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Metal Slime
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The 2014 In Review Contest [Reviews: 97] 
 PostFri Jan 02, 2015 10:09 pm
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GOAL:

As individuals, to review every game released in 2014. (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 13th, 2015.
    * 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 2014 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.


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 2014 Games

Batman & Robin [Spoonweaver] [JSH357] [Gizmog] [Charbile] [Charbile 2]
Carcere Vicis [Charbile] [Gizmog] [JSH357] [TMC]
Doom Tactics - Evil Unleashed [Gizmog] [JSH357] [Charbile]
Dragons! [Gizmog] [JSH357] [Charbile] [TMC]
Dungeon Cards: The Flying City [Gizmog] [JSH357] [SDHawk] [Charbile]
Gramfeldcat Goes to the Moon [SDHawk] [Gizmog] [JSH357] [Charbile]
Invasion of the Mantle Dwellers. [Gizmog] [Pheonix] [Charbile] [JSH357] [TMC]
Iron Galaxy (pre-alpha) [JSH357] [Gizmog] [Charbile]
James Doppler's Epic Sci-Fi Fantasy Quest of.... [Gizmog] [Charbile] [SDHawk] [JSH357]
Megaman Sprite Game [Gizmog] [JSH357] [Charbile]
Mr. Triangle's Adventure [Gizmog] [JSH357] [Pheonix] [Charbile]
OkÚdokÚ! La Leyenda Mexicana [JSH357] [Gizmog] [Pheonix] [Charbile]
Ramble Planet [Charbile] [SDHawk] [Gizmog] [JSH357]
Samanthuel's Lovely Home [Gizmog] [SDHawk] [JSH357] [Charbile] [TMC]
Slimeomancy [Gizmog] [Charbile] [JSH357]
Spy Game [Gizmog] [Charbile] [SDHawk] [JSH357]
stand [Charbile] [Gizmog] [JSH357]
T4R4D1DDL3 [Gizmog] [Charbile] [JSH357]
table [JSH357] [Gizmog] [Charbile]
The Pumpkin Warriors [Urkelbot666] [Gizmog] [JSH357] [Charbile]
Troll Over [Gizmog] [Pheonix] [Urkelbot666] [Charbile] [JSH357]
Winged Realm [Gizmog] [JSH357] [SDHawk] [Charbile] [Pheonix]
Wizard Blocks [Charbile] [SDHawk] [Gizmog] [JSH357]
Zero: Secret Pasts Collide [Gizmog] [SDHawk] [Charbile] [JSH357]

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

[Gizmog] [Charbile] [JSH357] [Pheonix]

Elephants Most Wanted (Unfinished)
Fart
Graffiti Goose (Optional due to being android exclusive)
Munch-Meow
Orange Monday
pH
Poot-Poot Rocket
Rogue Demo
Testuedo DEMO!!
The Location

Game Criteria:

See the selection thread.

Game List Changes:

January 3rd: Added Batman & Robin (did not realize that Joker Mode was actually new content instead of just a new character) & Graffiti Goose (missed due to not being on game list).

Archive:

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

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

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

2014 Reviewer Leaderboard:

Gizmog: 25 [1st complete]
JSH357: 25 [2nd complete] [Summary]
Charbile: 25 [3rd complete]
SDHawk: 9
Pheonix: 6
TMC: 4
Urkelbot666: 2
Spoonweaver: 1
Metal Slime
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 PostFri Jan 02, 2015 10:09 pm
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Charts
Liquid Metal King Slime
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 PostSat Jan 03, 2015 7:06 am
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Batman & Robin review
http://www.slimesalad.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=6418
Metal King Slime
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 PostSat Jan 03, 2015 11:45 am
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I'm killing myself for not making a "Blue Bomber" joke about the airplane scene in this game, but oh well!

Megaman Sprite Game is reviewed!


EDIT:

This is a game I don't get at all. Are you supposed to talk to the surroundings and ignore the people? Are you supposed to dress a certain way? IS there even a point? It's a beautiful mess, whatever it is.

T4R4D1DDL3 is reviewed!

EDIT EDIT:

Am I crazy or was this game improved after the contest?

Dungeon Cards: The Flying City is reviewed

EDIT EDIT EDIT:

First bad game of the year!

James Doppler's Epic Sci-Fi Fantasy Quest is reviewed!
Metal Slime
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 PostSun Jan 04, 2015 8:23 am
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Don't feel like dumping reviews into the official spot if they're linked to people's games page, especially if A) they're unfinished and an update could (should) invalidate what I had to say and B) nobody likes a quotes '''bad''' review attached to their upload. You're welcome Angel

Will try to converse with you like a real person once I play the games that you definitely want to compare to Rocky or Top Gun.
Metal Slime
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 PostSun Jan 04, 2015 8:33 am
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Stand

You play as Ivan, tasked to rescue the town's miners in a side-scrolling rpg. Includes a custom battle script, elevators, and other scripted interest. Sadly, it's short, ends abruptly and without letting you know, and is very unfinished and unpolished. To the author's credit, you are warned about this.


