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Showing 37 reviews

Drakenkaput
by SiegeLord
all reviews of Drakenkaput

Review by darkbits all reviews by darkbits

Drakenkaput very simple, but functional game. It's not bad considering the author only spent 24 hours on it. However, it does not exactly leave a lasting impression.

The game could probably have benefited from some more polished gameplay, for example faster and more fluid controls, better AI, bullets you could actually dodge, etc.

The pixelgraphics are very nice, with animations and everything! :)

Scores: Overall 3 Artistical 4 Technical 2 Genre 3

Review by allefant all reviews by allefant

I was thrown out of the game many times with this:

core.exception.AssertError@game\CollisionManager.d(160): Objects embedded in level geometry or each other
Disposable classes instance counts:
No leaked instances!

But thanks to the passwords at least once a level was finished I could continue with the next.

The gameplay is quite simple, move with cursor keys and then while human swing your sword with the left control key and while dragon press control key to spew fire.

I didn't quite understand the additional game mechanisms and the README has no information either. There is some kind of combo system - supposedly something with prime numbers.

While a dragon you're invincible (and have full health again afterwards). And enemies you hit start burning (but it seems to not always hurt them)? Also sometimes the dragon bar would fill up again while I still was a dragon - very useful but very random.

So my technique to beat the three levels was to basically charge right in, then either become a dragon or die. In the former case charge into the next group as quickly as possible and repeat.

Now for my scores. This is the first game I'm scoring so I may adjust them later (and if I can't edit the review below won't be my final scores).

Genre I give 5/5. The setting is as anachronistic as it gets. (Unless maybe one of the other entries has some great idea how to use "anachronism" as a genre - myself I don't see any better ideas.)

Technical I give 3/5. One point for the password reloading. One point for the parallax scrolling. One point for using prime numbers (I did some research for my own entry how to use prime numbers in a clever way - but I think all you can do with them is basically just include them, for whatever). But other than that, while I find it very cool to use D, there's the crash and I found the controls and collision detection to not be implemented very well.

Artistical I give 3/5. There's dragons. The pixel art is above programmer's art level and the grates to view the parallax sky below are a nice touch.

Overall 4/5. It's a complete playable game. There's even music. Hard to believe you only used one third of the available time... had you used the full time and made a game 3 times as good it surely would be 5/5 :)

Scores: Overall 4 Artistical 3 Technical 3 Genre 5

Primal Scream
by darkbits
all reviews of Primal Scream

Review by allefant all reviews by allefant

Just. Wow.

I loved playing through this. It's very polished.

There's sound effects and music. And the music changes with the area you are in which makes it very atmospheric - like that moment when you first leave the caves.

Anyway. Now for the review. I like the story. With a nice intro and very fittingly implementing the TINS genre rule. (And while at TINS rules, it happens to also have the best use of prime numbers :) I discovered myself while trying to implement the prime number rule that the property to not be divisible by other prime numbers cannot be used in any clever way.)

The controls are very smooth (and many thanks for allowing control/alt keys since x/y would have been impossible on my german keyboard layout).

The game is drawn in really sweet pixel art, I was reminded of Cave Story a lot.

There's awesome level design, I really like how you keep revisiting places where you couldn't advance before due to missing abilities. And the abilities are implemented really well, I especially liked the gravity idea. Also the save spots are distributed in a perfectly balanced way - not so sparse as to anger the player, but also far enough apart to have you repeat a few jumps a few times.

So yes. All the rules implemented and a fun and polished game, only possible score is all 5/5.

Scores: Overall 5 Artistical 5 Technical 5 Genre 5

Review by miquelfire all reviews by miquelfire

Makes nice use of the genre requirement by having a future robot travel through time.

It's hard to tell in game how prime numbers are used however. That's the only part where not seeing the source it's hard to tell how well this rule is used.

Scores: Overall 5 Artistical 5 Technical 4 Genre 5

Review by entheh all reviews by entheh

Overall: as always, a complete, fun game that's well worth playing all the way through.

Genre: I like how the story actively places something outside its natural time. The story has a very contrived ending, but I don't see this as a bad thing at all.

Artistic: there were dragons, and it all looked pretty and went together well.

