Spooktober Spooktacular Game Jam Review Submission Thread

Hyouryuu-Na

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I really appreciate the review. I initially didn't intend to participate due to insecurities and lack of time, but got pushed to it and decided to create a small prototype. Glad to see you listing what you liked, and mention the few mistakes I made, which can and will be fixed :D

I had some few plans, but due to only getting 3 days, it gets some jump cuts between maps (library office -> church) and some hints like the cavern. Some easy mistakes which was made as well, which is nice to get pointed out, as I didn't think about them, whilst forgetting interactions on the clock. Hopefully getting some mechanics going as well as puzzles and making it more interactive. Hopefully I'll get more time to my project, which I lack due to work, and turn it into the game I envisioned it to be :kaopride:
I'm glad you participated. Even though you couldn't include everything you wanted to, you still got some new experience making a game for a jam in such a short time ^^ I'm happy to know that my review was useful and that you're working on the game right now. If you need a playtester anytime in the future, I can test it out ^^ I just love games like these.
 

WaywardMartian

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I had some time today so I tried a few of these out:

Sibyl's Sunset Carnival @Mrs_Allykat
I do enjoy a Clue-style mystery. 'Find murder weapon, figure out who's lying/doesn't have an alibi' is a nice, straight-forward way of doing a little murder mystery. I like the randomisation of weapon/suspect and that you can pick your character. Picking the character doesn't affect much but I enjoy having the option.

Issues ( recognising that you had twenty days at most to put it together )
- Getting teleported back to the carnival entrance every time you get a The Killer Is Getting Closer screen is kind of annoying.
- The fog was distracting.
- If there was a Skip Intro screen that would skip past Narrator Clown and FBI Guy so I could just get into the mystery on replays, that would be helpful. ( I might just be an impatient person. )
- Same with it popping up instructions every time I talked to anyone.
- I assume if this were expanded upon, there'd be a Conditional Branch added in the dialogues so we don't end up with Sibyl Sr telling Sibyl Jr "My daughter Sibyl is such a hard worker" situations.

There's janky bits but I expect getting the whole Randomised Clue-Style Puzzle thing set up took up most of the time you had. It's a neat idea that works.

Spooktober by @h0tWalker
Exploring a spooky house and finding creepy notes is always my jam.
- Good sounds. Good, creepy music and I don't know where you got those monster sounds but they're good monster sounds.
- The map just - keeps - going. I don't know if it makes sense architecturally but it works for Help I'm Lost In A Spooky Exploration Game.
- The lighting was nice.

Issues ( recognising that you had twenty days at most to put it together )
- Some spelling errors.
- Some passability issues - I was occasionally walking on furniture.
- I'd have liked to see more stuff be interactable. In particular I kept hoping the phonographs would play when I poked them.
- Was I supposed to get killed by a naked orc in the crawlspace? Is that where the game is meant to end or did I goof up somewhere?

This one could use some fleshing-out with interactable items and maybe the occasional scratching noise since the notes mentioned there'd been scratching in the walls ( unless I had my sound too low to hear it. ) There were enough spooky hints and weird stuff going on that I'd like to find out more.

Zwillinge by @Windyhouser
There's puzzles and most things can be interacted with, exactly what I want from a spooky house game!

I personally liked the chase since it made the rest of the game feel more tense, wondering if/when I'd have to run again. Though I might have lucked out since I got away first try.

Issues ( recognising that you had twenty days at most to put it together )
- Trying to activate my broken boards gives me a 'the only bottle I could get down and the cork is stuck' dialogue.
- I feel like there were too many squeaky floorboards. Like they stopped being spooky and just got annoying real fast. The broken glass/plates and blood puddles were uncommon enough to remain effective.
- The Hunger and Fear bars were a bit confusing since you want Hunger to be full but Fear to be empty. In my choice I'd have food make your Hunger go down instead of up. Or change it to something like Energy and Sanity/Mood where you want to keep the bars full.

I want to know what's going on in this weird house with the dining room in the basement and the prop furniture. If you expand on this one, I'll be back to look again.
 