The Appeal

I could see this being a fun game, maybe. The setting and characters aren't that interesting yet, but they're not terrible. The main character's walkabout looked like a potato head to me, didn't realize he had a beard until the battles and seeing the title screen again.

The game's palette and color choices do it no favors; it's a common mistake to think a dark cave setting needs to have washed out dull colors, or to simply choose green for grass, gray for rocks, brown for dirt; google image search 'caves' and really look at the colors in photos.

The story is fine. The text is light, and I actually like how the main character doesn't speak, but there's this voice in his head who seems to be an evil force, but says fun things the player is thinking too, like wanting to explore, see more of the cave, etc.

Ultimately, I don't see this game being appealing unless the graphics are improved and the play is buttery smooth, with more treasure hunting and item management.


Shop Talk

You press z to check/talk/activate things, but you have to press enter/space/ctrl to advance text boxes. Needs to be the same button.

It's cool that you can walk when a text box pops up, but it should go away if you walk away from the source.

The scene finding the cave's 'mystery intrigue' is fine, but it clashes in tone with the initial setup. If Ivan has a backstory, and what's in the cave is going to be the driving plot, need more of a setup or hint so I know going in what kind of game contextually this will be. Right now, I don't know. Could be anything. It seems very early in development.

So early, I would recommend making a separate game to prototype features like the battle and item forging scripts first before getting into the real game, as prototype is what this feels like anyway.

Also, you rescue the miners by walking to a well. Abrupt, no visual setup, no sense of accomplishment. Screen fades out, told you're a hero. Could work if the hero feels no sense of accomplishment and you want the player to feel that too, but what's there feels missing on the developer's end.

I find tnt and pickaxe, see rocks blocking path, can't do anything with the two? Clarity is an important design concept of letting the player know what their actions are, and how things affect objects.


Personally Speaking

Is an odd choice for a main character, wonder what the story behind that is. Since Ivan doesn't appeal to me as he is now, and the only promise is of a cave with a couple of monsters to fight, can't say I'm sold or eager for more. Wish the author luck and appreciate them pushing themselves into trying something different and getting away from the ohr's default battle system, at least visually.

putting into --Potential Tier--
Metal Slime
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 PostMon Jan 05, 2015 12:25 am
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Wizard Blocks

A match-2 puzzle block game where the twist is you play as a wizard walking on top of them to move them around. You can't jump, but you can place blocks beneath you. There's two modes: dig and puzzle. Includes a short tutorial.


The Appeal

Judging from the mention of a d-pad, I guess this is aimed at the ouya crowd?

Without a story, any coherent thematic beyond you're a wizard who has a minor levitation ability, no specials, nothing much beyond a base setup, the appeal is extremely limited. It's a good proof of ability game, something to include in your portfolio. Fully working match-3 (2 here...) game, that's not entirely generic due to the twist, but still pretty bland.

Without the ability to play against your friends, see their progress, or integrate it into facebook or whatever, it's a tough sell to the casual audience at large. A strong hook would help it, more polish and dress up like a map screen to show progression for the puzzles. As it stands, it's yet another little freebie game to stumble onto among thousands more or less like it.


Shop Talk

The font is amazing. Graphics are solid.

Title music reminds of Arfenhouse. Music in general is probably holding the game back. Voice's volume is too quiet. Sound effects too sfxr--will fool casuals though.

Not much to say. Looks like the author knew what they were going for and nailed it. It's all competent and 'there', but lacks a sense of character or reason for being beyond whimsy or wanting to go casual. The game's download page claims "Magical Adventures"... it's a bit misleading, but does cement the bland generic vibe this genre is known for trying to hide with snappy marketing.


Personally

Was afraid it would keep going forever. There is a bottom in dig. 7210 high score, medium.

Have played way too many of these kind of games. I'd say I'm spoiled, but it's more like I'm drowning in them. It can work as a base for a larger game with more character, like you use this in place of battles in a rpg. Or a mini-game to unlock treasure chests or new spells.

Feels like a contest game, but isn't? What wacky surprises and magical adventures will i have next?? putting into --Impressively Unimpressive Tier--
Metal Slime
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 PostMon Jan 05, 2015 5:47 am
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Ramble Planet

You play as a microbot swarm who takes control of a character (choose your own setup) to repair your ship by finding lost parts. You can return to your ship at any time to end the game and see how well you did. You're graded on parts found and your experience points.


The Appeal

Battles are a simple check if you're at a high enough level, and it won't let you fight otherwise. They are automated and don't take up any time. The graphics are retro: one color, but interesting designs.