Technical: progress saving is there, parallax is solid, and prime numbers were a complete cop-out. But I have to point out that in terms of technical stuff, your games all look the same! You're great at putting them together and polishing them (apart from the opening cutscene not being skippable), but I would like to see something new.

That shouldn't detract from the fact that it is, as always, a very good game.

Scores: Overall 5 Artistical 4 Technical 3 Genre 4

Review by amarillion all reviews by amarillion

Excellent game, I especially love the gravity gun. There is a lot of contents for such a short competition. The difficulty is a bit uneven, with nothing happening in some parts, interspersed with extremely difficult jumps. But the game is definitely beatable with perseverence.

Implementation of the "prime numbers" technical rule is a bit weak. The anachronism rule is implemented as a background story, but not the strong suit of this game.

Scores: Overall 5 Artistical 5 Technical 3 Genre 3

Review by kenmasters1976 all reviews by kenmasters1976

A nice Metroidvania game with excellent level design as usual from Team Darkbits. The Metroid influence is clear.

Scores: Overall 5 Artistical 5 Technical 5 Genre 5

Quest of the Prime Dragons
by Allefant
all reviews of Quest of the Prime Dragons

Review by miquelfire all reviews by miquelfire

This was a game that suffered to not being able to have enough time. The game is really hard to control as is for some reason. The art style does not show off anachronism too well. Nice way to make the art however.

The rest of rules are done well enough.

Scores: Overall 3 Artistical 5 Technical 5 Genre 2

Review by entheh all reviews by entheh

Overall: there's certainly an attempt at a substantial game. There are many characters, all with their own abilities, documented in the readme. With some more balancing, I think the game could work out. I'd like to be able to find strategies to trick the enemies so I can kill them without getting hurt too much, and I think the seeds are there. Unfortunately it just outnumbers me and kills me too quickly as it stands, so I end up not enjoying it. I have to give it a mediocre mark, since in the real world, games are often made to deadlines and this kind of balancing has to happen within the deadline - but you're definitely not far off.

Genre: there are things from different eras, but I'd like to see a backstory to explain why. (Not that my own entry had one of those though!)

Artistic: there are dragons. Again I'd like to see something creative. General art style doesn't quite feel coherent, but it is clever how it's been put together.

Technical: all the rules are fulfilled. The prime numbers aren't used very cleverly. Some marks are deserved for writing a raytracer though!

Scores: Overall 3 Artistical 3 Technical 4 Genre 3

Review by kenmasters1976 all reviews by kenmasters1976

A really elaborate RTS approach that is impressive for a weekend competition. Unfortunately gameplay may need some extra work but it's a solid entry in the technical aspect.

Scores: Overall 4 Artistical 5 Technical 5 Genre 5

Space Dragon Escape
by MiquelFire
all reviews of Space Dragon Escape

Review by entheh all reviews by entheh

Overall: a fun little game, with controls that work (apart from PC keyboards tending not to like detecting Left+Up+Space, but at least I can use Enter), and not too hard. There's no real challenge once you realise there probably isn't enough enemy fire to kill you, but that's OK. The only real problem is it gets boring when every level is exactly the same.

Genre: space dragons and space knights aren't really from different times, now, are they?

Artistic: you control a dragon. A space dragon, no less! I wasn't entirely convinced by the graphics that it wasn't a shark though. Generally the graphics are very simple, but they work.

Technical: saving the current level number is the simplest possible solution, but at least it's there. Parallax is there; prime numbers are in but not in any way that makes sense (not that this was easy). It's nice that there's a level transition implemented. There's nothing that leaps out as technical wizardry, but everything in there seems to be solidly put together.

Scores: Overall 4 Artistical 3 Technical 3 Genre 2

Review by kdevil all reviews by kdevil

I don't know if I can write a fair review for this game. Half the time it crashed on when loading the level. The times it loaded the level without crashing, it took roughly a half-second to respond to input, making survival near-impossible.

From what I was able to play...
Genre: It certainly had the anachronistic dragon thing going, by pitting a space dragon against a horde of space knights.
Artistic: Well, the dragon and knights were recognizable enough. And the game had sound effects, which is more than I can say for mine.
Technical: I have to give a bad score here, since the game was almost unplayable for me.

