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Showing 27 reviews

The Devil
by Todd Cope
all reviews of The Devil

Review by allefant all reviews by allefant

This is a pretty solid clone of Robotron, with a story/setting fulfilling the genre rule. I'm impressed how it's quite polished, with an intro story and ending cinematics.

The artistic TINS requirements are met, graphics are/look hand-drawn (even the displayed source code) and there's voice samples.

I missed a reference to polymorphism in the game or readme. But there's many things fulfilling the rule anyway (like easy/hard mode, polymorphic enemies and weapon, and likely lots of things in the source code).

Gameplay is quite fun - I remember when I used to play Llamatron for hours. There are 10 levels with rising difficulty. The appearance of a new kind of enemy as well as two weapon updates keep it from getting boring. I only made it to level 7 in easy mode myself - but luckily the builtin cheat mode allowed me to see the ending anyway. I'd have hacked the levels.dat text file otherwise :)

Scores: Overall 4 Artistical 4 Technical 4 Genre 4

Review by darkbits all reviews by darkbits

This game could have been really fun if it were more balanced and more polished. The idea of a shooter were you control the movement with the arrow keys and the shooting with the awsd keys is simple and highly addictive, but the game is way to hard and you soon lose interest. Most of the rules seems to be implemented but I didn't find how the browsing of the source code was implemented nor how polymorphism is used, but that might just be me having difficulties getting anywhere is this crazy hard game (and yes, I did play in easy mode). To sum it up, it could have been really fun but didn't quite get there, still I think The Devil is the game I've played the most out of all TINS 10 games.

Scores: Overall 3 Artistical 2 Technical 2 Genre 3

command code
by allefant
all reviews of command code

Review by cltatman all reviews by cltatman

This was one of the games I was looking forward to throughout most of the competition, and allefant didn't disappoint!

I'll begin by saying that the game surprised me by working properly within the resolution constraints of my netbook. Unfortunately it chugged along at around four FPS for some baffling reason, and so I've had to play through it on my desktop machine (where it ran perfectly fine). Aside from the DLL issues mentioned in the A.cc Depot thread (which were fixed by removing my original A5 DLL(s) from the system path), these were the only technical problems.

The vocal sounds in the main menu scared the crap out of me, but the in-game samples were fine - often cute, even! The use of vocals was certainly pervasive, so big points on that one. The line-drawing tech was great, probably my favorite part of the whole thing! The code-showing and polymorphism requirements are obviously well-met, and the latter leads to some really interesting level design considering the time constraints of the competition.

The presentation is clean and simple, well planned and executed for a competition like this. The only problem I had was with the font, which I found difficult to read. The pseudo-hand-drawn levels worked great as a motif, and the character sprites fit the style without seeming out of place.

When it came to playing, I was tempted to mash simple command keys through the first half dozen levels or so. It became apparent that this wouldn't fly for long. The in-game instructions were a nice touch, but I found the font nigh-unreadable. :/ I ended up turning to the readme, which detailed the commands and control structures quite nicely! It really is quite comprehensive, to have been designed and built in such a short time frame. Kudos! :)

Scores: Overall 5 Artistical 4 Technical 4 Genre 3

Review by furinkan all reviews by furinkan

Yea, the genre requirement was an epic fail. And the player has to supply the technical requirements, but this is fun.

The first few levels are simplistic, and require only a few commands. Then you start getting into moving platforms...

I've wasted a couple hours of my life on this, and I suggest you do too.

Scores: Overall 4 Artistical 4 Technical 3 Genre 2

Secret of Fantasy 2
by darkbits
all reviews of Secret of Fantasy 2

Review by cltatman all reviews by cltatman

If there was a contest for 'super-short demo for most-anticipated game' this would have it, hands down. :) Trying to make any sort of operational console-style RPG in 72 hours seems like you're asking for trouble, but you guys have done magic before. Anywho, as much as it pains me I'm going to try to review this for what it is rather than reviewing it for what it could be.

