First play through was great! Everything feels and sounds really good! I started and played right through to the finish and didn't expect what was at the end at all! The only gripe I have is the boss battles seem a little easy but other than that it feels great!
It's a masterpiece created with pico-8.
I had so much fun, while playing and forgot all my problems.
The secound level is challenging and takes a little more time, because there a so less checkpoints, but I really like that.
I don't finish the game yet, but will try it tomorrow again.
Pretty neat little metroidvania-ish game. A few thoughts:
- Interesting use of rectangular half-screen rooms to fit more in.
- Minimap was nice.
- Nice sprites and textures.
- Good use of particles.
- Music, while simple and maybe a little repetitive, never got annoying.
- Enemy balancing issues
- Skeletons (especially the red and white ones) were WAY more of a struggle than any other enemy. There didn't seem to be a good way to deal with them besides spamming jump and attack before they got to you and hoping it hit. They never really give you a window of attack.
- The bosses, meanwhile, could be easily dispatched by standing in place and spamming the attack button since they orbit around you. This is less of a problem in challenge mode when they can withstand one hit.
- A lot of similar-feeling rooms. ("Oh look, it's almost identical platform tower #7" or "Haven't I been on this broken lava bridge with jellyfish before?") Some more varied room layouts would be more interesting and make them feel more distinct.
- While this seemed to be going for a Metroidvania type of gameplay, the first level didn't really seem to have many/any places where you could revisit an earlier area and do something you couldn't before now that you had a new ability. Once you'd been through an area you were completely done with it (unless it had a locked door). The challenge level does a lot more interesting stuff with this.
- Aerial shooting is kinda finicky due to how quickly your character falls.
- The abilities were rather predictable (This is minor, they still worked fine they just didn't bring anything original to the table.)
Even with those issues, it was overall still quite nice!
I was moving to the left in a boss fight and somehow got moved into and stuck in a room with bricks that spells out "NIL" (next to the boss in the lower-left) and there was no way to exit or progress. Having a function to respawn at the last checkpoint would have really been appreciated. I had to restart in the PICO-8 and that lost all my progress.
The skeletons aren't bad, actually. Because they dodge your bullets, just shoot a little bit before they reach you, and they'll jump right over you! Provided the ceiling is high enough, of course.
The jellyfish, however... I could do without the jellyfish. I either have to have uncanny aim/timing with my fireballs, or I have to wait until they're almost at the bottom before jumping.
Other than that, challenge mode was really cool! The map was so full -- there was so much more to explore!
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