Scores: Overall 2 Artistical 3 Technical 1 Genre 4

Period Dragon
by Ben 'Bruce "entheh" Perry' Davis
all reviews of Period Dragon

Review by kdevil all reviews by kdevil

This game messed with my head, in a good way.

Genre: A dragon in a circuit world definitely fulfils that requirement.
Artistic: There's not much art to speak of. You have your circuits, your dragon, and your diamonds.
Technical: So much parallax!

Scores: Overall 3 Artistical 3 Technical 5 Genre 4

Review by Slartibartfast all reviews by Slartibartfast

For those that haven't played it, Period Dragon is a fun and original puzzle game where you play a dragon that flies around warped plains of reality, trying to find a place where all plains align correctly to fulfill your goals of collecting crystals and powering up generators.

In the spirit of the TINS competition I'll split this review into the TINS categories

Overall\Gameplay:
The gameplay idea is original and interesting, and it can be a fun challenge to solve the puzzles and get everything working, but it can also get a bit tedious as you just fly up/down waiting for things to line up correctly horizontally, and then fly left/right waiting for things to line up correctly vertically.

Artistical:
There are dragons (actually, just one, you), but their appearance in the game is irrelevant, it may as well have been swans (swan), the swan however looks nice and is nicely animated. The rest of the graphics are a static image of a diamond and square primitives.
Personally I like the art style as I appreciate the "primitive" aesthetic, and the graphics serve the gameplay well in correctly and clearly representing the gameplay pieces.
Since there's no "sound" category I'll just mention here that there are no sounds at all.

Technical:
The game behaves well, the controls are responsive and all technical requirements are satisfied fully and well, not much to say beyond that.

Genre:
Not much to say either, the game could be said to adhere to the requirements, but it only abstractly implements the requirement by calling one element a generator and another a dragon (and even then it is hard to say that dragons have any specific time period associated with them to be contrasted with generators) and overall the game is unaffected by the genre requirement.

Overall I found the game to be a fun way to waste a few minutes, but didn't finish it because I felt it got a bit tedious at some point.

Scores: Overall 4 Artistical 3 Technical 4 Genre 2

Old West Railroad Dragon Bartender!
by kdevil
all reviews of Old West Railroad Dragon Bartender!

Review by Slartibartfast all reviews by Slartibartfast

Old West Railroad Dragon Bartender is exactly that, a game where you play a bartending dragon serving drinks and fireballs to customers (and bandits) in a saloon on a moving train. As expected of games of the type, there are a few rows where customers spawn and you have to walk to the correct row and send them the appropriate thing, at which point they disappear and you get points (or lose your multiplier if you messed up)

In the spirit of the TINS competition I'll split this review into the TINS categories

Overall\Gameplay:
The gameplay is exactly what you expect from this game type that has been coded over the weekend. I don't really like these kind of games, but either way this game is not very challenging as you pretty much teleport from one row to the next so it is very hard to miss a customer, and since you are only slightly chastised for making mistakes it is quite hard to lose a life.

Artistical:
There's MS Paint programmer art. I find it to be a bit charming but in the end it is MSPaint programmer art.

Technical:
The controls are responsive and the game mostly behaves well. When I tried to load a saved game I just got an error.

Genre:
I find the idea of a dragon serving drinks on a railroad saloon to be amusing, and there's at least a connection between the genre and the game itself. It might be argued that the connection is there but minimal, and that it is questionable whether Dragons and Old West are actually anachronistic since dragons don't really have a time period.

Overall the game is an amusing implementation of an old game type that I just don't enjoy.

Scores: Overall 3 Artistical 3 Technical 2 Genre 3

Review by Timorg all reviews by Timorg

I liked this entry and it felt very much like a complete game. The fireball and the glass moving at different rates added a nice touch, but the lack of penalty for serving the giving the bandits drinks or char grilling a customer is not clearly defined. Other than losing your multiplier, it would be better if there was some sort of larger penalty, 3 wrong in a row you lose a life would add complexity to the game, without overwhelming the player.

Genre:
The creative anachronism is quite creative, it was not the "I have a dragon and its set in a time when dragons are extinct" defence.

Artistic:
The game does include a dragon as the main protagonist of the game.

Technical:
Prime numbers control how the customers/bandits spawn.

