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Reviews for "Hungry Joe"

Really nice work! Now, all we need (for a next version!) is a story and some background. In some ways, it reminds me of Toriko. Keep the inspiration!

Kwing responds:

I've never heard of Toriko but this looks hilarious.

Story and background are always hard to shoehorn into a roguelike. The Binding of Isaac did it well but I wasn't sure I would be able to do anything decent with such a silly concept.

Cheers!

20 floors in, and I think I got a grasp of how the game works...

If you have experience in Megaman Battle Network, then treating this game's mechanics the same way 'may' help.

As standard with Roguelikes, dungeons are randomly generated and are populated with ENEMIES and a single RECIPE per floor. Not much to say here, so let's move on.

Secondly, COMBAT. Combat takes place in a 6x3 grid represented with plates. Enemies move around on Orange plates, and you move on Green plates. You can only move among green colored plates and enemies can only move on Orange plates. You (or the enemy) can temporarily take over a row of plates on the opposing territory with the RECIPE: "B TABLECLOTH".

Joe normally fires a toothpick every second (akin to Megama.EXE's buster shot). It is very weak, so you need to rely on your RECIPES, or special attacks.

Now let's discuss "RECIPES". The game refers to them as "RECIPES" but I prefer to think of them as "UTENSILS", because that's exactly what they are... Anyway... (RECIPES are akin to Megaman.EXE's Chips)

Every couple of seconds (indicated by the dial on the upper-left of the battlescreen), you get to select a bunch of new RECIPES to use in battle. You can usually select only one, but if you have multiple RECIPES starting with the same letter, you can select many of them at once.

Ignoring the actual RECIPE's attacks, picture this. Every time the dial reaches full circle, you're presented with the following RECIPES: I-Something, I-Something, H-Something, K-Something, M-Something. If you select the "M" Recipe, you can only prepare that Chip when you continue the battle. But if you choose the "I" Recipe instead, you can also choose to prepare the second "I" Recipe too.

The RECIPES you have prepared appear on the upper-right, but not by their names or letters (that'll get confusing really fast). Instead, each RECIPE displays the nature of it's attack and range (using green and red dots). It's fairly easy enough to figure out, and you can always read the full nature of an attack outside of battle.

Now for the Monsters, or FOOD. The follow you around every time you take a step on the map, and touching them brings you into battle. Though they come in different forms, they don't really seem to act any differently based on appearance. A Candied Apple is seemingly not different from a Hamburger, mechanically. The only thing you need to worry about is the MAIN COURSE. It can be any food, but it's indicated with some sort of CROWN. Kill it first, because it heals itself and every other FOOD in the battlefield and attacks immediately with its RECIPES (as opposed to other monsters that give a 1 to 2-second warning when they attack). 10th floor onwards, you suffer HP loss if you stay too far away from the MAIN COURSE, requiring you to stay at the front row of plates until you kill it.

FOOD drops CAL, which acts as both currency and healing items. CAL can be eaten to restore HP outside of battle, or spent at Shops.

SHOPS? Yes, every 5 floors, you encounter a Shopkeep of sorts that offer permanent bonuses (namely Increased Max HP, Increased Toothpick DMG, refresh Special Recipes) The first 2 are self-explanatory, but I can't figure out what the 3rd one does. The Shopkeep also sells rare RECIPES like the CORKSCREW and the EGGBEATER (or BEATER, I forget).

So what do I think of the game? Well, it's interesting, it has a lot of potential depth in mechanics, but I think it was not executed well.

There's a variety of RECIPES that offer strategic depth, but truthfully, I don't see a lot of use for much of the RECIPES, especially the TABLECLOTH (I never need the extra breathing room). Degenerate Strategy warning, I just use the BASTER. It comes in H and M variety, but they do the same thing, it deals damage 2 rows in front of it, and absorbs HP. With a few of these RECIPES in your list, you never need to eat CALS to survive. I use them almost exclusively now, with a few SALT SHAKERS to... shake things up.

Secondly, the enemies, dungeon-crawling and music feel uninspired. The FOOD is lovingly rendered, I give you that, but as mentioned before, they don't act differently from one another, and are thus unmemorable. I don't find the music to be pleasant to listen to and feel sad I can't turn it off.
The dungeon map itself is boring to behold and not fun to explore. Battles break up the boring crawl, but the battles themselves aren't fun either. I think battles should end quickly in dungeon-crawlers like these.

In my opinion, the game does not benefit very well from a roguelike dungeon-crawler setting... I simply don't feel like slogging through the game collecting RECIPES (UTENSILS! :P) when exploring isn't fun and battles take several minutes. The battle system has a lot of potential, if only it appeared on an RPG of sorts, like the game it was inspired from.

Kwing responds:

Just a note, Rotten Mushroom changes the three recipes in Today's Specials. If you don't like what you see, you can buy it to refresh it and try again. If you've got like 2000 calories you can afford to get several and then buy something good. Also you can right-click on the screen to toggle the sound, something I mentioned in the description of the game.

You gave pretty accurate breakdown. I nerfed Baster a few times over the course of development but recognized it was going to be abused pretty much no matter what. Ultimately I tried to maintain the strategy by making other recipes highly rewarding from damage output.

I considered giving the enemies different behavioral patterns (ie. random, back row, mirror player, etc.) but since (unlike MBN) most of the attacks are somewhat short-ranged, I decided to make the movement patterns the same. What is different is the moveset, for instance sushi can use Chopstick and steak can use Cleaver.

It's a shame you made it 20 floors in but stopped there - I'd be interested in seeing what you have to say about the boss on 25F. It makes sense the game was beginning to drag on, seeing as you were both nearing the end of the game and relying on low-damage Basters to get by. That said, things can go by remarkably fast once you get higher tier recipes like Fork 60 or 80.

Pretty fun.

Kwing responds:

Aye, glad you liked it!

2 issues i have come across.

-When you discard items, I can't back out so I'm stuck at the discard screen now.

-Needs a save feature

other then that, it decent maybe add an exp system as well and a few other goodies

Kwing responds:

You can exit out of any menu (swap, discard, etc.) by scrolling up past the top item (this returns your cursor to the right side of the menu where you can press exit and resume play.)

The game does save which recipes you've obtained and which meals you've beaten as main courses, however, seeing as death is permanent there's not much of a point in incorporating a save feature for game progress.

I thought really hard about having an experience or leveling system but ultimately decided against it. Since the recipes do fixed damage, the only thing that could go up with levels would be health and toothpick damage. Since calories can already be spent on those, I figured I would streamline the system and let the player choose how to spend their earnings.

Well, I admit that it is pretty unique. My problem is that I just don't like this sort of game. I didn't understand how to use my attacks. The game seems a bit too simple. I'm not really that interested in learning how to do it better. I am at least somewhat familiar with this format.

The music was pretty good. I guess people who know more about it should like it. I could figure out the controls pretty easily. The tutorial I took afterwards still helped, though. I guess I'm not into cooking games.

Kwing responds:

I don't know what to tell you, man. This isn't a cooking game, and the recipes are pretty darned simple to use.