Hi everyone! I've decided to play a few entries of the IGMC and thought I'd share my reviews for your reading pleasure. Just text, no video. I'm going to try to keep them spoiler free. Please don't send me review requests: I don't know how many I'll review. I have no entry for this contest so this comes as strings free too. Rating is going to be done on this scale: Disqualified - Reserved for unplayable games due to bugs, missing files or whatever. Poor -Neutral -Good -Great - Excellent Rating is only a way to convey my feelings about the game and doesn't necessarily cover the same points for all games. I make no promise to play for 1h if I don't like your game and I may play it to the end if it pleases me. I'm not a judge, so if my review displeases you feel free to explain why you feel it's unfair. If you want to offer hindsight on your design decisions, I (and possibly others) would probably love to hear it too! Without further ado, here are my reviews: Lost boy by @Rhino (10min), Completed Spoiler Graphics were good. I like the little animations. Shifting tones to convey the feel of the game was effective, if a bit overdone. The story left me feeling mostly powerless. I guess that's the goal. I liked all the random thoughts the character was having when interacting with objects. Helped involve me a little more. No noticeable errors or bugs. Music was very discreet. Overall there isn't much of a game. There's a puzzle or two (very simple), a tiny bit of exploration and that's it. It fits the theme of the game. The game succeeds at what it aims to do; which is probably the most important thing. It didn't resonate with me, but I guess there's nothing that can be done about that. Note: Neutral. (Disqualified, Poor, Neutral, Good, Great, Excellent) Abyssal Shine: Nevermelt by @Indrah (1h on hardest then switched to lowest difficulty 3h, total 4h), Completed Spoiler Graphics were good. Mapping was good event hough there were a few mostly empty maps here and there. Story was good. Simple and efficient. The tiny bit of character development was nice, although you could see it coming. The geomancer annoyed me. I never saved crabs or recued sharks before and that made me laugh. Good job. I love 2003's music, so props to you. Music choice was very appropriate. Battles probably need rebalancing on hardest difficulty. One enemy on the 2nd or 3rd map can one shot your characters with a jump attack and spams it. This is not how you want to introduce me to your battles. It costs time and money to revive them, or lengthy trips back to camp making it in an unrewarding and severely annoying gampelay loop, especially considering the lengthy backtracking necessary to complete the puzzles. It was annoying enough to make me lower the difficulty to narrative. Then the rest of the game on narrative offered no challenge, but I guess that's expected. Some things aren't explained and feel dumb. I went in at least three places where something watched me and wouldn't come out. I guess it's because I missed sidequests, still a bit of explaining would go a long way. Puzzles were probably more the focus of the game and they aren't really difficult. Mostly it involves going everywhere and pushing everything around. This is made tiring by the random battles interrupting you. If I hadn't put the encounters on 99 steps, I would have quit. I was pleasantly surprised by the moving orbs puzzle. This is probably the only one that had me thinking and not just move around randomly. Bugs: Ley quake doesn't give ley points, although the spell description tells me it should. Overall, a solid short game. It has a little bit of everything, puzzles, battle, story; but doesn't really shine in a particular aspect. It could do with a rebalancing on the hardest difficulty, at least early game. The core gameplay loop of random battles interrupting puzzles is not the best idea ever. Note: Good. (Disqualified, Poor, Neutral, Good, Great, Excellent) You can feel lucky I'm not a judge, the first hour wasn't the hight point of the game, and if I hadn't intended on finishing it to see the story, I might have given it a lower rating. Corruption: a history of lestive (10min), didn't complete it Spoiler Polish: -Speaking to the innkeep after telling you to go see the major lets you sleeps right away without paying or an explanation. -Grammar mistakes: your instead of you're. (Literally 3rd npc) -A randomly impassable block in the very first map, close to the exit. -First quest: go gather 5 wolf pelts... -NPCs can block entrances or exits (maid in mayor house refused to move for a while) Bug: The cutscene in the shop was poorly made, leaving me without the possibility to move. This is barely 10 minutes in. I stopped playing after that. Note: Disqualified -> Unplayable due to bugs. Darkness of hope by @rondchild (1h30), Completed Spoiler Graphics were great. Some animations could use a little polish (like the running animation for instance) but A for effort. Story was enjoyable. A bit obscure sometimes, with some things not explained, left for a future game I guess. Maps were good. Some didn't connect, leaving a black piece of screen in between them, which was weird. Battle system shows promise but is non existent. You basically pick one of four options without any idea what they do and win battles automatically. Nice animations though. Some bugs with your followers pathing, she jumps and lands in the air sometimes. Some things are just dumb. Ex: pick from two caves, one is instant death, one is a shortcut, but there's no way to know before you try. Music was awesome. Note: Great, It's clear an impressive amount of effort was made, and there are great ideas. It's held back by a non existent battle system. Royal Odyssey: Foundation by @Dalph (2h30) Completed Spoiler Graphics were well used. Maps were good, although