I confess that I gave up ~3 times in that loop of thorns. One of the best PICO-8 games I've ever played. What a beautiful ending! Congratulations!
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Your games are SO COOL, and this one is no expection. Thank you for making my day better!
This is a great little game and I've enjoyed playing it quite a lot! But I'm having a bit of an issue with missed inputs and delayed / laggy keyups with both this and another game of yours that I played (Pakpok). This is playing on Firefox 83. This might be just the computer being too slow to run the cart, but I don't remember any issues with PICO8 Celeste and played a couple of levels just now and didn't see any missed inputs.
This hasn't made the games unplayable - I only see missed inputs or delayed keyups every few minutes or so, but it's very annoying when it happens.
I recorded a delayed keyup in Pakpok along with my keyboard inputs, and slowed it by 50% to make the issue more obvious. (The issue looks exactly the same when it happens in Flip Knight.) You can see in the recording that I continue moving to the right at least 14 frames (recorded at 24 fps) after I've released the right arrow key.
I don't experience any lag when running the game in Pico8 or Chrome. I'm afraid I can't control how Pico8 behaves Firefox browser.
Excellent little metroidvania-style game. The end screen could use a nr of deaths and time display or something, instead of just "The End".
Brilliant little game! Absolutely loved playing this one, and such clever level design. Found your games via Six Match being included in the itchio Bundle for Racial Justice & Equality and I think I'm in love!
Man, are pico 8 devs just auto loaded with good pixel art skills? Feels quite polished!
The flipping gravity mechanic was a little bit of an "oh" at first given how it's been done plenty before, but given the way it's used with attacking plus breaking blocks and it's quickly distinguished.
Then the block gravity switching. At first I was like "woah interesting", but the novel appeal wore off when it turned to needing to backtrack through difficult areas (spikedrop). Perhaps I'm missing something but as far as I can tell the spike drop is same both times, having instead a challenge that changes up when you switch gravity would probably alleviate the issue. Still, messing with the world is neat and something I've been looking for more games to explore so I'm glad to have found this.
After a while though the very difficult nature of the game just became a bit annoying, the precisely weaving through spikes segment (after flipping the pink box dudes) just felt difficult for the sake of being difficult, like that kind of precision timing test has been done in just about every platformer, and without any music or story or such there wasn't really much incentive to get good at it. I guess what I'm saying is if a challenge doesn't exist for the sake of conveying a new idea, what's it there for.
Then I found out I needed to do it another 2 times -_-
Challenge is never simply there to convey new ideas. First you introduce an idea, then you demand that the concept has been internalised. If you don't escalate then you've thrown an idea at the player and they may have lucked out getting past it.
There's shortcuts to bypass the hard bits on the backtracking, perhaps they aren't telegraphed well enough.
Criticism is welcome but criticism is far better when you complain about specifics and what to do about them. Because then I'd be able to work on a directors cut incorporating everyone's feedback. "It's got no music" or "this is too hard" is unfortunately something I can't respond to. I'm not a musician and to me the game is fairly easy (and I'm really bad at most games).
I've played plenty of hard game's and this is no where near the hardest, but I still don't think I'd called it "fairly easy", to you as the designer that's true I'm sure.
I'm very familiar with the idea of introducing a concept and then pushing it, it's used in just about everything, but my point is this game keeps testing you on some things well beyond the point where it's conveying anything new. Particularly, the rooms with the force bouncers (blue lines) and the moving spikes are what I struggled with the most yet of all the challenges present in the game, they also the least original in terms of the skills they test. If you've played games like VVVVVV I'm guessing they're easy, but as someone who hasn't played it these rooms just acted as a barrier between the interesting bits. It is only a small portion of the game overall but it's weird that they're the hardest part when all the terrain destruction challenges are never pushed to such a limit, instead enemies are just thrown en mass in it's final challenge which is more just tedious to deal with each one.
TLDR I think the "what if the player just lucks out" mentality is something that, from personal experience, it's easy to get overly paranoid about.
Regarding the back tracking, there was one of two shortcuts I think I may have missed first time around which is my bad, but the final puzzle still seems a bit backtrack heavy whilst the actual puzzle is barely that, it more just exists as a way to force you to do the same bits over. I don't know if this is intentional but there seems to be two ways to go back to one of the grav switchers, but the one that I noticed any substantial difference in because of the grav switch I missed out on my first playthrough. Even then, it's still pretty much the same challenge. If this is done to internalise the concept then it's internalised to the point of getting a little uninteresting.
Perhaps this all sounds overly harsh so I do want to point out this is quite high quality for a web game, but the design is something I like to think through even on smaller games. If you just want to ignore my over abundance of criticism feel free, I'm mostly doing it to figure out my own perspective on the game.
That said, I take issue with your line "Criticism is welcome but criticism is far better when you complain about specifics and what to do about them", because at that point it's asking the player to design the game for you. Surely it's part of the designs job to take in and interpret criticism. I don't know what audio skills you have and I've expanded about as best I can on where I think it's a bit too hard vs where is lacks difficulty.
The only other thing I can maybe suggest regarding music is to perhaps experiment with a string of atmospheric sounds. In my game Rejection Thesis (Rejection Thesis by Brandon JS Lea (itch.io)) I messed around with a few synths just to produce some atmospheric sounds. There's room for improvement (they play on cues so if you're stuck in a room for a while it'll still be silent) but I still think it adds something to the experience and I really have 0 music knowledge. I bring it up because this game goes for a similar isolated alien atmosphere.
Awesome, I loved the effects. Thanks for the P8 files, can load this on my raspberry pi for later. :)
Stumbled across this, really well done, like how you expanded on vvvvv and made it your own!
Really well done! I particularly like how the little bounding boxes for where the enemies would turn around were displayed, visually
Dope! had quite a nice little puzzle-box thing going by the end.
Excellent game !
I had a lot of fun playing it :)