Unfortunately the save game function was incomplete, but the load game functionality does not appear to be implemented.

The game features parallax scrolling, the cactus really give the train a feeling of motion without being overstated.

Overall:
The game is playable, and other than the save function, complete. The art is rudimentary but serves the purpose. I am quite a fan of this game.

Scores: Overall 4 Artistical 4 Technical 3 Genre 4

Space Fortress
by Slartibartfast
all reviews of Space Fortress

Review by Timorg all reviews by Timorg

For an incomplete entry, it was actually ok to play. The harpoons are tricky to shoot where you want them to go, but it adds an interesting play mechanic, and ducking and diving between the incoming fire is quite satisfying.

Genre:
The game combines spaceships that fire harpoons rather than bullets

Artistic:
Unfortunately a dragon did not make it into the unfinished project

Technical:
How the spaceships are configured is generated from prime numbers.

While there is the ability to restart from the level you are up to, any level can be accessed at any time, so its not so much a save feature, but it does work.

The game features parallax scrolling stars, fulfilling this technical requirement.

Overall:
Unfortunately the game is incomplete. The future direction for the game sounds good, but at this stage falls quite short of the goals.

Scores: Overall 2 Artistical 1 Technical 4 Genre 2

Review by amarillion all reviews by amarillion

It's quite fun to with the screen fill up with stars and harpoons. The game would get more replay value if it had a scoring system, and remembered your hiscore.

As for the rules, I think the genre rule and the parallax technical rule are implemented most extensively. The dragons are there only in name, and the save progress rule is implemented in a very simple way.

Scores: Overall 3 Artistical 2 Technical 2 Genre 3

Dragon Joust
by Timorg
all reviews of Dragon Joust

Review by amarillion all reviews by amarillion

This game stands out for the original concept. After you get the hang of it, it's very playable and quite fun to kick robots around.

This game has a fair amount of replay value in trying to beat your high score. It does get frustrating after a while, because it's just too easy to accidentally let one of the robots slip past and get the best out of you, and you have to start over from scratch each time this happens.

The implementation of the parallax rule is original, although I think it's one of those things that sound cooler on paper than they are in practice. The save progress rule is implemented very neatly.

Scores: Overall 4 Artistical 3 Technical 3 Genre 4

Review by Gassa all reviews by Gassa

[These are short notes, not a full review]
The game reminded me of good old Jump 'n' Bump.

[+]
It is an actually playable puzzle! Everything is in place but very minimalistic. Characters jump on the heads of each other. The player has to shutdown and then kick the opponents.

[-]
Rules of TINS 2012 are hardly touched. An option to save and load progress would be nice. Collision detection is faulty. It is not very convenient to kick a robot in the desired direction. The sprite editor is a mystery.

Scores: Overall 4 Artistical 3 Technical 3 Genre 3

Review by kenmasters1976 all reviews by kenmasters1976

This was an unexpected surprise this TINS. Despite the simple graphics the gameplay is addictive and entertaining. I guess this is my favorite entry for TINS 2012.

Scores: Overall 5 Artistical 5 Technical 5 Genre 5

DrachenVeer
by inde
all reviews of DrachenVeer

Review by Mankarse all reviews by Mankarse

Artistic
The hand-drawn graphics were well made and animated beautifully. It's unfortunate not all of the graphics were implemented. All of the elements fit with each other artistically, being greyscale pencil drawings.
There was no sound.
The dragon requirement was clearly in the game (player character).

Technical
Parallax scrolling was implemented, but wasn't quite set up properly (different layers at different depths moved at the same rate, and layers between them moved at a different rate). The bonus rule was invoked to swap the progress saving rule for a rule requiring hand-drawn graphics. The prime number rule was implemented by making all the attacks do prime number quantities of damage. We did not notice this until we read the readme, but it seems like it was a fairly popular way to implement this rule.

Genre
There was clear anachronism here, although it was really just an artistic feature (cavemen in the foreground, and a high rise building in the background).

Overall:
The game was not particularly fun, because the hit detection was so poorly implemented that your attacks would fail have any effect most of the time. The animations and graphics were well implemented, and were the main redeeming features of this game. The number of libraries required to get the game running was enormous.