As for the requirements: the voice and deity requirements went unimplemented (as mentioned in the readme). Robo's Hack ability was a pretty spectacular fulfilment of source-viewing, but the polymorphism requirement wasn't as impressively filled out. What little art there was had a nice hand-drawn appearance, especially the backgrounds and larger enemies (SPACE WHALEs(!!!) and ?). I did notice that the smaller characters don't seem to match the style of the backgrounds too well, I assume this is because it's so difficult to make a sprite look hand-drawn at such a low resolution.

I wish I could spend another paragraph talking about the gameplay, but there wasn't much. :( Everything worked as you'd expect it to in a SNES classic, but there isn't much aside from that. I'd really like to see this worked through to the end!

Scores: Overall 2 Artistical 2 Technical 2 Genre 1

Review by IanSutton all reviews by IanSutton

First of all I would like to say that the rules that I gave a low score to are not necessarily bad, I could only review based on what I could actually see, and sadly I couldn't get the game to run. I tried pretty hard to get it to compile, but even after hacking away at some errors in the source I couldn't for the life of me get it to go. So I apologize for the lack of a proper review.

From looking through the image folders the graphics look really nice and for the most part fit the bill of being hand drawn. I'm just amazed they all fitted into such a small zip file considering they're all .bmps. From the art style it looks like you play an angel, so I'd say it fits the genre requirement, I couldn't tell you how this plays out in game, but its still in there.

Again, simply from looking through the data files I could find no voice work. This doesn't mean there was none in the game, there may be if it synthesized somehow at run time, but I could not see it.

I also can't comment on the technical rules. I'm pretty sure there is some polymorphism going on in there, looking through the code, it seems heavily class based, so its somewhat inevitable. What I can't say however is how this plays out in game, which is kind of the key bit.

Again, I apologize for not being able to review this game properly. From the graphics and music it is clear that a lot of effort went in to this, but I really did try to get it working, to no avail.

Scores: Overall None Artistical None Technical None Genre None

Review by victorwss all reviews by victorwss

Unfortunatey, very short. Could be a nice game if you could finish it. Nice graphics.

Scores: Overall 1 Artistical 3 Technical 2 Genre 1

Mountain Valley
by cltatman
all reviews of Mountain Valley

Review by amarillion all reviews by amarillion

Nice graphics, but it's frustratingly hard to control!

Scores: Overall 2 Artistical 4 Technical 2 Genre 3

Review by victorwss all reviews by victorwss

Really beautiful art. Well done.

The controls are a bit too hard, but I managed to finish the game both in the valley and in the mountain.

Some messages are hard to read, specially these ones that are completely visible only when you are flying.

I liked it, but was too short.

Scores: Overall 3 Artistical 3 Technical 2 Genre 1

Dungeon of Mythological Mismatch
by Ian Sutton
all reviews of Dungeon of Mythological Mismatch

Review by entheh all reviews by entheh

'Dungeon of Mythological Mismatch' pits you as either Jesus or the devil judging by the graphics, or 'a good guy' or 'a bad guy' according to the readme. Your job seems to be to reach the exit, interacting along the way if you wish with what are apparently citizens but look somewhat undead, and avoiding a number of monsters that, while harmful to a god like you, the mere mortal citizens don't seem to need saving from. I can see some of the eponymous mismatch in the artwork, between the felt-tip wall shading, Jesus's pixel-art eyes, and the finely shaded and perfected undead.

Despite a lack of coherence, the game is rather enjoyable. There is a good success-failure ratio, and the temptation to try just once more is always there. The basic elements that make a game fun are in place.

I have a suggestion for improving the enemy AI. It seems to run in ticks, without showing me any indication of when those ticks will happen. If I want to lure an enemy round a corner, it's anyone's guess whether I will miss its ticks and remain undetected, or catch too many ticks and get eaten. I would prefer for each enemy to be constantly on the lookout if it is not already moving.

There also seems to be an initial delay on each level before anything can move. I can't tell when that delay will end, and can get caught out over and over again if I start near an enemy. I would prefer to start a slightly safer distance from any enemies, and be able to initiate the level myself during the delay should I want to.

