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Metal Slime
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The 2015 In Review Contest [Reviews: 74] 
 PostFri Jan 01, 2016 8:15 pm
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GOAL:

As individuals, to review every game released in 2015. (But it's still okay to contribute less than that!)

RULES:

    * Write a review for each game!
    * Make each review at least 3 paragraphs long!
    * Post a link to (or the review itself) in this thread!
    * Do it for every game on the list before March 20th, 2016.
    * It's okay to use reviews you wrote before this contest started. As long as it covers the latest version of the game as of 2015 and follows the above rules.
    * For the compilation list you can review one, several, or all of the games on the list as a single compilation review. The list counts as a single 3-paragraphs required review.
    * By entering this contest you are authorizing the republishing of your submitted reviews in compilation format. They will not be charged for.


FAQ:

Q: I've never written a review before / I'm bad at writing! I shouldn't enter, right?
A: Authors aren't looking for exhaustive critiques of their games. They're looking for feedback!

Q: Do I have to review my own games?
A: Yes! Most authors go for a "director's commentary" style for their own games, but the exact format that you review your own work in is up to you.

List of 2015 Games

1GAM: January - Discotheque by Taco Bot [Spoonweaver] [Charbile] [Gizmog] [Pheonix]
Allu in the Demon's Cave by Mammothstuds [Gizmog] [Pheonix] [Charbile]
Bad Boy by TMC/Gizmog/SDHawk [Charbile] [Pheonix] [Gizmog]
char's lovely home by Charbile [Pheonix] [Charbile] [Gizmog]
Crusty's Heyday by kylekrack [Gizmog] [Charbile] [Pheonix]
Devs Like Waffles by Bob the Hamster/Gizmog [Pheonix] [Charbile] [Gizmog]
Drydocks - A Merchant RPG by dantedynamite [Gizmog] [Charbile] [Pheonix]
Element of Power, The by kylekrack [Charbile] [Pheonix] [Gizmog]
Festivus by Pheonix [Pheonix] [Gizmog]
Fly, The by Urkelbot666 [Pheonix] [Gizmog]
Fridge Racer by Gizmog [Pheonix] [Gizmog]
Ghost's Towns by The Wobbler [Pheonix] [Gizmog]
Lab Rat by BlurredVisionGames [Pheonix] [Gizmog]
Late For Work - A 3 Minute Game by robcurrie [MasterK] [Gizmog] [Pheonix]
Little Prince, The by vens [Gizmog] [Pheonix]
Macabre by Meatballsub (message author for a copy) [Gizmog] [Pheonix]
Martin Van Buren, Monster Slayer by Mogri [Pheonix] [Gizmog]
MrNintendo1's Michael Jackson Dancing by Gizmog [Pheonix] [Gizmog]
Mr. Triangle's Adventure by RedMaverickZero [Pheonix] [Gizmog]
Noodle Within, The by Mogri [Gizmog] [Pheonix]
Painted Space by eaagvark [Pheonix] [Gizmog]
Paladin Traducer by Bob the Hamster [Pheonix] [Gizmog]
Phlan by Spoonweaver/Pheonix [Pheonix] [Gizmog]
Return - A Point and Click Adventure by kylekrack [Pheonix] [Gizmog]
Shooter Game by BlurredVisionGames [Gizmog] [Pheonix]
Sprout by kylekrack [Gizmog] [Pheonix]
Teekee by FnrrfYhmSchnish [Pheonix] [Gizmog]
Time Twister by slaymarc7 [Gizmog] [Pheonix]
War on Christmas, The by Fenrir-Lunaris [Pheonix] [Gizmog]
witch.rpg by Pheonix [Pheonix] [MasterK] [Gizmog]

Compilation List (Review one, some, or all of these games as a single review)

[Pheonix pt1] [Pheonix pt2] [Gizmog] [TMC]

2014 In Review Random Review Picker by Gizmog
3D Maze Example by pheonix
Animation Tests by kylekrack
Blok (Tech Demo) by Taco Bot
Dungeon Bout (Alpha) (Requires Two Players) by Spoonweaver
Farm Adventure by Spoonweaver
Gun (Tutorial) by sheamkennedy
Gun Pigs (Requires Two Players) by sheamkennedy
Hollowkeep by Foxley
LinearQuest: Fury Of Boss by TheLordThyGod
LinearQuest II: Plague Of Slimes by TheLordThyGod
Overgrowth Demo by kylekrack
screensaver3.zip and other tech demos by Gizmog
Stairs script example by TMC
Weekday Tool by Bob the Hamster
Who Left All These Clowns Here? by Gizmog

Game Criteria:

General: Released in 2015 or received a major content update in 2015.
Compilation Games: Tech demos, tutorials, not games, 2015 minor content updates (but more substantial than just bug fixes), extremely short, requires two players, exclusive to phones, commercial (unless free copies are offered to reviewers), etc.
Not Even Compilation Games: Minor updates that don't add new content (or ambiguous update descriptions), not OHR games.

