Same issue as most - replayability
I don't really see the point in making it unrepeatable, besides some poetic effect of the one-chance thing (which still fails). Might work great on paper, but applied to a game, that's not really all that great an idea. Still, poetic game, and fairly neat idea and implementation.
I did find some inconsistency, though:
Go back home instead of working when the boss offers,
Cheat on your wife the day after. Your wife goes to her mother's.
Defend yourself from stabbity death,
And now your wife and kids are back home, dead. Did Jim drag them from her mom's over here, and went through the trouble of putting Molly to bed? Or is it implying that they returned while you were at work?
In any case, by editing the flash global settings, I got all five (well, 6, technically, though one is identical but includes daughter) endings.
A handy time killer with an ambiguous message worthy of the artistic badge.
Killed the first boss.
Then the game kind of ended. I didn't get to move on to the next wave. On my minimap, there was a zombie dot that moved with me despite there being no zombies.
From what I could see, the game was fairly repetitive, and very unchallenging. Boost the pistol and you can take on most of the waves. Get the Uzi and boost it up and there you go. No reload times to make things more 'oh crap come on reload', zombies just go in a straight line for you, and besides speed and HP, don't change in any way I could see.
All in all, a run of the mill game that's been done dozens of times before with no extras or twists to it.
It needed a big coat of polish.
Design-wise: The story of a shadow has been double a couple times, but it's still a neat liberation idea. However, the problem is not with the main character, but the rest of the game. You have us strive for the light, but the light seems to be an aberration in a world of shadows. Is she baiting us out of the world, or is she supposed to be the norm that we aren't? The entire world is made of black and white, just like us, so it seems like the former. It would have been more poignant, I believe, if the world had been colorful and full of life... but we were, literally, just a shadow on it. With a grappling hook.
Graphics: Bland, I have to admit. Black and white and gray. I know what sort of idea you were going for, but on what little you had to rely on were blobs of vaguely rock-like shapes. Details, pebbles, some lineart and some shading would have helped pull it out of the screen at least a little.
Gameplay: Ouch. This is where it loses a lot of points. This is definitely not Worms 2's arbitrary grappling hook gravity, but it certainly doesn't feel like any sort of real world one either. You really, really should have worked a lot harder on the grappling, considering it was the major gameplay element. It needed to work a lot better than this. One major feature that would have made this a lot more tolerable might have been the ability to rappel a little more as you shorten your grappling hook's line. Running and jumping itself is kind of difficult, since you seem to have so little friction and so little control, making the little jumps on small platforms is very difficult. The swinging is pretty bad, too.
Realism seems arbitrary. By that I mean that if your grapple is on, let's say, the top side of the rock, you can still swing around it as if you were attached to the bottom, instead of having the rope lining the side of the rock. This implies that it's going down the sides of the rock, which begs the question why can't I climb through there? Instead my character feels that it's imperative that he go from the side of the rock only.
Another complaint is that the grappling hook goes to your cursor and no further. So if you took a leap of faith method or are swinging towards another rock to grapple to, and you click a bit to the right or below a protrusion in a stone, but it would still grapple if your mouse was higher, you fall. Some challenge is obviously needed, but I'd prefer if it was in level design. Which brings me to,
Level design: Lacking, considering that grappling is the core gameplay element. I saw a bunch of rocks I could have grappled to or that you intended us to grapple to, but I found much easier to just jump once in the air from a high-enough point and grapple to another rock much higher, thus skipping a lot of the level. Intended? Maybe, but that makes it seem like you could have removed those superfluous rocks instead. Or made them more necessary. Though I suppose I should be thankful, since the gameplay was not very engaging.
As a message: As far as artistry goes, it's... limited. Essentially, you have us play a platformer chasing a light spirit down, and that's the artistry. There's two lines in the game, one that gives us a premise, and one that just might as well be the word "Hope". I didn't feel all that engaged in the message or in this game as an artistic endeavour. It felt like a relatively slipshod platformer only that made me grit my teeth on many occasions.
