This is my first Pico-8 Cart published on the bbs!
I'm mostly happy with it and it works and probably wont break, so I'm marking it as finished.
You need to match 3 of each ingredient sown on the left of the screen. Avoid matching ingredients not shown on the recipe.
It is possible to pass each level perfectly. The first 5 levels for sure, the other levels might require a bit of luck ;-)
I wish I'd given myself a teensy bit more control over the random factors in the game. I wish I had a little more control over the pacing too. Resolving these the way I'd want would require a complete teardown of the code and I feel like I'm done with the game now. Time to take stock of what I've learned and move on to the next project!
Hi ! Nice little game. Two problems that sticked out while I played :
1) does not get more difficult at higher levels : because there are more required ingredients, there are less chances to add an unrequired ingredient at the beginning. The added difficulty is marginal.
2) you can add an unrequired ingredient because of random dropping ingredients matching. That's a NO NO. The whole point of the game is using skill to avoid matching wrong ingredients. Bad luck shouldn't go as far as matching wrong ingredient without the player having a chance to do anything. Not OK.
I basically agree with your self-criticisms and Firefly's criticisms. I really think the text is charming -- I'm not a fan of match-three games but I think this is pretty good as a delivery for the text you have. Maybe there are other kinds of puzzle that could work with this text, but are less luck-dependent?
EDIT: I played more and it's actually pretty possible to mitigate the effect of chance. It takes more strategy and isn't always possible, but I think this is fairer than firefly thinks it is. There's always a chance of three falling in that themselves match, though, and this happened to me a few times.
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