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All 47 game Reviews

Infectonator : Survivors Infectonator : Survivors

Rated 3 / 5 stars

I have a lot of issues with this game, which sucks because I love the other Infectonator games. My first issue comes across kind of vain, but I couldn't overlook it. "A scientist, a construction worker, a cop...and a GIRL." Really, 'a girl'? The other characters are named by their occupation, but she is just the girl? That really annoyed me. It stands out majorly and it's the first thing I saw.

My other issues relate to the gameplay (or lack thereof). The major flaw I noticed right off the bat is that the game is supremely picky about exactly when you can click on your survivors, and it's also very snooty about whether or not it will listen to you. It seems mostly content to ignore my input. The extremely limited time you get to plan for the arrival of zombies is ridiculous, made even more so by the clunky, floundering controls. The tutorial gave me what felt like a year, but the next mission I went out on gave me all of 5 seconds. I wrestled so much with simply getting this game to respond to my clicks that my entire party was dead by day two. The frustration of clicking and clicking only to be ignored made this game unplayable.

I'm upset that I can't like this, because I love the idea of it. The mix of gameplay styles is really interesting, and reminds me of State of Decay in a positive way. But the very basic mechanics of the game barely function half the time, and that makes me sad. I would never give you money, even for early access, knowing that this is the product I'd be getting. That's just the honest truth about it.

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Dress-up Girls! Dress-up Girls!

Rated 0.5 / 5 stars

To be fair, after playing around with this for a bit, I can sort of see why he did not wish to pay you. I know that seems like a heavy insult, but it's really not. He should have messaged you, and he definitely SHOULD have paid you for your effort and time. As a commission artist myself, I will always defend an artist's right to get paid for their work.

But... this is a very poorly made game. Despite the Stencyl problems you described, there is almost no variety in clothing whatsoever. Not even multiple colors of the same item. The body bases are all the same (even eye color) with only a different hair style. The skin tone doesn't change at all. Perhaps I missed it, but there is no option to change eye color either. Two dresses, a single pair of pants, two pairs of shoes, one (misaligned) pair of gloves... It does not look like you put any real effort into this at all. When I look at the effort you put into the eyes on the model, and then look at the complete lack of detail in all of the clothing.... It's really quite a disappointing difference.

Your commissioner should have paid you for your work, don't let him get away with that. But this dress up game is very lacking.

MikomiKisomi responds:

Well, the thing was that I told him up front the stipulations that came with using Stencyl and he even saw the other games that were made with it but yet still wanted to commission me and stayed in contact until I sent him the link to the finished work.

I'm sorry you believe this, but I did actually put effort in this and followed the commissioner's request. He just wanted a game with a couple of hairstyles and a random assortment of clothes, something rather simple since it was going to be the first game of many he would pay for.

Bunker Down 2030 Bunker Down 2030

Rated 2 / 5 stars

Survived to Week 30 on my first go, but I only had about ten Morale left. I don't feel good having 'beat' this game, because it felt more like luck than strategy or survival.

The events triggered in this game are far too plentiful. I only had one "uneventful week", and it was not useful for resource management. It seems like you had the beginnings of an idea to increase the number of survivors in the bunker, but then you abandoned it. Unfortunately, you left out that mechanic without adjusting the rest of the game for it. So the game increases sharply in difficulty each turn, but the player's ability to combat this always stays at Level 1. It's fake difficulty. The game penalizes the player very heavily without also giving the player any way to overcome the challenge. Even in notoriously difficult games like Dark Souls, you are given better weaponry and level upgrades in order to prepare against the challenges present.

Not that this game is anything at all like Dark Souls, but it certainly feels like you were going for that kind of steep difficulty curve.

It isn't being weak or "babying" the player of a game to give them more ways to meet the challenges you throw at them. It's basic game making. It's not YOU who decides if the player can beat your game...that's the player's job. If you want to make a strategy survival sim, there has to be strategy in it.

