All 8 game Reviews


Magic Pen Magic Pen

Rated 2 / 5 stars

A disappointing waste of a good physics engine

I'm very impressed with the physics of this game. I'm still trying to figure out how to implement hinges and pins myself. I don't know whether you wrote the engine yourself or if you used something premade like Box2D Flash, but it's a very nice engine either way.

But this game hardly does anything with the engine! Not only did you neglect your chance to do something awesome with all this physics, you made a direct copy of the game Crayon Physics instead. If you're going to borrow someone's ideas, you might as well have the decency to only keep the good parts of it and throw out the bad. But I see no evidence of such discrimination here.

What do I mean? Well, you have this great physics engine, but then you force us to go through frustratingly awkward lengths just to interact with it. I want to be able to revel in the wild bouncing and swinging and falling and collapsing and exploding of a screen full of crazy physical objects, all easily stirred up and built up and broken down and mixed around by me, in real time! You could have done that with this engine, but you didn't! Why didn't you?

I hope your next game rectifies this unforgivable error. ;)


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This Is Madness This Is Madness

Rated 3.5 / 5 stars

Does a lot of things well, less fun than expected

Nice adaptation of Madness to a platform shooting game. At first I was surprised at how tiny the characters were on the screen, and how big the levels were, but I realized that those are standard for the platform shooter genre. As a result the Madness-ness of the game was relatively low, but perhaps that was your intention.

I really liked the way you moved around physically to access different options and levels. It's an approach that I've also thought would be very useful. I think you could have expanded on it to allow several exits from each level, where some are easier levels and some are harder, to allow the player to control difficulty level and increase enjoyment, like flOw.

The coding and design to include as many features and touches as you did must have been a lot of work. There's not much to say here, but good job. I think that the feel would have been improved by reducing the bounciness and slipperiness of the platforms - the movement didn't feel very solid.

The graphics were decent, except... I think you made a very poor decision in frequently including colors outside of Madness' usual gray tones and red. At the very least, the crates scattered around for decoration should have been a shade of gray, not green. In my opinion they greatly weakened what otherwise would have been a very strong aesthetic feel. The enemies could have used fewer colors too - at least use a single color for each enemy, even if it's not a traditional Madness color.

I think the color choice was the poorest aspect of the game, relative to how easy it would have been to change with a bit of feedback from an artist. In fact, it wouldn't be a bad idea to change the colors and update the file. Seriously. My rating would go up to 8/10 if you really captured the Madness feel.

The gameplay started to become stale - I think partly because of the emphasis on maneuvering platforms (which was a weak part of the design anyway) instead of using different weapons and fighting more, and more varied, enemies. Put more enemies and weapons in there - and make dodging easier with bullet time or something - and the fun would last a lot longer.

I liked the developer view. It would have been nice to add more unlockables though. Overall, nice work. A real accomplishment. :)


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Particles Particles

Rated 4.5 / 5 stars

Simple concept, well executed

8 balls. :D

Wow, that was the first Flash game for a while that I really enjoyed. I'm impressed Matteo, you have shown that you are a good game designer, not just a guy who makes a bunch of ragdoll games. :)

The sound was great. I liked the bounce sounds, they were subtle but added to the feel of the game, and never got annoying. And the music was really good! I wanted to keep playing just so I could keep listening to it! And I was sad to lose because the music stopped. :(

I was impressed at the attention to detail and user-friendliness, how the new ball appeared for a few seconds before it dropped in, allowing you to get out of the way in time. The simplicity of the concept and controls was very nice too.

I think the main thing that could be added is a high score board, both across the web if you can do that, or even charting your progress within one play session by yourself. It would help increase motivation if the player is able to make progress each time. I was stuck at 8, and it would have been nice to have a record of my previous times on a graph or something.

Lastly, I am really inspired to do a graphical skin of this game, with fancy visuals like lines sparking between the balls, and colorful explosions and stuff. When are you going to open up the source code for modding? :D


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Crazy Chess Crazy Chess

Rated 3.5 / 5 stars

Awesome concept, nice execution

Wow, this is so cool! I love the idea of a real-time arcade game based on the rules of chess. I also think it could be very helpful for people learning to play chess. It's a great example of how to use the strengths of casual games to help people learn and practice skills, like getting familiar with how a knight moves, or doing calculus...

I think this game has a lot of potential to expand, using all the different chess pieces in later levels, introducing them one at a time of course. They could either be controlled by the player, or use enemies.

