Ludum Dare 31
Theme:
Entire Game on One Screen

Judging ends in:
It’s time to Play and Rate Games!

PlayRate80Star

Posts Tagged ‘game reviews’

12 Recommendations to Get Higher Rates

Posted by (twitter: @dekart1234)
Saturday, December 13th, 2014 6:01 am

After reviewing multiple games in a short time frame you start to notice certain common patterns. Some games are much easier to test and much more interesting to play while others require much more effort to grasp the idea, which inevitably affects how you rate a game.

In this post I’ll try to describe basic things that you should remember when developing your game for the jam and submitting it for review. Probably these recommendations will help new participants to get better ranks in the future jams, as well as experienced participants to improve their submissions. I’ll use it as my own checklist for my next jam.

Avoid long-standing splash screens and stories

Your reviewers have only a minute or two to test your game, they want to review as many games as possible to get rates for their own games. After few games with nice splash screens you start thinking “Oh, come on, give me the game!” and it spoils the initial impression.

If a splash screen or a story is a must – make sure to make it possible to skip it.

(more…)

Who would have figured Hal 9000 for a cheaty space cheater at Rock Paper Scissors? At least he can sort of help us fire the Genesis Rocket.. Dangit, who opened up an inter-dimensional portal filled with puzzles?

The Games Showcased:

[The Edge of Earth 5000] by Hypno Hustla

[Tangled Mini Worlds] by Lars Kristian

[Trappy Tomb] by Jimmy Paulin

When one finds themselves adrift in space… snacking can be a very important past time. Especially when it’s potato salad. Especially when such a snack has had a massive Kickstarter recently. Just be sure you aren’t near any potato related piggy cults when you make it. But we have to be quick. We have Spirit Crows and StarLord coming over to snack with us. Just be very careful you don’t accidentally fall into the Dead World or somebody elses Dreams!

The Games Showcased:

StarLord by Lowcade

Lucid by Fisholith

This Little Piggy by Infection Crew

Final day rating – Some suggestions with few ratings

Posted by (twitter: @RustyBotGames)
Saturday, May 12th, 2012 1:42 am

The final day of rating is approaching very fast. After playing about 10 percent of the Ludum Dare 23 games and my LD23 folder growing to alomst 1 gig I would like to suggest a few games with only few ratings that should get more ratings (Click the headlines):

Cracked – BlackBird (33 ratings)

Interesting puzzle game. Gets more challenging in later levels. Game mechanics work pretty well.

Robots Are Red, Violets Are Blue – d_durham (39 ratings)

The control mechanics for the robot are pretty unique and make this game interesting to play and quite challenging.

c!ph3r – frosty (33 ratings)

A game about the right timing. The setting is great and the sound effects almost make a soundtrack.

World In A Bottle – Serilyn (38 ratings)

Pretty atmospheric concept about balancing a world in a tiny bottle. Also it has the smem basic idea as my game with a completely different execution.

Tiny Garden of Hope – steamgirl (40 ratings)

Very beautiful game which isn’t that difficult to beat if you are patient enough for letting the robot give you some advice.

Go and play those, they deserve more ratings than that. For my own game I’m actually working on the next post-compo version. You can find some information here.

100 titles rated! and my real post-mortem

Posted by (twitter: @crippledgames)
Thursday, May 10th, 2012 7:34 am

So today I’ve finally reached 100 titles rated, and out of all of that I’ve picked my 10 favorite games.

(in no particular order)

the most humorous game so far is:

To What a Mountain?, not much gameplay but a very funny game.

 

the most innovative games:

Phobius, the melting mechanic is  very nice.

Tiny Tim and Big Bill, playing 2 characters that rely on each-other, great idea

Recluse, probably the most original idea with the window control, I’ve never seen this done before.

 

The games I spent the most time on:

Tiny World, Big War, there’s no end to this game but it’s pretty addicting.

Tiny Domination, RTS, time consuming, addicting fun.

Electron Cloud, funny gameplay, socially awkward atom.

