great, intentionally un-polished and really adding to the atmosphere of the game. I think you hit the nail on choosing to make the game look as it does. Animation was a but simple, could have been alightly better, but maybe this simpler choice was made so as to keep the filesize down? Apart from that, looked really good.
- Music. Mein Gott! That was excepcional music, among the best 'silent hill type horror song' I've ever heard. The muted, but constant pulsing was perfect and the randomly distributed, distant sounds came at the right time. Although I am very fond of that sort of sound, so maybe I'm being a bit biased on this aspect.
- Gameplay. Wow, just Wow. I mean, what an excellent ideia you've had, just exepcional. I've never heard of a game that uses light mechanics in the way you do, I honestly haven't. And it must have been very dificult to implement too, so I'm very, very impressed with Glaiel-Gamer's programing. However, see the paragraph below.
- The level design was coming along great, presenting an interesting challenge and with a decent learning curve, and then came along level 10. I'm pretty sure I know what I have to do, follow the light below me as it creates a path on the wall, but if that is the solution, I simply can't make it work. Everytime, and I've tried at least 15 times, I fall through, by blocking the light.
Maybe this isn't the solution, though I can't see what else I could do, but if it is, then I'm sad to say that you need to improve the light mechanism, as it seems to be working improperly.
So, overall, an atmospheric game, with an excepcionally original ideia, pretty well implemented and with a great sound and visual presentation, but let down, if I'm not doing anything wrong, by a problematic level 10. Cheers and kudos for making such great game!
The black orb shrinks as you get near so you can't use it as a platform
You need to find a way to follow the white orb instead
... a fantasticly sarcastic satire regarding the recent 'war' between Israel and Hamas. I hope that people realize the satirical edge behind this game though. Allow me to detail me review:
- Graphics were simple, but effective. The style was neat and polished, but lacked details. The animation, although sparse, was adequate too. I was disapointed, however, that you opted not to demonstrate the violence of the conflict in a more graphic manner, although I understand this omition if your intention was either to get this game out quickly and/or if you wanted to reach a larger audience.
- The music was subtle, but highly effective and spot on, adding to the sarcasitc bite of the game by being smooth and relaxing. The sound effects were slightly annoying and repetitive though.
- Gameplay was ridiculously easy, of course, but really hit the mark because of this. I loved the headquarters building, by the way!
- The political message is one I agree with completly. I support the existance of the state of Israel and some of my best friends are Jewish, whom I deeply care for, but the facts are as clear as you put them: over 20 dead palestianians for every jew in the previous conflict; in the on-going one, it's even worst (currently there are near 400 dead palestinians for less than 10 dead israelis).
Hopefully, the satirical edge of this game is suficient that people will notice this message (this is the internet, after all).
So, overall, a correct political message delivered via a highly effective game with a heavy satirical edge, but lacking slightly in the graphics deparment (including the lack of more explicit violence). I sincerely hope this gets the front page and that it received more widespread attention, it deserves it. Kudos for making this flash.
... ironic, really. I'm not a fan of PETA, quite the oposite really, but this game is simply too fun! However, in a double irony, I appreciate this game for a few reasons, including the great stylized grahpics and the humour value, but also for a reason that PETA would find horrible: I actually enjoyed over-the-top blood and guts!
What's worse, I have the suspicion that in a place like Newgrounds, I'm not the only one. So, to be brutally honest, I have the suspicion that you may have missed your target and the very people you intended to shock weren't all that shocked at all. Or maybe not, who knows? Anyway, let me detail my analyses:
- Nice grahpics! I think you nailed down the 'cooking mama' style perfectly, it's very impressive. I also think that you managed to create a good level of violence, neither too strong, but nor 'cute and cuddly' either. Good animations too. Pretty much your strongest point, I'd say.
- Sounds effects and music were pretty nifty too, giving the game a great, well, videogame feel, by giving us all the sound cues we expect from a professional game, such as a cheery song after each acomplishment.
