This looks like it could be a really fun game with a Windwaker-like graphical atmosphere. But this is a roast, right? So, I'm going to be brutal on purpose, ok? Take it personally! ;-)
Firs off, if you want to download the game the Roast My Game link (to indiedb) goes to a page that states:
You can find the link from the download list, but dammit, we're roasting here, people! Failure before launch! I'm roasting Alpha version 3, FYI...
Dudes, I clicked on "Character Select" and it lets me choose 2, 3, or 4 players... no "characters" to select! The number of players playing should be automatic, you shouldn't have to go back and start a new game.
Then I selected "go back to main menu" and it... started playing the game... are we bug hunting or roasting here?
Movement controls feel inadequate, with no easing so it feels very artificial. I'm never quite sure which direction I'm facing.
Firing is weird... if you miss with the wind shot, you have to wait until your shot clears the entire stage before you can shoot again (not that it matters, because if your opponent isn't paying attention, one shot can scoot him off the stage). I never got a good sense of where I was firing, either.
When an opponent is knocked off the stage (the only way of defeating them so far?) they appear in the same place. Actually, if everyone commits suicide at once, you can get a nice pile-on of characters. Not such a huge deal EXCEPT now all I have to do is stand facing the drop-in point (never changes, should be random or protected) and just hammer on the fire buttons to repeatedly launch them off into orbit. I was able to cheat like this and end a round really quickly on my dumb-ass friend.
Plant a defensive rock, then shoot the rock with a boulder (from a little distance away) and bingo: instant suicide. Not sure I like the way that works.
After game over, you can't replay, and it goes to the main menu. Also, didn't like that this is a joystick game and the entire menu system only works with the mouse. Choose joypad if you have to, just make it possible for SOMEONE to control the menu without having to run over to the computer and move the mouse. The menu graphics are pretty lame, but that's hardly a priority at this point.
Sound and music are ok, the level is a little small and graphics are ok so far. I know this is really just the beginning design stages, so maybe it's too soon to roast it?
For a math quiz game, it works up to a point: the reward of defeating enemies is a good way to get kids practicing math. I agree with everything Penguin Pat Hologram had to say, though. The UI has a nice (this seems to be a trend) "Windwaker" feel that is warm, bright, and attractive. Unfortunately, the game gets way too samey and there's no real sense of belonging to a story or progression. It's maybe a little too "lite". Also, the title desperately needs to be changed. Like Pat says, it's a real turn-off.5 years ago
Jeez, how do I pick "everything else" from "Needs most work"? There's no such thing as the perfect educational game, because everyone's needs are different, and the jury's still out about the effectiveness of such games in the first place. Still, going by the adage that "practice makes perfect" what are we practicing here? The way it's designed, there is precious little room to maneuver between number drops and it looks like you will end up accidentally choosing numbers more often than intentionally doing so. Also, the whole premise of "drop" games is that it's usually a bad thing if you let something drop, is this game bucking the trend with just a cascade of numbers that don't really matter as long as you choose the right ones? I feel that the game mechanic, as presented, serves no educational purpose as you spend more mental effort trying to dodge impossibly-spaced balloons than you do planning or thinking about what number combination makes sense.
Space the game out properly, reduce the number of factors required to complete the puzzle, reduce the size of "Sam" so that he doesn't take up half the screen, and either figure out a way to make the effort meaningful, in an educational sense, or go all-out making it fun.
Like orionmamajam1 said: the doodle art style is nice.
Totally agreed with error2taco, there, he hit the nails right on the head. From the whimsical score to the "been-there-done-that" cutesy penguins, your augmented reality aspect is what separates it from the rest... how can you leverage that technology? First of all, note that playing the game in such a way that you can see what penguin is sticking up - and having enough screen real estate to "tap" the correct one (wait, is there negative feedback if you miss or get the wrong penguin?) means that you have to hold the phone in a specific way, making it tough on the wrist holding the phone after a while. Again, there must be a cool way to leverage moving the phone around to help make the game more interesting. Wack-a-mole games themselves are hardly going to set the market on fire, right?5 years ago
Lots to like about this game, really impressive graphics, wonderful atmosphere. Here are my roasts:
While technically excellent, the glitchy transition effects were too realistic and used at the wrong times. It got me thinking "oh crap, there goes my graphics card" and it's used at... I don't know, weird intervals between levels? How about glitching when you get hit by an enemy instead?
The animation is totally lacking... check out Q*Bert, the game you're basing this one off of... you need to add a bit of "heft" and animation to the game to take it to the next level of lovability. Right now, it's a little dry and cold, character-wise.
The control scheme was a little tricky at first. Even after a while, I was frustrated at times thinking I'd clicked on the cube face but nothing would happen. Can you make the "slop" on the controls a little more generous?
Would be cool if you could collect ammo, rather than have one shot at a time... in old games, they would limit ammo to increase complexity and because they lacked the memory to handle inventory. You're in the 21st century now, go with something a little more satisfying rather than frustrating ("I picked up 3 guns but only get one shot?!?").
It doesn't take long to start seeing different pickups and whatevers (cubes? bombs? what do THEY do?) try to introduce what they are before we encounter them.
The music is nice, but it's not 100% right for the atmosphere, which is really quite fascinating.
All in all, a really nice, polished piece of work here.
The game's a little too simple, let's be honest. As a quick endless runner, it's got the graphics, the sound, the music, it's a great aesthetic package wasted on a throw-away game. GIVE US MOAAARR!! I'd love to see this turned into something where you can call on spells so that you can choose to fly over obstacles, tunnel your way thru hills, go under water, and mow down enemies. There's so much you can do with this concept, and so little that's been done in the endless runner genre. I'd say go for it, you've obviously got the programming and design skills to do it, don't let super wizard be wasted on a simple schtick.
- so endeth my roast of this game.
Awesome, I could really see this being a very useful web site -- assuming that people give and take comments in the spirit of a roast... that is, reflection and critique. Industrial designers, architects, and clothing designers are all familiar with "the crit" and it can be soul-gutting to hear all that's wrong with your product, but knowing the worst that people say is infinitely better than hearing platitudes that might make you wonder why the game didn't succeed.5 years ago
Awesome game, really nice work! The dork vocal sound effects work great against retro arcade graphics, but what ties it all together is the new challenge that this gives to Space Invaders. Has this pinball/space invaders ever been done before? Can't imagine it being any better than this. Control is accurate, everything is top-notch.
Only roast I can make is maybe consider some "real" arcade sound effects (don't know how it will impact playability once it gets too serious-sounding) and at some points (typically when there's only one enemy left on-screen) you'll be waiting forever for the ball to hit an enemy, but otherwise, a really solid effort, and lots of fun to play.