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KoberGirl responds:

Thanks for the feedback. I was purposely trying to ramp up difficulty so that the game became less about balancing resources and more about about staving off off the inevitable. I do want to add the ability to recruit new workers and upgrade the bunker in the future. I learned alot creating this game for the jam so now I can build on the basic structure and add more complex gameplay features.

Tales from O'Slimey's 2 Tales from O'Slimey's 2

Rated 1 / 5 stars

Well, these were short to say the least. I started with Act One and overall the game was so void of substance that I figured the content of Acts one and two combined were all one chapter. Imagine my surprise when I tried to play Act Two only to discover I'd already finished it.

This really loses that "point and click adventure" feel very quickly. At first I was clicking around, reading descriptions and looking forward to puzzles and that familiar feeling of using limited tools to solve complicated or convoluted problems. It seemed like every direction I turned was an obstacle, and I actually love that feeling. This eagerness transformed into disappointment very quickly.

Because you encourage clicking everything for hints and clues, I explored the entire environment before even beginning the puzzles. That said, I picked up the only obvious item, the glass shard. But this item was useless, and I ended up finding the screwdriver instead, only to have the glass shard go back to where it came from for convenient use when it was actually needed. This is the problem with the one-item inventory... There's no "Okay, I have x item, y item, and z item... which will help me solve this puzzle?" Once the screwdriver was in my inventory, the game became a tiresome "put x here get y move on" assembly line. It took no thought whatsoever. Each item was very clearly described so the player knows its precise purpose the instant it enters the inventory slot.

This obvious method of (sometimes literally) throwing inventory items at the one thing they are meant to work on took a lot of the charm right out of it. The red herrings and little descriptive details become more like padding when the gameplay is just a straight line from point A to point B. This sort of padding is silly and doesn't add anything at all to a game with no substance in the actual part you play.

I think the best examples of straightforward, boring gameplay come from the Fake ID and the Mouse. Firstly...a bar sells fake IDs right inside the building? Just...right there in a vending machine. No trick, no puzzle... just pay for an ID, give it to the bartender (who asks no questions at all), and move on. Why? Why is this part so simple? It's the same with the Mouse. I saw him there on the windowsill and thought "Yes, I will have to somehow trap this creature so I can--oh" and then just picked him up. Just..scooped him up without even a second thought. It's these sorts of things that make games go from just boring to bad. This was a point and click adventure like a grocery list is a scavenger hunt. No puzzles, no thought, no substance of any sort.

I was sorely disappointed with this game. It's not challenging or fun, it's got the sense of humor of a 12 year old, and overall it's just not the point-and-click adventure that you seemed to promise from the start both in your description and in the beginning of the game.

The art is pretty nice, though.

Review Rating: 1 star
Submission rating: 2
Overall: 3/10

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Apocalypse: Survive it Apocalypse: Survive it

Rated 3 / 5 stars

I can see that you put quite a bit of work into this, and it's the only binaural game I've ever played on NG. But there were a few problems, some I could overlook and some I could not.

Things I could not overlook:
-Being forced to replay the tutorial every single time. I know you said to someone else you couldn't make a proper save system, but you definitely could have put the tutorial on during the loading screen or something.
-There's breaking the fourth wall, and then there's smashing it into tiny, pebble-sized rubble with a wrecking ball. While screaming at the player that it's supposed to be funny. Breaking the fourth wall should be a cheeky nod, not a series of very hard punches to the teeth.
-No epilepsy warning for the strobe effect during the shooting sequence! Some of us have really severe sensitivity to that kind of thing, and especially when you encourage playing the game with the game screen as the only source of light. You really, REALLY need to warn people.
-Finicky controls. There were times when I died despite pushing the cursor where it should have gone. I guess if you'd had more time, these would be tighter.