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Magical Girl Priscilla: Terror Town by @KV_Kingdom
The story is simple; you're a magical girl tasked with finding your brother Reid with your other magical girl friends, only for them to get turned into monsters as you must quickly remind them of who they are by, of course, whacking them repeatedly until they turn back to normal.

The first thing right off the bat I notice is the custom game icon, which is always nice. The custom UI is also a good touch and separates it in terms of style from other, default looking ones. Also, I love the way Priscilla talks. Her dialogue actually made me want to find all the interactables just to see what she had to say about them. Also, the way the party members interact with each other on occasion is nice, i.e how Roza wants to read the book on the floor; I wish there were more of that.

Also, saying this right now, I love the magical girl transformation scenes. I totally wasn't expecting there to be a whole cutscene, but I really liked seeing it. ;o; I also love how all the characters have moves in battle that seem to derive from magical girl themes, that was super cool to see!

Now, moving onto some things I feel like could be improved, I understand the whole "unable to get into the secret room and ending" problem has already been addressed so I won't be mentioning that here. My only advice to prevent this from happening in the future is to just playtest more, but I totally understand it can be hard to do if you're positive everything's been sorted out. :">

The music that plays in the main menu plays immediately the second you start a new game, which is just kinda jarring, in my opinion. A change of music'll for either'll probably fix it. :0c

The actual gameplay — which is mostly just attacking enemies until they die so you can get a shard — isn't really that engaging or fun. I feel like there could be more of a break in the formula, like let's say instead of having the same routine for every room of gathering shards after fighting an enemy, maybe add a little bit of variety? Like, of course, you can still have those battles if you'd like, but there can be different triggers aside from the enemies just standing in front of the item you need, y'know? :0c

Now, I will admit there were some parts where I can see attempts to not make the combat an "Attack Masher" through how some moves are able to make the player regain MP and TP, and the lich fight I actually kind of liked! The nonstop invisible enemies that appear prevent you from just autolocking and killing the lich, and it seems to regain MP when hit with physical moves as opposed to being more affected by magical attacks. So, honestly, I like how the developer tried to make it so there's a potential strategy the player can go for. That's great!

Bugs/Errors I found
  • There's a passability issue in the room where you find the key, specifically with the white counters.
  • When all the transformation gems are collected it'll say "You have collected five pieces of Roza's transformation gem" for her, but nobody else. Since all the gems have been collected at this point, I just thought that was a bit strange.
All in all, I enjoyed this game! The dialogue was nice and it was short and sweet. The battles could use some improvement, but overall, I would definitely play it again just to find the secret ending. Since this also seems to be apart of a series, I'll definitely look out for more! :kaothx:

Cursed Land by @Powerise
This one starts out pretty funny. The protagonist, Frain, has just moved into a new apartment when he realizes that he hasn't submitted for the Spooktober Spooktacular Game Jam yet. However, before he hops on it, he is visited by Liana, who is the last of her clan. From there, she takes him to his world where he must defeat a great evil that has tarnished the land and turned monsters, who were once gentle, into savages.

Starting off with the things I liked, the small amount of lore we get in the game is interesting! It's briefly explained in the beginning but was able to keep me thinking about it throughout my playthrough. I also like the small bits of comedy sprinkled in here and there. As for the guardian mechanic, I find it's a really interesting concept and I'm glad the developer made it so you pretty much need guardians to progress as the game gets more difficult, and just the idea of awakening these beings with Soul Crystals is a really cool idea to me.

Unfortunately for the lore, as interesting as it is, isn't expanded on any further past Liana's explanation, which is a shame. I would've loved to learn more about each guardian you can awaken, but there doesn't seem to be any sort of information on them either. Battles aren't random encounters and are more triggered by stepping on certain tiles such as with the tower and the grassland near the boat for example, but there's no kind of indication there's a monster there waiting for you immediately — which there always is. This can be excused a bit with the sea parts and all, considering you can't really have a more detailed area where you encounter sea monsters, but with the tower for example, the guardian of the forest just appears immediately and suddenly you're fighting him. I would recommend at least putting in a tower entrance where you have time to save and heal up before facing the guardian, same with all the others. To be fair though, this was one of the last entries submitted, so I totally understand if you had the thought but wasn't able to put that in before the deadline. ^^; This is just some food for thought if you'd like to revisit the project. :0c

