Mini Reviews #1

Mini reviews are done to present different indie games, and to give you inspiration. You may also get some valuable ideas from different games. I’ve tested each game’s demo, provided a link to the game’s website, given small review, verdict and finally some development suggestions. More mini game reviews will be available in the future, but at the moment I’m not accepting any more games, there’s already several in my queue.

Speedy Solitaire

Very addictive game, definitely worth tryingwebsite

Speedy Solitaire is based on card game Spit. The main idea of the game is to match card that are either one higher or one lower than the cards in the discard pile. Apparently the idea sounds very simple, but it’s strangely addictive game. The visuals are nice, the music is nice, the game idea and execution is very well done. Also the game website is very well done. I have nothing bad to say about this game, besides the fact that I missed a multiplayer experience. If I had to think something bad, I’d say the car theme might not suit best in this type of game. Maybe it’s that I’m not much of a racer, but for some reason it sounded bit far fetched. Anyway, that doesn’t hurt the gaming experience. Maybe we’ll see different skins from Injoy Games in the future?

Developer hints:
- Possibility to play online multiplayer with a friend would be great addition.

Bullet Candy

Nice shooter game, stunning graphics – worth trying if you like arcade gameswebsite

I’m not much of a fan for arcade shooters, so I’m not propably the best person to judge this game – but I try to give my opinion. Bullet Candy is visually stunning shooter game, where the main idea is… well, shoot stuff and avoid others from destroying your plane (or whatever it is). The controls are bit different what you might be used to: you move your plane using keyboard and rotate & shoot using mouse. The interesting – and difficult part – was the fact that when you press key UP, your plane moves up (not forward). Pressing LEFT moves your plane left (doesn’t rotate). I’ve used to move the plane differently so the controls were bit hard for me. Technically the game is well done, and worth trying – especially for those who are fans of this game genre.

Developer hints:
- I noticed a small bug: if you press mouse (anywhere on the menu screen) and move your mouse over a menu item, it gets ‘automatically clicked’. Looks like some sort of mouse flush is missing.
- Definitely add nag screens and explain what I get if I buy, and give links to purchase buttons (in-game etc.) Check out Speedy Solitaire for hints & tips on how to make the demo more sellable.
- Installer instead of a zip file

KGA Golf

A golf game that has potential for a really fun gamewebsite

KGA Golf is a golf game where you pick a club, aim towards the hole and swing. The game is easy to get into, and must please for golf fans. The game has potential, but could use bit nicer visuals and some background music or more sounds to make it more interesting. Also possibility to play hot-seated multiplayer match with a friend could make the game more challenging. It has potential, but the current version is missing something for having a more fun gaming experience. Golf fans will propably like it the way it is. The level editor is a fun idea, and must be something that players enjoy.

Developer hints:
- Hot-seat multiplayer option would be fun
- I’d like to see more field – maybe use right mouse button to scroll the field?
- User interface could be changed a bit: instead of a list for clubs, maybe you could show all clubs (with small images) all the time and choose with one click. The current system needs always two click: first click to open the list, second click to choose – it would be faster to offer 1 click option. Also: do you really need all those clubs?
- Graphics & sounds: consider hiring an artist to make some nice graphics – your game deserves that
- I liked the way you use a ‘buy now’ popup screen that’s visible all the time – good!
- Installer… instead of a zip file

Dr. Lunatic Supreme With Cheese

Crazy brain teaser game, plenty of power-ups, brains and stuff to deal withwebsite

Now here’s a lunatic game… collect brains and candles, stay in shadows – and hammer walls. With crazy sounds. This certainly is a crazy puzzle game. The art looks like it’s done by a child, and the voice actor must have missed some pills – but it works. The gameplay is ok, and there’s plenty of different objects and things to do in the demo. People who love solving puzzles will propably like this game.

Developer hints:
- It’s really hard to tell what could be changed: for example, the water killing animation looks like the guys is running extra fast and it looks crazy. But, if one was to change that graphic, then something would be lost. I find it hard to recommend anything regarding the demo. Maybe add few extra buy nag screens after each level (maybe the dog could tell some crazy reasons about why people should purchase the game.

Nearly Departed

Very nice looking zombie adventure game in developmentwebsite

I made an exception and gave this fine adventure game a mini review – even though the game is not finished. The reason I do this was simply because the game idea, art and execution is well done using the LASSIE scripting engine. I managed to solve few rooms (freaking bum won’t give his card to me…) and the game art looks simply beautiful. The system is smooth and dialogue okay. I recommend people who like adventure games out the game and the scripting engine.

Developer hints:
- I know voices would make the file size massive, but I wanted to bring this out: having voices would be superb
- The inventory system is bit slow in my opinion, it takes time for the inventory to pop up. It could be good if it would be possible to pin the inventory always visible.
- Keep up the good work

Balloon Headed Boy

Well executed platform gamewebsite

Boy with a head that gets big enough to get you flying – this game is platformer game like Mario. Nice graphics, peaceful sound and music – certainly something to please players. This kind of games aren’t my favourites, but Balloon Headed Boy seems to perform well.

Developer hints:
- Not much to suggest, game looked fine, demo looked fine. Good luck with it.

The Butler Did it!

A dynamic detective adventure gamewebsite

This game uses randomly generated crime puzzles for you to solve. It uses adventure game style mechanism, but the game experience is maybe bit too hectic. The music on the background is fast and the detective throws some witty comments – which on the other hand might not suit so well in the game. The game itself is okay, but the it lacks the mysterious ‘something’ to make this a really good game. Maybe it’s the music, user interface interruptions (like ‘this door is closed’ note is displayed on full screen, not something that the just detective says), the graphics, or the slightly unreadable font that could make this game better.

Developer hints:
- Hectic music could be replaced with some more relaxin violin music?
- ‘Door closed’ could be said by the detective, instead of showing full screen not
- Font is quite hard to read, makes it difficult to really enjoy the notes
- The humor might not fit so well – but that’s only my personal opinion. (maybe with more cartoonish graphics they could do okay…)
- Overall, again this game has potential, but it needs some final touches to really make it
- Very good name for the game!

6 thoughts on “Mini Reviews #1

  1. [...] Earlier I promised to do some mini game reviews. Here’s some of them: [...]

  2. @Hamumu: Yeh, and it looks crazy :) Not bad, just crazy ;)

  3. Regarding Supreme – it’s supposed to look like he’s running extra fast when falling into water… as in a cartoon!

  4. Argh… that’s illogical! Why can’t I do **** right away when I’m at ***** in the beginning to get that *** from the ***** :)

    Thanks for the tip, and cheers.

    I’m continuing my holiday now ;)

  5. Thanks so much for the mini-review of Nearly Departed. Voices are planned for the final game, and the interface (inventory etc.) will likely be tweaked so there isn’t any slowdown.

    Also, you can fint hints for the demo here (if you really want to get past that bum):

    http://www.johngreenart.com/nearlydeparted/guide/demoguide.htm

    Thanks again,
    John

  6. Thanks a lot for the review, i’ll definitely add the nag screen/buy buttons etc. that you suggested.

    Cheers
    Charlie