All 22 game Reviews


Goat in The Cave Goat in The Cave

Rated 4 / 5 stars

Got to lvl 22.

This was a pretty basic 2d platformer.
If you're a fan of such, then you must have heard of the indie hits: Super Meat Boy, Escape Goat 1 and 2 and VVVVVV. This game feels like an amalgamation of the core mechanics behind those other platformers.

It's very small in scope, having only the most basic of dangerous 2d platformer mechanics, and as you'd expect it lacks polish, with a stark contrast between the styles of your player character, the background, foreground and objects that move.

This is Newgrounds, if you expected anything else in those categories, throw some money the dev's way so he can polish it and release a complete product on steam.

But with the flaws now pointed out, I have to say, what this game does well, it does incredibly well.

Despite the weird overall composition, important objects pop-out, so there's never any issue with reading what's going in the game. You know when something can be touched, you know when something is a threa and you know when something is moving and how it moves.

The animation is also perfect. No jaggy movements, consistent velocity and direction for objects, No visible seams in the paralaxing. Everything is fine in this department. The goat really reminds me of Escape goat in the way it animates. And out of all the divergent artsyles in this game, I like the goat's the most, I wish the entire game was done like that. The high contrast makes it an easy object to follow with your eyes and the coloured glowing outline reminds me of Nihiliumbra.

Music is, as advertised, pretty fucking relaxing and it really fits a cave setting.

Deaths are quick and to the point as they are in meatboy. You can fail quick and get right back into the race. No exasperating respawn times. They're also punctuated with a satisfying blood explosion.
On the subject of deaths, they are very fair. I cannot commend the dev enough when it comes to how well he made the hazards. You can immediately tell what is dangerous. Spikes only kill you if you really touch them. I've even seen AAA games that do that dumb bullshit where the very sharp spike has a rectangular collider and instant death. Luckily none of that nonsense in this game. You can almost lick the spike without a worry.

I guess the lack of bs also comes from the controls being very responsive, the great jump arc and the generous ammount of control you have in the air.

Progress-wise the game has a good difficulty curve, with the challenge ramping up pretty well, always having safespots to analize the situation from and new gimmicks never overstaying their welcome.
Sadly, I haven't found any way to improve your characters abilities. In this regard, the game lies more in the meatboy school of platforming, where your core abilities are all you get and the challenge is always timing and reflex based, never a puzzle.
There are a few odd desgind decissions here and there with new challenges being introduced at the end of the level, but with these one screen levels I can't complain much. You die and you learn.

I would like to complain a bit about level design. It's mostly pretty solid, but ti does have some oversights. Some hazards, like certain falling spikes are skipable. At first I assumed they were a trap for those who overshoot jumps, but you can get out of the way of those skipable spikes anyway so it holds back the game since levels have a single correct path and these deviations are pointless. Also some levels are impossible to run through. Sometimes you just hav to stop, trigger a spike, fall back and wait. Same with waiting for platforms. While these by themselves aren't terribly bad bits of level, the waiting isn't that long, this design clashes with the core mechanics of the game which very closely ressemble meatboy. While I like to stop and weigh my options, it's a game with a single correct path and fast-paced mechanics, so they waiting bits and non-respawning falling spikes clash hard with the rest.

In conclusion, my only real complaints about this game are that it's a bit too derrivative of super meat boy in its core mechanics and escape goat in its main character design and movements. Some small level design decissions are a bit misguided as well.

If you were seeking a straight-forward, incredibly well-built and free difficulut but fair 2d platformer and can put up with some hobbyist level visuals I cannot reccomend this enough.

Kudos to the maker of this.

P.S. A small complaint I have about well-made games on NG. WHY THE BLOODY HELL CAN"T I SEE HOW MANY LEVELS THERE ARE IN TOTAL. So many games I good gave up on, not knowing I had to power through just a few more stages. More devs need to include a damn world map or complete from the start level-select screen.



Math Booster Math Booster

Rated 3.5 / 5 stars

J/K doesn't work. Using latest Firefox.


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The Sword and the Fox The Sword and the Fox

Rated 4.5 / 5 stars

Not my type of game, but I must admit I was sold on the visuals alone. The pixel art is stunning. The backgrounds really suck you in.

The character portraits are also charming, but the difference between their cartoony style and the environments is a bit off-putting. Both of these two visual elements are great on their own-the character portraits are packed with personality- they just don't come together all that well.

The music gets me in a great mood, but there was this issue when it would cut off abruptly, I'm assuming it can be easily fixed in another version.

The writing was fun, sometimes the character portraits made weird faces during dialogue, but nothing major enough to make me lose that sense of immersion.

All in all a really fun project that captured me and got me trying something I wouldn't touch otherwise.

Please keep making awesome stuff, I fell in love with your pixel art.


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Ridiculous Text Adventures Ridiculous Text Adventures

Rated 5 / 5 stars

This is better than old text adventures.
It manages to be funny and engaging, all with a minimum number of options for every choice and without any graphics.

Masterfully done, I got all the achievements, and for once did so not because of my completionist mentality, but because it was so fun seeing all the weird things that can occur in these scenarios.


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Night-Suit Jump Night-Suit Jump

Rated 4 / 5 stars

I love the presentation. The art style, sound, atmosphere and animation all make me feel ike I'm in a very comfortable place. I could see myself playing this when I'm down from start to finish.