Scores: Overall 3 Artistical 4 Technical 3 Genre 4

Review by amarillion all reviews by amarillion

Invoked the act of guttenberg, and replaced the "save progress" rule with the "Hand drawn" rule from TINS 2010. I think that was a good idea, as the hand drawn graphics really stand out. They are quite well drawn and give the game a unique appearance.

The gameplay feels a bit slow. The attacks of the dragon are often blocked by the caveman, but you can't really see cleary what is going on. I think some form of visual or audible feedback on whether an attack was successful or blocked would make the game feel more smooth.

Scores: Overall 3 Artistical 5 Technical 4 Genre 4

Review by Gassa all reviews by Gassa

[These are short notes, not a full review]
Excellent art but poor gameplay.

[+]
The hand-drawn images are very good. The animation is also nice. Anachronism is in place.

[-]
It is hard to make an actual attack or to take actual damage. No real progress seems to happen.

Scores: Overall 2 Artistical 5 Technical 3 Genre 2

Wael the Wheel Whale
by SwitchPulse
all reviews of Wael the Wheel Whale

Review by darkbits all reviews by darkbits

This game crashed at startup for me, on both computers I tried it on. A bummer, since it looks really nice from screenshots. I'm sad to say I'm forced to give it a below average review :(

Scores: Overall 1 Artistical 3 Technical 1 Genre 2

Review by Mankarse all reviews by Mankarse

When we saw the design document for Wael the Wheel Whale, we were instantly convinced this game would be the winner. Nobody could possibly stand up to a concept like this. This story would surely provide much needed insight into the secretly vengeful nature of whales.

Artistic
Wael's graphic and animations were very well implemented. The walk (or wheel) cycle matched up to the ground perfectly, and was very amusing to watch as well. The overall look of the game was simple but worked well together.
There was meant to be music, but unfortunately the .OGGs were corrupted and didn't load (not sure why).
There were some dragons here, so that covered the requirement.

Technical
There was parallax scrolling.
There may have been saving, but it wasn't persistent -- upon death you would go backwards to a point you had progressed to, rather than repeat the level from the start. There was no real way to control where or how far you would go back to though, and no way to load progress.
We could not see any implementation of the prime number rule.
There were several small bugs in the implementation, the most annoying of which being a flawed collision algorithm that would result in an out of bounds exception causing the game to terminate when a particular enemy was killed.

Genre
It looked like the anachronism requirement was halfway implemented, judging from the tanks littered around the level. Perhaps Wael's incredibly futuristic technological augment (the wheel) was meant to provide the genre requirement when combined with the tanks and dragons?

Overall
It's hard to fault a game that contains a wheel whale, but still there are issues with game length, and the generic nature of the gameplay. There was no real way to progress, other than killing everything in your path.
The game was not particularly fun, but it was still playable.

P.S. Please complete this game, we would like to see the president.

Scores: Overall 3 Artistical 4 Technical 2 Genre 2

Review by amarillion all reviews by amarillion

Wael is a whale with a wheel attached to it. Using this wheel it rides about and shoots some dragons.

You appear to have unlimited lives, which is a good thing, because you die very easily. At a certain point you encounter a wall of dragons, and the only way to get past is to jump in shooting wildly, die a couple of times, and hope for the best.

It also appears that if you die, you respawn immediately a few blocks back. This is OK, but you often respawn at a spot above one of those red blocks so you die immediately again. Sometimes you die several times in a row this way.

Rule implementation: The anachronism is there, the dragons and the parallax scrolling are there too. It's not very clear if and how the prime numbers rule or the save progress rules are implemeted.

It's a good effort, but the gameplay is too limited to be a real contender. What I like the most about this game are the cute low-res graphics and the color palette. Wael is animated, which adds a nice effect.

Scores: Overall 2 Artistical 4 Technical 2 Genre 3

Review by Gassa all reviews by Gassa

[These are short notes, not a full review]
Original but not complete.

[+]
The wheel whale is crazy enough to be fun. Anachronism, dragons and parallax scrolling are present.

[-]
Does not seem to have a clear goal. The controls and detection of moving onto lava are not very friendly.