Otherwise, fix the crash bug when I press 'up' when already at the top, and throw away those unsolvable mazes that occasionally come out, and you've got yourself what isn't too bad a game!

Scores: Overall 2 Artistical 2 Technical 2 Genre 2

Review by victorwss all reviews by victorwss

The AI is good and smart, really.

Loved the graphics.

Simple, but addictiving game. It is actually fun when you don't get some impossible level (unfortunately some levels created are impossible to reach the end).

With a one more day of work, this can be a nice game.

Scores: Overall 3 Artistical 3 Technical 2 Genre 4

Super Battle Thor II
by Team Battle Thor
all reviews of Super Battle Thor II

Review by entheh all reviews by entheh

Sadly this game was not to be, and was submitted as only a slide show. However, FalseMasterJ's decision to cut his losses and put this together is a commendable one, and the presentation is rather well done.

The crayon art is attractive. The story is well told. The vocal samples are well made and add an entertaining touch of humour. The informal (and grammatically disastrous) conversation before and after the slide show adds an endearing personal touch.

There is some area for improvement in the music. Most of it uses the same set of samples ad infinitum, in particular a low drum that would become a little annoying after a while if this were a full game. I think it would benefit from a little more variation. That said, perhaps the complete change in style for the end boss music is a little too jarring.

Luckily, because it is so short, it doesn't matter too much, and the entry holds its own all the same. Well done!

Scores: Overall 2 Artistical 4 Technical 2 Genre 3

Review by amarillion all reviews by amarillion

TINS is all about fun, and everybody should enjoy participating even if the result is not that good. In this case, the entry is clearly unfinished. What we see instead, is a slideshow of artwork and music.

The artwork is actually rather nice. We clearly see a Viking, walking through an ancient world, and battling a troll, a sea creature, and ultimately a dragon. All of this is accompanied with dramatic music that matches the events.

Hopefully a more complete entry next time!

Scores: Overall 1 Artistical 2 Technical 1 Genre 1

Elemental Sun
by entheh
all reviews of Elemental Sun

Review by allefant all reviews by allefant

I think each rule is implemented perfectly. Source code and polymorphism are the main game mechanic. By reading the source code of the elements you know what they do (well, for the simpler ones... for the later ones you'll just place them and watch). And the way you change how an element behaves when triggered the same way is like the core definition of a polymorphic object, all as gameplay of the game.

Graphics are hand drawn and look great.

The game also was fun to play. The difficulty of levels gradually rises up to the last. There you have to first realize that two functions need to go to a certain element to maximize score and then it's only a few tries to order the other elements right.

But the best part of this game has to be the music. It alone would be enough to fulfill the voice rule. And to me it also completely captures that whole sun-god setting somehow.

Scores: Overall 5 Artistical 5 Technical 5 Genre 5

Review by amarillion all reviews by amarillion

I believe the hand-drawn rule has actually caused the art quality to be above average this year. Elemental Sun's colorful graphics are a good example of that principle.

Of the five rules, the "view source" rule defines the gameplay of this entry the most. The goal of the game is to attach snippets of code to elements. The code describes a complex sequence of steps, or a nuclear reaction, whereby the element will transform into other elements. Different elements generate different amounts of heat. The goal is to assign functions to elements so that they transform just right and generate enough heat to reach a predefined amount.

It's a very original puzzle concept, and well executed. It's a lot of fun to figure out what the different functions do. The game is well balanced, and the heat target is set that you can't just get by with a sub-optimal solution.

The overall polish is excellent. The GUI is smooth and responsive. Every action has subtle feedback so that you always know what you're doing. Entheh's soothing voice make up part of the music score, which actually works quite well to build suspense.

It's hard to find any negatives, but still I managed to find a few. The puzzles are complex, but the problem space is limited, which means that it's often possible to stumble upon the right combination without really understanding it. Another small negative is that IMHO the genre requirement is not worked out to it's full potential. But overall, this is an excellent entry.

