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All 8 game Reviews

Sharp Trigger Sharp Trigger

Rated 3 / 5 stars

May be the start of something interesting

First off, it's pretty promising, and it definitely promises to develop into something great in future.

However, a few things do cripple the overall experience.

Firstly, and the most obvious, is the voice acting. Generally it was too forced, trying too hard to sound tough, and the attempt at imitating action movie stereotypes is too obvious. Instead, it would probably be better to try to relax it a bit, make it sound a bit more natural. It would also help if you left out the one-liners, which are really quite cheesy, to be honest. Unless you're intentionally going for the cheesy kind of atmosphere, of course.

Secondly, there are some consistency and balance issues. While I can understand the rather quick RPG sections, and how sometimes cover can be unavailable, but I found the last part to be a bit off. It difficulty seemed to contrived, created by intentionally breaking the rules. Sniping without cover, enemies popping in without ceremony and firing without any indication, and the fact that they can hit you from a sniper-rifle distance, all seemed out of place. Toward the end I found it more necessary to memorize the locations of the enemies than to try to react to their appearance. It just seemed unnecessary.

Perhaps you could have made cover allowed (since you *are* in a building), but set a time limit to clear the enemies? It would fit better in the context of the game, seeing as how you are trying to get evacuated but are surrounded. The evac chopper would have been forced to leave you behind if you took too long to clear the area.

In any case, it shows promise, and with some improvements to the consistency of the mechanics and atmosphere, would no doubt elevate to greatness.

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Alice is Dead - Ep 3 Alice is Dead - Ep 3

Rated 3.5 / 5 stars

A somewhat muted end to a great series

I had to think really hard before I decided on a score.

My first impulse was to give it a 9. However, after some consideration, I think the 7 that I've put here is more justified. Please hear me out.

**Possible Spoilers Ahead**

I had realised that my first impulse to give it a very high score were due to things that were introduced in the first two games. The White Rabbit, Alice and Hatter portrayed as assassins is a cool idea, but one that was already previously established. Essentially I felt that this third installment lacked the creative fuzz that made the first 2 games great. The setting no longer took advantage of the Alice in Wonderland crossover premise, and essentially dwindled into a by-the-numbers double-cross story.

The second thing that bothered me is the pointlessness of it all when we reached the end. The first game kept you in the dark about who you were playing in the first game, and in the second, the Rabbit was prominent because he was the one who changed Wonderland forever by activating Oyster Cloud. But why are we playing him here? His tale in this game had served no purpose, and he made no lasting impact. It just seems that his role here would have been better as a side-story, while Alice and the Queen's tale should have taken major focus.

Certainly some of the red herrings here exacerbated the problem. An assassin who failed to have his handgun ready when in an elevator is frustrating, and gives off a vibe that the ending was rushed, and the entire story arc may not have been well thought-out.

If the Rabbit's end was necessary, perhaps it would have been more interesting to set the main character as someone else who witnessed it, instead. The Cheshire Cat, perhaps? Or some unlikely hero who just happened to be thrust in the middle of it.

However, despite all this, there is great production value in this. The voice-acting, in particular, is stellar. The mood is here, and it's great. I simply find it sad that this one had failed to be as creative as its predecessors. Taken without the great setting and ideas of the first and second games, this third installment would become generic. That a separate FAQ page is required to explain all the dangling threads seems to support the idea that the storytelling could have been improved.

These are, of course, just my own opinions. Please take what you will from it, and I hope that some of them prove constructive. Sorry if any of this may seem offensive, as I can see that you have all put a great deal of effort into it.

Hope I will see more of your works soon. Cheers!

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Escape the 13th Floor Escape the 13th Floor

Rated 3.5 / 5 stars

Not bad, but fell slightly short

This is a rather long review. Please bear with me, and take what you like from it.

As a puzzler, this was pretty good. The puzzles were clear cut, the solutions were not obscure, and it's good that it never resorted to pixel hunting.

As an adventure game, however, this fell a little short of the expectations it set for itself. The atmosphere hinted at something sinister, from the starting premise to the music to the odd quirks within the building, but the game never cashed in on it. If the story were unimportant, it would probably have been more satisfying with a straightforward storyline, for example a rich but eccentric millionaire dares you to try to escape his newly constructed office building. Something simple, perhaps.

If the story IS important, then at least some sort of teaser should have been thrown in to keep the player interested. Perhaps explain why the papers are blue or why a certain entrance point is so obscurely placed. In fact, why is a key dangling out of reach without any rhyme or reason? If it's some diabolical plan, we'd like to know more.

As daakmore stated below, care should also be taken with the solutions. If a more obvious solution is presented but is not allowed, it only serves to frustrate the player. Try to make sure that the solution you set up is the only (or at least the most plausible) solution available. It is often a thrill for the player if the resolution of a puzzle makes the player go "oh gosh, that's brilliant. Why didn't I think of that earlier?"