Scores: Overall 2 Artistical 3 Technical 3 Genre 3

Chocozumas Revenge
by Mankarse
all reviews of Chocozumas Revenge

Review by darkbits all reviews by darkbits

This game crashed at startup for me, on both computers I tried it on. I'm sad to say I'm forced to give it a below average review :(

Scores: Overall 1 Artistical 2 Technical 1 Genre 2

Review by amarillion all reviews by amarillion

I had some trouble playing the entry (see below), but with some help from the author I managed in the end.

Although this game is incomplete, I was impressed with the smoothly animated dragon graphics, and the cute running populace. So it's worth some points in the artistical category. This has the beginnings of a nice game, but unfortunately incomplete.

About the trouble I had running this entry: The provided binary crashed for me on windows. So I tried to compile this myself on linux. There was no makefile, so I created one (now in git). Then there were problems with mismatching case in one of the header files - linux file systems are case sensitive you know. Finally the game crashed on startup because of missing resources. Moving them to the project root folder solved that problem. Definitely not easy to get this game running.

Scores: Overall 1 Artistical 3 Technical 1 Genre 2

Review by Gassa all reviews by Gassa

----- Description -----

In this game, you control a dragon. The dragon can walk, jump and fly around a small cyclic world. There are some huts on the ground. Sometimes humans pop out of the huts. The dragon can then attack the humans by moving onto them. The humans are destroyed and contribute to the dragon's score. The score can in turn be used to upgrade the dragon. The current score is factorized into primes, and bigger primes mean better upgrades.

The game is only partly finished. Perhaps in a finished version, the dragon should be able to breathe fire, the opponents should be more versatile and have some way to counter the attacks. Right now, the game does not provide any challenge at all, so it is more like a sight-seeing tour than a battle. However, the game has some potential and can be made actually playable rather quickly if the developers decide to put some more time into it.

----- TINS 2012 Rules Coverage -----

[Genre: creative anachronism.]
The anachronism declared is aztecs and aliens versus the dragon. However, aliens did not get implemented in time, so there's not much about anachronism in it.

[Artistic: here be dragons.]
The player character is a dragon.

[Technical: record progress.]
The player can continue a previous game, restoring all purchased upgrades.

[Technical: parallax scrolling.]
The clouds and far mountains move "further" than the world, providing a nice visual effect.

[Technical: prime numbers.]
The upgrade system is highly dependent on prime factorization of the current score.

----- Evaluation -----

[Overall:]
The game is technically playable but does not provide a challenge. It is capable to hold the player for perhaps 10 minutes until he or she sees all the content and realizes there is no resistance to player's actions.

[Artistical:]
The dragon animation is OK. The world details are fine, too. The humans, on the other hand, have too little pixels in them. There sounds and music are fine.

[Technical:]
The things which were actually implemented work fine. It is a bit funny how the dragon follows the mouse in flight and can actually fly in the direction of its tail; on second thought, why not?

The game includes about 130,000 bytes of readable C++/Allegro5 code.

[Genre:]
The anachronism genre rule is hardly implemented. The genre part of the game is not finished (in all senses of the word).

Scores: Overall 3 Artistical 3 Technical 4 Genre 2

Laundry Day at Bananas Manor
by amarillion
all reviews of Laundry Day at Bananas Manor

Review by SiegeLord all reviews by SiegeLord

My first impression of playing Laundry day at bananas manor was that it was just a simple platformer... that impression dissappeared along with my character in the bottomless pit after I got to experience the disaster that is jumping in this game. Classically, jumping in platformers can be split into two categories... you can either control your character's horizontal velocity after jumping like normal, or you your horizontal velocity is fixed after you jump. This game adds a novel combination of those two mechanics: you can't alter the velocity normally once you jump... you can only alter the direction. Platforming with this mechanic is incredibly difficult, as it is impossible to make small adjustments in your landing spot. Frankly, the only way I got through the game was pretending that you couldn't alter your velocity at all during the jump and setting up the jump ahead of time. I suppose this mechanic is an interesting twist to something that would otherwise be a forgettable platformer, but I don't think it's a good mechanic nevertheless.

Once you spend all your lives figuring the jumping out, you'll learn that the nice introduction sequence (which I found very nice otherwise) is unskippable... luckily you don't need to see it if you have a password. Those two issues aside, the game reasonably fun to play.