But controlling this with the mouse feels so awkward, I'm not getting to enjoy the experinece. Maybe that's just me, but I feel like you should add some more input methods, if you're able to.


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Butthole Cactus Butthole Cactus

Rated 5 / 5 stars

This game rocket my world. Mostly because it seemed terrible at first. A few levels in I realized the genius hiding behind the simple visuals and plot that only a game from NewGrounds could have.

If this had an update for the visuals that remained true to the original style, some more sound effects, maybe a narrator and a level editor, I would pay 15 eur for it on steam.


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StuffBySpencer responds:

Wow, thank you so much! I'm very happy you enjoyed the game! :)

I just might touch this up a bit [ or, a lot ] and make it into a more 'full' / 'proper' game sometime in the future.

Thanks for playing!


Tiny Heist Tiny Heist

Rated 4 / 5 stars

Genuine old school feel, without all the bullshit that old-school suffered from, meaning great.
Of course, since it got rid of old-school bullshit it has to be subject to modern bullshit, as seen in the fact that it's a roguelite, which isn't necesarily a bad thing, but it could use a good ballancing act or two in the RNG.

First turn-based stealth game I ever had genuine enjoyment for. I'd rather it have designed levels, but if you want to keep it rng, hope you tweak the system to perfection eventually.

In short, with a bit of balancing, this game could become a bite-sized modern classic, and those quick rounds make it perfect for a party game. Hope to see it improve and grow in popularity.


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Absolute Zero (Concept Build) Absolute Zero (Concept Build)

Rated 3 / 5 stars

Great selection of audio, really sets the mood.
Please add some option to re-map controlls. Playing on a laptop is very difficult.
The level's seem a bit baren, but present an interesting challenge. If you want to turn this into a full Metroidvania you should give some direction, somehow tell the player what they're looking for.
Too much HP. Both the player character and enemies are bullet sponges. If you're going for a fast paced thing, you should lower everything's health. If you're going for a slow paced thing with puzzle-like fights and obstacle rooms, you need to add more mechanics, right now if you take the slow approach you can accomplis everything easily but it gets boring quickly.

Looking firward to either this game evolving or future projects.


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Double Shift WEB Version Double Shift WEB Version

Rated 1.5 / 5 stars

-great tune, but it gets old fast
-instead of exploring controlling two symetric characters through intricate level design, it's only the spikes that make you pay attention to the other side of the screen
-the first few levels don't have you thinking about the other side of the screen at all since the levels as well as the charcacter's movements are perfeclty symetrical
-there is way too much RNG in the spike balls. Sometimes they are literally impossible to avoid, others they don't spawn at all. This is artificial difficulty, it's bad game design
-the pop-up box on level 5 is annoying as all hell, especially if you keep dying there


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Xenopunch Xenopunch

Rated 5 / 5 stars

This game deserves nothing less than a maximum rating.

This is the perfectly-concentrated game experience AAA companies don't understand nowadays.
The game has a perfectly balanced way of introducing its mechanics. It doesn't suffer from the READ THE DESCRIPTION syndrome that most flash games have, but it does no hand-holding.
You are thrown right in the middle of the experience and feel exposed, playing into the narrative of a human in an intergalactic fighting ring. You see the platforms and it reminds you of smash bros, so you asume you can jump through them. You see your 4 buttons constantly on-screen so you try them out, figure out movement and pick between the two available configurations. In order to actually beggin the fights you have to learn to punch, which thus far is your only attack, so there's no way you'll get into the fight without understanding how to defend yourself.
The buttons stay on screen and when you get your next ability you see what you have to press, this time there's no alternative button, but that helps in case you forget to check what you got and have to quickly adapt to it.
At first, non-remappable buttons put me off, but I found it very easy to adapt because of the fast-paced kill or be killed vibe.
Stellar artwork, perfectly fits the theme and brings to mind other pixelated sci-fis like Space Quest.
The sound is so-so, the music is good enough to get you into the rhytm of battle but easily forgetable and the voices are weird and hard to make-out, but fitting for that feeling of being lost in an alien world.
The animation is unbelievably hyper. The entire game feels a bit too fast, but the animation drives it home. This isn't a complaint, this helps the player by getting their adrenaline pumping.
Where this made into a bigger middle market or even AAA game it would just add some levels where you're fighting boring waves of repeat enemies, but the way the game is right now, with mostly boss battles with just one normal enemy segment in-between makes it a perfectly distilled mechanics-driven experience.
The way the first boss is recycled into a normal enemy makes the wave-based inbetween stages aways feel fresh and at the same time helps you understand how much stronger you become when unlocking each power-up.
You get as much or as little quiet time as you want in between round, which is great. LEave it up to the player to define the experience. Does he want to be the hyper bad-ass that keeps spamming the gong as soon as it is presented to move on to the next fight, or does he need a minute to process that high-speed battle he barely survived and explore the new abilities? The answer should always be WHATEVER HE DAMN WELL PLEASES.

I love the little touch with the announce running away.

In short:
-Perfect presentation
-Flawless design philosophy
-Short but sweet
-Highly engaging but none addictive(unless you want to chase high scores)
-Sound does jsut enough to service gameplay
-No story, but very well established setting by using short references that the modern audience immediately gets

-Please add medals and stuff, otherwise an interstellar experience

Keep making games, these kinds of projects are the hope of the game industry!!!


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Ferrantelli responds:

Wow thank you so much ! This kind of words definitely gives us motivation to keep making games !