Bugs/Errors I found
  • There's a capitalization error in the title upon startup. "L" in "land" should be capitalized. I know it's a small thing, but considering this is the first thing the player sees, having proper capitalization in your presentation can help leave a good initial impression. There are also several other capitalization errors in the dialogue (i.e how Liana says she's a Summoner but the "summoner clan" doesn't have a capitalized "s". I suggest things like title checkers online if you're unsure if something in your title needs to be capitalized. All proper nouns should usually be capitalized. :>
  • In the Soul Crystal key item information, it's cut off. It says, "resurrect a"—
Overall, factoring in how this was the third to last game submitted for the jam and all (and the developer's first game, too! :o), I find this to be a pretty nice, short adventure! While the story isn't anything new, I still found myself invested and wanting to see what happened next. Good job!

The Expellers by @SirGatling
In this game, there is a group of exorcists called "The Expellers" consisting of Simon, Ingrid, and Belief. Together, they and their Sacred Guardian must protect humanity from the entities plaguing the world.

The premise is very interesting; I love the idea of Dark Fantasy Exorcists™ which I believe is what the game's going for? Either way, it's a cool concept! There are several things that set this apart from your typical RPG. For example, HP and MP are replaced with Vitality and Focus, which makes sense and isn't a replacement that makes no sense. The lore is also pretty intriguing, and I like how it seems a good deal of thought was put into the entity and expeller states and the classes of entities themselves within the book in Key Items.

As for things I feel like need improvement, the combat, for me personally was extremely difficult. Maybe it's just been a hot minute since I've played an RPG in this style and I'm just wildly out of practice, but every random encounter and enemy is really strong and takes forever to kill. Now to be fair, I acknowledge this was the very last entry submitted to the jam, so you may have not had enough time to playtest and get these issues fixed. I understand, and honestly, that's okay! Deadlines suck sometimes, but I still feel that I should say that if you'd like to go back and improve this project for the future, please consider fixing the battles. I was really invested in this story, and I'd definitely pick it back up once word comes that you'd updated it.

Also, I noticed that there are some issues in language. In fact, some of the dialogue's still in Spanish, for example, "Encuentras [x] Crown!" and while there's absolutely nothing wrong with having language options in your game, to have two languages present in one playthrough is a bit jarring. The English could be improved on as well; I recommend using programs like Grammarly to check words or sentences you're unsure about.

Unfortunately, I didn't get very far in this game. There's too many places to go right off the bat, and none of them seem to be restricted in any way to prevent the player from going somewhere they shouldn't. Also, the leveling up system kinda doesn't make sense to me. All the players levels are replaced with "Insanity", which is why grinding is discouraged as the higher your characters Insanity is, the lower your stats'll become. I'm a bit confused on how that's supposed to work out in a game with random encounters, and depending on the the length the final product, Insanity could be more detrimental than anything further down the line. I dunno. I'm not good with combat design at all, but perhaps you'd be able to prove me wrong. :0c

Bugs/Errors I found
  • None, actually! So good job in that regard! :>

All in all, The Expellers, from what I did play of it, was intriguing in its narrative and presentation, but fell very short with its combat. I would completely be willing to play an updated version that fixes these issues, as the developer has shown clearly to have put a lot of thought into the mechanics. It just needs a little tweaking, that's all. Again, I'll definitely be following this game if the developer decides to continue the project. :kaothx:
Unfinished Saga by @Jennavieve
Unfinished Saga immediately starts out with the king of the land, Stefan, breaking the fourth wall and acknowledging that the player isn't the developer of the game. Nonetheless, he recruits you to finish what has been started and complete the project that the developer had abandoned long ago.

Right off the bat, Unfinished Saga is able to weave fourth wall breaks into its narrative in an entertaining and engaging way. Aside from the initial shock, I never felt like the breaks were forced or took me out of the immersion, which is not easy to achieve at all. The lore of the demo is intriguing and I love how the player can piece it all together without being outright fed the information.