Greed Wars, I think I played this game for 4 hours or so, very fun and polished.

 

The most relaxing polished games:

Another Kind of World, nice pace, fun, great graphics.

Zephyr, addicting, calm, very nice graphics.

 

all these games are great and if you haven’t played them yet please go and try them out.

 

Post-Mortem:

In Delusion 

So it didn’t come out nearly as good as I thought it would, not because the ideas were bad, but because I didn’t have enough time to put them all together.

This was my first ludum dare so I wanted to try something I’ve never done before and thought, “Why not make a game from scratch?” this way I would learn new things and test my quick thinking abilities. Unfortunately my ideas for the game were almost completely incompatible with the way I was making it. What I did when the theme got announced was sit down and think for a bit. I wrote down a list of ideas that immediately came to my head and then when the list was complete, I crossed them all off.

I wanted to make something original, so instead of using an idea that first popped into my head I did the opposite. Anything that first popped into my head I didn’t do, because those are probably the same ideas that are popping into everyone else’s head.

The funny thing is all of the ideas that I wrote down/thought of were used. Every time I played a game that was on my list I chuckled a bit because I was surprised  how many people came up with the same ideas.

Anyway that was the big reason I wasn’t able to finish in time, after writing a list of what  not to do and after coding some base game logic I started writing down new things and came up with a rough outline for in delusion then I wrote a more detailed outline. At this point I was designing a heavily story based game for my first “2 day game engine”. Those ideas definitely do not fit together.

 

What went right:

Almost nothing, the only things that somewhat came through were the mood and the graphics.

 

What went wrong:

I had to redo collisions 3 times because I kept getting sidetracked writing story.

1 slide was unintentionally  being skipped at the end(Bill’s slide).

the slide idea was a last minute idea to broadly fit together as much as possible because I didn’t get to finish pretty much the last 75% of the game.

the inventory system randomly decided not to work properly after I put the slides in at the end.

 

What I learned:

Don’t expect a huge story to fit in a tiny “game engine” in 2 days.

Being original is good, but don’t get too carried away.

 

What’s next:

Right now I’m making my own flash engine and a remake of In Delusion is going to be the first game I make with it. This time I’ll put everything I planned in it and then some.

 

if you haven’t played my game yet, you can play it here

Remembering the love…

Posted by (twitter: @caranha)
Sunday, April 29th, 2012 10:29 am

As in the last compo, everyday I’m writing a post with impressions of the games that attracted me most among those I played that day. With more than 1400 games available, I hope that these posts can call to attention some gems that may go unnoticed otherwise :-). If you want to see my previous posts, just check my journal for the “love” series.

So, among the games I played today, I found many “cute” ones to share:

Tiny Contamination — A “dodge the enemies” kind of game where your cute amoeba has to take the right cells and flee from the wrong one. I really like that the number of lives the player has is integrated into the sprite. A strange bug might make you die suddenly.

A bathtub story — You are a cute monster inside a tiny bathtub, fighting against all the other bathtub toys. Very cute game, until you realize that EVERYTHING in that damn bathtub is deadly, and trying to kill your guts!

Pixel’s World — your first impression might be “ugh these sprites”. Then you see everything that is going on in the background, and realize the look is quite intentional, and work very well that way. A very fun platformer.

Toad Warrior — Hmmmm, a naked dude riding a giant frog may not be everyone’s definition of cute. Hell, it might be no one’s definition of cute! But the art in this game is pretty neat, and the dude looks so happy in his toad! :-P The game is a platformer puzzle with a unique control. A bit rough in the game play, but rather fun.

Gravity Force 3 — Well, this game has nothing of cute in it. But is one of those crazily fun games that you keep playing and playing just because they’re so addictive, even if there are other games to rate :-)

See you again soon!

Some very polished Love!

