Heya! I got your game for the Secret Santa review! What I did was I wrote down my thoughts and notes as I played the game to give you "real time" feedback as I experienced what you created. Hopefully it will be of some use to you!
Here it goes:
I enjoyed the logo intro with the cool music! It was perhaps a tad long though to sit through. Maybe think about shortening it by a few seconds?
The next music though, the intro to the game, definitely clashes with the previous music. Overall though, well-done. I like that you also made it optional to skip, a handy feature for anyone who has to close the game and re-open it.
I really dig the difficulty settings. It is more than just altering the stats on mobs. Very cool.
Interesting and unique graphic style. I dig it.
I also like that at first my hand is being held as I get oriented in the game. I am not being inundated by a large mass of information. Very good!
One thing that would be neat – when you select to go to the Adventurer’s Guild (or anywhere I suppose), if the graphic in the background changed to match.
Hmm… My first roadblock. The Adventurer’s Guild tells me to bugger off until I am more of an adventurer. I see that the Town Hall offers missions, they tell me to bugger off until I join the Adventurer’s Guild. I go to the Tavern and am told to bugger off because I am too young… Well, if this is a rejection simulator, fantastic work!
Checking the Temple… Nope, told to bugger off because they don’t need adventurers! At least they somewhat acknowledge my role as a possible adventurer.
And the Item shop, at least I now have a direction! To the Inn!
Ok, time for the first dungeon! Checking out the cellar. I really like that you can interact with the environment for flavor text. I also like that each flavor text is different, it is a nice touch.
Got the scroll. The Escape Rope is a nice feature.
I think it’s kind of funny that in order to prove that you have what it takes to be an adventurer, you to simply pick up an object from a basement in town that has zero threats.
Ok, all registered as an adventurer. That guild master is sure a surly one.
Here’s one place that could use a little explanation – the class choices. What’s the difference between them aside from stats? I think the interface looks nice, but definitely could use a bit of guidance/explanation.
I like recruiting party members, the variety of offerings is well balanced.
Still kind of funny… Got what it takes to be an adventurer? Go pick up this scroll. You can do that?! Great! Now go murder that mine full of goblins!
I still like that this is a guided experience, I am not too often left confused as to what to do. This is well-paced thus far.
Ok, so the battles… the battles are kind of the weak spot here. There are no combat animations, the choice selection menu is ridiculously tiny and hard to read, and the overall pace is too slow. Also kind of funny that when you enter the mines you are told to go level up in the cellar, but the monsters in the mine do 0 damage to a knight.
Random encounters happen WAY too frequently. Also, spamming attack seems to be the best method of winning so far. Also, why are the enemy battlers so tiny? There is soooo much wasted screen space!
I think there might be TOO MUCH gear being dropped by enemies. Every fight drops more gear that I need to look through to see if it’s any good, and with the large number of random encounters, it starts to get monotonous.
This game suffers from the same thing almost all RPG Maker games do that don’t directly address it – everyone misses in combat way too often.
Not only are random encounters so frequent, you double down on them by adding non-avoidable invisible battles in hallways as well. This would be far less of an issue if combat was more interesting and fun.
Looking at my items list in combat, I am not understanding this… Why do I have multiple piles of varying quantities of the same items? Like I have 2 piles of Heal 1’s, one pile has 2 in it, the other pile has 1 in it.
I’m beginning to hate the mines. The layout is just a confusing mess, no real direction where to go, or even a hint. Random battles every 5 steps.
Oh, I think I found out the strange items thing – I am assuming 60 is the max quantity of ALL items. That is a bit confusing. Would’ve been much easier to understand if somewhere at the top you just had a something like X/60 items and left it at that.
Woo, finished in the mines! That was grueling, but not in a particularly fun way. Way more fine-tuning is needed to make that combat experience better.
Oh, and that’s it! Well, that is a pretty short and sweet game.
So, I overall really enjoyed playing this. I would have normally passed over this game due to the RTP graphics, but I am glad that this was selected for my Secret Santa review.
The custom town graphic is very nice, I kind of wished there were more of them! Perhaps as you expand your game, you might consider adding custom backgrounds for each point of interest in the town.
I like the Escape Rope, it gives players the option to quickly get out of a dungeon which is always nice because backtracking endlessly sucks.
The writing was good, I did not notice any grammatical errors or anything that distracted me. The characters in the town didn’t have a ton of personality, but then again neither did the siblings. I am guessing this is at least somewhat intentional though, since the point of the game seems to be dungeon-crawling, and not necessarily telling some epic story. What is there is serviceable to this end.
The music choices are fitting and ambient, not much else to say about that. Good choices.
Where the game falters in my opinion, and this is crucial because of how important it is to the core of the gameplay, is the combat and the dungeon layout. Combat happened every 5 steps it felt like. Not only that, but combat lacked any real strategy. You just mashed attack until everything died since attacks did the same damage as spells (I had a warrior, a wizard, a knight, and a priest in my party). The priest, by far, was the most useless. The Knight would just taunt, things would do zero damage to him, and the warrior and wizard mopped up. Repeat ad-nauseum until the end of the game. Attacks swinging and missing was an all-too frequent occurrence. There were no combat animations or anything else to help spice up the visual aspect of combat either. There is also no indication as to what most of the status effects on the monsters do. The layout of the mines is just… uhg. It was confusing, it was not particularly interesting, there were no puzzle elements or anything… it was just a maze filled with both random encounters and invisible unavoidable encounters. Please don’t do this!
So with that grip out of the way, I think this game has a ton of potential for expansion into a big, full-fledged game. The combat would really need to be tuned up nicely to carry it, but the premise is fun and well-executed.