Seems to be complete and fully realized. There's a sense that the author really wanted to make this, some mixture of it being so different but coherent, the strict adherence to an abstract visual style, and that it seems to go on and on.

It's weird and serious in scope and design. Plenty of absurd sci-fi flavor text. Atari or dos era audience might enjoy it. Maybe hipster indie too.


Shop Talk

I like the visual style, but honestly it's rough on the eyes after a while.

A game where you walk and touch things. A lot of walking. Really makes me wonder if it could be a smoother play if it wasn't tile-based movement. It's one giant puzzle that feels a bit like memory match: you find an area you need to be a higher level, have to remember and find your way back later. Super easy to get lost.

It makes sense given the design, just that I have to really question the design in terms of playability. Things so dated and clunky, but then that's the appeal of a hard retro style.


Personally

No idea where to go, but a sense that it's laid out in a way for you to figure out. The area right above where you start are the first few fights, hell if I know where the next in order are. Found a part where you go to another map, kept going until i reached a dead-end and had to backtrack before quitting. Has a cheat-sheet, but there's nothing here to hold my interest. The narrative, characters, setting, and context just aren't enough to compel me to explore and see what happens (because nothing happens).

I like my abstract retro to have some better hook or setup for me to keep at it. Like last year's Anica where it had such a strong atmosphere and promise of mysteries to figure out. Here, I assume you find the parts and that's it. Ship broke, random place, random things, vaguest of sense to it all.

putting it into -- Impressively Unimpressive -- above Wizard Blocks for being offbeat
Metal Slime
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 PostTue Jan 06, 2015 5:15 am
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Carcere Vicis

Rogue-like action, complete with a fog of vision and custom inventory system. Choose between a warrior, rogue, and wizard, and travel to various dungeons to unlock more dungeons to travel to. Authors warn that it's unbalanced and a little buggy. A contest game.

Special sauce is you have the ability to shift through phases of being. Kill monsters to fuel up 4 different gauges, each gives you advantages.


The Appeal

The appeal of a rouglelike. Explore random places, find random loot, a different adventure every time depending on what you find and how you want to get through it.

Genre doesn't need a strong narrative, but it sure does help. Couldn't find it here.

Action and stuff happening would be nice, but not much here either. Is cool enough that the underlining system's in place, can always build on top of it.


Shop Talk

A little buggy?
    - Loading a saved game caused a couple slice error screens.
    - Sometimes when you enter a cave it sends you back to the bar instantly.
    - A 'the' instead of 'this/that' i think in one of the tutorial text boxes.
    - Casting fireball burns everything around me, including me, instantly killing me???
    - Sometimes when entering a dungeon, the sprite no longer animates when walking.
    - Lots of error screens a few steps into Otherwordly Catacomb, and the stairs below. "tried to allocate string 77 but freestring_bits=0" item_get_damage_adjective -> ns

Last one prevented me from progressing. Had to quit. And that latin title, can't you just say it in English? Sad


Personally

If the characters and monsters were something more exciting, could easily bump up my enjoyment of it. It's fine for what it is, but it's a bit limiting, isn't it? Imagine it wasn't buggy, a little more polish, more interesting visuals; then what? You have yourself a barebones basic roguelike. Maybe that's all you need. I'd just like to play something that wants to be something more, like it's its own game rather than a personal 'look, i can do this'----which is fine! It's what i expect with ohr games. Talking as a player here. Getting hard to review them in this regard...

Is cool to see MasterK getting better with graphics, and TMC still going for this kind of game.

putting it into --Potential Tier--
Metal King Slime
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 PostTue Jan 06, 2015 6:57 am
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SpyGame and Zero: Secret Pasts Collide stand reviewed!
Metal King Slime
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 PostTue Jan 06, 2015 10:11 am
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Got lucky and drew the compilation games. Nice break from real reviewing. Here's my thoughts on the field:


Elephants Most Wanted
Animated backgrounds were nice, battles weren't too badly paced. Goofy game, typical first time stuff.

Fart:
Does NOT include game.exe, claims it requires "The latest" nightly (From when?!) and then he went and zipped A FOLDER that could've included the necessary files! If you have "the latest nightly" presumably you have the "distribute game" button. THIS IS NOT DIFFICULT.

Game itself is about what you'd expect. Decent polish for a farting game. Probably would be a minor hit on the spacebooks or something.

Grafitti Goose:
Don't have a phone.

Munch Meow:
You REALLY only made one map? How long would it take to make another couple? 5 minutes? ten minutes? What's with the rush to release?! You have high scores for cryin out loud, that's the hard part right there! Dunno whether the bad guys are touch npcs or not, didn't get caught.