Game List Changes:

January 1st: Moved Shooter Game to the main list by popular demand, moved Time Twister to main list, added Mr. Triangle's Adventure to list, removed Design Docs from compilation list (decided it'd be a better fit for a separate article contest),.

Archive:

Check out previous threads to see how this goes:
2011
2012
2013
2014

HALL OF FAME: (Reviewers who have completed the challenge)

Charbile: 2011, 2013, 2014
Gizmog1: 2012, 2013, 2014
JSH357: 2011, 2014
Spoonweaver: 2011

2015 Reviewer Leaderboard:

Pheonix: 31 [Summary] (1st completion)
Gizmog1: 31 (2nd completion)
Charbile: 8
MasterK: 2
Spoonweaver: 1
TMC: 1
Liquid Metal King Slime
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 PostFri Jan 01, 2016 9:07 pm
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Dev's like Waffles REVIEW
http://www.slimesalad.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=6685


Oh, and as always I protest the inclusion of some of the games on the main list above others.
( Not my personal games mind you. One of them is a very short joke game and the other is in an Alpha state and only just made the list time wise.)


1GAM: January - Discotheque REVIEW
http://www.slimesalad.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=6800


Allu in the Demon's Cave REVIEW
http://www.slimesalad.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=115808&highlight=#115808
Metal Slime
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 PostFri Jan 01, 2016 10:11 pm
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Spoonweaver wrote:

Oh, and as always I protest the inclusion of some of the games on the main list above others.
( Not my personal games mind you. One of them is a very short joke game and the other is in an Alpha state and only just made the list time wise.)


What games?

Edit: Also, your Allu review doesn't qualify due to not meeting the 3 paragraph rule.
Metal King Slime
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 PostFri Jan 01, 2016 10:47 pm
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I protest! This is a brand new year and we shouldn't junk it up with a bunch of talk about last year. I say we start living in the present!

And wtf does:
Quote:
By entering this contest you are authorizing the republishing of your submitted reviews in compilation format. They will not be charged for.


That's some crazy jibba-jabba, Hannibal! I ain't gettin' on no Review Contest!
Liquid Metal Slime
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 PostFri Jan 01, 2016 10:48 pm
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Didn't Mr. Triangle's Adventure get a huge release in 2015?

Also, "Design Documents" really shouldn't be on this list. There's nothing to review. It's a design document. That's like reviewing a forum post. No need.

Sorry I didn't get that version of Powerstick Man XE uploaded on the night that I tried. Maybe I'll try again in 2016.
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Liquid Metal King Slime
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 PostFri Jan 01, 2016 10:54 pm
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Ah, so it doesn't. I will add to it, or perhaps just post up an official one. I'll remove it from my earlier post for now.

As far as the gamelist goes, I didn't really want to get into each game and debate it's merit.
However, to include 1GAM: January - Discotheque by Taco Bot and not Shooter Game by BlurredVisionGames seems insane considering the clear difference in development time and energy.
In general, it seems like you've just placed the games that need the most attention on the give no attention to list.
What's wrong with Time Twister? Seems pretty long.
Gun Pigs seems complete.

And these are just the games that are easy to argue. Aside from the games that are clearly marked as Tech Demos, I'm not sure why you would exclude games for being short or low on content. While at the same time, including a game that was meant as a review.
Metal King Slime
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 PostFri Jan 01, 2016 11:00 pm
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I'll be making a Review Picker for those of us dumb enough to enter, but not for a few days.
Metal Slime
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 PostFri Jan 01, 2016 11:03 pm
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LinearQuest II

The War on Christmas
Metal Slime
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 PostFri Jan 01, 2016 11:38 pm
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(These responses are a little terse 'cause my original response got ate)

Pepsi Ranger wrote:
Didn't Mr. Triangle's Adventure get a huge release in 2015?

Also, "Design Documents" really shouldn't be on this list. There's nothing to review. It's a design document. That's like reviewing a forum post. No need.


Mr. Triangle's Adventure has zero documentation on update changes so I assumed the worst and omitted it. If someone wants to vouch for significant content changes, I'll add it.

