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Showing 14 reviews

Planting Flowers
by Johnathan Roatch
all reviews of Planting Flowers

Review by push32 all reviews by push32

Planting Flowers welcomes you visually with a girl character on a green meadow and musically with a snappy old-school chiptune. You steer the character on the yet void meadow and plant as many various colorful flowers as you want to fill the meadow. In full screen mode there is also a floral wallpaper background. The art style with neat pixel graphics and euphoric chiptune matches very well and encourage you to explore the game. But unfortunately, regarding gameplay you cannot do more from there on. I'm curious to see how the planting and plucking of flowers described in the readme will turn into gameplay. Technically, the game uses a large hexagonal grid for planting, which also scrolls as you move too far from the center. A text scroller is absent however. The source code makes use of allegro and compiles without any problem.

Overall: 2 (interactive tech demo, but no game)
Artistical: 2 (no fun of old fashioned or inverse, but nice chiptune music and pixel graphics)
Technical: 2 (no text scroller, no procedural content, but hexagonal grid, below 400kb size limit, compiles flawlessly)
Genre: 3 (many colourful flowers and floral wallpaper)

Scores: Overall 2 Artistical 2 Technical 2 Genre 3

by rlam12
all reviews of FlowerShower

Review by push32 all reviews by push32

The title FlowerShower suggests a gardening simulation game. It starts promising with beautiful comic style pixel art in the title screen showing clouds and meadows with a picturesque narcissus flower. The title screen also features a a basic text scroller asking to press enter. If you do, the game unfortunately shows nothing more than a blue background. Sadly there is no game after all and no indication how it should have been. I'm curious to see how this game was intended to be. From a technical point of view FlowerShower's source code is very clean and readable, uses allegro, and compiling it was straight forward.

Overall: 1 (no game after all)
Artistical: 2 (pixel art could be considered old fashioned)
Technical: 2 (scroller is there, but no procedural content, code is clean, below 400kb)
Genre: 2 (only one beautiful flower on title screen)

Scores: Overall 1 Artistical 2 Technical 2 Genre 2

Review by amarillion all reviews by amarillion

I can see a flower - so the genre requirement is met. I see scrolling text. The old-fashioned art requirement is not really present, and neither is the procedural content.

Unfortunately, the game is unfinished. Thanks for trying, and better luck next time!

Scores: Overall 1 Artistical 1 Technical 1 Genre 1

by wasd & push32
all reviews of florami

Review by amarillion all reviews by amarillion

This game is remeniscent of the "mastermind" code-breaking board game. But instead of coloured pegs, you have to place the four possible nucleotide letters 'A' 'C' 'T' or 'G' in one of 3 slots. Each slot is a 'gene' that determines certain properties of a flower. Unlike "mastermind" that tells you how many letters you've chosen correctly, for each choice you're presented with a geometric flower that varies in the shape, number and color of the petals and carpels that you have to match with the solution provided at the start.

You get only 6 tries to pick the correct one out of 64 possibilities. The puzzle of the game comes from understanding the relation between genes and the resulting "phenotype". The first gene determines colour, and this one is easy to match. The second gene is called figure, and determines the shape of the petals (square or oval) and the shape of the heart of the flower. The last gene is called size, and detemines the number and size (width) of the petals.

As a former bioinformatician, I love the reference to genetics in this game (Even though genes are really thousands of nucleotides long, and flower genetics works very differently, see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ABC_model_of_flower_development)

My main criticism is that the details of the flower, especially the heart of the flower are hard to see. The game runs in a window of a fixed size that only occupies a fraction of my screen, and I often wish I could enlarge the window to zoom in. If you also happen to have non-contrasting colours in your flower solution, then it becomes impossible to see what is going on.

We recognize pleasant background music from the water levels of Mario 64. Overall, a very inventive game mechanic that makes this an interesting puzzle game.

Scores: Overall 5 Artistical 4 Technical 4 Genre 4

Fole & Raul go Flower Power
by Max, Amarillion & Superdaze
all reviews of Fole & Raul go Flower Power

Review by entheh all reviews by entheh

Congratulations on this top-down banana-hunting Plants vs Rob Zombie game, or am I trying too hard with that one?