- Gameplay itself was reasonable, but could have used a bit more polish. Some games worked well, in particular the plucking and prying pan games, but others, such as the beheading(s) and the mixing, not so good. Maybe it's my ancient mouse that lacks the adequate precision, but I feel that it could have been slightly better.
So, in the end you've managed to produce an impressive parody / satire of the cooking mama series (which, admitly, might be criticized on the grounds of not showing some more unpleasent aspects of cooking, but such things might be said of a whole lot of things), even if it does have some slight gameplay issues, but you might be missing your target audience by posting in a place such as Newgrounds.
... this is the game the CHAOS should have been. The improvements you've made are significant and make for a much better game experience. Allow me to detail what I thought:
- Graphically, the game has a pretty unique feel to it and is very polished. I mean, your characters aren't much more complex than stick figures, to be sure, but they're very well animated (did you rotoscope them?) and, when combined with overall minilistic, clean and depressing style you use, they stand out pretty well. I like the choice of colours too, using just a few shades (except, of course, for one part) gives the game a repetitive / monotonous feel, which is pretty much what it needs.
- Musically, pretty much spot-on. NIN makes for the perfect soundtrack for a game like this and your other musical choices were just right. I have to admit that it's not all that dificult to choose a 'depressing' (for the lack of a better word) soundtrack, but you still managed to get it right.
- Gameplay-wise, well, here's where things get more interesting. You've taken some very basic gameplay ideas, created a one or two original ones (the guitar one, in particular, is probably the most creative of the bunch) and mixed things up wonderfully well. It's not easy to be so creative when making platformer, but you've succed like few have.
However, there are a few problems here. I know that your intention is to provoke frustation and that that is a integral part of the game experience, but in CHAOS, the frustation level became to overwhelming due to some poor game mechanics.
For example, the movement speed and overall control over the 'red freak you' remains slightly to fast for confort and I think is what makes the second level so that part so frustating, not the level itself, which is doable and I think that was 'dumbed down' a bit too much. You have, on the other hand, made the 'put the mouse over you' area larger and that is an important improvement, it was way too small in CHAOS.
The biggest problem, however, remains (albeit improved) and it is the whole shoot-yourself-in-the-face-with-mouse issue. I admire that it's clever way of making the player tenser and more touchy, and it works (for the most part) in a legitmate way during the levels themselves; the doors, however, turns this mechanic into a cheap, unrewarding and underserving death. Above anything else, I feel that this issue is the one that must be solved.
- Bugwise, I <thing> most the bugs I encontered before are gone, but I did see the ocasional red freak disapear out of nowhere.
- Storywise, I'm not sure there is a story, per se, but maybe it's hidden in there somewhere. I mean, what is the overall metaphor this game represents? I still can't figure it out. Maybe there isn't one, in which case, you've managed to make it seem that there is, so kudos either way.
- The overall presentation is outstanding, almost certainly the best part of the game. You've most likely been influenced by 'Portal' and 'Mindfeed' (it seems that way), but that's not a problem in my book. Sure, there currently seems a small 'glut' of these types of games, but I enjoy them in any case.
In particular, the 'touch screens' are a brilhant and novel way of interacting with the player (I prefer them to the fixed message system of, say, Hunted Forever) and presenting information the player (and the messages are very clever and haunting!). The overall atmosphere you've created in this game is excepcional, really.
So, in the end,this is a masterly designed game, using a slew of clever game mechanisms (and one or two original ones!) with a terrific presentation, great polish (now that most of the bugs are gone), spot-on soundtrack and graphics. The only thing keeping me from a 10 are some questionable game mechanims choices you've made that I feel take the frustation level too high, albeit, it's much lower than in CHAOS.
So, cheers and kudos for an excelent game!
Oh, and don't expect too much attention to this new version, since I imagine most people have had their dose with CHAOS already (it isn't diferent enough).
Heeeey, I read all of that.
I've read longer reviews though
I'll try to address the issues you commented. Maybe reduce the damage you take fro shooting yourself. As for the speed issue, maybe make it a little slower, but I wanted the player to feel the power their enemies had, and feel awesome and yet completely powerless.
About the story, did you get to the end?
The end alone makes this a lot different from CHAOS.
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