The weapon selection is varied and the level design in principle encourages using different weapons for different situations.

The graphics are inventive but a bit basic. There are sound effects but no music.

Overall, I think it could have been a very good game, but jumping just ruined it.

In terms of the TINS rules, all rules were adequately touched upon without anything extra-ordinary. Primes were implemented somewhat weakly... there's really nothing that a naive user would be able to look at in the game and confidently say that it's a prime.

Scores: Overall 3 Artistical 3 Technical 4 Genre 3

Review by allefant all reviews by allefant

Just a game I have to vote on but not review, but here's the notes I made while playing it anyway:

Critic points:
- intro should be skippable
- falling should be straight down not sideways - the sideways falling makes jumps unnecessarily hard (i'd say this is the biggest flaw of the game... e.g. in the darkbits entry practicing the jumps is fun, in this one it's just annoying)
- enemy bullets are too slow, a few times i just had to stand there waiting for them to pass
- level order is misleading, took me about 25 tries beating the first level before I finally gave up and did levels 2 and 3 first instead
- collision detection is faulty, e.g. in the very first level both the rifle as well as the pistol will not hit the first lightning bolt at all (and i saw projectiles pass right through monsters throughout the game)
- autofire would be nice for all weapons
- the final boss seemed a bit easy, i hardly saw him at all before he fell dead from those blue bullets... so in case he has any strategy or clever scripting, I didn't get to see any of it

Praise:
- really liked the monster design, the furry lightning bolts, the jumping springs, the bubble spider, all quite unique
- i like the graphics a lot, from the player character (with his sun glasses) to the washing machine themed monsters and level geometry
- animated level geometry is a nice touch
- quite polished, plus points for allowing changing the keys

Scores: Overall 4 Artistical 4 Technical 2 Genre 5

Review by Gassa all reviews by Gassa

----- Description -----

The game is a 2D scrolling shooter. You control a guy with a gun. There are four levels.

In the first three levels, the aim is just to move to the opposite side of the level. This involves running, jumping and dealing with simple opponents. These levels can be played in any order. Upon completing each of them, you receive an extra gun.

The last level becomes accessible once you complete the first three. It is about killing the dragon. The dragon is more tricky than opponents from previous levels, yet beatable.

If you recieve too much damage or fall down, it costs you a life. In the case there are no more lives left, you lose the game but receive a passcode which restores the state of the player character (levels and guns unlocked).

The game includes a menu allowing to change keys, animated sequences at start and end of the game, and an option to enter a passcode.

----- TINS 2012 Rules Coverage -----

[Genre: creative anachronism.]
I found some anachronism in using a slingshot along with a rocket launcher and in the look of game heroes alongside a washing machine.

[Artistic: here be dragons.]
The boss opponent is a dragon.

[Technical: record progress.]
There is a passcode system.

[Technical: parallax scrolling.]
The scrolling interior of the washing machine fits in the game niely.

[Technical: prime numbers.]
The number of lives, hit points, boss hit points, levels open at the start are all prime numbers. Primes are used in the source code as object dimensions and also in the passcode system.

----- List of Uncomfortable Bugs -----

1. The intro and outro sequences can't be skipped.

2. When you jump while moving left or right, releasing the arrow key does not stop you from moving in that direction. However, pressing the opposite direction key does change the direction. It is a bit annoying that you can fly left or right freely while jumping but you can not nullify horizontal speed in flight. Jumping would be more fun if the player character stopped moving in horizontal direction as soon as you release the key.

3. When I first tried to kill the dragon, it got stuck in the wall above the level, and I had no way to kill it and had to start playing again.

4. If you jump up to the ceiling and hold the up arrow key, the player character hangs at the ceiling, and the jumping sound is looping. You can then move left or right while still hanging at the ceiling.

5. You don't receive a pass code if you win or quit, so you can't start again from the last level then.

----- Evaluation -----

[Overall]
There are a few issues listed above. Nevertheless, the game is playable and contains enough content to be fun for the 10-30 minutes it takes to learn and complete if nothing goes too wrong.

[Artistical]
The graphics are nice, especially the in-game opponents. Animated sequences are minimalistic but fine. Level interior also fits the theme. There are sound effects for jumping and shooting, rather minimalistic though.