I intended to expand the compilation list greatly to even include tools and tech demos to give those authors more chances for feedback and to create more of a "this year in ohr" feel to the contest. In that vein I pushed the limits even further by including something that isn't even an executable. But I'll go ahead and remove it as per request.

Gizmog wrote:
And wtf does:
Quote:
By entering this contest you are authorizing the republishing of your submitted reviews in compilation format. They will not be charged for.


That's some crazy jibba-jabba, Hannibal! I ain't gettin' on no Review Contest!


I'm tenatively planning on compiling all the reviews into a consistently formatted document. Partially for easier archival, partially to make it easier for after-the-fact readers. This is just notification of that.

Spoonweaver wrote:

As far as the gamelist goes, I didn't really want to get into each game and debate it's merit.
However, to include 1GAM: January - Discotheque by Taco Bot and not Shooter Game by BlurredVisionGames seems insane considering the clear difference in development time and energy.
In general, it seems like you've just placed the games that need the most attention on the give no attention to list.
What's wrong with Time Twister? Seems pretty long.
Gun Pigs seems complete.

And these are just the games that are easy to argue. Aside from the games that are clearly marked as Tech Demos, I'm not sure why you would exclude games for being short or low on content. While at the same time, including a game that was meant as a review.


Games are selected more by how much a reviewer might have to talk about and less by effort put in. Discotheque has multiple endings, a fair amount of dialog, themes to discuss, etc. Shooter Game is a self-described tech demo so it was omitted.

Time Twister is a good catch. When testing it I didn't notice the invisible warp to the third map, so I just assumed it was a joke game that warped you into an empty gallery map and left you there. I'll add it to the main list.

Gun Pigs was omitted due to requiring two players, which is a pre-requisite not every reviewer can fulfill so I didn't want to require people to play it since their feedback would be lacking (same reason phone exclusive games aren't on the main list).

Char's Lovely Home is intended as a review, but it also has a story and progression to it on par or greater than many of the other games on the list. Death of the artist.
Metal Slime
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 PostSat Jan 02, 2016 12:30 am
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Phlan0000.bmp
There's houses, but no real reason to go into them? Hm.
Phlan

This is going to be a 2-part review, since half of the game (the graphics) was done by me, and the other half (the putting down of stuff in the engine) was done by Spoonweaver.

Part 1: the graphics
For the most part, I'm pretty happy with how the graphics turned out. I made the maptiles with the intention of being easy to throw together and make similar graphics for; they fall apart when more complex map design is attempted, but that wasn't really a problem in the context of this particular game. Stuff like the walkabouts could be better, and the OHR could do with more control over how the hero graphic frames are used, but those are fine as-is.

I never got around to actually drawing more than three proper attack graphics for this thing, so spoon put in some filler ones; see if you can spot which is which.

Part 2: everything else
Spoon did the work of putting things together; he had [has] a baby to deal with, though, so he didn't have that much time to actually work on this thing.

To be blunt, it shows.

The encounter rate is obnoxiously high; even if the enemies are (save one typo-induced brick wall) completely trivial to the point of being defeated with very little in the way of effort on the player's part, it's still annoying to get into a battle every 5 steps. The map design doesn't really help; it goes from decent [the base] to way too open for its own good [the cave and most of the overworld]. Some of the FF1 dungeons [the Marsh Cave specifically] come to mind, but even those had the decency to let you walk more than half a dozen steps before throwing you in a battle, at least in the ports.
Also: spoon, there's a reason why most RPGs spread out their enemy recolors/variants; it makes it marginally less obvious that they're being reused than if they're all in the same area (or formation) together. It doesn't really matter here, seeing as they almost all have the exact same stats, but...

The cutscenes are... something? I'm going to be honest and say I skipped through a lot of them. Not sure the low-budget option of putting rectangles to symbolize the open mouths of whoever is speaking works with the graphical style, though. I'm also not sure why the method that was chosen was chosen, seeing as regular rpg cutscenes would have been a bit less cheesy.
Also the names are crap, to be blunt; at least give the option to rename the characters if the default options are so terrible.

Conclusion:
I'm making a different game with these graphics that actually differentiates enemies from one another; honestly, I'd say to wait for that to come out, whenever that happens.

1. The War on XMas
2. Phlan
3. Linear Quest II
Liquid Metal Slime
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 PostSat Jan 02, 2016 1:42 am
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SDHawk wrote:
Mr. Triangle's Adventure has zero documentation on update changes so I assumed the worst and omitted it. If someone wants to vouch for significant content changes, I'll add it.