As I can overlook many other smaller issues (like the AIM buddy sign-on sound for the door), I'll delve into the positive:
-Really unique gameplay idea. I haven't seen much of this sort of thing before, and it's nice to see game makers taking a unique spin on genres that are tired.
-Pokes a lot of well-deserved fun at the apocalypse genre that has been done to death.
-Good quality sound and exceptional use of the binaural recording method.
-Decent voice-acting, especially from the inner voice.
-The design of the game makes me want to keep trying again (even if the tutorial does not). It is addicting to want to get it right... plays on the old psychology of quick time events without making me break my Q button.

Overall, fairly nice job. I would be interested to see where you take this.
Review rating: 3 out of 5
submission rating: 3 out of 5
Overall: 6/10

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CrazyRock responds:

Thanks for this great review. I'll fix those things in the next thing for sure. <3

Like Vampire Like Son Like Vampire Like Son

Rated 2.5 / 5 stars

This game is sort of resoundingly below average, with some components being just awful and some being incredibly average and plain. In my review, I will address sound, gameplay, graphics, and story.

When I say 'sound' I am referring to all of the recorded sounds in the game, from the music to the voice acting to the sound effects. I am sort of in the middle with this section, as the music isn't terrible but the voice-acting is. Everyone sounds half-asleep, or like they are cold reading their lines. A cold reading is when you're reading a script for the first time without any prior knowledge, so the tone and emotions are all screwed up. Nobody ever sounds anything more than indifferent, with some lines coming off as bored. It would have been better to get rid of the voice acting altogether, as the game would be more bearable without having to listen to such bored and monotonous delivery. The music, voices, and sound effects are all really compressed. It tells me that you don't know how to create high-quality sound for a game, or that you did not care to for this one in particular. I suppose I couldn't blame you for the latter, as it's a fairly short game that overall screams "half-baked" to me.

As for the gameplay...well, that was the most disappointing part of the game. Typically the point-and-click genre speaks of puzzle solving, challenge, serious thought on the part of the player, or some kind of obstacle between getting an item and the actual use of the item. This one felt more like an exercise in basic mouse control. The uses for almost every item were clearly broadcast by NPCs in game. "I am wearing this bunny suit for the costume party in the bar!" "Marriage counseling... Is your wife always telling you what to do?" and the most ridiculous example, when the bartender literally tells you what to do with the empty coffee cup. "Give it to the woman in the back and she will help you on your adventure"? It was so insulting, I rolled my eyes. The gameplay has been simplified into a series of clicks, each one pre-determined by clues so painfully obvious it doesn't even feel like a game anymore. Even the ending of the game proper required little more than finding the exact spot to click on while the player character repeats the same bland line over and over. Overall the gameplay is more like a guided tour through the plot than any kind of point-and-click adventure.

The graphics were not disappointing at all, but they were also nothing to write home about. Still, the animations were pretty smooth, the colors looked nice, and the difference in aesthetic between the human world and vampire world was nicely done. The cartoon style was not unpleasant, but the art quality in general was average. I didn't notice any art that was particularly attractive, and I glazed over much of it, but it was inoffensive. As stated, the animation was well done, though there certainly wasn't much of it. I found myself wanting more movement to bring a little more life to the environments and the game itself. Even little things like giving the fortune teller a crystal ball to wave her hands over, or that glowed. A boiling pot of coffee in the diner. Anything, really, to break up the monotony of flat, static backgrounds and slightly animated figures. Still, I consider the art style and overall look of the game to be a redeeming factor.