[Technical]
Apart from the bug list above, everything seems to work nice and smooth. The main menu, level selection and input preferences are a plus.

The game includes about 150,000 bytes of C++/Allegro4 code, half of which is library code, and a significant part of the other half is the code reused from other projects. The code is clear enough, at least for a 72-hour contest entry.

On one side, I think code reuse was fine to save some time for creating actual game content. On the other side, sticking with Allegro4 does not fit well with TINS 2012, at least as I see it.

[Genre]
The anachronism genre rule is implemented nicely: weapons, heroes and levels are obviously from different eras.

As for the 2D shooter genre, the inconvenience of jumping is an unnecessary difficulty.

Scores: Overall 4 Artistical 4 Technical 3 Genre 4

Drakes
by Gassa
all reviews of Drakes

Review by SiegeLord all reviews by SiegeLord

Ouch... my finger hurts from playing this game...

Drakes is an interesting twist (I don't play these games I don't know how novel it is) on the marble matching games that are so common. A constant stream of crud falls from the sky and you need to make it dissapear by clicking it... sometimes when you click on things a dragon appears and if you pay close attention you'll note that that happens the number of things that disappears is prime. I first noticed it when I clicked 29 bones an a dragon appeared, but when I clicked 35 threads it did not... just kidding, it's impossible to count how many items are in the group and hope to win in such a fast paced game. It's an interesting idea but it just doesn't mesh with the game itself. Even ignoring the dragon bit (I think it just increases your score?) there is no real strategy in this game. My best score was gotten by simply constantly clicking on the items without regard to the number of items that would dissapear from my click. If I see a column that's too tall, I click up and down it and it dissapears. Otherwise I just go side to side across the rows. It's unfortunate that this brute force strategy is so effective, because otherwise this game idea has some potential.

The graphics are very good. It's too bad that the game doesn't have sound though... not even a tune to keep your mind of the endless clicking.

Overall it's a nice game for the genre, I think. Nothing in it really made me angry at it, so that's a plus.

The TINS rules are touched upon, but there's nothing too spectacular happening. The prime usage, as I mentioned above, is interesting but has to be ignored for you to have a chance of winning. I liked how parallax scrolling showed what all those tiny items are supposed to be, a nice touch. Anachronism was not implemented too well, I thought.

Scores: Overall 4 Artistical 3 Technical 4 Genre 2

Review by darkbits all reviews by darkbits

I guess this game can best be described as some kind of Bejeweled-like puzzle click'em'up.

Technically it seems to be pretty solid. No bugs to be found, except that the play widow didn't seem to appear on my laptop, but that seems to be the case for all A5 entries in this compo for some reason.

The graphics are of a very nicely hand drawn style. I really liked how smoothly the pieces fell down from the top of the screen.

Sadly, the gameplay gets boring pretty fast. It's a bit too fast paced to make any strategic play possible, frantic clicking is the way to go. However, with some tweaks I could see myself playing a game like this on my phone when waiting for the bus. A smaller playing field to limit the number of choices at any given moment could possibly make the game a bit more interesting.

The genre requirement (creative anachronism) is cleverly implemented by having representing game pieces as inventions from different epoch. I only made it to level 3, however, so all I saw were the old-timey ones.

Scores: Overall 4 Artistical 4 Technical 4 Genre 3

Review by amarillion all reviews by amarillion

This is a fairly nice and smoothly animated bejuweled-type game. Click on a block of matching items to make them disappear. Sometimes drakes appear when you click, and it wasn't too clear to me what they do. From reading other reviews, it appears that the drakes have something to do with prime numbers. I guess that is the prime and dragon rule implemented. Parallax scrolling is there, and the items range from prehistoric bones to computerchips, so the anachronistic theme is there too. Nothing major, but it's all there. I think the implementation of the prime numbers rule could have given this game that little extra bit of originality, if it was made more clear what was going on exactly.

Trying to play this strategically worked very well in the first level, and I managed to get such a large block of spools of thread that I was immediately propelled to level 3. But on higher levels it seems that the random clicky strategy is the best, and that hurts replay value a bit.

A decent entry, but it doesn't really stand out.

Scores: Overall 3 Artistical 2 Technical 3 Genre 2