Also, it would be nice to have greater variety in the graphics. Why not have different graphics with different levels? You could have one where they look like soldiers, for example, with attack animations.

The music is nice, though it's a little repetitive.

Overall, this is a nice simple game that has a lot of potential to expand on.



-Red- -Red-

Rated 4 / 5 stars

Near perfect for what it is

This game is very simple, smooth, stylish, fun, like Flash games are supposed to be.

I really liked the basic mechanic, of deflecting the oncoming circles. It reminded me of Aikido, like randori practice, where people keep coming at you and you have to sort of deflect them and stay calm and anticipate. It's a lot like playing this game. Not to say that I'm good at Aikido or anything. But I can appreciate the similarities intellectually.

Also, the music was an interesting contrast to most game music. It seemed to fit the red color scheme, also kind of reminding me of the Afro Celt song Release. It sounded like you layered different loops with ActionScript. Is this true? I've been trying to do something like that for my last project.

You may notice I keep going on about Aikido and the Afro Celt Sound System. Well, somebody has to do it. :p

Well, good luck with the contest.



wpnFire wpnFire

Rated 4 / 5 stars

Stylish, high-quality stick shooter

This is an impressive game. Personally, I enjoyed it more than Thing Thing, though other people might not like it as much.

The game is certainly very stylish. The menu had some interesting sound that reminded me of The Incredibles. And the very smooth controls contributed to that feel. The little things helped too, like the way that the camera moved with your mouse. I also thought it was interesting how the graphics were pixelated (though you can change that), since I don't see that much in stick stuff.

The graphics are very detailed, from the way the guns fit the different poses of the stick figure, to the bullet casings that spray as you fire the gun. The sound effects are also very nice, and plentiful. The only issue I had was with the gruesome sounds of enemy soldiers getting hit. Without a storyline, I was left wondering why I should be inflicting such pain upon these people.

In terms of gameplay, I liked that all the guns were available for experimentation in most game modes. I think that Adventure Mode should start a little easier, particularly since it is the first mode a new player is likely to try, being at the top of the list. Maybe start by making it harder to fall off the platform?

It's nice to have so many game types to try. But it's also nice to have one main mode that is more polished than the others.

For humor, well, stick games in general are usually kind of silly, though this one doesn't have any obviously humorous elements.

Overall, this is a really nice, well-polished game that could probably become a classic stick game. Try it!


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Ragdoll Avalanche II Ragdoll Avalanche II

Rated 3 / 5 stars

Nice, simple, fun

It's nice to see more physics based games made in Flash, especially made by the author of Ragdoll Masters.

This game is very nice. It's fun to move around, the graphics are very consistent and clean, and so are the sound effects. That slice sound was very slice-y. And the blood spray fit the graphical style quite well too.

The music did get kind of repetitive, but you can't expect much more from a Flash game. It would also have been nice if the blades started out slower in the beginning.

The messages displayed upon dying were kind of funny, but oftentimes just weird and didn't seem to reflect your score. But the way you get sliced up was funny. It deserves at least a chuckle or two.

So overall, a nice concise game, definitely above average.

Note to True_Darkness: Soon, a Flash successor to Ragdoll Masters will arise. I cannot say any more, except that it will be even better than Ragdoll Masters itself! (sorry Matteo ;p)

And I can't make any promises, but a tutorial is certainly a possibility. Now, I must flee, before the admins find me. (hopefully that wasn't too much unrelated promotion)


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Stick Arena (NG) Stick Arena (NG)

Rated 3.5 / 5 stars

Fun! and well-polished

I was pleasantly surprised trying out this game. The level of polish on the game is impressive.

The game is very easy to pick up and play, with simple, well-thought out controls, which I appreciate. The loading time is also reasonable.

All the little finishing touches, like the tutorial that pops up if you don't do anything, and the loading animations, were nice and gave the game a polished feel. On my computer too I was glad to find the game running smoothly without any lag.

The weakest point was probably the graphics, which don't look too good in screen shots, but are at least functional in the game. I didn't get tired of looking at them, but it might have been nicer to have a more consistent visual scheme. (the realistic background with the stick figures was kind of weird)

The sound was simple, but there were some nice features, like sound effects that got louder and softer depending on where they were coming from, so you could hear enemies before you saw them.

And of course the multiplayer is a very impressive achievement.

Overall, the game is really quite fun and well-made, so try it out!