Check them out here. It was weird this year, like, the review team started super fast and covered I think about 50% of the work in two weeks? but then we had the normal stall period and finally, when we were done we were halted by itch.io not helping us with some cleanup. (We may fall back to using my old reviewing system for 2022, where we had full control).
Our entry, Rainy Day, didn’t place too high with the review committee (as usual “:D) however they had some good comments:
“On initial look, this feels very bland. It’s a very typical looking green on black looking roguelike, but therein lies the hook. The obvious FF7 references – especially when the music starts up – when you start the actual game tugs on nostalgia so hard that it’s impossible to not get sucked into playing this. It’s a rainy day, and you’re spending it playing an old game and fighting evil.
As for the game itself – It’s a pretty standard hack and slash with gun, but the upgrade pods on each floor that you can learn a new skill in adds an extra layer, especially when they aren’t all combat skills. Increased carry capacity, increased FOV, power upgrades – there wasn’t a skill that could be learned that felt superfluous or pointless.
I got overwhelmed on the harder floors more frequently than I would have liked, but that’s fine, it’s still a great game. I’ll be trying the post 7DRL version soon, I enjoyed it that much.”
I like the aesthetic choices of the ascii alongside realistic sound effects its very immersive for the crawling through caves experience. I also liked the cute auto generated vhs tape names at the start and the rougenet link opening.
The perk system is interesting but some of them feel significantly worse than others, never really felt like I could justify the plasma rifle upgrades as in the 60 minutes i played i found 2 ammo pickups. The game play also gets pretty repetitive pretty quickly as the only real combat choice is when to heal although props for being aware of that and putting them everywhere because this could’ve easily been a game with a lot of no win areas otherwise.
I think the four areas was a little ambitious for this project as the game play loop doesn’t stretch out to that long of a scale well. If you continue to work on this id love to see how they would gain their own personality though!“
In a similar fashion to last year’s Emerald Woods, it seems the jurors wanted more, a sign of maybe a scope too big, although I feel this year it was much more enclosed. Maybe I could have gone for a single dungeon and polish the experience there, aiming to make replays more fun instead of a more content-full longer run, hmmm. The game was a bit unbalanced but the perks system worked well enough.
Again, the music and SFX played an important role in the success of the entry. Thank you Gecko.
In any case both reviews share something, it seems I was able to convey this feeling of playing alone at home on a rainy day, using the simple monochrome display (and the awesome music and sound effects, of course).