Posted by (twitter: @caranha)
Saturday, April 28th, 2012 10:53 am

5th day rating 10+alpha games per day, here are the highlights for today’s review session. Two games are very well fleshed out, and five of them, while lacking a bit in polish, make up for it with some very interesting ideas. If you don’t know what game to play next, check these suggestions:

Tiny World Cardgame — Card games are something we don’t often see in LD, which makes this game already worthy a look. It also features an awesome and very professional looking tutorial, and the ability to assemble your own deck. The rules for the card game itself are pretty simple, but allow for a lot of variation.


The Pioneer
— Easily my favorite game for the night. This is just a simple 2D platformer, but the levels are randomly generated from a seed entered at the start of the game. The difficulty progression seems very good, and the art is quite consistent through all the different assets of the game. A generally very well polished little pear.

Scavenger — A very simple and unpolished first time entry in the LD, but which contains the secrets to the ant nirvana. Can you unveil the path to this hilariously unintended bug? :-D

Tini World God — In this game you play with a star system simulator. Create a star, put some planets in orbit of it, and try to create life with them. Or just use your godly powers to blow up the planets into pieces! Needs a few tweaks here and there,
but quite a nice game.

Save your planet — Another “first time in ludum dare” game which performs well. A “defense” shooter, where you have to defend your planet from a variety of incoming enemies. The pacing and controls for the first few levels are quite fun, but the game does not ramp up the difficulty, so it gets a bit boring after 6 or 7 levels. Still, worth a try.

Atomic Galaxy Factory — An action puzzle game where you have to balance the construction of energy generators with the construction of walls to block such generators. Not only the game play and balance are rather nice, but the dressing of the game (you start at the quark level and goes up the universal ladder as you upgrade your pieces) is very enticing. You keep looking for finding out what the next upgrade level will be.

Tiny World Peace — This game is quite unpolished, but its premise is so unique that it is still worth a try. Three planets are at war, throwing bullets and missiles at one another – you control a moving shield, and you have to protect the THREE planets from each other, trying to keep the peace.

That is it for today! See you again soon, and feel free to plug your game in the comments :-)

Late night Love!

Posted by (twitter: @caranha)
Friday, April 27th, 2012 11:32 am

Weekend! Time to play a lot of games :-) Besides the normal 10, I also played some extra games from people that commented in my game or posts, and there are some very very neat games I want to talk about in this post!

BTW, I have been trying to rate always 5 high coolness games, and 5 low ratings games — but it is coming to a point that most of the games with 0 comments are incomplete games/tech models. Maybe I will drop the “lowest rates” games altogether from my next run…

Anyway, to the games:

Wild West World
— Today I played a bunch of games that interpreted “tiny world” as a circular playing area – this is a dizzy dizzy platform shooter where you are a sheriff that needs to clean town. Beware not to shoot civilians! The game can use a bit more polish, but it is quite a lot of fun.


The good ship Higgs Boson
— heh, if you don’t pay too close attention to the name, this is an awesome puzzle game. You control a default platforming hero, but you also control the gravity that he is into. So during the game you can make any of the four directions to be “down”. There is a lot of untapped potential in this idea.


Curse of Grimwood
— An action adventure game that is really really pretty. The bad path finding of your companions may make you mad from time to time (Damn, guys, try to get one at a time through that gap!), but the game is still quite fun.

Boxed — This game is quite unfinished, but it uses a mechanic that is unique enough to warrant mention — you play inside two boxes, and you can transfer from one box-area to the other. In each box area, the other box exists – and depending on what you do to the box, that box area is modified when you get there. Some amazing puzzles can come out of this.


1 Seed
— In this game you have to terraform the entire star system, by bringing seeds from lush planets to barren ones. Trees grow procedurally, gravitational physics are in place, and the game in general has a large, innovative score.

D.A.H. — Yay! Another “Kill everything and don’t think much about it” kind of game. You are a dinosaur in a planet, tasked to destroy cities and eat people. Each person you eat, you get bigger and bigger, until you are bigger than the planet itself. Very very fun.

Spaceship Planet Merge — another innovative game, your goal is to make your planet collide with other planets in the same star system. The game is still quite simple and easy, but this idea has a lot of promise in it. Also, the music is good and the sprites are cute.

