Ludum Dare 32 — April 17th-20th, 2015 — Theme: An Unconventional Weapon

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The Reviewer

by kyyrma - Compo Entry

The Reviewer is a game about time management, deadlines, multi-tasking and tedium.

What is the strongest weapon of the gaming world? Critique.

Having dabbled in writing about video games for quite some time, I decided to create a humorous simulation of the pressures of video game journalism. The style of the game was inspired by the fantastic Papers, Please!

Note that while the game contains a dash of exaggerated reality, it is intended as nothing more than a well meaning parody. Don't take it too seriously!

Tools: Game Maker Studio, GIMP, Audacity, GCSXX, Bfxr, Fake Music Generator

Downloads and Links




factorial says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 1:45pm

There are no download links

maunovaha says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 4:28pm

Hi Mats. I like the concept, graphics and audio. Good start for a bigger more polished game. Hence, if I were to give constructive criticism (as a game reviewer ;) I would left home works away probably, and just focus reviewing games. Less tasks to be made and easier to manage. Also, it would be cool if the monitor shows glimpse of the reviewed games. And, I know that hard to make that kind of stuff during game jam, but just giving some suggestions which I could come up with. Good job. :)

benmcnelly says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 4:50pm

I love the take on the theme, and the friendly jab at game reviewers ;-)

ManicMiner says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 4:56pm

Got a crash after reviewing Predestination - but what a marvellous game - thought provoking and, I suspect, worryingly accurate - my favourite game of the jam so far by no small margin

plams says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 5:00pm

Nice! I like the Papers Please vibe to it, that there's more and more to keep track of and there's not enough time!

Shared says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 5:00pm

Nice atmosphere, and the idea of reviewing a game about reviewing is quite entertaining.

Apr 20, 2015 @ 5:26pm

Pretty cool game. Can't say it was "fun" in the traditional sense but it was really captivating. I like how more and more tasks were introduced. Felt good about knowing the answer to one of the homework questions off-hand.

nuprahtor says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 6:02pm

Wow, so much references, it's really interesting just to read everything, too bad there is a time limit.
I like that the core gameplay is constantly evolving with new additions. And breaking the fourth wall in the end was quite fun.

10FingerArmy says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 6:05pm

Wow this game has more text than Rambo speaks in 4 movies! And it's well thought out one too. Respect for putting this content together.

This is not game in my traditional understanding but still captivating and I continued what else would happen. Definitely an interesting entry!

XeroCake says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 6:10pm

A fun way to interpret the theme! The game does progress a little to slow for me, but that is a very minor thing compared to the other features of it. Wonderful job!

Jungle says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 6:14pm

Pros: I really enjoyed the idea of the game. It was creative and unique and I also like how it mix elements of 'real life' together.

Cons: I think the music is a bit dull and gets repetitive too soon. Also, I totally screw my first two reviews and when I get the first right (with a -2/-1 rate from people/editor) the editor praised me. That don't make a lot of sense.

But way to go man! Congrats

ito123456789 says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 6:16pm

Crashed after Predestination. But excellent! This will be competinf for the first places for sure.

It just doesn't fit the theme very well.

chromebookbob says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 6:19pm

Wow, great submission! I like the graphics a lot. What did you use to make the game?
The music fits well, as do the clicky keyboard sounds. I like your cultural references and how the game gets harder to please later on. I also like how there is no end game until the end of the game, you only come out with a bad score (somewhat a shortcoming of my LD submission). Once again, very pretty. Well done!

stevenlr says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 6:19pm

Really nice atmosphere. You very quickly feel overwhelm by all the stuff you have to do, it's extremely effective in that sense. It made me want to play Paper Please. :)
I like that it's not too long too, but just long enough to introduce all the game mechanics and to make you want to kill this damn virtual boss. ^^

fleegle2000 says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 6:34pm

Very clever, very meta :) I really liked it. Kind of gave me a "Papers, Please" vibe. I like how you have to balance your schoolwork and reviewing - I ended up being a better student than reviewer. I found the game very challenging but never unfair. Graphics were low-res but stylish and effective. Really communicated the pressures on video game reviewers from all sides. I'm amazed at how much content you were able to get done in two days. Great work!

kyyrma says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 6:37pm

Thanks for all the comments guys! So glad to hear the game has been enjoyed :)

@chromebookbob: Thanks! It's made in Game Maker Studio. I'll add the tools on the entry details.

@Jungle: Yeah, the logic behind some of the messages and tweets is... shoddy. If you saw the IF-spaghetti that powers it all you would be surprised it even runs!

@ito123456789, @ManicMiner: Any details on the crash? Does it produce the normal Game Maker crash log, and if so could you paste it here? Sorry about the crash, but at least it crashes at the very end of the game.

nassi says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 9:28pm

Neat. Tough moral choice with Predestination: should I play it and give it 4 stars, or should I just give it 4 stars without even touching it. All aboard the hype train!

