It's very pretty and polished, but the core gameplay mechanics need some major overhaul:
- give the player a better sense of progression. Watch how Bewjeweled structures its difficulty curve/level sizes.
- give the player more and better rewards for gameplay choices. Even if it's just a small glow, jingle and extra points when they combine 4+ objects or fuse another object together.
- as said below, make it clearer where the new object spawns
- dynamically alter the difficulty curve by introducing seemingly random tide-turners that have a higher rate of spawning if the player is in a pinch (a lot of unused objects for example). The lower the level, the more likely it's gonna help new players out when they need it.
- give players rewards for doing well, for thinking strategically or simply playing for a long time. Maybe tell them at the beginning of the level they can have 1 free tide-turner if they execute X combos. This doubles as an invisible tutorial in the first levels.
- give the player some sort of achievement after a game over that will make them want to play again, maybe a tide-turner, maybe a skin, maybe just an XP bar that fills up. Any kind of progression that the player knows will lead to something - unlike the seemingly infinite elemental fusion - will keep them going
- give higher level players additional challenges instead of tide-turners if they're doing /too/ well. Like petrified blocks that will only become usable if a reaction happens nearby.
- finally, depending on how long you want to stretch the game, build in checkpoints or make it easy for experienced players to get back to their limits so they can take pride in breaking that limit.
- nobody cares about highscore lists. Seriously. It's only relevant for like the top 10 players and this game really isn't of competitive nature. It's a casual game, your audience just wants to play something fun. If you want to give them a challenge, think about time challenges or the aforementioned "do these tricks and earn a tide-turner".
What an unrewarding game. I can tell you were probably pressing for difficulty but you've overstepped that a bit and gone onto something where you need far more luck than skill.
Here are some suggestions:
- Allow to see further ahead (gives more ability to plan ahead).
- Allow to swap current selection with the upcoming (just making it a little less frustrating).
- CHANGE THE ICONS. Okay, this is a big one... There are TWO sun symbols and TWO bi-colour-with-turquoise. Very pretty and I know you've subtly got them numbered but they LOOK too similar and it makes it that much harder to get a feel for the game as well as subtracting from any feeling of progression.
- Give some sort of indication of where the new element would form. Every time I think I've got the hang of it goes a strange way, which takes away from the ability to plan and is generally annoying.
- Maybe add in an exclusion on what tiles are generated, i.e. once I'm up to element #8 I really don't need more of sun #1 or leaves and I don't want to fill up half the screen waiting for a new purple flower to spawn.
- Add in some special pieces/abilities (maybe that you can earn via combos) to CLEAR bits of the screen instead of just shrinking it.
- Have the score go up as combos continue, at the moment it either doesn't care or counts it as 1, which adds to the unrewarding atmosphere.
OR... Add a separate mode with one or more of the above, if they're incompatible with the game you want to make.
At the moment the game has a lot of potential and is rather addictive but the lack of satisfaction makes it a less than enjoyable experience.
i have seen many games like this. this game could be very good but the controlls are bugged.
The game concept is great and as it is still beeing developed, I hope there might be more features coming. Gameplay, Idea, Graphics and Music are all fine.
As has been said before, controlling where an element will spawn is hard. Its always spawning in the lowest place and if theres multiple, it will choose leftmost place on the lowest level.
Thus requires thorough planning and a bit of luck to unlock the high ranking elements. I finally managed to unlock the violett skull, but it took me a while. It wasnt easy, but the challenge added a good bunch to the games addictivness.
What this game could use is more play modes and maybe some specials.
I could imagine, for example, that for each unlocked element in a single play, you are granted single removal action for previously misplaced blocks.
Also, the ability to discard your next pair of blocks might be interesting.
Anyhow, it shouldnt make the game too easy, rather add some strategic options that one can save up till the air is getting really thin.
Also, the title suggest that there might be a bit of a story behind the game - at least the game title has some potential - and a cool background story would definatyl take this game to a whole new level.
I could picture a sereies of tasks where you have to create a certain composition of elements instead of just merging elements for the pure sake of it.
Good (draft of a) game after all, I'd like to see more coming.
Definitely has replay value. A little short on the reward side. More to come with updates I suppose. Feels like toward the end there are too many blocks. It really screws you missing one move at that point, which I can't really argue with.
Perhaps the random block generator is too random by then? Or maybe I just need more space! :D
Reliably getting 20,000 after several (30+) times through.
Too bad we can't pick music straight off of the Audio portal. That would be sweet.
God I loved that Tetris forced you to play faster and faster. Though I do like getting time to think a couple moves ahead.
What a fantastic time-waster!