The flower theme is satisfyingly all-pervasive, with the game set in a flower garden and bringing in elements of the old-fashioned Flower Power movement. I haven't awarded 5 because I can't honestly say it defines the gameplay mechanics, but the 4 is well deserved.

Artistically speaking, my first feeling on opening it was that it was somehow unfinished. I think a few elements that may contribute to this feeling - though I'm listing them with a great deal of uncertainty - are the somewhat arbitrary screen area set aside for the game map, the faux perspective effect that doesn't have a consistent vanishing point, the presence of large, untextured areas (including black outside the map), and the use of Allegro's built-in font. That said, the artistic rule (to make fun of old-fashioned things) is covered, and there is some nice pixel art once you get into the details, so I've awarded 4 here too. I was certainly surprised when I discovered that my weapon was musical. (On that note - yes, note - a missed opportunity would be to use the current harmony in the music to inform the choice of chord.)

Successful procedural level generation as exhibited here is no walk in the park, and this easily earns you yet another 4. The text scroller is special, with coloured letters and wavy offsets, so that's covered too. I did reserve a point because the collision detection didn't convince me when I was trying to collect keys.

It's a generally solid entry and I seem to have awarded fours all round. Well done. This game will have me on all fours picking flowers. Oh dear, I'm trying too hard again.

Scores: Overall 4 Artistical 4 Technical 4 Genre 4

Rewrite It In
by SiegeLord
all reviews of Rewrite It In

Review by amarillion all reviews by amarillion

"Rewrite it in" is essentially a king-of-the-hill arcade game, using a backstory that shines an uncomfortable psychological light for an old C++/allegro programmer like me.

In this game you have to plant projects on planets, which grow (like flowers) to generate ideas. You can catch these ideas to plant them, while trying to fend off "naysayers" that try to ruin your projects. The naysayers continuously spout grumpy comments, that seem especially directed at competitors of the C++ programming language. We note that the game itself is written in Rust, so that fits.

All these concepts are presented as brightly coloured geometric shapes, with a nice glow effect on top, all the while the source code of the game itself is scrolling in the background. This game definitely has a cool look. The music is great but it wasn't made during the compo, so no extra points for that.

The game gets pretty hard pretty quickly. I managed to get to year 3. There is probably also a deeper lesson about focus, and the problem of trying to keep too many projects running at the same time.

As others have commented, the jump is hard to control, and sometimes a jump takes you so far away from your planet that it's completely overrun by the time you get back again. The slow movement of the player, as well as the enemies, makes for long waits in between action. The slow pace feels a bit awkward for this type of arcade game, and could do with some tuning.

One of my favorite entries overall, one that keeps interest

Scores: Overall 5 Artistical 5 Technical 4 Genre 3

Review by entheh all reviews by entheh

Rewrite It In pits you as the creator of a new language, keen to see your projects succeed despite the efforts of people so old that they are incapable of learning any language that isn't a literal antique, and so insecure about their continued relevance that they have to sabotage your projects to enable themselves to continue living under the lie that they are even remotely employable any more.

In addition to how true to life the choice of stuff to make fun of is, the game makes a statement with its minimalist but consistent artistic style. Now, in fairness, as a fellow appreciator of Rust, I have to admit that I'm biased, and the fun-poking would probably only deserve full marks if it could be made inherent to the design of the game. All things considered, I decided to award 4 here.

As for the genre rule, flowers are present in the game, but the analogy of using flowers to represent projects felt a little forced, so I felt I could only justify awarding 3 there.

Rewrite It In is a technical tour de force. I particularly like what appears to be the use of orbital dynamics for jumping from circle to circle. A text scroller of sorts is present. I can nevertheless only offer 4 points here because the proceduralilty appears to be limited to the placement of the circles and a few other things for which random numbers would have been the natural choice anyway.

So, is it fun to play? Well, I found myself mostly just waiting, if I jumped wrong or my flowers were still growing, so I didn't play it for very long. Certainly worth a 4 though, for all the good things otherwise present in this game. Well done.