The aesthetic worked and the idea was captivating. Not too much to manage at once in my opinion, since the character is such a skilled multitasker. He doesn't even have to stop playing to solve his homework after all.

speakupgames says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 2:15am

After I had to start doing my homework, check Tweety, read the game's bio, and write a review, the reviews and homework definitely got the short end of the stick.
Just like real life.

Apr 21, 2015 @ 8:28am

I really enjoyed this game! Could have done without the homework, but fortunately I knew the answers anyway (yeah right)

I love the tune. It is stuck in my head forever now.

Seriously I think you should keep working on this - could probably work well on mobile? I know I'd sink many hours into it.

alpha_rat says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 12:26pm

Very nice game, there is quickly much to keep track of and I like how the difficulty increases (I completely dropped the homework after a while)
The connection with the theme is a bit vague but it doesn't really matter

I really like the satirical twist you gave to it !

sawyerWeld says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 5:45pm

I really like this game. How does it fit in with "unconventional weapon" though? I get that you use your reviews to change your reputation but I don't ge thow its a weapon

Apr 21, 2015 @ 5:46pm

Interesting sort of game, but it really wasn't much fun just waiting to collect information from the player.

kyyrma says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 5:48pm

@sawyerWeld: Thanks and fair point. The way I see it, the critique game reviewers give is a weapon from a developer point of view. It can make or break the game, even unfairly. The problem is that side of game journalism doesn't quite come through in the game as it is now.

Originally I wanted to have more interaction with the devs, so that they would also voice their feelings on Tweety depending on your reviews. Unfortunately due to time constraints the Tweety content affected by your decisions is pretty limited.

conniejoern says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 5:51pm

Love the conventional idea, love the grafics, the music gives a nice mood. good job man!

Reccy says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 5:59pm

Very original concept, and the gameplay works quite well. It's a fun game!

Kasmilus says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 5:59pm

I had great fun playing it, nice work! It would be better to see all things at once. Opening one window shouldn't cover everything else. It's like a game about multitasking that's not allowing you to do more than one task at once... :D

shrapx says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 7:01pm

While not a good game by any stretch, The Reviewer does provide hours of good multiplayer fun.

This is probably not a new joke is it? lull. I really like this game design, its fun, a bit stressful, and the result seems to be expected based on performance. Its a smart game, well done kyyrma!

abuzreq says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 7:36pm

Wonderful and creative !
I didn't saw how is it related to the theme though

TomBoogaart says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 10:55pm

pretty good mood! i felt isolated

nopogo says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 12:22pm

A really interesting take on the theme. Well thought out

asobi tech says ...
Apr 23, 2015 @ 6:45am

Very nicely done :D
Love the parody in it.

Apr 23, 2015 @ 8:09pm

Really neat idea for a game. Having to do homework too was a nice twist. Overall simple gameplay but nicely polished. Apparently I would make a crappy game reviewer!

Crowbeak says ...
Apr 26, 2015 @ 4:15am

As someone who writes about games, I think this is a great mini-simulation. The game crashed after I gave Destiny... er... Predestination... a crappy review, so I think the editor decided to fire me.

OddballDave says ...
Apr 26, 2015 @ 3:26pm

A really unique and interesting concept. I enjoyed it even if I wasn't very good at it. Good stuff.

Andynonomous says ...
Apr 26, 2015 @ 4:26pm

I like the graphical style. I'm amazed by the amount of content you were able to pack in there. I'd have to say that this game is more interesting than it is fun in the classic sense of the word. Nevertheless it was worth the try. Nice job!

norwalnate13 says ...
Apr 27, 2015 @ 1:29am

I love the fresh take on the theme! Truly one of a kind. I like the jokes about big game reviewing companies like IGN. Also, I like how you made links in game at the end. You sir, are truly a genius.

KaiseanGames says ...
May 4, 2015 @ 4:54pm

I was not too sure about the consequences of my actions, but it was a nice experience. Really reminds of Papers, please! But nevertheless a great game. Not sure how it fits the theme, though.

Boberro says ...
May 4, 2015 @ 5:57pm

It's awesome that this game feels so finished and complete. But personally, I didn't really liked it, mainly because I don't feel "do your boring job" gengre.

flummox3d says ...
May 7, 2015 @ 9:14am

I love meta stuff, and this qualifies as that in my book :D I like how you have to balance out all the stuff while still having to listen what the reviewer has to say. Very interesting concept. Really nice job :)

Gunzil says ...
May 10, 2015 @ 5:37am

Humorous writing that includes all the terribleness that games journalism seems to entail. I liked the picture that is painted for each game, where each has physical attributes, a culture surrounding it, and a corporate agenda behind it, causing the correct answer to become unclear.

I would have liked to have multiple screens open at the same time like how papers please has it, so the multitasking is more on the view's ability to absorb info instead of needing to move between a bunch of screens AND absorb information.

I'd like to be able to see player character comments even when viewing overlays, since once you get deep in NDAs and school assignments it's difficult to know when they even come up. There's a sound effect when tweets change, if there was something similar for player comments that would help a lot.

Druid says ...
May 11, 2015 @ 6:53pm

Wow! Really amazing entry! Fun to play! I really want to see this game mechanics in bigger game :3

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