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All 8 game Reviews


Valhalla Bound Valhalla Bound

Rated 4 / 5 stars

It's pretty fun. Kind of takes the dignity out of that funerary ritual (I'm aware it's not real, but the idea has dignity). I like how Odin cares more about the ships than the souls.

I think this game does need tutorials, but there's a lot of room for improvement. The ones you have are slow, non-interactive, over-explain some things and under-explain others. Most of the things in the tutorial could have been explained in-game, with a "shoot here" crosshair the first time you encounter a specific monster. I had no idea what to do when it was raining until I saw your explanation in response to another review.

I don't think you're getting complaints because people don't want things explained at all, but because your tutorials are tedious and completely break the pace of the game.


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Avizial responds:

This is great feedback! I think you hit the nail on the head.

We have plans to completely overhaul the automated tutorials in a future update. However, for this current update (1.3.7) we implemented a help guide in the title screen that briefly and concisely informs the player on how to play the game.

We originally created the tutorials for the mobile market in mind. Especially for the casual gaming market. We now realize that many players on Newgrounds are skilled enough to understand basic game mechanics without so much hand-holding.

Thanks for playing our game! We hope to hear from you in future titles.


Guild Dungeons 2 Guild Dungeons 2

Rated 4 / 5 stars

A really interesting idea, but room for improvement.

I played the first game, and this one is an improvement over it in a BIG way. It provides a lot more information than the first game did about, eg leader and unit abilities, the difficulty curve was smoother, and I experienced far fewer total party kills.

That said, some of the problems from the first game remain. The city-building part is pretty poorly designed. Even the layout makes it very difficult for a new player to tell which buildings are "low end" and which are "high end". The resource rates are way too slow at the beginning of the game, and building a hundred hovels right away works too well. I suggest you consider dropping the city game entirely and focusing on questing.

The quest system is a really original and fun concept. However, I think the after-action reports in this version are a little too brief. Ideally, they should read like a story. I think a greater focus on the quest system with more special events would be a nice way to expand on this concept.



Decision 2 Decision 2

Rated 4.5 / 5 stars

A very well put together game. I like how you combined various genres in a way that felt consistent with the theme and setting. You had the main third person shooter, but also some RPG and simulation elements.

Unlike many games of this type, I rarely felt like I had to grind. The only tedious part was searching out the last few zombies on a given mission, and even that wasn't so bad once you got the radar.

One thing I didn't like was when I upgraded a tower to level 2 with the rocket weapon. I thought I'd be able to switch between the level 1 machine gun and the rocket, but I just had rockets. While rockets are nice for softening up big groups of zombies, you needed the machine gun to finish them off. After that, I just used machine guns. I didn't get a chance to try the cannon.

For personal weapons, I used a rifle/shotgun combo. Rifle for when they were far away, shotgun when they got close. Plus the occasional rocket or grenade for softening up big groups.

While the sim elements of building up the towers and factories was nice, the player character seemed better at making money and killing zombies, so it kind of felt like a waste to build them up fully.

It's a fairly simple game, not a whole lot of story, but what it does, it does well.



Ad Bellvm Ad Bellvm

Rated 4 / 5 stars

Short, but pretty enjoyable

The battles were a little weird. They get harder and harder to manage as the number of troops involved grows. I guess that's realistic, but the NPCs didn't seem to have a problem with its soldiers walking off to nowhere or just standing there ignoring attacks. It might have been nice if the player could make some of their own troops ai controlled, or if there was an option to automatically resolve the battle.

I beat the game with both the Chinese and the Romans. In both cases I mostly ignored the economy and only used one unit type (Chinese spearmen, Roman swordsmen), but I understand how hard it is to balance a game like this.

A campaign mode with different maps and a story would be a good way to draw out the length.

Anyways, I had fun playing it. Nice to see another game from you.


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Shop Empire Shop Empire

Rated 4.5 / 5 stars

Rather enjoyable

I've wondered why I hadn't seen a flash game based on the Sim Tower mechanics, but not I have. It's rather enjoyable game, I spent a few hours on it.

The music was catchy, although the night theme got a little annoying. I kept hearing lyrics in my head after awhile. "I'd hate to build a mall, only to have it fall. I'd hate to build a mall, only then to have it go-o and fall." Drove me crazy.

At some points, the game relies on 'false difficulty', with many of the missions having goals that are completely arbitrary. I sometimes found myself adding new floors that were almost empty just to meet the quota, or fast forwarding through a day to meet a goal I far exceeded the previous day, or randomly clicking on shops to upgrade. In terms of drawing out the game length, it worked, but the same thing could have been achieved with more content, like even more expensive shops, or more logistical problems to solve. I understand this stuff's not always practical though.

Another minor problem is some of the information wasn't well organized. It would be nice if we could click on a shop and gain some indication of its popularity so we know if it needs to be upgraded. When a celebrity visits, we should be able to jump to their location if we want instead of having to search through dozens of sprites.

The idea for this game was very good. It had a simple but addicting gameplay mechanic, and a strangly charming aesthetic to it. No complaints about the art, the story was good enough for this kind of game, the gameplay is addicting and relatively original. I enjoy games like this, and hope to see more in the future.


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Kaleidoscope Dating Sim Kaleidoscope Dating Sim

Rated 3 / 5 stars

Decent, but very similar to other games of yours

I'm always impressed with how you manage to make such addictive and compelling games with such simple mechanics. I think it takes a truly talented game designer to pull that off.

That said, this particular installment didn't really do much to distinguish itself from the others you've done. The mechanics were nearly identical, the story kept my interest, but didn't really pay off in my opinion. The art was definitely well done, but not as surreal as I'd expect for a game with this premise. The music seemed like an odd choice. I didn't feel it really fit the mood of the game.

Overall, though, this was a well made game. I played through the Angel ending, and will probably try to play through the rest. I hope to see more games from you, and I hope you will challenge yourself a little more in the future.


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Sushi Cat 2 Sushi Cat 2

Rated 5 / 5 stars

Everything the original was and more

I liked the new powerups, the bonus levels, the multiple screens. Most importantly, you seem to have solved the biggest problem with the original, ie the cat getting stuck. I'm guessing there's some kind of failsafe that pushes the cat down harder when he's stuck. Sometimes this works against the player's favor, but it's better than having to restart because that cat got stuck.

The story is cute, as before. The music was fine, although I kind of missed the song that played during the videos in the first.


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The Day (Gregory Weir) The Day (Gregory Weir)

Rated 3.5 / 5 stars

Not bad, although I've seen better from you

The card game was pretty simple once I got the hang of it. I would say your pixel skills have improved a great deal. As you said in your notes, I was reminded of Earthbound. The music was catchy, although it got a little repetitive. It was a solid, well made game.

This may be considered a spoiler:

The "twist" may have been too heavily foreshadowed. It was pretty obvious the "peaceful camp" wasn't so peaceful as soon as we're told that there are guards who will kill you if you try to leave. Besides, the imagery put me in mind of the old south, so I really wasn't expecting an unblemished paradise. I started the game knowing the camp had a dark secret, and the only mystery was what it was. The answer was underwhelming compared to the shock I felt at the end of, say, Bars of Black and White. You know, it just occurred to me that maybe the real twist was that this really is a peaceful village, because I was expecting the revelation to be something much darker. :)

End spoiler.

It feels wrong to give one of your games a mediocre score, but I'm comparing you to yourself, so the odds are more against you. I look forward to your next game, as always.


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