definitely not the main focus of the game. Story was nice. Unsurprising, but the characters were likable, and it made me laugh quite a few times. I missed quite a few references to previous games I think, but it didn't feel like I was being left out either. The battle system is very interesting. One side plays like rock papers scissors with a bit of memory involved. It's well made, it needs work on balancing: since all monsters share the same formations scouting and inspire skills are worthless, and I only ever increased my strength. The boss battle part was very well made too. The actual world map gameplay was fine, you should allow the player to speed things up. Moving can be painfully slow if you make a 6. Music was great, very fitting. A small bug: in the tutorial fight the enemy hit precisely 0HP, but I still had to take a turn where my soldiers hit thin air, and took damage. In another fight down the line the enemy also hit precisely 0HP but it didn't happen so I have no clue at what triggered it. Nothing else to report. Note: Excellent, this is a very well made game. Without any outstanding flaws. Given a bit of refining, a bit of balancing and more enemy formations I think it would be a solid little game on its own, not only for a game jam. Moop by @Geoff Moore (1h) Completed Spoiler A nice puzzle game! I loved the atmosphere. Both the music and the graphics really put me on that moon with moop. Awesome job on those points. Story was good: some parts I saw coming from the very beginning, some I had no idea. Dialogue was good, I liked how moop could interact and comment on everything. A bit more explanation would have been great about the motives of a certain character, I'm sure you can see who I'm talking about. The mechanics of the game were simple but well executed. Mapping is alright: some maps are mostly empty, but you can travel from one end to the other in 1 min tops so it's not really a bother. No bugs found! Note: Excellent, It's a short, sweet and wholesome puzzle game. I really enjoyed playing it. Dear Edwin by LazyBum Studios @Gabrelik (1h) Completed Spoiler So let me first state the obvious: graphics are awesome, so is the jazzy music. Congratulations! The mapping makes full use of the awesome graphics and that train is magnificient. The story was nice, at about half of the game I already knew what the big reveal was going to be. The dialogue writing was good, but because people just stood there and there were no faces or busts, it felt very lifeless. Cutscenes were well made, and during those people were moving around which made it better. The actual gameplay is lacking. It's just go there speak to that guy, repeat. There's no detective work to be had. Instead of having a cutscene where you tell me all the clues I've found, how about you make me find them? You could also have done interactive interrogations with choices. The QTEs are impossible for me. Before I even have the time to react a third of the time is elapsed and then the buttons are far too dim. They are also probably way too complex: something like 10 buttons is too much. No bugs found. I'm not planning on replaying it so I can't be sure, but choices and QTEs don't matter, do they? Note: Good, Impressive graphics and music make for a very nice atmosphere. Unfortunately this is held back by no actual gameplay to speak of. Starfall by @chaucer (1h) Completed Spoiler A very nice platforming game. The graphics are great, the main character is well animated. Gameplay wise, it's a metroidvania game, you go around stages, collect powerups and go back to previous stages with your previous powers so you can get more loot. It's well done. However I don't think it's the best way to do things however considering there are only 5 stages, and you only need to revisit 3. The controls are spot on, very responsive. I played it on keyboard. I didn't like the default keys, on an azerty keyboard x and d are too close, and I hit the change weapon button too many times while trying to attack. If there was a way to change controls, I missed it. If there wasn't you should consider it. The gun is kinda useless, once I tried the sword I never went back. Considering there are only 2 weapons it's not a good thing. The stage layouts are good, they make good use of the enemy variety. It took me a few moments to understand shield enemies absorb damage around them, and not just on the shield. That's probably because I played with the sword and nuked them as soon as they appeared. Then when facing the boss of the plains I didn't understand why he wasn't taking damage. Basic enemy AI is very simple, but gets the job done. Bosses have very few patterns overall. I got my ass kicked by the plains boss and by the last boss but the other two were complete pushovers. Speaking of the last boss, I had to go through the level thrice and listen to the intro as many times, you probably should look at allowing players to skip the intro. Music didn't strike me as good or bad. Story and characters were not really the main point of the game. I kinda liked the character interactions. You don't really need an extensive story in a metroidvania, but I'd have liked to know more about the antagonist. Note: Great, I applaud turning MV in a platforming engine, and a great one at that. I feel that with more levels, powerups and weapons it could be very interesting. The rock and the rose by @SeaPhoenix (30min) Completed Spoiler The graphics were RTP, but well used. The core gameplay loop of setting up rooms, hiring people and completing tasks was very fun. I liked the butler's secret. The little story there is is well executed. I didn't expect the treasure to be what it turned out to be, but going back there was plenty of foreshadowing. Nice job! Using recurring characters to build a story is a great idea, it's a shame it was not