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Cart #freezing_knights-8 | 2023-01-02 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | License: CC4-BY-NC-SA
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Freezing Knights

A light co-op turn-based RPG

Take control of two knights and try to reach the end of the perilous snowy mountain paths​ by avoiding enemy attacks and powering-up your characters.

Features

● Single-player and two-player modes
● 14 music tracks by @ohhcurtains
● 30 enemy encounters
● 11 unique enemies (+1 ???)
● Customizable character builds
● Multiple paths
● Optional hard mode
● 🐔🐔🐔

Controls

Keyboard

Xbox controller

Soundtrack

Many many thanks to @ohhcurtains for composing the amazing extensive soundtrack for it and providing great feedback!

The full soundtrack (+9 bonus tracks from other games by @ohhcurtains) is available for download here:
https://ohhcurtains.bandcamp.com/album/freezing-knights

About

Freezing Knights is my first real attempt at creating a game and took about 7 months to develop. It is split between 14 carts and was mainly inspired by that one RPG series with two plumbers 🐢.

It originally released as part of the Twelve Days of Pico-8 Christmas 2022 event.

Also available on itch.io and Newgrounds.

Credits

Music and OhCurtains intro by @ohhcurtains
Testing / Feedback: Arthuria, Partybird, @ohhcurtains, SmellyFishstiks, paraK00PA

Source code

The full source code is available under the CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license: https://github.com/tinyevilwizard/FreezingKnights​.

Changelog

Version 1.1.0 - January 1, 2023

  • Added skip tutorial option
  • Decreased tutorial length
  • Increased great sword damage
  • Increased great sword price
  • Updated color of unavailable items in rest menu

Version 1.0.3 - December 16, 2022

  • Fixed Knight B losing the sword when entering a rest area

Version 1.0.2 - December 15, 2022

P#122532 2022-12-16 04:21 ( Edited 2023-01-06 01:29)

Yoooo! This is incredible! The gameplay, the gfx, the music by @ohhcurtains! I only had a few minutes to play this morning but this looks like a new all-time favorite on the platform for me. Thanks so much for sharing!!!

P#122544 2022-12-16 09:48
2

First up, this is an amazing game, and I gave it a gold star. The adorable units, both friendly and enemy, are the front for some incredibly timed attack patterns that seem impossible at first, and then you master them. They specifically remind me of a 1990 game called The Immortal, especially its notoriously precise final boss. The resource management is really well thought out, making you stress over every decision to chug a healing potion or hope you can last a turn without them. The way the corruption overruns the map gives additional urgency. The music is glorious.

Playing through on Normal difficulty, I fought the Elite Corrupted Guardian boss, and it seemed right on the edge of my abilities to evade. When I took it down with two healing potions remaining, I breathed a sigh of relief. Your game's pacing felt as impeccable as the rest of the design.

Then I found there was another level after that one.

I didn't waste too much time with the Corruption Core. As soon as I saw a few of its attacks, I knew I would have to load game back to the previous campfire and get past the earlier levels with more potions remaining. The second time, I reached the Elite Corrupted Guardian with 15 potions and the Corruption Core with 10. I'd spent a lot of time practicing again the Elite corrupted Guardian to get through its attacks with less damage. I wasn't relieved, I was tired.

Then, the Corruption Core... I'm sure you wanted to make something epic. But its multiple attacks per turn mean the fight takes ages, especially if it goes through its "flip" animation as well as attacking. I did defeat it and heard the final triumphant music, but I was no longer sold on the pacing.

I never used the "Sneaky Coin Bag" attack until the final two bosses. Then I used up all my money to avoid using a single health making regular attacks...

I'd like to see people enjoy this game as much as it deserves. But could you time some people as they play the final levels and see how long they spend on them?

One thing that makes it feel long is not knowing how much health the bosses have left. Making it visible all the time would drain a lot of the tension. But would you consider having one of the attacks reveal current health, maybe the "Sneaky Coin Bag" attack?

Even reducing the time of buff/debuff animations and the pause between the last attack and player control resuming would help.

Also, regarding the story implied in the environment?

When grass appears in certain phases of the Corruption Core, I'm left wondering if:

  • The forces of corruption are creating the snow and it melts to show their grip is weakening.
  • The Freezing Knights like the snow, and what they see as "corruption" is actually plants growing.

But feel free to leave this unexplained.

P#122549 2022-12-16 12:49

i would have a option to skip the tutorial but overall an amazing game!

P#122555 2022-12-16 14:12 ( Edited 2022-12-16 14:12)

This is great. I'm still grinding through it but the tutorial is wonderful to go through the first time and get the basics. Well done integrating that. Music is bitchin' and everything feels nice and tight so far. Gonna be playing this one for a bit I think...just hope it saves my progress!

P#122562 2022-12-16 17:13

Incredible game - atmosphere, juice, graphics, sound, gameplay are spot on and really fit Pico8.

P#122572 2022-12-16 21:17
1

Found a bug where the sword ability vanishes on the second knight after the wizard boss fight.

P#122581 2022-12-17 02:16
1

I played this with a friend, and had an absolute blast! Great job, great game!

