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All 3 game Reviews


The Life Of A Pacifist... The Life Of A Pacifist...

Rated 3.5 / 5 stars

From the author of Air Pressure, comes "The Life Of A Pacifist Is Often Fraught With Conflict." I love the oxymoronic title BUT, the title is a misnomer, really. The description tells the truth in that this game is "a game about games" not really a game relating to pacifism. An opposition to fictional violence just isn't the same as a rejection of actual human aggression and violence. And pacifism doesn't mean that you can't defend yourself, at least verbally. Just look at non-violent protest.

So now that the straw man is out of the room I'll address the actual conflicts the game presents.

1. Shock value in video gaming and desensitization. How far will we go? What's "too much" or is there "too much?" Games like Dead Space capitalize on those gritty feelings of putrid fear and disgust off vehement gore. Games like Gears of War like to take violence into near cartoonish levels and will use violence in a comical way. But do these diminish real world exposure? These are a few questions provoked.

2. The value of dissidence v.s. the value of compromise. Even when you wanted to speak out you didn't (as a clever element of the game) and it begged the question, how much are you willing to compromise? Based off how much you were willing to compromise internally, you got different levels of outcome. But you never externalized your opinions.

Other than my gripe with the title and the fact that you don't influence the dialogue of the other characters at all (which may have well been a choice) I thought this was, while not polished, aesthetically pleasing and fun to replay. Oh and the music doesn't work past the first finish. 3.5/5

Thank you for making this game.
-Squidy


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A Pair Of Rocket Boots A Pair Of Rocket Boots

Rated 3.5 / 5 stars

3 (and a half 'cuz I'm nice).
But why?

Let's go positive first:
-Looks good
-The game is fluid
-Randomization of levels and pursuit for time warps lead to constantly changing game difficulty and fun
-Simple controls
-Intuitive. If someone doesn't understand the game then they aren't paying attention and if they are, they can improve easily.

Now the negative:
-The game design is very deceitful whether or not it was on purpose.
1. You can't actually go up with your rocket boots at all. This may seem minor but it does have an impact on player control and movement as well as c'mon man they are rocket boots. If the game was only going to be slowing down your character then ditch the rocket boots and have him in a squirrel suit or something.
2. The warning arrows/items show up on and way too close to the bottom! It gives players the false impression that there is space to collect these items and land as well. There have been plenty of times where I wasn't even able to see the balloons/coins by the time I was landing. Coding for the warnings to stop if the balloons are unreachable/it can't spawn a full rack of coins AND/OR the spawns to stop if the balloons are past the ground/it can't spawn an entire rack of coins is necessary to help the player have an intuitive feeling of where the ground is. It is because a lot of playing this game is intuitive that you are doing the players a disservice by having this problem.
-The game rewards player failure/ error.
1. 500 fatalities metal. Metals like these make me feel like games haven't been play tested at all. I got all of the other metals AND boosted deaths for a good 10-15 minutes AND I still don't have this metal. If you are going to reward player failure (which I wouldn't recommend anyways) WHY would you make it unobtainable through normal play? Playing this game to fail isn't fun so don't incentivize players to do so. All of my disappoints.
2. Time jumping even if you are ballooned. This doesn't just doesn't make sense. You are preventing a player who failed to try again and you are rewarding them with extra points. This is especially confusing to those new to the game who haven't quite figured out all the mechanics of the game yet. A few solutions to this include but are not limited to: disabling time warp for ballooned players, allowing ballooned players to regain control after time warp (even though I don't like it, this one makes the most sense for consistency because you are going back in time!), and having a reset/instant death button, not just q to quit to main screen (wouldn't recommend because it interferes with fluidity of the game but it works. ) I sincerely believe this game would be 4+ if you fix(ed) this. Hope that you do.
-No indicator for approaching time warp. This would help player decisions regarding when to slow down and if they want to land.

And finally a few neutral items:
-Not much change in the background (But it does stay true to the title "A Pair Of Rocket Boots In A Clear Blue Sky")
-Instructions in the description (Boooo!)
-Music choice fits whimsical flying mood but wouldn't an option for some intense action music work as well?

Thanks for the game!
-Squid


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Havin' a Ball Havin' a Ball

Rated 2 / 5 stars

Music was uninspiring but did have a unique off kilter air about it. Somewhat nice polish to the art but gameplay is pretty off with the spike in difficulty. Fatal game error on level four after dying too fast. Won't respawn me. Nothing really stands out to me but the music, which unfortunately gets very repetitive very fast. Wish I could give you more mate but this is a solid 2.


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LDAF responds:

You're definitely right about the difficulty spike, taking that into mind on whatever I may do next. Sorry to hear about the game not respawning; I put in a respawn button ( R ) since that did actually happen A LOT in testing; Stencyl has pretty lame hitboxes. And the music can be changed from the menu to music A or B. :) thanks for taking the time to play and review!