Music and sound: No sound at all, leaving me with a looping piece of classical music. Not a bad classical music piece, mind you, but it is so overused and thrown around in many games that it felt cliche'd. You know what would have *really* pushed this game up? Match the sounds with the graphics. We're obviously climbing up an impossibly tall tower. Remove the music, and instead put the sound of wind, of crunching rock as we walk, add the occasional gust of wind when we start swinging around... anything but just put a music on it and call it a day.
Still, you put a bit of work into it, so chapeau there.
A decent sequel
It didn't really offer much of anything new, besides the different power-ups and levels. However, on at least two levels (level 9 and 11 at least), you're stuck with pure simple luck to get through the level.
Otherwise, simple sequel, or level pack you could say.
Can't get it to load
It goes to the 'your game will begin shortly' screen, probably trying to load an ad. But then it never times out and goes to the game, instead remaining stuck on that screen. So the game is unplayable.
Some good parts
But a lot of frustrating parts. It's not so much the levels itself that bug me. I can make it pass with some work and patience.
But when you do have to restart from the beginning, the level just seems to go all that much *slower*.
And why can't your laid eggs work at the boss? That really cheesed me off. That whale level got annoying. I could beat it, but at one point, why bother? Should be able to use your lives at the boss.
It's a luck game.
It's a neat concept, really... but there's no pattern. It isn't about skill.
It's about hoping that the random-walking-around AI decides to make the target wander in a clear spot, hoping you can hit it, and then hide till the hole appears.
Why can't I study my target's pattern to learn that he goes to a certain spot, relatively alone, every 30 (game) seconds? Or how about the guard patterns? Why don't they have regular patrols.
You have to be lucky for the AI seed to make them wander in a position that works for you, and hope they stay in that lucky position long enough for the mission to end. An assassin is one who knows where his target will be and how to get there before anyone sees it.
Too much luck, really brings it down. Neat concept, bad execution.
In real life, people don't have moving patterns.
That was superb
Simple game, yet challenging. Especially at the end when resources start getting low.
To beat Goku, this is how I did things:
Ignore Max Ether potions. Focus on just Ether... cheaper, and a single one can get you about 45% of your MP, which is enough for a while.
When your swordie gets low on MP, use the Devil Sword and attack once, switch back to Heaven.
If you have 60% HP plus on both characters, toss in a Judgement, otherwise, Heal (or Heal All).
Use of Protect and Barrier is dang useful to save time so you don't have to heal all the time. Goku'll debuff sometimes with his kamehameha, so you might want to refresh it then.
Seiken is your friend. Switch to Heaven, use Temper, Summon Ranji (defense-), then use Seiken. It'll do 40,000 on the first time, and lower down to 35,000, then 30,000. Refresh when you can.
Keep your HP high. When Goku tosses the spirit bomb in the air, defend your swordie, and make sure he's healed above 50%. Use water of life on your caster, get her back up on her feet. Heal her ASAP, she'll be at 25% HP.
Patience, take your time, and work carefully. Judgement + Seiken will eventually leave him mincemeat.
The game itself has strategy, it's challenging, yet possible on the first try without memorizing everything, and it keeps the blood pumping. Didn't try Hard or Heroic, but maybe later. Fun stuff. Loved the animations, this is a great method of bringing them interactive.
Getting to choose your starting position on the ground would have helped TREMENDOUSLY.
As it is, though, still quite a neat game. The music really makes it kinda relaxing.
Decent puzzle game
It's alright, kinda neat. One thing that made me double think on it, though, is that your height and speed doesn't matter in the slightest, even if you act like a rubber ball. So when I fell from the top of the screen and bounced, I expected to leap fairly high, rather than a tiny, unmodified bounce.
Not quite the point of the game, I'm aware, but it'd add a layer of strategy in some cases.
I hear ya on the real world physics, we didn't try for that for game play and level design reasons. There will be a lot more in the sequel to add another level of strategy, it won't be real world physics but I assure you it'll mix things up and be good fun. Thanks for the review, glad you liked it.
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