expanded upon much. Things are probably moving too fast. In 10 days, you go from a derelict place to a premium inn, and host some very special guests... I was able to hire every aid on the day they came by, but I think there must have been no room for error. Make a single mistake and you can't complete your tasks. I didn't like that the only way to gather enough gold was by selling the treasure. I appreciated the menu shortcuts a lot. An eventing error: the plant to the right of the desk on the ground floor is non passable even if you don't purchase the gardener. Note: Great, A bit longer, slower, with some random events in between days and deeper managing mechanics would make for a very good game. Runner rand by @MinisterJay (5min) Didn't complete it Spoiler It's a take on the running game genre. Why not. However the IGMC release version has an error: failed to load BGM DDO_Nooby.ogg. It doesn't crash the game, but it interrupts the gameplay because I have to hit enter every 30 seconds. I quit playing after 5 minutes of that. Note: Disqualified -> Unplayable due to bugs. Wispers by @MinisterJay (30min) Completed it Spoiler Its an adventure RPG game of sorts. I didn't like the art style at all. An effort was made to animate wisps, but it remains very basic. You move at a snail's pace even while dashing. That sucks. There is no story to speak of. The game design choices are weird. First enemy I encounter 2 shots me. Later in the game, it three shots me, but I still stand no chance. And it's not a special enemy that I'm supposed to lose to either. The very few possible evolution choices would be interesting I guess if I chose to replay the game but I don't intend to so I can't comment on them. The battle system is very basic. Aside from new enemies and animations that don't look good there are no interesting mechanics. I ended up attacking 75% of the time, until I got the double attack spell and then I only used that. The labyrinth is a big fudge you to the player. 1:You move very slowly so it's a pain 2: You get interrupted and one shot by the minotaur on the wrong paths. 3: If you try to many wrong path you get to sit by while wispers gets pushed by an invisible force to the end of the labyrinth. Slowly. Very Slowly. At least let me figure out the path! There were no bugs I noticed, but I didn't go looking for them either. Note: Poor, I didn't have fun at all playing this. Questionable design choices and art styles abound. The legend of protey by @chalkdust (30min) Didn't complete it Spoiler It's a puzzle adventure game. The graphics are beautiful, the maps I went through are basic (especially the labyrinths and the mountain). I quickly grew annoyed at the core gameplay loop: get powerup backtrack to a previous area to advance the plot, repeat. The areas are simply not interesting enough to explore as they are. This kind of gameplay can work in action RPGs by using enemy variety, and interesting layouts (metroidvania), in regular RPGs done well, it's an occasion to gather a bit of exp or gold, or even to get nice conversation with locals to see how the world reacts to your actions. Here there is nothing to gain except the next powerup which just furthers the plot. I quit when I was asked to go through the same uninteresting labyrinth twice. Seriously there's nothing fun about that labyrinth. A long bland series of corridors with plenty of dead ends and limited vision doesn't make for a fun experience in my book. The concept is interesting, the story uses very well known tropes and turns them on their head a bit, which is nice, but the core exploration gameplay didn't feel fun to me. Judging by the screenshots there seems to be a lot more to the game and it's clear effort has been made, so I'm going to refrain from giving it a negative review. Note: Neutral, it's probably just not for me. Once upon a spirit by @Lucy Fox (15min) Completed it. Spoiler Right after the intro I was hooked. The art style is beautiful, and the music is very appropriate. Every little thing is animated and that's amazing. The world switching mechanics are really well made and the change of atmosphere is perfect. Every event has an interaction with whatever you're holding so that's really great. What little story there is is very well made. There lies the only flaw of this game, it's far too short. It builds up its story beautifully, only to be cut short once the game should really start. Note: Good. Everything in this game is awesome. If you expanded upon it and its universe this would definitely be amazing. Please continue this. I only said this is "just" good, because I would never vote for it in the contest. It's the beginning of what could be an awesome adventure game and story, but right now it's far too short and only fit to be a demo/teaser. Quidjet the wonder weiner by @Dezue, (15min) Completed it Spoiler Alright, this game is beautiful. Everything has a little animation which is amazing. The music is really catchy too. The character interactions are funny, even if it leaves the impression of being in a naughty movie from time to time. The story is very short, but complete and it made me laugh, even if you could see it coming from a mile away. Igor made me laugh too. Another short adventure game that's well made. An oversight: Options and the save menu are in german. A game breaking bug sadly: When you want to activate frank you can do so from the wrong side of the lever. If you do that the cutscene can't finish and you're stuck there, with no choice but to restart the game. Note: Great, a tiny bit more polish and it could be excellent. Project WITCH by @JediVash (30min) Completed it Spoiler The artstyle is alright. The character walking animation is not done and it looks silly, like they are moonwalking everywhere. Maps are completely empty and designed to make you take