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Hey, you, robot. No, not you, YOU! Yes you.
Run these trials. Do them now. Do not escape the lab. Don't even think about it.
Solid effort, but this game begs for refinements.
I played and enjoyed the first "Point of Control," and went into this one expecting improvements over the original. In the end, I wasn't disappointed, but I wasn't particularly impressed, either.
I really like the various graphical updates and the robot's refined handling, which gives this game a slightly more professional look and feel than the first one had. But both games are still extremely similar; I was hoping this one would contain challenges that differed significantly from those in the original, but there aren't many new things to see. Nonetheless, I enjoyed this game about as much as I enjoyed the original, but it could definitely be fresher.
There's a bigger issue, though: There are some very noticeable bugs that could easily be fixed to provide players with a more enjoyable experience. Here's what I found by playing through the game a few times:
- The collision-checking between the robot and the hazard cubes is a bit iffy (the first game also had this problem). I first noticed in Trial 15 that the robot could jump very far into the cubes without dying (strangely, this issue seems to be nonexistent in the first few trials). Furthermore, it's possible to pass right through the cubes if you jump/fall towards them in a certain way.
- There seems to be a problem with the robot/exit collisions as well. On Trial 19 (and I believe on at least one other trial after that), I reached the goal but wasn't taken to the next trial automatically. I had to press the jump key while standing in front of the exit in order to complete the current trial and move on.
- The robot can't jump while standing on a platform that's moving upwards.
- There are some synchronization issues with the temporarily-disappearing platforms; they seem to disappear and reappear with slightly different timings every playthrough, which I don't think is intentional.
If you plan to make a third "Point of Control," you ought to consider an engine overhaul and/or rewrite. For the most part, this game plays fine, but encountering those bugs can be irritating. Always remember to thoroughly play and test your games before releasing them; you might be surprised at what you can find.
Another very important thing that ought to be improved upon is the game's rendering efficiency. While I was playing through trials that involved a lot of hazard cubes, the game lagged substantially due to having to render lots of vector shapes. Adjusting the display quality with Flash's context menu got rid of the lag, but there are better ways to solve the issue: You could include easily accessible quality-toggle buttons (since players may not know about or think to use the context menu), or you could replace some or all of the vector drawings with bitmaps, which can be rendered much faster (a superior solution, in my opinion).
Aside from those major things, you could improve upon the presentation slightly by fixing a few spelling and grammatical errors and doing some general neatening (which would likely happen naturally if you were to rewrite the game engine). The inclusion of music and additional sound effects could be beneficial too (although the dearth of audio doesn't bother me personally), unless you intend for the experience to be mostly silent.
Finally, you ought to credit yourself somewhere in your work so it isn't an easy target for thieves. You can even site-lock your games, if you wish. (Sadly, Flash game theft is very common.)
In summary, you could do a lot more with this game by including a wider variety of challenges, and it would have a far more professional vibe if you were to eliminate the bugs, improve the performance, and tidy a few things up. If you put more effort into polishing it, you could end up with a really slick and refined product.
Good luck with your future endeavors!
The design and concept was a good one, but it was ruined with lack of variety and some "heavy" controls, moving around was a pain as when I began he moved to slow and if you remove your finger from the direction he stops almost dead in his tracks, too much friction.
Despite those faults, it was a fun platformer.
HBO starts targeting children!
What place? Earth!
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