I also just really like the character of Stefan. He's funny, but he's more than being just this funny, fourth-wall-breaking character. He has layers we see very early on, and that makes me invested in him even more. It's nice to see how he reacts — or doesn't react — to some things, i.e saying it stings when you try to interact with the passage more than once or not asking again when the player says that don't want to hear his song. He completely makes this demo, in my opinion. If you decide to continue this project, I'd definitely play it solely to see more of him, but also because you have a pretty strong story so far.

As for things I think can be improved on, there's not much to the demo length-wise so I wasn't given that much material to talk about. However, while a nice change of pace, the Hollow Ones section could be better. This is because sometimes Hollow Ones just come at you while Stefan's still speaking at the start and sometimes they take a few hits to give you a game over while others just kill you instantly. While this section could be really fun, I think it just needs a bit better eventing for it to actually be more enjoyable.

Bugs/Errors I found
  • Passability issue with the right statue in the organ/starting room.
  • Passability issue in the room right from there with the cabinets.
For a short demo, Unfinished Saga was a pretty enjoyable experience. It has a solid main character and plot, and the interactive mechanic between the player and well, the entire game is pretty nice! Overall, I would definitely follow this project to see where things go! ;v;

The Ghost Cage by @SeaPhoenix
Last but not least, this game revolves around Isabel, who just moved into a house that's haunted by a ghost. There are seven different endings the player can reach by doing different things every day. I ended up playing the game several times in a bid to get all the endings, even making it to Day 8 on one run, but I only ended up getting 5 out of the 7 endings.

I love the characters of the ghost and Isabel and reading their interactions. The way the story pans out depending on what you have Isabel do leads to a lot of replayability value, which I experienced firsthand in all of my times playing through it. However, the gameplay doesn't really get tiresome or boring, as since all the endings are vastly different from one another with different ways to reach them, the player is constantly doing new things even if they decide to do the set routine of heading to the town, doing something with the bloodstain, etc. etc.

I also really like how the music differs depending on your Happiness and Hostility level. It really helps set the mood for the course you're taking in the game.

As for things I feel like could be improved on, the dialogue feels a little rough around the edges at times. For example, when the ghost gets angry at you before casually saying he'll see you tomorrow as usual. While the majority of the game has amazing dialogue, these few and far-in-between sections could be refined just a little bit more. :0

Also, Sibyl and her dog are always in the same exact place outside every day, and while I acknowledge the same goes for Ernest and Basil, maybe having Sibyl and her pet move or change position day to day could help make it feel less stiff? However, considering this entry was posted on the second to last day of the jam and it's really polished this is honestly just a nitpick, haha. :">

Bugs/Errors I found
  • The game title is "House for Rent" and not "The Ghost Cage"; maybe you just forgot to change it. :">
Overall, The Ghost Cage was an immensely fun experience that kept me entertained faaar longer than it should've. I ended up playing it for two hours straight trying to find those last two endings before eventually giving up, haha. :"> I'll definitely, just like all the other developers whose games I reviewed today, will be following SeaPhoenix's work from now on. ;o;

Also, I just wanna say, great job to everyone who entered in their game, whether I reviewed them here or not! I know how difficult it is to submit something to get judged, so it's amazing in itself you did so and it's certainly something to be proud of. :"o Good job, everyone!! :kaoluv:
 
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Neuralsplyce

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Note: Based on very early playthrough during the game jam


Summary: Overall, a short game with some nice concepts. Could use some more polish.
Narrative: Limited narrative and dialog until the end. I liked the flavor text at the start of the game but found it missing in the second half.
Graphics: Really liked the maps and will definitely be hunting down the gorgeous tilesets. The parallax lighting needs some refinement - the light is too perfectly round.
Sound: Music and sound effects felt appropriate to the game
Issues/Bugs: Found a passability issue with the stair tiles
Suggestions: Add a short, organic tutorial for new RPGM players (mention that open books are save points). Modify the text for locked doors to add the name of the room. I spent a considerable amount of time trying to 1) find where doors were located and 2) figuring out which door a key went to.