We also had the bug where I lost the sword after the second boss.

The great sword was a great help in mid game, then kinda became useless with both of us having upgraded sword, only doing 4-ish more damage.

Also, I feel the ending could have been a tad cooler. More payoff for this 1.5-2.5 hour game.

Anyway, again, amazing game, lots of fun!

P#122585 2022-12-17 03:52
1

@Verb @Munchkin The sword glitch should be fixed now! Thanks!

P#122590 2022-12-17 04:59

Woooow! Just beat the first boss but I already love this game. Great job and thank you for this wonderful addition to the Pico8 library!

P#122638 2022-12-18 11:50

Every time i beat an encounter a red bar that says download failed comes up and the game won't load I've beaten the final boss twice and can't get the ending due to this

P#122703 2022-12-19 16:27

I had a really good time with this! The art and music are fantastic and the combat was fun also, with a good amount of enemy variety. I'm sort of mixed on real-time reflex-based systems in turn-based RPGs but this one works pretty well, and it does mean if you screw up your upgrades you can still win with persistence.

On that note, the one snag I ran into on my playthrough was related to the upgrade system. I sort of overlooked the health upgrades and didn't end up purchasing any until the last campfire -- I usually tend to favour offensive/ability upgrades because they give me more options. I did buy a couple potion upgrades but no HP ones. Because of this I really struggled with the section just before that point -- it seemed really hard with tons of difficult to avoid attacks that nearly took out all my health on a single hit. At some point I realized I probably should have bought some health upgrades, but reloading my last save it had already saved my last purchases so I couldn't change out the upgrades. Not wanting to restart the whole game, I powered through it to the last camp fire, but it took me many many tries.

Once I got there I realized the health upgrades are by far the most cost-effective upgrade in the game and I had really put myself at a disadvantage by not buying them. If you consider a character's total health pool is HP X Potions, it means the HP upgrades are about 5x as cost effective as the potion ones, since they add +5 HP and potions only add +1 potion, both values starting at 10 (HP upgrade is also half the cost but only affects one character). So the HP upgrade is way way better but the game doesn't really communicate this at all (it says increased HP, but not by how much). And since it's sandwiched in between the potion upgrade and weapon upgrades I think my brain just kind of skipped over it at the beginning.

Anyway, it's a minor quibble and I had a lot of fun playing. The game is very polished and has great style and it must have been a ton of work to make, so congratulations @tinyevilwizard and @ohhcurtains on the achievement! Great work

P#122770 2022-12-20 21:25 ( Edited 2022-12-20 21:29)

Thank you all for all the feedback and comments, very appreciated!

P#122786 2022-12-21 01:36

well this is amazing :D

P#122792 2022-12-21 05:24

This is such a fantastic game. The music and graphics are top notch. The game mechanics are great. Some bits are really hard but after a but of perserverance they can be overcome. Strangely I didn't find the last boss as difficult as some of the other enemies.

My winning strategy was to upgrade health and attack as quickly as possible and equip player 2 with a sword. Arrows seemed to become less useful in the later part of the game. Never did get a chance to buy the fire stick even though I ended up with 200+ gold.

Really, really, good game. So ambitious but so well executed.

P#122855 2022-12-22 18:01

Fantastic game & excellent soundtrack. Thanks for bringing it to the pico-8 community!

P#122883 2022-12-23 06:55

Great game! In fact the best RPG I ever played on pico-8! the music by @ohhcurtains is amazing the actual gameplay itself is fun and very replayable. If there was a top 30 pico-8 tier list this game would be in it. For me, this game is top 10. I love that you added a 2 player option. My only criticism is that there was a settings menu to change the controls.

P#123317 2022-12-30 17:33

Thank you!

@birdmanisking There is an option in the main menu to swap [O] and [X], which also swaps the jump buttons for the knights. Not sure if it's something like that you had in mind?

P#123328 2022-12-30 20:29

I meant the movement keys.

P#123402 2023-01-01 02:04

No way to remap keys for Pico-8 games as far as I know unfortunately!

P#123414 2023-01-01 06:46

@Earthybread Late response, but this looks to me like a problem with the Lexaloffle server. I remember encountering it once last year.
To anyone encountering loading errors like this with the carts, the only thing I can really do is recommend trying the itch.io or Newgrounds versions instead.

P#123486 2023-01-02 05:14
1

Released version 1.1.0!

  • Added skip tutorial option
  • Decreased tutorial length
  • Increased great sword damage
  • Increased great sword price
  • Updated color of unavailable items in rest menu

The full source code is also now on GitHub under the CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license: https://github.com/tinyevilwizard/FreezingKnights

P#123488 2023-01-02 05:15 ( Edited 2023-01-02 05:38)

I found this through the Pico Playtime "favorite PICO-8 games of 2022" youtube video, and I've been really enjoying it-- the battle defense 'minigames' are all so crisp and different, there's so much boss variety, and the soundtrack is an amazing complement to the game. I can tell a lot of polish went into it, so thank you for creating this!

(I've now made it to the final boss but without enough potions to make it past-- will have to try again)

P#123523 2023-01-02 19:10

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