Great genre mix (platformer/tower defense) with many interesting ideas. This game's difficulty level and its high speed made me sweat a lot. It was a very enjoyably hard experience, at least till I've reached the 20-th level and then the game became insanely difficult to me.
I have to say, that my three major criterions in any game analysis are the extent to which game utilizes its gameplay mechanics, how this mechanics interact with the story and artistic style to produce an integral aesthetic experience of a game, and how fun and interesting this experience is to me.
First off, this game has some fresh and interesting mechanic innovations. As I've noted above, I found combination of tower-defense and platformer elements very enjoyable. Gravity-switching mechanic allows to extract more advantage from two-dimensional flat platformer-like space by opening it's otherwise wasted verticality. Controls take time to adjust, but when they do, movement and navigation start to feel very natural. Turrets mechanic too does not work in a way one could have expected, and a player accustomed to more standard tow-def. rules (as me myself) could experience some hard times adopting to it. But after a few failed attempts I figured that this game requires more flexible approach to resource, space and turret managing: no penalty for turret deconstruction encourages players to shift their defenses according to the situation. Key to a timely turret management is good tactical and strategic thinking and precise spatial orientation. That's where gravity-switching platformer mechanics comes at hand, closing a circle of my description. Game's overall shortage of locations is compensated by the variety of ways you can enhance your defense’s efficiency: by combining different types of turrets, different locations, relocating turrets "on the move", shifting between locations, shooting enemies yourself, optimizing your shooting position, upgrading turrets, etc. Unfortunately though, shooting mechanics feel somewhat underdeveloped and most of the time pretty pointless; same goes for the turret upgrade system (in most tow-def. games player's choices oscillate between location and upgrades. here clear advantage is on the side of location, since you will rarely have enough resources to upgrade more than one turret, and at this point this upgrade will not do much difference).
Second, game's theme, music and graphics I found very well designed and quite fitting for the overall gameplay tempo and rhythm. Music, in my opinion, is especially important, since, while keeping player constantly on the edge, it creates frantic hyper dynamic rhythm that encourages player to move, think and react faster. Also game is very well visually organized. Interface is simple and clear, which allows more fluid and uninterrupted gameplay experience to occur.
Overall, playing this game was one of the most refreshing and exhilarating experiences I've had in a long time. It offers real challenge, while also creating some space for players muscle to grow, so to speak, and to achieve high scores through developing actual skills. With that said, this game also has some gameplay mechanics issues and definitely itself has some room to grow.
The sound, graphics, and general gameplay are excellent. Now on to the two major issues which make this game essentially unplayable past a few minutes.
1, Why does my blaster have an over heat function? It serves no purpose as its default fire is just strong enough to serve as a last ditch weapon to keep your self alive for a few extra seconds. There is no reason for this weapon to have any kind of leashing mechanic. Especially when you are expected to defend multiple rooms at once. In fact this gun needs to have a few UPGRADES.
2, Resources, why do the enemies drop such a small amount of metal? Do you really expect people to repair four separate targets, micro manage turrets, relocate turrets, and all while defending three separate locations? This is an absolute mess, and a few sub systems need to be axed badly. There is no reason to have a situation where you need to relocate resources on top of arranging the best defense method for each individual room. Have one or the other, but don't have both as they are contradictions of each other. When you set up turrets have an upgrade that allows you to change it into any other type on the fly without need for disassembly and relocation. Increase the resource drops by at least a factor of three.
Now those are the major issues that make it unplayable. As in don't expect a person to last past the ten minute mark. Now for less serious, but still valid considerations.
1, Have enemies that focus on the player more. I was never at any point in risk of dying myself.
2, The three stages got boring really fast and I think the game could use some form of procedural generation.
3, Weapon upgrades could really expand your active participation in the defense, which is essentially nothing at the moment because of the pointless over heating mechanic.
4, You have platforming elements but you don't have any thing to platform around. Some stage hazards could really force you to keep your guy on the move.
Anyway, great potential right now, but it really needs a lot of work before I think it's ready to be sold to people for real money.
Hey bixnood007, thanks for playing and leaving feedback! A 1-star rating feels a bit harsh, though XD
The game has an emphasis on micro-managing your turrets, but we structured the spawning of the enemies to not be completely overwhelming. However, we agree that we'll need to do more balancing of the resources. We also think that relocating turrets should be made easier, and we're probably going to remove the downtime when upgrading them.
There are more features in the works (like upgrades for the blaster), and it'll be some time before we reach a beta state. Hopefully, you'll continue to follow us as we introduce new features. Thanks for the feedback, once again!
WHERE CAN I GEt the soundtrack???*drools in Nostalgia*
Hi Shin-Goji86-1! You can find the music at https://freemusicarchive.org/music/sawsquarenoise/RottenMage_SpaceJacked/
Check out sawsquarenoise's other works at http://rolemusic.sawsquarenoise.com/p/discography.html
Thanks for playing!
I'm giving this game 3 and a half stars because, though I really like the game, I feel it has enough missing from it to warrant subtracting a star and a half. It'd be a half star better IMO if it had more music tracks - the repetition of the music gets annoying.
The first thing I found that I didn't like was that the enemies don't always drop the same amount of metal per level - this lowers the value of the game to me because I know that if I'm not lucky, I might lose the game because I have just a few scraps less metal than I need, and the only thing I can do about it is to hope to be more lucky next game.
Secondly, I couldn't see the numbers appear when the lazer attacked - I want to see tower stats when I'm building and upgrading the towers so I know what I'm getting.
I sent this game to a friend, and he thought the game didn't work because he didn't know he needed to press a button to advance the game screen - a text saying "press K to continue" would have been helpful.
I would have also liked a quicker way to sell the towers - consider adding an autosell button to avoid that little pause.
I hope there are more towers and upgrades and enemies in the full version! And some more character backstory and plot advancement.
Hey Zeinith! Thanks for the feedback! Some of your suggestions are being implemented right this moment =). We'll be adding more upgrades and enemies with a proper story mode in the full version of the game too =).
First game I find on Newgrounds, and it's actually enjoyable. I enjoy the half-and-half system of Tower Defense and Mega Man like gameplay, although it gets to be a bit of a hassle sometimes due to lack of metal at one time. Easy, Medium, and Hard modes would be helpful for people of differing skill.
The music...I'm not sure whether to praise it for being good and Sega Genesis sounding, or annoyingly looping two or so songs.
The art style isn't original, but it does it's job. The loading screens on my laptop are slower than Sonic '06's loading screens (an exaggeration of course) , so I suggest getting that fixed pronto.
I would have liked a bit more character development, but that's just my preference.
Overall, I give Spacejacked 6/10.