Ah, and finally the story. This is where I had most of my problems with this game. The story is nonsense, and not in the cartoonish sense. It makes no sense from one plot point to the other. It starts out with the main character lamenting over being forced to live as a vampire, and desiring to be human and normal. Once he is banished, he immediately seems to get to work on becoming a vampire, despite the fact that he doesn't want to be one. When he meets the girl later on, he complains that now not only does he have to be human forever, but he has to MARRY one. He even says "Take me God" exasperatedly when she speaks to him. However, once the game ends, he is back to being glad to be human, and tells his parents he can 'marry the hot human girl' without her being eaten by vampires. It is not hard to stick to a consistent storyline, and this game just makes no effort at all to do that. Does he want to be a vampire, or a human? Is he happy, or not? Nothing seems to make any sense, and especially the explanation as to why his parents did not die at the end. They won the vampire lottery, and had to dress up as vampires? Why did they not dress their son up as one too? Why were they "devastated" at his birth if they were humans too? It feels like this story was written by five people all trying to go their own direction, and then it all got cobbled together last minute. It was bad and nonsensical, and not in the comedic or deliberate way. It's very clear that no one wrote the story down and had it reviewed by another person. They just glued all the pieces together and called it a day. Really disappointing and lazy work.

Overall, this game is not great. It could be worse, but it could also be much better. In the future I would suggest being more careful with the script, story, and story-telling. If it weren't for the horrible plot, I would have rated this game much higher. Since story is so important to point-and-click games, it really hurt my opinion of the game in general.

Review Rating: 2.5 stars
Submission Rating: 2
Overall: 4.5/10

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Lemonade Land Lemonade Land

Rated 3 / 5 stars

This game is kind of a fun and original take on a tired idea, but boy does it have its fair share of issues.

I think the first issue is the programming. Something is terribly wrong with the code that is there to determine numbers. For instance, I may pick up 10 lemons in the park, but only get 3 in the numbers at my stand. Or, I might sell lemonade and make $10.50, but then my new total says $19, for pretty much no reason. I don't understand how it could be quite so inaccurate (and randomly so, as sometimes it does record properly). This hurt the game quite a lot. There are other number problems, too. The odd, randomly re-adjusting recipe every time you make a change, and that fact that the main menu says '5 cups are made from...' when in reality the recipe only makes ONE cup.

The second issue is the repetitive nature. I understand that lemonade stand games are repetitive, but in the old games you felt challenged as you made more and more money and could charge more to customers coming for a fabulous glass of lemonade. But here, it's all random. The weather is random, the potential customer counts are random (to the point where trying to predict and adjust for the crowd is impossible), and the number of people that buy is random. How can 47 people come to the stand, but I only have 5 potential customers (only 1 of which bought something)? The random nature makes it repetitive. Steal sugar, pick/buy lemons, sell lemonade. Over and over, because you cannot succeed when every other factor is randomized. So the game becomes a frustrating loop as the player tries to make sense of the numbers being generated.

It felt like you had conflicting ideas about what this game was going to be, and instead of sticking to one you decided to use them all. So you get the stealing, beer, and whatnot, but then you also just sell lemonade like a child in the summer. I get the intention (the character is too lazy to work, so he commandeers a lemonade stand) but it's not executed well. It feels all disjointed and separated.

Overall, I wasn't really impressed. I think if the game was more refined I could have really enjoyed it. Congratulations on 4th place, though!

Review Rating: 3 stars
Submission Rating: 2
Overall: 5/10

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Toilet Success! Toilet Success!

Rated 1 / 5 stars

Toilet humor...hooray.

Despite the immature subject matter, this could have been a pretty decent little puzzle-platformer. But alas, it missed the mark and ended up being so adequate it was bad.

The generic music, the use of meme "rage faces", and the theme come together like a sandwich made out of ingredients that should be good, but have gone bad. The idea here is rushing to the bathroom, but the platforms and setting hold no connection. White platforms on a grid paper background. Even to spruce them up to appeal to the "bathroom" theme would have improved this game for me drastically. The lively, free-use classical music sounds more like a superhero game than a game about not having an accident in your pants. The rage faces are jarring, too. Why are they here? There's not any mention of any Internet colloquialisms. There isn't even a lot of wit, just poop jokes. You could have easily drawn your own face on the small white circle and removed that element entirely. It adds to the "cut and paste", "minimum effort" feel of this game.

