Recurrence - "Groundhog Day" mixed with social engineering [download + update!]

Discussion in '2014 Indie Game Maker Contest' started by Tommy Gun, Jul 2, 2014.

  1. Tommy Gun

    Tommy Gun ♩ ♪ ♫ ♬

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  2. C-C-C-Cashmere

    C-C-C-Cashmere Veteran

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    Hey! I just played Recurrence. We've already had an interview before, so we kind of know each other.

    For one, I really enjoyed the concept quite a lot. I have thought of similar concepts in my mind about a game similar to "Groundhog Day" where you live the same day over and over again, using the knowledge from past iterations you've experienced of the same day to achieve a goal - in this case, saving your brother from being shot in the head by thugs. I'm going to list the pros and cons of the game (kind of like how Indrah does it) and then give a score out of 5 at the end.

    Pros

    + Clever concept

    Extremely original and innovative gameplay. There has been very few games like this that I can recall, and I do not know why, because it is such a do-able concept.

    Some cool characters had their time to shine, for example Sarah (I think that was her name) the receptionist, coming off as a little bit of a jerk, just because she's in your way.

    At some moments I was relieved to recognize that the protagonist was actually more smart than I was in what he did. In particular, the moment when he got the programmer to change the code to the desk, and then asked him what the old code was, I was like, "what?" and then I realized that when the day reset, the code would be reset too. In that moment, the protagonist was more clever than I was, and I felt really thrilled to note that, because often main characters can be dumb.

    Overall, it was fun. That's what I liked about it the most, probably. Is that it was a new and different experience from most RPGs, and even though the actions were fairly repetitious, it was fairly fun to see what kinds of shenanigans could go down. Besides, robbing the till of the bar even for the 4th/5th time - you still feel badass xD

    Cons

    By nature of the game, it gets repetitive. I'm suspecting that's because you usually have to do the same thing over and over again. The game tries to combat this by having longer versions of the events play when you first encounter them, but then shortening them by the 3rd or 4th time you come across them, but I still feel like there isn't enough variation in the activities to make doing the same thing over and over again fun. After a while, repetition of actions you *need* to do each day gets tedious. This could be remedied by varying the things that you *need* to do. The game already does this, but if you want to expand, you're going to have to include a bigger variety of things you can do to trigger other events.

    The maps are huge and mostly bland. It made a sort of nice effect of the city seeming massive, and enhancing that sense of exploration, but once the novelty wore off, it became a chore having to go to and fro from the workplace, calling her up every day.

    After a while, having too many options of memories to select made things really confusing. I would recommend making certain memories disabled once they ran out of use. I know that this is probably against what you're trying to do (having choices with what you want to interact with makes for interesting gameplay), but in the end when you have about 20 options, even choosing the right one when you know what option to choose seems like you're looking at a great big brick wall and trying to find the brick where your money is hid behind... you get dizzy (that metaphor made no sense!).

    So overall, it's a very good game that uses a unique and interesting concept. Things that could be improved are: the mapping, adding new stuff, more characterization and other things that I feel are inevitable. But this game left me with a little smile on my face due to its genius.

    I give it a 4/5, which means good. I really liked it :)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 11, 2014
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  3. jtrev23

    jtrev23 Veteran

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    I left my review on the contest page, but it is a really great game
     
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  4. Tommy Gun

    Tommy Gun ♩ ♪ ♫ ♬

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    Thanks for playing! :) Yes, I am definitely going to address all of those things in the full game, which I would have done if it weren't for the contest time limit! The map will have tons more buildings you can enter, which means more things to do, and less walking before the next quest. Also, I'm adding fast-travel anyway (to this version as well). I'm going to change the way memories work a bit, so they'll at least be more organized, but the game will be much bigger, so I'm going to have to work on that. And I will definitely shorten nearly EVERY repetitive task after you've done it once or twice.
     
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