I know RMZ released it officially in 2015. I wouldn't recommend watching the whole thing in one sitting, as there are many, many parts, but he asked me for feedback prior to its release, and I gave it to him as a Youtube Let's Play since it's easier than trying to remember everything worth talking about. I recorded it from April something to May something in 2015 (before it's release). I think the last update was somewhere between one and two-thirds finished. The most recent update is the finished game, which adds hours to the game time.

Here's a link to the Youtube videos if you need to validate its 2015 relevance: Mr. Triangle's Adventure Playtest Video Series

SDHawk wrote:
I intended to expand the compilation list greatly to even include tools and tech demos to give those authors more chances for feedback and to create more of a "this year in ohr" feel to the contest. In that vein I pushed the limits even further by including something that isn't even an executable. But I'll go ahead and remove it as per request.


I mean, if you want to include Design Documents, you can. It's your contest. I guess if you're reviewing for the thoroughness and usefulness of a game's design documentation, then it would be nice to know if this passes the grade. Would be kinda funny if it were to become a legit category for review. But if we're reviewing just games, I just want to make it clear that it isn't a game.

Oh, and if you like the Youtube video, I've got one for Ghost's Towns also. I'd started one for Ruin--now Macabre--per Meatballsub's request, but gave up after having numerous video failures, so that one's unfinished.

If any of these videos meet the review requirements, then you're welcome to include them on this list. I can say the last video in the Ghost's Towns playthrough is strictly review.

Also, if you want me to attempt a few more video playthroughs on this list, I can try, provided the video conversions are more successful. But I'd rather take a list of suggestions than an alphabetical one. Let me know.
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Metal King Slime
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 PostSat Jan 02, 2016 5:30 am
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Special request: could reviewers remember to rate the games on the SS gamelist after playing them? Ratings are kind of meaningless until lots of people have rated each game.

Looks like Hawk has been conservative in putting together the lists this year, after the usual complaints about too many non-games on the main list in previous years. Shooter Game by BlurredVisionGames should be on the main list. It's not just a tech demo, mechanics-wise it's complete, just missing polish like a title screen. It's fun, and can be played for half an hour easily.


LinearQuest and LinearQuest II

LinearQuest took me 5 minutes, because I somehow managed to die in the one and only battle. I don't know how I did that; the one and only strategy is simply holding down spacebar. This is an extremely minimal RPG, 3 NPCs and a boss, tiles are mainly solid colours. It would almost make a good minimal example game for people new to the engine, since it uses only the simplest of features. At least the dialogue is well written and entertaining for the 1-2 minutes it lasts, and the graphics are competently minimal; this is no terrible game. The music is also nice, and appears to be original. But the big disappointment is that LinearQuest II is identical to LinearQuest but with the addition of an NPC and random slime battles. You don't even need to fight the slimes to level up in order to beat the boss. I really was expecting something more - there's just no reason for this to be two separate games.
Metal Slime
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 PostSat Jan 02, 2016 6:15 am
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Pepsi: That last Ghost Towns video might qualify, though I'll need to watch more of it tomorrow to be sure (it is pretty rambly by review standards, and includes a lot of supplementary material to the main video series by highlighting changes that isn't really relevant to a review). Video reviews are certainly acceptable, but full on Let's Plays are more supplementary review material than an actual review I think (granted it's totally possible for a full review worth of content to be present in an LP, but it's asking a lot on the part of the viewers to get to it all. One could certainly make an argument that an LP is actually more useful feedback to an author and possibly even players than a traditional review, but that's really getting into the conceptual weeds here. For the time being let's just say this is a review contest and not an LP contest. There is probably some merit for at least listing LPs alongside reviews under the general banner of examining the whole year of games as well as promoting feedback, but I don't really know where it fits in right now.)

Spoonweaver: On further review the Devs Like Waffles review doesn't really qualify for the 3 paragraph rule either. For that matter I have pretty low quality requirements in this contest (and have definitely accepted similarly jokey reviews of games where the reviewers didn't have much to talk about in past review contests), but come on only one paragraph has anything to do with the game.
Liquid Metal Slime
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 PostSat Jan 02, 2016 1:36 pm
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Just a FYI; if you guys don't want or need the Steam version of Macabre, I can also provide the non-steam version as well. Just message me and let me know.
Cornbread Chemist
King Slime
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 PostSat Jan 09, 2016 3:48 am
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Late for Work Review
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