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Reviews for "Barriers"

A very good game!

I had to play this game by myself because I have no friends and any girl would probably find it as an obvious and awkward hint if I tried to convince them to play this with me. However, this game did ease my lonely soul.

If the background music to this game was what I woke up to every morning, my life might be pretty easy. So first off, good job picking a song that matched the game's theme and length perfectly. Also, as cheap as the physics and movement might seem to some, it plays perfectly. It's not overly thought or glitchy. In fact, it's just humorous enough to have two people bumping into each other (I like to complete a level during a jump) that it also matches the upbeat, carefree vibe of the theme song.

You have a knack for level design. The last level was the only one I had to restart, but my mind felt active and engaged during every level. No solution was entirely obvious because you don't denote exactly what any triggers will perform. I know some people prefer to eyeball levels and solve the entire level before starting play, but so long as the evolution of a level relatively pain-free, I don't mind either way.

I'll give an example of another game - Pixelo - which you can find here on Newgrounds. Mathematically, every level could be solved if you could think enough moves ahead... It's really a game about truthy or falsy matrices. However, in practice it's difficult to see that many moves ahead. The more you play the game, the better you get at proving single moves are correct, rather than trying to solve the entire board at once. (Unless you're just that good. I don't know.)

Anyways, a gripe I actually had about Pixelo is that it punishes you for making bad moves. I don't believe in punishing players too harshly.

Thankfully, your levels are small, challenging, and at the same time very fluent. If you make a mistake, you can generally go back and fix it. I suppose you have to assume your partner is somewhat competent and isn't just going to stay in the same place and get locked inside of a wall... but I didn't find it to be a major issue.

So...

I would say go for more intricate levels. Increasing game length is a difficult thing to do. And if you have too many levels with basic play, it gets very frustrating to players. Examples I'll cite are Super Mario Bros. 3 for the NES and Kid Chameleon for the Sega Genesis. Kid Chameleon especially had many levels as the game went on that felt like procedurally generated variations of previous levels. It got annoying. After playing so many levels, you felt as though you should have already been rewarded for mastering the "level type".

That's an issue I foresee if you had spent time creating more levels. I'd ask myself, why am I still being presented with challenges, even though I've proven myself capable of completing them?

Obviously, you could have added things like teleporters, lasers, enemies, etc. I'm going to be honest, the fundamental idea behind these type of flip-the-switch puzzle games is too simple to justify additional obstacles like that. Your fire wall obstacles were perfect because they made me think about my movements without having to worry about timing them too carefully. That fits in with the "relaxing" type concentration that this game offers.

So what I would suggest for this game and its theme is something like collectible items. Ideally, non-required bonus items to start just so people like me who have OCD about winning games at 100% completion will have something to look forward to at the end. It'd be funny, albeit a little sexist, for example, if you didn't collect these items and a green guy came by at the end and took your girl... unless you had all the medallions, of course, in which case he wouldn't.

In other words, a relaxed theme game needs optional puzzles. When you start adding additional, mandatory mechanics, you break the theme and you break the user's love of the game.

I will say that I had a lot of love and enjoyment for this game and that trust was never violated. That's important. Keep it up! You're bound to go far :)

FSt-Germain responds:

Thanks for this awesome review! I'm glad you really understood the theme, and relaxed puzzling that I was going for. I understand what you're saying with the intricate levels. The first four a slow, and I like the idea of condensing those basic mechanics into one level, so i might post an update with more intricate levels :) I get what you're saying with the collectibles, It was something that consciously avoided at first, because I wanted it to be a clean experience. But now that you have given me a better idea than just putting coins everywhere, I think it would be a fun way to engage more experienced players. I would have to redesign all the levels of course, so we'll see if I put it in an update, but it's going to bother me every update I don't put it in now because It's such a good idea. Thanks for the response, I have so many great ideas on how I can improve this game!

Okay. So, this game was really good. A few recommendations would be just a few more levels and a few bug fixes. I.e. The last level in this version of the game, when you have to make the jumps during on the right side of the map, the player may literally be sky-rocketed off the screen during jumps. I mean, I found it hilarious, but I don't know how others would perceive it. Good game though!

FSt-Germain responds:

Thanks for the response. I've encountered the same problem (It totally was hilarious) I think at some point I will put out an update which fixes the many problems. I'm glad you enjoyed the game:)

Very creative! Good stuff!!

I really like this game, It's cute but it can be improved quite a lot in graphics.
It's nice that you can play single player or with a friend, I played this with my brother, my character was the girl <3
:P

Anyway, here are a few suggestions:
As I said (and it's actually the only negative aspect of this game, at least for me) graphics could be improved. This is just my personal taste, but I don't really like the black bars and white background. However, I understand you might be trying to achieve the simplistic look.
In that case, here's a few things that could make it look better:

-Create some kind of consistency in sizes... I'm not sure what words I should use here, but what I mean is: The levels could be designed in some kind of invisible "block pattern"
Example: all walls could be made of blocks with the perfect size of 20 pixels by 20 pixels
(so a long wall could be 20x80 pixels, as long as you use the basic 20x20 pattern)
... and white spaces would use the same size pattern. of course the white spaces need to be bigger, in that case you would use the size of 40x40 pixels or 80x80 pixels... Basically, you could use these sizes with consistency, to avoid having floors with slightly different thickness, or badly placed... (Think about the kind of size consistency you see in Minecraft. every block, wall, floor and ceiling fits perfectly, nothing is out of place)

Here's a good example: In the first level, the ceiling on top of the male character doesn't really fit with the wall (the ceiling is 1 or 2 pixels above the wall) And the girl character room is slightly larger that the male character room, and there's no need for that... These are just small details, but I see these everywhere and they make the game look unfinished.

Overall, I really like this game. These are just my opinions (I think the game fails in graphics, but other than that, it's a really good game, I'd give it a 5 but I can't ignore the graphics. The only thing I like in these graphics, is the characters, even though they are so simple)

I hope you make new one with more pleasant graphics (Just a suggestion, 8Bit style graphics could work very well this this game, but it's really up to you... Maybe hand-drawn style, or paintings could work very well too)

Good luck ;)

FSt-Germain responds:

Thanks for the feedback :). I really like your ideas for improving art and I will remember them when I create a new game. Maybe even if I make a new update. Thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed it.