As stated before, the ending does not help to cash in on the game's general atmosphere. Without an overarching story and motivation, this game just feels... reduced. Which is a waste, considering the amount of freedom the plot grants you.

All in all, a pretty good puzzler, but if you were aiming for an adventure game, there are some rather unfortunate flaws, but I believe your future efforts would be worth keeping an eye out for.

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Ninja Run - Ninja Run -

Rated 3 / 5 stars

Decent, but needs some redesign

Not a bad attempt at twisting the Canabalt formula, but as Trimaster7 said below, the shooting mechanics becomes unnecessary with the Stone Skin capability.

One thing that puts it below Canabalt is the lack of speed, though. The platforms are mostly small, which kinda limits your freedom. You can't just sprint through the game because doing so would cause you to drop into a pit. The player then ends up being forced to slow down, which really hinders the sense of speed which made Canabalt so much fun to play.

Perhaps longer platforms can be used? They would allow a player to sprint, and give him time to judge the next jump without the need to slow down.

Apart from that, maybe do something about the redundancy of the enemies when you have Stone Skin on, and an indicator about the swinging ability as stated by Sketchyboy2000.

All in all, decent effort, but it could use some more thought.

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YailenkoGames responds:

There is no game on Earth that can compete with Canabalt. It's simply the greatest. And I didn't even tried to. :) Canabalt has completely different feel. And I love it. But I was concentrated on making a game with more fun than tense. That's why I added to this concept a lot of stuff like shooting, double jump, grappling hook, shield, slowing down, speeding up and achievements. Thanks for your review and for checking out my game!

Cursed Treasure Cursed Treasure

Rated 4.5 / 5 stars

Very, very good, but could use some tweaking

This game is one of the most fun I've had in a long while. It's creative, it's got nice variety, a lot of interesting concept twists and it's just plain fun.

Nonetheless, I must say that some of it relies too much on chance. One particular example is stage 7, which has the Ninja champion as the final wave. The champion's ability and speed make it such that, even if you trigger his stealth at the start of the path, he can make it all the way to your gems before revealing himself, and the only thing left to do is pray one of your crypts can freeze or frighten him before he grabs one. This makes the "Brilliant" rank unnecessarily difficult to achieve. It's similar with Assassin's, although they can still be handled with a well-timed spell or two.

Another balance issue I'd like to bring up is with the towers themselves. The Temple is badly hamstrung by its range. Since towers can only be built on specific terrain, it is often hard to make the Temple useful. The crypt, on the other hand, benefits greatly from its impressive range, which can further be increased with player level. Perhaps some slight adjustment will to the Temple towers justice?

All in all, a very addictive game, and very, very fun, that could only be made greater with some minor tweaks.

Theia Theia

Rated 2.5 / 5 stars

Ended Badly

It was fun and interesting, but it overstayed its welcome.

Toward the end, it became tedious, overly convoluted, and borderline sadistic. It ceased being clever, and merely became frustrating. The last boss, in particular, seemed to have been designed to extend the game beyond its natural lifespan. It was not so much a test of intelligence and finger dexterity than it was a test of patience and memory. The change in pace is jarring, and definitely works against the game. The sudden introduction of the mouse in the quicktime event was especially uncalled for, since the mouse was not otherwise required for the entirety of the game.

I, for one, panicked at that point, grabbed the mouse... and clicked the banner ad. Having not written down the password, I would have been forced to restart the game from the beginning, which I do not intend to do.

Apart from that, there are some slight control issues, where the character or the rocks being pushed would be stuck. Backing away and then ramming into the rocks generally overcame the problem, but it does detract from the fun. It is also quite hard to judge the horizontal alignment. Slight misalignments have also been the cause of some cheap deaths.

Quite well done, and definitely holds promise, but would have been better if it had ended before it ran out of ideas.

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ImmorTall ImmorTall

Rated 5 / 5 stars

Very nicely done

Emotional, touching, simply presented yet with much underlying complexity.

I liked how it tried to break new ground, how it was a completely unique experience. I liked the little things, like how each action introduced its own note into the music, how every footstep produced a piano key. There seems to be a lot of hidden detail.

A very nice piece. Thank you for the experience.

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-Grid- -Grid-

Rated 4.5 / 5 stars

Very, very good

Simple, neat, and very, very fun.

It is challenging, well thought-out, and quite addictive.

Built on simple, easy-to-understand rules and principles, there is no steep learning curve to overcome, and the score system eliminates frustration. If you're good, you get a really high score. If you're not, you still get a minimum score for each grid solved.

And, like the best of puzzlers, every level can be solved with enough thought put into it.

Very well done. Thanks for a great game.