Orange Monday:
Yep, that's a terrible game alright. Wouldn't see TMC doing that. Hard not to laugh at Garfield, though.

PH:
One bit black and white RPG... that's 20 fucking megs? Glad to see that there's actually graphics and not just white dots on a black background. Enemies might have a little too much HP, but the hacking minigame is a pretty cool idea.

PootPoot Rocket:
Sound effects are like error messages from ages old operating systems. Intentionally bad textboxes didn't help anything. About par for Meowski, only with farts.

Rogue:
Spelled correctly on the gamelist, spelled correctly in the filename, INCORRECTLY SPELLED ON THE TITLE SCREEN. Clearly made in the map editor too, so not hard to fix! Tone down the extra hits in battle a little... A random battle took like ten minutes of 1 HP damage slappin back and forth. Elves around a house didn't actually do battle.. oh, that's the end of the demo.

Testudo:
Same guy who made Rogue. No included game.exe. Ripped Minecraft music is classy. Only encounter I ran into killed me. His other game had the same "No chance, kid!" line when attacking a group of soldiers... what kind of game influenced this? What kind of RPG has hundreds of 1 hp attacks goin back and forth and takes forever. Did he even test? He couldn't have! What kind of an RPG has you talk to every group of dudes you're gonna fight? I don't understand what he's trying to emulate.

The Location:
Reviewed this for the random collab contest. I don't think Feenicks and BMR are going to bother to fix it, and as I recall it was pretty broken. Didn't play it again, but it showed promise.
Metal Slime
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 PostTue Jan 06, 2015 8:55 pm
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James Doppler's Epic Fantasy Sci-fi

In the year 20XX, the world consists of nerds, two factions: Fantarites, fans of the fantasy genre, and DiSciFiples, fans of Sci-fi. A local pothead, James, finds himself being targeted by the NSA for his belief in 'fantasy sci-fi', and is destined to reunite the factions and save the world.

Short, incomplete. Author warns and lets you know when it's over in-game.


The Appeal

If you're a fan of pot and think society is holding you back from your great destiny, boy do I have the game for you.

It's a game much like what I'm expecting with Okedoke. Except here, the author makes his opinion-venting more personal by putting himself as the lead character and letting you into his personal fantasy world, making it more genuine and honest but less socially suave and less hiding behind metaphors. Hawk's review about this is more or less what I'd say next, it's white trash slice of life.

There's actually a few redeeming moments to the game, where you have to question if it's meant to be without merit. When James finds his wizard buddy peeping on the 'dumb whore' (check out that slime salad censorship right there... word begins with 'w' ends in 'ore') with hidden cams via his phone, he gives a monologue expressing outrage at how women are treated like this. The irony is twofold: James' villain is the NSA spying on him and James own disregard for what he says with the way he acts, even with the same girl a couple scenes before.

So there's that level of enjoyment, where you can play this as a dark comedy, a window into the life of someone who knows their life is horrible and they're a bad guy, wants to escape, but is probably ultimately doomed. The plot is literally him wanting to escape his meth-addled town. As Hawk said, "a game about how men cope with their lives going nowhere". HBO drama.


Shop Talk

420 420 420 420 420 420 420 420 420 420
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420 420 420 420 420 420 420 420 420 420
420 420 420 420 420 420 420 420 420 420
Blaze it (See Giz's review.)


Personally

Can't say it's for me, but damn if I didn't enjoy playing a game with an actual narrative and some kind of character to it after the previous games. Actually made me laugh, kinda rare. Just the dumbness of watching porn heals you, and the over the top dialogue and irony.

I can't say the dialogue is great, but I can see it getting there with some thought and rework. LOL no I don't see that happening, but as a talent scout, want to say to James, if you'd sober up, clean up your act, you have the potential to write some witty and interesting dialogue. The layers of irony, writing flawed characters... i dunno, could be intentional, james could be irreversibly clueless, or something in between.

Kept hearing about this Rex the wizard who lives in the forest in irc, was hoping for a wizard lizord rex, but nopeeeeeeeeee Sad

putting it into -- Trash Tier -- but high level trash
Metal King Slime
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 PostWed Jan 07, 2015 9:16 am
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If I get killed by the tumblr brigade, it's been nice knowing you..

Samanthuel's Lovely Home has been judged!

EDIT: Next one's OkeDoke, so don't assume I got killed by tumblr too quickly.
Liquid Metal King Slime
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 PostWed Jan 07, 2015 3:12 pm
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I liked reading the Samanthuel review. That game caught my attention when it was released, but I got caught up with other stuff and never got to play it.

Very interesting.
Metal Slime
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 PostThu Jan 08, 2015 1:34 am
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I just want to say regarding Samanthuel: as an electronic music nerd, I adored the inclusion of Baby's Tear Blues by Mort Garson for the sunset/dusk music in the forest.
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