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Cardians of Lore 
 PostThu Jan 12, 2012 3:41 am
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This is a review of Cardians Of Lore.

Master K, take a seat over there. Are you ready? Good. It's time for some tough love. I've played three of your games so far for this review contest, and I'm starting to notice some common themes. They're beginning to get troublesome, and they're pitfalls you could just as easily avoid.

First, I love the idea of this game. Pokemon-type journey using cards as the medium? Genius! Excellent! Gameboy aesthetics? Wonderful! I can't get enough! This game should be awesome. It's friendly, it's charming, it's got tons of elements I love. So what went wrong?

Your game is impossible to enjoy without heavily abusing debug keys. I know you think your gigantic maps are impressive, but trust me: they aren't impressing anyone. Let's take a look at the primary influence on this game.



This is Pallet Town, the first town in Pokémon Blue. Notice anything? Everything's in easy walking distance. If you play through all of the towns in the game, you'll notice they never get that much bigger. There's more space in future cities, but there's also more to see in them. Now, Pokémon is not exactly the pantheon of map design, but since you seem to want to make a game like it, you'd think you'd work toward imitating things it does well.

Why are the large maps such an issue? Let's look at the beginning of Cardians of Lore. This is clearly going to be a grind-heavy game, which is fair enough. There's no reason it has to be easy. However, if I'm going to have to heal after every battle (which I have to in order to get anywhere in this game) I am not going to spend full minutes walking between the only available rest stop and the area with random battles. Without Ctrl + F1, I never would have made it to the third battle in this game (which gave me a game over, at which point I completely lost interest). Compounding the issue is the fact that the battles give so little experience. This means in order for me to gain a single level, I have to walk to and from the first random encounters and the main character's bed at least three times to make any progress, round trip. As far as I'm concerned, given the size of the maps, that makes this game unplayable.

Something has to give. You either need to script a much higher walking speed, reduce the size of your maps significantly, or both. The huge maps are a problem in Grayscale and The Labyrinth too, by the way. I highly doubt that even 20% of these games' players finished one of the three.

I know you can do some awesome stuff. You have a great visual style and your heart's in the right place. But you need to fix these basic issues. Get some more feedback before releasing your games to the public, and listen to this feedback. They're going to tell you what I'm writing here right now. I wouldn't bother typing all of it if I didn't think Cardians of Lore was worth it. This game has a wonderful concept and I want to see you make something great out of it.

Rating: 3 Misplayed Poker Hands out of 10
My website, the home of Motrya:
http://www.jshgaming.com
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