Have a nice weekend everyone, I hope you like these games!

Returning the Love!

Posted by (twitter: @caranha)
Thursday, April 26th, 2012 11:34 am

Thanks everyone who took the time to look at my game! Today, besides my 10 daily rates, I also decided to return the love and rate/comment the games of those who rated mine or commented on my posts. Here are the highlights – the games that I enjoyed most. Give them a try, and I hope you like them too!

$ales — This game show how to turn a boring entry into a nice entry with a single stroke: the audio. The narration is very funny! The game is a “trading simulator”, you go around a map, trying to buy low and sell high to achieve a monetary goal.

Nematode — A very unique game: a kind of reverse snake. There are worms walking around in the game map, and you drop colored foods in front of them. If you can make a snake the right color by giving it foods in the right order, you gain points. I really liked the idea. Although the game is a bit too hard at the moment, it is worth a try.

Zunzanda — an extremely polished, challengin, fun game. You have a small island that you have to defend against monsters that are trying to eat it. The graphics, sounds and narration are well put together and give the game a very memorable face. I can easily see this making top charts in this LD, given its degree of polish.

Burning Platform — a perfect android/mobile game. Simple, you start it up, and can get right into it. Addictive, with the “beat your previous score” factor. It is a balancing game, where the goal is to keep your “friends” in the platform by balancing it with your phone’s accelerometer. It is a bit too hard at the moment, I hope the post-compo version works a bit on the difficulty curve.


Mozi Life
— another unique game, this is a series of mini games that show the life cycle of a mosquito. Each of the minigames are quite simple, but they are tied together in a nice way. Would look great in an encyclopedia.

Audioland — more a toy than a game, it is world of sand meets music generator. Great and unique idea, I could see this being used to generate musics for future ludum dares :-)

See you tomorrow!

Sharing more love!

Posted by (twitter: @caranha)
Wednesday, April 25th, 2012 8:59 am

Today I played a few more of the games with low ratings, and did find some undiscovered gems!

* In Delusion — a very freaky adventure game. Not exactly my cup of tea, but those who like story-heavy games and gaming-as-art will certainly enjoy it.

* Simini — This is a city simulator game with a BIG twist: the entire screen is like less than 64×64 pixels. SO CUTE! I wish I could put this game on my phone, or something like that. The game play is quite relaxing too, even if rather simple.

*
Shrinkage
— A quite fun shooter, if rather easy. Has some good polish.

See you all tomorrow :-)

Time to Share the Love!

Posted by (twitter: @caranha)
Wednesday, April 25th, 2012 5:00 am

Another Ludum Dare done, and it is time to play, play, play games!

Since I have a much higher workload now than I had last time, I will have to control my time rating games. So the plan is to play 5 games from the “least rated” list, 5 from the “default” list, and then a couple from my “this looks interesting/someone asked me to rate this game” list every night. Every rating WILL get a comment, so if you want some comments on your game, I’d be happy to give it a fair shake!

To start things off, these are the games that I played yesterday and really left a good impression on me:

Pow! Pow! Pow! — As the name suggests, this is a very cute came. The authors really put a lot of effort in the design, and the game is visually very remarkable. The game (a platformer) is a bit on the hard side, though.

Tiny Religion — A game with an interface that is quite unique nowadays — verb name command line! This alone would merit a mention, but the game is also cute, and has an interesting premise. It does require a windows install, though.

Tiny Castle — Mindless fun! A giant boy with a giant-er sword storms through tiny pixelated villages, causing mayhem and destruction! Great game to kick back and relax.

Tiny Girl — An addictive shoot them up – rensponse is really quick, enemies come from everywhere, and the movement of the background makes the game very dynamic: action seems to be going really fast! (when I do a shooter I will certainly steal this idea.

Hope you like these games like I did, and see you again tomorrow!

