April 29th-May 2nd, 2011
Theme: It’s Dangerous to go Alone! Take this!

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Laser cats VS Zombie rats

by Jesper Oskarsson - Competition Entry

Use your laser cats to defend against waves of zombie rats. Eliminate the rats by trapping them inbetween two laser cats. The cats will then fire their lasers.

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jonbro says ...
May 2, 2011 @ 1:44pm

pretty awesome. I feel like I may have played a game like this before, but I can't put my finger on it. I like how every level feels beatable, but is still pretty hard. Really good design though.

If I had suggestions for how to improve, maybe a bit more juiciness, even a bit of lerping around the map would be nice.

jarnik says ...
May 3, 2011 @ 5:14pm

Nice idea, interesting puzzle!

May 4, 2011 @ 12:05am

Heh, cute idea!

Perhaps taking it away from grid-based and making it more free-form and dynamic would make it more fun.

Congrats on clearing the LD. :)

Winterblood says ...
May 4, 2011 @ 10:36pm

Novel idea, felt a bit clunky in practice though.

DrPetter says ...
May 5, 2011 @ 5:51pm

I am completely useless at this. Attempted the first level five times and I didn't get to see a single laser. Lots of clicking and very little zapping. Interesting idea though, could be implemented as a board game. Reminds me a bit of the medusa heads in Lolo 2 on the NES.

Switchbreak says ...
May 8, 2011 @ 8:00am

Fun! I found that by sticking all of my cats one square away from the corners I was pretty much invincible forever. Is there an ending or do the waves keep coming? I gave up after several four-cat waves.

Hamumu says ...
May 8, 2011 @ 2:27pm

I understand having the option to end your turn if you don't want to move some cats, but I shouldn't have to hit it if I moved them all. It made things feel tedious.

As a puzzle, I found this really annoying, because after a couple rats appear, you always end up with at least one cat who has only one move choice every turn, so most of your actions are rote repeats rather than choices to be made, and I just felt boxed in tighter and tighter all the time. Aggravation and stress in place of joy. That's not a comment on your work exactly, just on how I feel about these sort of Dalek games.

May 9, 2011 @ 8:26am

@jonbro: Yes, it definately lacks juiciness :) The two sprites in the game were created within the last few hours of the compo and they really added a lot to the experience. I will never underestimate the need for graphics again. :)

@Dark Acre Jack: I actually thought of that, but somehow I felt that it would be easier to reason about the game if it was on a grid. But yeah, thinking about it, removing the grid could probably make it a lot more fun. :)

@DrPetter: Hehe, I'm not sure exactly what you mean but yeah there aren't any actual laser graphics in the game. Implementing it as a board game could probably have saved me a lot of time prototyping and help make it more fun. Also thanks for referring me to Lolo 2, have to check out more of these types of games.

@Switchbreak: Ah, I didn't think of doing that! :D Yes, the waves just keep on coming. The game definately lacks variation. Something I should probably have done is not limit the number of cats to 4 but just keep giving more cats, would probably have made it more interesting.

@Hamumu: You're right about ending the turn when all cats have been moved. I should have implemented that. Yeah, I found it annoying as well that you had very little choice but to move in the same direction until you hit a wall or something, not sure how one would go about to solve that, maybe allowing the cats to move two steps instead of one? The aggravation and stress was something I intended even if it probably made the game less fun as a puzzle game. :)

Thanks all for the great comments so far. :)

joekinley says ...
May 12, 2011 @ 7:28pm

I don't like these games. They are too hard on me and I just suck at them.
Nicely done though. Good strategic concept and mind bending to play.
Sadly you don't have a timelapse video, or too much community stuff going.

I bet I know enough people who would love this game. It's tough, hard and unforgivable

elbowroom says ...
May 17, 2011 @ 10:10pm

At first I sucked and stood helpless and then I figured what the rats do and how to win every time.. you made great use of the LD theme. The plan that worked for me was keeping all the cats together and waiting for the rats to approach, and when the rats are on the adjacent square, I attack and retreat.

It could have used mobe with interesting unique properties like *can only be defeated by horizontal laser* or whatever you come up with :)

I like a game where you have that aha! moment and this one gave me a chance to think and solve a simple problem.

It was very interesting for a small game and fun to play unttil I went through a few rounds of the four cats.
Good Job!

I actually think the graphics are very cute.

lingmops says ...
May 21, 2011 @ 1:09pm

Nice idea. Felt the controls were a bit clunky though to be fair I'm using a trackpad.

Dan C says ...
May 22, 2011 @ 4:57pm

Cute idea.

At first I thought I had to get the rats to walk in between the cats, which makes the game pretty much impossible. It took me a few attempts to figure out that the cats fire their lasers immediately when there's a rat between them, even if you're halfway through a turn.

It's quite fun but it could definitely do with a bit more graphical pizazz. As it is it feels very static.

I also found it a bit clunky that I had to keep clicking 'next turn' even after moving all my cats.

One major problem in my view is that as the game progresses, more cats seem to make the game easier, not harder.

Also, it didn't seem to fit the theme in any particularly interesting way.

Dan C says ...
May 22, 2011 @ 5:01pm

Er, also, I'm a bit puzzled by the commenters who found it difficult. The rats' movements are completely predictable, and it's trivial to devise a strategy that wins every time.

That's not to criticise the game, though. It's difficult to come up with a puzzle game that's hard but not too hard.

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