Summary: This game shows a lot of potential and the developer is definitely talented. However, there were some issues that kept me from playing through all the levels.
Narrative: Dialogue felt good. I didn't make it far enough to experience much of the story so cannot comment further.
Graphics: Nice looking maps. The dark spots on the floor, are they stains or shadows? If shadows perhaps move them to a parallax layer that can be overridden by the lamp.
Sound: Good use of sound and sound effects.
Issues/Bugs: I tried playing the web version and received the error: "No available storage method found". Did you move everything out of the wwww/ folder before creating the .zip file?
Suggestions:
I'm not a fan of doors that exit the map being placed on the left or right walls only because RPGM doesn't allow us to rotate the camera. I've seen this in a few games and the only good implementation I've seen is when the map extends beyond the door . This informs the player that the space they are in is a doorway and not just a cubby hole.

The kitchen in the basement could use some work. First, it feels off that character auto-moves straight to the food as if she knew where it was even though it's not in the line of sight. The zombie portions needs work. You take away player agency by auto-moving the character around the map. Then a zombie track star shows up and suddenly the player has agency again. Is there a reason the character needs to auto-move on this map? Is sprinting turned off except on this map? The zombie followed me into next map and in 3 attempts, I could not get the character sprint away from the zombie and up the stairs. I stopped playing at that point.

Summary: Felt more like a bunch of concepts collected into a demo than a fully realized game. Did not feel like there was a goal to accomplish. The sppokiest part of this experience was the Armor shop.
Narrative: I have no idea what was going on or if there was a story here. +1 for talking chickens.
Graphics: Interesting palette choice for the recolors. I noticed the inn on the map of dreams (?) has the door event placed on a wall tile rather than a black spot. The party appeared to run into a wall rather than go into a dark space. The inn map uses brick wall and brick floor tiles that are almost indistinguishable. Hard to tell what was floor and what was wall.
Sound: No issues.
Issues/Bugs: Numerous typos. I was unable to leave the map of dreams. Not sure if this was intentional or not.
Suggestions: If this is a game, give the players quests to do to guide them through the game. If it's an 'experience' or demo, provide the player a guide (NPC to twinkling star animation) to ensure they see everything you want them to. (The recent Assassin's Creed games have a great 'museum tour' mode that takes the player on a walking journey of some maps).
 

Windyhouser

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Alright, a review or two or three! Everybody who entered did a really good job, and I played a lot more of the games than I've had time to write reviews for. This jam had a lot of very good entries.

In @Kupotepo and @akoniti ’s Fear, you play as Reid, who wakes in an abandoned mansion full of murderous curtains, and must escape.
Some of the things I liked in this game:
  1. The mapping was nice. Very nice use of the default MZ assets, and very condensed areas. No running around through miles of empty corridors.
  2. I liked how quickly it got into things. Just a little bit of setting, then you start.
  3. Most of the horror references in the library? area were a nice touch.
  4. I actually like the lack of sound, for the most part. A few more sound effects would've been nice, but the lack of music makes for a more oppressive atmosphere.
There were, however, some things I disliked:
  1. The “chasers” were very predictable, and not particularly difficult.
  2. Some variation in the color of the lights would’ve been nice, as well as the darkness color not being plain black. It makes it hard to navigate. The light radius was also a bit too small in some areas, since the chasers could be right next to you without your seeing them very well.
  3. I wish there was an indicator for which doors were open. There’s a lot of searching with not much deviation.
  4. The instant death curtains were a little startling the first time, but in the end were mostly just annoying. I also wish the one curtain that had a thing I needed behind it was visually different from the others.
  5. Some more environmental texts would’ve been nice, for the corpses, but also just around the area to set the tone.
  6. This is just personal taste, but I found the reference to the particular death in the Cecil Hotel, as well as the reference to the Amityville murders to be in rather bad taste. I don’t mind the horror references in general, but I personally consider any events still in living memory to be completely off limits, and those references really only felt gross. Describing the full Amityville murders was also a bit icky.