LD22 FunTime Roundup Super Excite – Vol 1

Posted by (twitter: @Phantom_Green)
Friday, December 23rd, 2011 12:28 am

I’ve been playing games steadily since the end of LD22, and I’m going to share some of my favorites that I’ve found along the way. There are a few others out there that are doing the same thing, and they’ve helped to turn me on to games that I may have overlooked otherwise. I THANK THEM!

Some of the games from Volume 1 are games that have since blown up with recognition since I started compiling this list, but OH WELL. They deserve to be played by as many people as possible.

First up… I’m going to jump straight into the game that I consider to be the GREATEST thing I’ve seen in any LD competition. PERIOD. Yeah, you may not agree… but this game really appeals to me on every single level. It lacks audio, but I was able to play something from my own collection to fit the mood.

One Final Trek – by vandriver

This game is AMAZING. It’s a platformer with two very interesting mechanics. First… you have a jump with a pre-defined radius/distance. You can’t change in midair, and you can’t shorten or lengthen the hop. This restriction sets the game apart from just about every other platformer out there today. The areas are PERFECTLY designed so your jumps are appropriate. Second… the LANTERN / LIGHTING MECHANIC IS GENIUS. And it’s beautiful. It has to be seen to be appreciated. Just check it out, and play it to completion. I want to see this game get a proper ‘FINAL VERSION’ with music/sfx.

Braille – (Jam) by Rudy and Cole

This is an atmospheric platformer with an obvious nod to the graphical style of Limbo. What sets this game part is the unique stone throwing mechanic that you use to light your path. You can’t see in front of you, so you have to toss a stone. When the stone hits, it makes a sound and briefly lights up the ground. There’s lots of great art to be seen here, and the game follows the theme beautifully.

The Love Letter – (Jam) by axcho

BEST USE OF THEME. PERIOD. You control the main character, a young school boy, by clicking on the screen. You have been giving a love letter from a secret admirer, and you must find a secluded spot to read the letter in order to avoid taunting/humiliation from your classmates. The game currently lacks a proper ending, and I desperately want to see this game reach a conclusion. This game is incredibly charming, refreshing, and just plain’ ol’ dang ol’ FUN.

Final Trip Soccer – by Benjamin

You’ve probably already seen this, but it still deserves to be pointed out. The gameplay is framed by an actual story that handles the theme WONDERFULLY. The game is a HUGE pile of originality from top to bottom. The animation and sprite work is INSPIRING to say the least. So… it’s soccer? HOW IS THAT ALONE? You’re a soccer player that ends up alone against alien blobs after everyone vanishes MID-GAME in a giant stadium. BRILLIANT! You kill the blobs by kicking a soccer ball. It is awesome. GO PLAY IT.

Super Smash Lander Suicide Party, Bro? – by Black Ships Fill The Sky

OK, so this game doesn’t really follow the theme. AT ALL. I don’t care. It’s amazing. I don’t even know what the hell it really is, but that’s why it’s so amazing. Two alien bros do bro-like things by zooming super fast and blowing shit up, bro. There are THREE individual phases and playstyles in the game. You start by circling the earth to hit asteroids and satellites, then you enter the atmosphere and try to land without blowing up from SUPER HEAT (you can hit flocks of birds to cool down) and then the third section has you bouncing off of the earth … slamming into buildings and cows and other things to earn points. Then you explode and do high fives of EPIC proportions. This is mind numbingly amazing.

The Lonely Sphincter – by Crackerblocks

I always love what Crackerblocks does. The games are always hilarious, and this is certainly no exception. This is like NOBY NOBY BOY… except it’s actually fun to play. You eat people and either hold them in your body or you poop them out. You can chomp down on their bodies and crunch off their heads/arms/legs/etc. It really is amazing to be able to control a giant, flying sphincter while people say nice things to you. LOVE IT!

And my game, Ab-Alone, only has like ONE actual review comment. So this is me blatantly begging for plays/reviews. You can check it out HERE. I don’t know EXACTLY when I’ll do another one of these review posts… but I’ll certainly be back.

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