Scores: Overall 4 Artistical 4 Technical 4 Genre 3

by Bruce Perry
all reviews of FlowerFlyerTron

Review by amarillion all reviews by amarillion

Flower Flyer Tron looks like an old arcade game. Gameplay wise, it's best described as a mix between snake and pac-man (although thinking that way is little misleading, see below). You have to move through a maze (randomly generated!) with a long snake-like text following behind you. Instead of eating pills, you water flowers, and the more flowers you water, the more points you score. After you traverse a maze, you move on to the next level, and you get a longer text trailing behind you. I imagine a maverick pilot that is making an extra buck on the side by flying an advertising banner while spraying crops - although why the plane would fly through a maze is beyond me.

Given this entry was made in only a fraction of the 72h time, it packs a lot of interesting ideas. This is the only entry that made the text scroller an integral part of the game. The procedural maze generation is top-notch. The process is animated, and the algorithm automatically culls dead ends (by necessity, because the snake-like text scroller makes back-tracking impossible) Therefore a deserved 5 points for technical.

The graphics are entirely in 8 bit style, hard-coded as binary strings in the source code. This effectively makes fun of the old fashioned BBC Micro graphics (personally, I have more experience with the ZX Spectrum, a similar but less expensive computer) One level you get the text "ONE OF OUR CUTTING EDGE GAMES IN COLOUR", which could be a marketing slogan right from 1982.

There are some twists in the mechanics, that are not immediately obvious. My instinctive comparison with snake is misleading, because it's only the flyer that can collide - collisions of the text with itself do not count. This means that you can move through gaps in the text. Also, wherever a flower is watered, a gap appears as well. This means that you can make clever use of flowers on crossings for new navigation possibilities. Another thing that wasn't clear immediately that you don't have to water ALL flowers - the game becomes a lot easier once you realise that. All of that wouldn't be such a problem if the game wasn't so punishing: each mistake is an immediate game over, resetting the player back to the very first level. This doesn't give the player an incentive to experiment, for example with gaps in the text (a long gap only appears in later levels). By the way, it would be nice to get a reward if you do manage to water all flowers.

There are a few more missing features that I would have expected if you had put in the full weekend: music, sound effects, and hi-scores saved to disk (although probably the BBC Micro wouldn't have been able to do that either)

Overall, innovative entry that could do with a few quality of life improvements.

Scores: Overall 3 Artistical 4 Technical 5 Genre 3

Flowers by Allefant
by elias
all reviews of Flowers by Allefant

Review by dthompson all reviews by dthompson

This is pretty damn good for a 72h hack. Nice block colour visuals, intuitive controls, and of course an entirely procedurally generated 3D environment. There's even a themed text scroller! Very nice.

At first I'd worried that the Queen's AI would be difficult to follow, but actually her behaviour isn't jarring at all - and given her speed matches yours, following her actually makes for a fair challenge.

Overall, it's very easy to see what you're doing - though the bee's butt did occasionally get in the way. Would be easily fixable with a tiny amount of zoom out, but this really wasn't a huge problem.

Given the brilliant graphics on this thing, it's with some solid regret that I felt I had to mark this down in terms of the artistic requirements; I get elias's thinking on it making fun of 'old-fashioned things', but I'm not feeling that making fun of fetch quests et al quite hits the mark. They aren't *too* old, IMHO! So yeah, apologies if this seems harsh, but that's why.

Scores: Overall 5 Artistical 3 Technical 5 Genre 5

by Mark Oates
all reviews of Flowers

Review by dthompson all reviews by dthompson

In short: this is the most oddly relaxing game, it makes for a really good coffee break, and that's a good thing. ;)

I feel like this'd make for a really good mobile game, perhaps with more achievements and infinite play. But hey, this is a 72-hour coding exercise!

In terms of rules: it's obviously 100% flowers and procedurally generated. Mark's 'Act of Monkey' (celebrate and cherish old-fashioned things) makes things interesting here, and though I wouldn't have figured that out without seeing the readme, I guess it makes sense. The scrolling text was unexpected, but not unwelcome - and (obviously) required.