In Sibyl’s Sunset Carnival by @Mrs_Allykat, you play as one of four characters, and have to solve a murder. This one has a really cool idea behind it, and you’ve done very well to implement it in the time available. I didn’t actually manage to find the killer, but I think I could’ve managed it if I’d played it again.
Few thoughts:
  1. There were a couple dialogues that referenced the character I was playing as, and if there had been more time I would’ve liked to have those cleaned up.
  2. The rhyming exposition is amusing, and a very nice touch. Maybe have a plain-text description after, though, just to make sure there’s no ambiguity.
  3. The windowskin is very, very nice, and I think it’s custom. Always a good sign when a game has those kinds of little details covered.
  4. There were a few areas where the passability wasn’t what I was expecting at all, which I think is a symptom of converting an originally VX Ace tileset to MZ.
  5. The various sources of portraits actually fit together very well, which I was surprised by.
Overall, a very nice game! I’d love to see the dev expand the concept even more.

In The Ghost Cage by @SeaPhoenix, you’ve just moved into a suspiciously cheap house, which, what do you know? Is haunted.
This game is probably one of my favorites out of this jam.
  1. The writing is very witty, and right up my alley as far as humor goes. It also manages to be serious when it wants to be, which is a very good sign.
  2. The mapping, which uses the FES tilesets, is very nice. FES is hard to work with in my experience, which makes it even more impressive.
  3. I got only one end while playing, intentionally, and even though I could see it coming it was still very fulfilling.
  4. I love the apple tree. So much. It’s a tiny touch, and I love it. I loved a lot of the tiny touches in the game, like how much of the environment had interactions. I also liked painting in blood. I wish I had more options to paint with.
  5. The ghost sprite, which I believe was custom, is very cute.
  6. The MC behaves in a very sensible manner, for someone in a house haunted by a ghost, which is very nice.
Pretty much, The Ghost Cage is great, and you should play it.

In @KV_Kingdom ’s Magical Girl Priscilla, you play as Priscilla and her pals on a quest to rescue her oft-imperalled brother Reid. This game is really good.
  1. The writing is very witty and funny, and very personable for such a short game.
  2. There wasn’t too much introduction, but I still got the plot right away, even without reading the game page.
  3. The choice of animations for the transformations was just the right amount of cheesy. Really, the entire game was just the right amount of cheesy, and very endearing.
  4. The battles were a little easy, but I got the mechanics right away, and a battle that’s too easy is much, much better than a battle that’s too hard.
  5. The mapping is sparse, and a little bland, but a good use of the tilesets. I would’ve liked a few more interactables around the environment, but I like to find all the tiny place-setting details around games, so that’s just personal preference.
  6. The rapport between Priscilla and her friends was very nice, and pretty believable, in a fantasy sort of way.
In summary: Go play it. It’s short, sweet, and funny, and very well done.
 

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Video 5: Cursed Land, The Haunting, The Expellers
I just wanted to say thank you for being the *only* person to review my game. Not sure if it's because it was one of the last entries and people were burnt out, or if not everyone likes extra-difficult battles in the same way I do. Or maybe people just don't like dungeon crawls, which is basically all it was. That said, insight from an alternate perspective was pretty helpful. Note that a lot of the shortcomings were corrected in a more recent version, but the changes for that version were made post-deadline so it's not the version you played, nor is it the version linked in the contest submission thread.
  1. Yes, I absolutely should've introduced the abilities gradually rather than dumping them on the player all at once. While it didn't seem that hard to me, I suppose that's just developer insight giving me something of an advantage vs a new player seeing them all for the first time. I probably shouldn't have expected players to know that, for example, Therese's Rebuke + Taunt abilities were her bread and butter for protecting the party when she had so many other abilities to use.
  2. I saw you examine the bookshelves to no avail. I'd planned to add basic instructions (status ailment explanations and other battle mechanic bits) but the deadline was approaching fast.
So yeah, again thanks for reviewing it. :)
 

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Review submissions are technically closed, but I"m going to leave it open until we do the stream on Wednesday. So if anyone wants to get the badge that hasn't submitted three. Do so soon.
 

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I've done a quick review of three of the games, and I have to say right off the bat - everyone seemed to be really good about crediting their work's resources. Good job makers!