Scores: Overall 5 Artistical 4 Technical 5 Genre 3

Review by Timorg all reviews by Timorg

This game artistically checks all the boxes for hand drawn and human voice samples. All the art is beautifully hand drawn and cleanly placed into the game. Some, (if not all,) sound effects are vocally produced. If I am not mistaken, the music even uses vocal samples in it.

The source code of the behaviours that can be applied to the different game tokens, are displayed when you hover over them. This allows you to understand what each behaviour does. In the code a behaviour object acts as a base, with a function that can be changed to modify the behaviours actions.

The genre of "Deities & Demigods" is included solidly into this game; the player takes on the role of a sun god, who is required to keep the sun running. The gameplay revolves around being a god and really adds to the experience. The same game with a different theme would not be as interesting.

I really enjoyed the game, by level 8 I really had to think about the order of events, make a change, then watch the events unfold, then make another change. The game was not reduced to randomly putting different behaviours on objects, and hoping for the best, which is a risk with this style of gameplay.

This is really a very polished game and a good overall experience.

Scores: Overall 4 Artistical 5 Technical 4 Genre 4

Review by victorwss all reviews by victorwss

Very beautiful art. Chalenging. Unfortunatey, it tends to go very unpredicatable quickly, and is not hard to just try all the possible combinations.

Scores: Overall 3 Artistical 3 Technical 4 Genre 2

Review by darkbits all reviews by darkbits

The elemental sun is a nice puzzle game with great hand drawn graphics and a very polished and complete look and feel. The way source code is integrated to the game is great and sounds are by no mistake some kind of human samples.

The only thing that bothers my about the game is that it could have been a little bit easier. As another reviewer already pointed out, when you get stuck you often find yourself trying all sorts of different combinations instead of actually thinking about what you should do. Perhaps it was just me that was a bit tired of programming and thinking about programming after the competition.

Still it's a great game with an original idea that is a must play of the TINS 10 entries.

Scores: Overall 4 Artistical 4 Technical 4 Genre 4

mexica
by max + amarillion
all reviews of mexica

Review by Timorg all reviews by Timorg

All the art in the game is hand drawn, although the mixture of styles really takes away from the polish of the game. The hand drawn font is a nice touch. The sound is quite sparse, but all the sounds are voice recordings.

The game displays the source code used to produce it from the main menu, allowing you to browse it; it is not integrated into the game, and does not add anything into the game experience. Polymorphism is used for replay recording and playback, but is also used through the code via inheritance.

The genre has been applied to the game by making the player character (Quetzalraulcoatl) and the NPC (Tezcatlifolepoca) gods. You are required to collect hearts from human sacrifices and place them in the sacrificial pot. The theme does not add anything to the game, but it does explain why the main character can fly and why he is picking items up and putting them in a location.

Overall this game is ok considering the time limitations; it reminds me of early console games, simple but solid gameplay, and artwork that fills the criteria. I did have a horrible time trying to compile the code, the provided makefile is not complete (under windows at least) as it required me to edit the makefile to specify the libraries to link with and the link order, (it was the link order that caused me the most suffering.) The code does not compile at all cleanly, but it does compile with no changes to the actual source.

Scores: Overall 3 Artistical 3 Technical 2 Genre 4

Review by victorwss all reviews by victorwss

Nice and simple game. Very challenging and interesting. My best score was 58500 in level 9.

Scores: Overall 4 Artistical 3 Technical 2 Genre 4

Chuzzle/Bejeweled Clone
by Timorg
all reviews of Chuzzle/Bejeweled Clone

Review by newcreature all reviews by newcreature

This clone of Bejeweled and Chuzzle is a solid implementation of the gameplay of both those games. When loading the game you are presented with a choice of which game to play. The game is incomplete but the concept is really good. You need to collect the right balance of the elements to ensure the survival of the village you are overlooking.

The graphics are pretty basic but they do have a sort of hand-drawn look which satisfies one of the artistic rules.

The source code is nice and clean and compiled without a hitch for me using the supplied instructions.