Scores: Overall 4 Artistical 4 Technical 5 Genre 5

Review by RmBeer all reviews by RmBeer

Too relaxing I guess. It has no challenge and cannot be lost. It only consists of taking variations and taking the flowers that you like the most. I have taken the rarest variations without taking into account the list of achievements, except for the one with 4 petals, I have obtained one with 9 and another with 0 petals, one black, one dark, one with a strong blue color and strong violet, almost all with 7 or 8 petals.
It is more to hang out with a mobile on some trip, although it is not attractive or tacky to spend more than 1 hour.
Also the screen is too big, so much so that I could only see 1/4 of its screen and couldn't see the bottom, so I don't know the messages or the state of the game.
In the C++ code everything is too overloaded. For a game that should be simple it has too many classes and functions, even templates. I have never seen the text in Scroll. Note the capital/small letters in the file names.
I couldn't see a scroll in operation and the old fashion in phrases.

Scores: Overall 2 Artistical 2 Technical 1 Genre 4

Flower Follies
by dthompson
all reviews of Flower Follies

Review by RmBeer all reviews by RmBeer

It is simple and entertaining. But what has earned points are the animations, which gives seems to be watching a TV. It has enough visual appeal to maintain interest in the game.
Although those tile repetitions would have to be fixed and made different, otherwise it seems broken. :P

Scores: Overall 4 Artistical 4 Technical 2 Genre 2

by Tharro
all reviews of Botanim

Review by amarillion all reviews by amarillion

Botanim is essentially an investment game. You invest by planting flowers. With a bit of patience, they grow, and you can harvest them to recoup your investments. You harvest by clicking, and the more you click, the more money you make. After a while you will be able to afford more expensive flowers. The cost & earnings of consecutive flowers increase steeply, setting you on a path to exponential wealth accumulation.

It reminds me of another game that combines clicking with an investment mechanic - Insaniquarium. In that game you have to invest in fish instead of flowers, but it's surprisingly similar.

Botanim is a hard game to get into. There is not much happening in the beginning - the game requires patience - and could use a higher speed setting. Also because there is no sound and music, there isn't a whole lot to discover in the beginning. The world is very large, which also doesn't help. I first planted some flowers, then started looking around the map while I was waiting for them to grow - but I couldn't find my flowers back anymore (I always have the same problem in Minecraft)

But after a while the game gets going and it actually starts to get fun to try to make the map as colorful as possible.

Investments are risky. It takes 100 clicks to harvest enough corn flowers to be able to afford one tulip - and most of the time, you will only see it die immediately after planting. So that's a bit disheartening. One tactic that I found useful is to pick a spot, and try plants sequentially from cheap to expensive until one sticks. There is a hidden pattern underlying the map of where each flower will grow, and it requires trial and error to find out.

The game leaves you with the impression that there is a lot going on under the hood, but it doesn't present you with enough information to figure it out. There is a hidden pattern of hot/cold wet/dry spots, but I still haven't figured out how to know which is which. The icy/deserty/foresty patches seem to only loosely correspond to where flowers will grow. There are similarities to my LD46 game Exo Keeper (https://www.allegro.cc/forums/thread/618101). Ironically, it also has the same issues. On that game I also got the feedback that the game was too hard to figure out and therefore seemingly random.

A small bug: when scrolling and releasing ctrl-key or middle mouse button while outside the map area (e.g. on one of the side bars - the game stays in scroll mode and the map sticks to your mouse)

It took me a while to understand how the research dialing system works. I now get that to get 6, you have press 6 six times. But I didn't connect the dots for a while. A bit of tweaking and usability testing would go a long way here.

All in all, a difficult game with a lot of potential. But I feel that a few tweaks are necessary to make the game more fun: make it easier to discover where a flower will grow, so you don't have to risk it all to advance. And make it so you don't need excessive clicks.

Scores: Overall 4 Artistical 3 Technical 5 Genre 5

Victory Garden
by BugSquasher
all reviews of Victory Garden

Review by amarillion all reviews by amarillion

This entry presents American Gothic 1930 painting by Grant Wood, with scrolling text on top, in a Gothic font. This seems to cover the "old-fashioned" requirement pretty well, as well as the scrolling text requirement.

Unfortunately, the game is unfinished. Nevertheless, I'm glad you at least submitted something and wish you better luck for next time!

Scores: Overall 1 Artistical 2 Technical 2 Genre 1