First off, fun game and GREAT concept! I enjoyed playing this. I especially like how the clues are very clear and easy to understand at a glance.
With that said, I have some positive criticism to make.
First and foremost, the random generation of the puzzles does not work well.
I understand this adds some re playability and that, without it, game overs would be essentially pointless, but in practice this results in the game becoming easier the more you progress, and here's why.
Anything other than adjacent and unknown distance clues are almost always immediatly solvable, as more often than not game doesn't place any pieces matching these clues, other than the correct answer.
This made it so than in the first few levels I had to do a bit of thinking, while later I could simply instantly solve several 2-3 distance or the multiple room "+" clues and breeze through the rest of the puzzle with very minimal thought. A couple possible fixes for this occur to me:
- No random generation AKA designing each of the levels (as mentioned this would make game overs pointless and simple trial and you could just force your way with trial and error, but I think anybody playing this type of game would want not to cheat it, although this is still an issue, I would leave game overs in the game to disincentivise this).
- A better algorithm for generating puzzles and clues that takes into consideration what's mensioned above by adding required conditions varying with the level, or something like that.
Something else that could help with this issue by adding a lot of depth to the puzzles is adding column and row clues to the mix, for example "X is 2 rows above Y" or "X is 2 columns to the right of Y", it is much harder to pinpoint a location with this information, forcing you to use other clues in conjunction. This could make the game immensely more complex.
I would also like to mention a much smaller issue, later on and in puzzles with multiple pets in the same room I have trouble telling which pets have already been discovered at a glance, perhaps besides getting bigger when discovered, changing the color of the outline as well would help.
That's all she wrote, cheers!