Scores: Overall 2 Artistical 2 Technical 2 Genre 4

Review by victorwss all reviews by victorwss

Interesting and simple game. Unfortunately it is too incomplete to be fun or to have something useful to do in the game.

Scores: Overall 2 Artistical 2 Technical 2 Genre 1

Hotel Hell (FINAL)
by Daniel_Christian
all reviews of Hotel Hell (FINAL)

Review by newcreature all reviews by newcreature

First off, I really enjoyed playing this game. I especially liked the graphics and the overall gameplay. This brought me back to the days of playing Dragon Wars and Fester's Quest.

As you play through the game you get to know your way around the hotel fairly quickly. This is thanks to good level and art design.

Lack of sound didn't really take away from the game for me but it did hurt the artistic score a bit. Everything else was done really well.

Overall the game is a memorable experience and I won't soon forget the time I spent navigating the halls of Hotel Hell.

Scores: Overall 5 Artistical 4 Technical 4 Genre 3

Review by allefant all reviews by allefant

I enjoyed playing Hotel Hell. I used a text editor to plot out the map because I was hopeless at memorizing it :P Once I had almost the full map with locations of disks and hearts I could win. Since there is no music I listened to "Hotel California" which seemed fitting :)

Now about the TINS rules. For artistic, there is no sound and also no bonus rule which would allow not implementing one other rule, so I deducted a point. The hand-drawn rule on the other hand is done perfectly - I think the look is great. So if the 5 points are 3 for looks and 1 each for the requirements, I give 4.

For technical, the engine appears solid, source code on the various disks is shown. And I don't doubt there is polymorphism, but there's nothing really polymorphic in the game. I give 4.

Genre. Well. It basically uses the same genre interpretation I used and the rule specifically allows it. I award 4 points again.

Overall I think it turned out great for a TINS entry. I'll vote as 4 points by now but maybe increase to 5 once I've played the other games and have some comparison.

Scores: Overall 5 Artistical 4 Technical 4 Genre 4

Review by victorwss all reviews by victorwss

Nice drawings, really.

The game could be better if the maps where randomly generated.

Scores: Overall 3 Artistical 3 Technical 2 Genre 1

Review by furinkan all reviews by furinkan

I was hoping to play this since the first screen-shot was posted. I was not disappointed.

Excellent hand drawn effects using vector routines! It even uses fake 3d, like one would expect.

It falls a little short in the genre requirements, and the gameplay is simplistic. Nonetheless, It comes highly recommended.

Scores: Overall 5 Artistical 5 Technical 4 Genre 3

The source god
by Victor and André
all reviews of The source god

Review by amarillion all reviews by amarillion

In this game, the "hand of god" controls programmers who have to battle to protect the integrity of the code against bugs. The code to protect is actually the code of the game itself, which makes for a really neat implementation of the "view source" rule. I feel "battle against bugs" is an accurate metaphor for what programming is like, although I don't really feel like I'm being controlled by a deity when I'm on a bug-zapping spree. We can see that the "deity" rule was second in line for this game.

The hand-drawn graphics are good but not as great as some of the other entries we've seen this year, and certainly not as extensive. The blue and red lines give it a "notebook" effect, but this is in sharp contrasts to the default, monospace font that is used everywhere. All sprites are animated, which gives a nice effect.

Gameplay wise, I had a couple of problems. It's hard to see where you have to click exactly to control your guys, so sometimes you end up clicking furiously next to one of your programmers while they are eaten by a bug. The clicking problem also makes it hard to switch in a hurry. And if you don't move the programmers from the starting spot, they end up stuck in the bushes in a later level.

For future improvements, I would recommend against the use of numpad buttons, because that requires laptop users to find and plug in an external keyboard. The fixed resolution is also not ideal for laptops.

In conclusion, this is a solid entry, that scores very high in the technical category. Because of lack of balance and some other gameplay issues the overall score is not as high though.

Scores: Overall 3 Artistical 3 Technical 5 Genre 3