Zwillinge ( @Windyhouser )
This game feels like a survival-puzzler with a spooky vibe. The mapping was simply delicious, with something to look at around every corner. The lighting plugin was well used, since the maps weren’t really so much dark as dimmed. This, thankfully, wasn’t another game where the player was fumbling around in the dark - even if the character was. It was a good use of the lighting. The sounds were well thought out and fit too. Unfortunately, an untimely autosave at a key moment prematurely ended my play-through.

Things I liked:
  • Simple on screen instructions.
  • Lighting
  • Audio not blowing me out of my seat at game start
  • The mapping (sans a few doorways)
Things I didn’t like quite so much:
  • Nothing to remind the player to manually save before the chase scene (restart)
  • Some of the sound effects are a bit overused, detracting from the eerie aura.

The Last Unhaunted House ( @Rubescen )
Right from the start, we are presented with custom artwork. This trend continues, as the game is full of custom done “tilesets” and art. This is the style of game that endears Halloween to gaming. It has a great story angle, and it feels very much like a short story where the author decided to present it as a game. I wasn’t overly thrilled with the “combat” system, but it wasn’t without it’s own charm either. Despite a few flaws, this game put a smile on my face.

Things I liked:
  • Art! All of it. ALL OF IT!
  • Music that was creepy and fitting.
  • The non-reaction reaction of the background “characters.”
  • Flow of the game.
Things Needing Improvement:
  • The combat
  • Instructions (lack thereof)

Evil Remains ( @Celestrium )
The in-game artwork was better than the introduction scenes, which is good. The start screen and game playing maps are fine, but the introduction/prologue map looks a bit off. The scale or negative space is off somehow. The music is good, but the “sharp” sound effects are used a little too often. The sprites are nice, and the user interface is done well too. The use of busts is implemented nicely, and the base mechanic is interesting. I have to admit the first “NPC” took me by surprise as it was supposed to be a corpse. Having a distinct number of interactions before being suspected is a good gameplay twist.

Things I liked:
  • The User Interface
  • The “countdown” mechanic
  • The potential of this project. ( it looks like it can really be great with more time )
Things needing some attention:
  • Prologue mapping needs a once over.
  • A little more “show” over “tell” for getting the player started
  • Overuse of “profound” sound effects

I was super impressed with all three of the games I tried. I could tell you all had a good time working on the game (and had some frustrations). You all deserve kudos for getting the project finished. Again, good job everyone!
 
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Celestrium

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I just wanted to say thank you for being the *only* person to review my game. Not sure if it's because it was one of the last entries and people were burnt out, or if not everyone likes extra-difficult battles in the same way I do. Or maybe people just don't like dungeon crawls, which is basically all it was. That said, insight from an alternate perspective was pretty helpful. Note that a lot of the shortcomings were corrected in a more recent version, but the changes for that version were made post-deadline so it's not the version you played, nor is it the version linked in the contest submission thread.
  1. Yes, I absolutely should've introduced the abilities gradually rather than dumping them on the player all at once. While it didn't seem that hard to me, I suppose that's just developer insight giving me something of an advantage vs a new player seeing them all for the first time. I probably shouldn't have expected players to know that, for example, Therese's Rebuke + Taunt abilities were her bread and butter for protecting the party when she had so many other abilities to use.
  2. I saw you examine the bookshelves to no avail. I'd planned to add basic instructions (status ailment explanations and other battle mechanic bits) but the deadline was approaching fast.
So yeah, again thanks for reviewing it. :)
I was trying to review all the games, and I was doing them in order. Real life, well, you know how that goes. I didn't realize that no one was showing your game the attention that it deserves, I will try it tonight! Sorry about that!
 

Aesica

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I was trying to review all the games, and I was doing them in order. Real life, well, you know how that goes. I didn't realize that no one was showing your game the attention that it deserves, I will try it tonight! Sorry about that!
Thanks, it's okay though. I actually figured it happened since it was pretty much at the bottom of the list due to scraping in last-minute. It's incentive to get my project in sooner when the next contest rolls around! :D
 

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