more steps to navigate. Battles are completely uninteresting. I kept space pressed during every fight and won. Let me recap both those points: maps are lengthy and bare, uninteresting, battles are long and uninteresting. At half way through the game you are told "backtrack to the beginning LOL". This is neither funnny nor interesting. There is no customization possible at all. Different weapons give nothing except very minor numerical differences that don't matter. To sum this all up: the gameplay sucks. That's all there is to it. No effort whatsoever was made to make combat interesting apart from the art. And there is little of it. Heroines are not animated, and almost all of it is different versions of goblins holding different weapons or with different outfits. The story is laughable. I get it, I've seen the ending. But there is no foreshadowing, so it's just a random deus ex machina, an attempt at making this original. This is not how storytelling works. Also: please stop it with the amnesiac characters. Note: Poor, look at the screenshots, you'll have more fun than playing it. I'm sorry if this seems particularly harsh. I can forgive poor map design and story, if the combat is awesome. Except here it's not. Journey to the east by @Ennacrima (1h) Didn't complete it Spoiler There's been a huge amount of effort done on the art. The result is great, everything looks good, the characters are very detailed and the little animations are the icing on the cake. The music and sound effects are very nice. Unfortunately, I didn't have much fun in an hour playing the game. After a brief intro you're thrown into the actual game. And then I don't know, rhythm game are a favorite genre of mine and here even after practicing 3/4 of the time I couldn 't get the patterns right. Either the hit detection is far too strict, or I sucked at the game. The result is battles took very long, easily 5 minutes each. I got much better at it once i started closing my eyes because that countdown and the animations seem to be slightly off beat, but not the sound. The actual gameplay starts with a fricking labyrinth. Please don't. I went through it played for an hour according to the in game clock and was still in the same labyrinth, so I quit. Between long battles, because apparently I suck at this game, and that labyrinth, what story there is wasn't enough to keep me interested. Note: Neutral, another one that's probably just not for me. It's a shame, it's obvious there's a lot of work that went into this project. Congas by @Nicola (1h) Completed it Spoiler There is no marvel of storytelling or battle mechanics, but I was drawn in by the cute and wholesome feel of the game. It's short, sweet and it made me laugh. The graphics aren't the best, but they've been handcrafted and work very well , contributing to the cute atmosphere of the game. The music is very appropriate. It could have used a bit more polish for everything, especially the UI. Note: Great, I enjoyed playing it thoroughly. I definitely recommend you give it a go. The midnight train to nowhere by @Mannytsu (15min), completed it Spoiler The graphics are awesome, and the music is too! There is no gameplay to speak of, you just go about talking to people for a short while. As for the story, it has potential. However, it left me not really feeling anything. That's because that game is far too short. There is not enough build up for me to relate to the main character, or his plea. The game is trying to cope by using vague allusions, but it didn't work for me. I was much more fascinated by the train, but the story doesn't explain anything about it. There's a status menu with sleepiness and anxiety bars, but I don't think they're used at all? Grammar mistakes here and there. Note: Good. Your game is all about story, but you don't have nearly enough in right now. Continue to build up on it. Journey of the scroll by @Kokoro Hane (45min), Completed it Spoiler There is so many things wrong with this game. The maps are awful. Things are randomly put together, interiors are far too big without any purpose. Passability issues are everywhere. The music is appropriately chosen. The voice acting is hit and miss, some is humorous, some is really bad, some is alright. What kills it is that when you speed up text because dialogue itself is boring, the voice acting keeps going so you end up with three or four lines by different characters all playing at once. The story is forgettable. The character interactions are somewhat funny, sometimes. The socks guy made me laugh at it. The combat is standard. No effort has been made. You fight slimes, bats, a dragon and a final boss fight and that's it. There is no strategy involved and you are in no real threat, just spam your strongest attacks. Consumables are useless, equipment is there but doesn't matter because you never get any that you would change to. Note: Poor, Voice acting is probably the most interesting feature this entry has, and it's not well implemented. The maker of dreams by potatoBrainsGames, (2h), Completed it Spoiler It's a management game about producing an rpg maker game. The concept is very nice! There is all but two maps in that game, and they're very simple, but believable. The artwork itself is good. The management system itself is complicated. this is made a thousand times worse by the awful UI. The main work is done by interacting with your computer and it's just tedious menu navigation. The small story line gets the work done, but doesn't hold any surprises either, not that it's an important part of a management game anyway. Note: Good, the concept is interesting, and it covers the basics but it's in need of a complete UI job. A bit more explaining on the mechanics would be great too. I'll edit this post when I have the time to play more entries. Have fun, and happy making!