As for core gameplay, even that falls under the 'adequate' category. The controls are responsive enough, but they feel slippery and loose in a game that sometimes requires very precise jumping. There are controls like "Fancy Pants Adventures", which are slippery but add to the overall urgency and difficulty of that fast-paced game. And then there are controls like..well take your pick of many platformers, where the character does not slide after moving, and neither to objects. This game feels like a terrible amalgamation of both. You end up with slippery controls that feel really heavy. I also noticed that the jump height of the character seems to change on reloading levels; some levels that I could not continue due to a platform being just out of reach were beatable upon reloading and retrying. That was a really weird inconsistency. But even with the alternating height, jumping still feels sluggish and slow, like trying to jump without actually having any momentum.

Overall, this game is playable but adequate at best. There are platformers that do it better, and ones that do it worse. And that's what makes this game so bad. It's a heap of very forgettable and boring elements that come together for a bland game about excrement and toilets that offers nothing unique at all.

Review Rating: 1 star
Submission Rating: 1
Overall: 2/10

Daydream Forest 2 Daydream Forest 2

Rated 0.5 / 5 stars

The methodic way you have to plan out the order of which shapes you find makes this game rather tedious. I was hoping for an "I Spy" kind of puzzle, where you are given a list of unusual items to find nestled in some picture... This was not the case. Instead it felt like running an errand for a family member I don't like. I finished it, I think out of personal pride to finish what I begin, but otherwise there wasn't anything fun about this. "Find the Luck Charms shapes in a generic-looking, screensaver type painting". Two pretty critical points of game theory are engaging your players and entertaining your players. This game does neither. With no music, a boring "clack" sound effect whenever you hit an object, and only the bare minimum of variety and challenge, I'd hesitate to even call this a complete game.

Review Rating: .5 stars
Submission rating: 2
Overall: 2.5/10

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The Exam The Exam

Rated 3 / 5 stars

Well I played through this game a few times, so I feel ready to give it a review.

I'd like to start out by saying I think it is really creative to have the player be the "procrastination", battling against a guy who really wants to focus on his work. Usually in games of this nature, it is the opposite. It is also a pretty fun little sim, despite having very few options and a very obtuse goal, which I will address later.

The visual style is appealing, using that trendy 'simplistic pixel' style to keep everything visually interesting while simple enough to use in a game made in such a short time (assuming that was still the same in the original version). However, the sound quality doesn't match that. All of the sound effects, especially the thumping on the calendar screen and the TV, are really grating and made me want to mute my speakers while I played. The music and sound seem really compressed and bad quality. This seems like something you would want to focus on when going back to improve a game. Still, despite being repetitive and lower quality, the music loop was jaunty and matched the visual style nicely.

As for gameplay... there's not much there. A lot of key elements were left out. I would think, based on college experience myself, that booze would lessen the burden of guilt. Nothing in the game seems to lower the 'guilt' meter. I did manage to make it to two days before the exam, but it was done mostly by using three options: add booze, counteract good resolution, and TV. For about seven days I was doing that exact pattern, and the game lost a lot of charm in its gameplay for that reason. The guilt meter also confused me with the guitar practice. I understand a high guilt risk at the beginning, when Pete is pretty bad and feels he should be studying instead. But at level 42, I would assume the guilt would at least have begun to drop at the halfway point, and be pretty low by the time the number climbed near to 50. Otherwise, it becomes unrewardingly difficult to master the guitar. In my most successful playthroughs, I ignored the instrument entirely and got a much lower (better?) grade. While I understand what you were going for, it makes the inclusion of the guitar pretty pointless. From there, the various distractions seem to scale down in terms of pointlessness.. Badger himself serves very little purpose, though his slight boost to booze interest can be a nice buff if needed toward the middle of the game.

I guess it makes sense for a game originally made in 48 hours, but it feels like some more obvious improvements in the 'improved' version were not present. Overall, it feels rushed and unpolished.

Still, it's an okay game. Amusing for a run or two. Congratulations on Daily 3rd Place!

Review Rating: 3 stars
Submission Rating: 2
Overall: 5/10

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