Reviews for "Arcade Defender"

Loved the retro style. A simple shooter, maybe you should add more enemies. A background story would also be a nice touch. Keep up the good work!

TristanMX responds:

There are more enemies, formations and more. As you progress you will find them. About the story I just wanted it to be like galaga... old fashioned "just shoot".

Alright, I told myself that I was going to wait until I have all of the medals before I reviewed this, but I get the idea of the game and it's going to be quite a grind for me to get the rest of the medals. (I will, but I only have a few down times during a day and not enough to do it in the near future) Anyways, on to the review.

~ Animation/Graphics ~

Extremely basic, but awesome nonetheless. You great that great old school style of graphics with a new modern color scheme and feel. I love the combinations of blue and purple against the dark color of space. At times the screen can get busy with bright colors, think when you have those wide green laser things... they can take up so much space on the screen and are in such a constant stream that enemy bullets can hide behind them and you never see them coming. Not really a downfall, it's just something that comes along with the shootem up bullet hell type of game such as this.

Everything runs smoothly with no lag. Nothing to complain about here at all.

~ Gameplay/Content ~

I usually call this gameplay/story, but there isn't much need for a story behind this and hence there is not. The difficulty level is perfect in my opinion. Anyone with a couple of hours to sit down and play can get the 50 wave medal without having to reset too many times. P DOES NOT PAUSE IT LIKE YOU SUGGEST, I REPEAT P DOES NOT PAUSE THE GAME. The only way that I can see to pause the game is when playing on mobile and lifting your finger off the screen. I thought that perhaps if I clicked away on the desktop the same way then we would get a pause. I even convinced myself a few times that when I minimized it for a couple of minutes to do something really quick that it had worked because when I pulled the game back up I was still alive. Apparently I got lucky a few times by accidentally hiding in a corner and coming back on because this only worked the first few times.

The mobile version is much more difficult to me. I think I don't have the dexterity to move my finger on a phone screen as well as I do a computer mouse. These damn young kids and their dexterity.

On to some questions/concerns/comments/whatever else I may think of in the next few moments of this review...

Half of the buttons don't do anything on the main menu. I didn't test again on mobile, but do they do something on mobile and not on the desktop version? Are they buttons of the future that have no use right now? Are they not buttons at all?!?

Clicking the free tokens thing doesn't work. Basically same questions about that... I just noticed that I can continue from the same wave as long as I only spend 3 lives? That's awesome.. perhaps I will be able to finish this game a lot sooner than I thought! I see that it doesn't add to your highscore, which is expected. This is a great feature.

I know people don't like to do tutorials, but I feel like this game could have benefited the old folks like me who always had games come out with tutorials. A lot of things I discovered through your comments on reviews or by realizing I missed it over in the game description. Perhaps even just having a short description pop up when you hover your mouse over something, but I could see that not being compatible with a mobile version. I'm just old and have a learning curve, forget about that..

I was confused by the faster shooting button for a long time. I had no clue that using it took tokens so of course I always switched it on. I couldn't see a reduction in score or any negative side effects, but I came to the realization one day when I clicked on it and saw my score go down. After that the token collection was a lot better than I had originally thought during the game.

I'm confused when the power up comes down that makes you invincible and shoot a ton of bullets for a bit and how I know how long it lasts for. Does it appear completely randomly? Sometimes I get it 4-5 times in a game, sometimes I'm lucky to get it once. I just want to make sure there isn't a way to produce it by doing something specific in the game. I also don't always understand the mechanics. Am I actually invincible during that moment? Sometimes I go into it with a shield, come out of it with a shield and it seems like it lasted forever. Some other times I feel like it lasted half the time. That may just be a perception depending on the type of enemies that approach me, but I guess that's why I'm asking. Other times I go in with no shield, leave with a shield. Or go in with or without a shield and leave with my ship one shot away from being destroyed. I really don't get it, there seems to be no pattern to it.

I like the variety of weapons, but I feel like the missiles should be a little better than they are. Perhaps you made them the way they are so they aren't over powered. I think they aren't the best heat seekers. They miss a lot and have very little turning ability. I also don't like that the spread makes them lose their seeking ability. Oh shucks. :(

The ships are... weird? I guess you took the comedic route with them, but for some reason I just don't think I would have went that direction. I would rather have more epic looking ships as they go up in power and/or have ships with different attributes. (One with high attack and speed, but low health or one with high health, low speed, medium attack, etc.. etc.. etc...) I'm also slightly confused on the wording of how to buy ships to get an increase in attack.

If I wanted to buy the gameboy ship, would I have max attack power since it's the last ship or do I get 1 more attack power for every ship that I buy? For example, if I buy the banana last is that now the most powerful ship that I can get or is the gameboy the most powerful? I was assuming the gameboy was the most powerful, but I couldn't quite be sure with the wording in that section and really found no reason to purchase them out of order to test it anyway.

~ Audio ~

The sound effects are actually really amazing in my opinion. They kind of caught me off guard because I had played the game on mute almost the entire time. In fact, I didn't listen to the audio until I realized I needed to review every aspect of the game. The sound effects were well done and the music was awesome. They are a little overbearing for my office so muted them again, but I could see playing this with the sound as a fun extra.

~ Overall ~

I really liked it. At the end of the day it's just a vertical shooter, but it seems really well balanced and you've improved it greatly since I first played it on day one of submission. Great job and thank you for taking your time to improve it based off of reviews. Again, P does not work for pause. At least on chrome it doesn't, I haven't tested it on other browsers, but with my discovery of the continue button this shouldn't be so much of a problem anymore.

TristanMX responds:

Well, this is the kind of review/feedback that may need its own post to cover all, nevertheless I will try to answer most of your observations. If you want to discuss this furter I will gladly hop into a thread to answer, just tag me in.

- Animations, thanks! I've been doing pixel art since january, so this is a big shot for me.

- Gameplay.
P does pause while the game is running, if you mind send me more detail of how did this not happen I will review it deeper, I tested it mostly for mobiles so ther may be glitches in this web version.

Some buttons are meant for googleplay (leaderboards and awards for example: pink and yello buttons) I just decided to focus on improving a little the game and didn't remove them. So yea, they do nothing on Web. The free tokens stuff was also for mobiles, in the new version I'll be uploading soon will replace this for something more suitable. Same case than before, decided to focus on improving the game.
Usually the tutorial is left for the end, I haven't developed one yet and some mechanics definitely must be explained in a clear way, like the increased fire rate, you pay 3 tokens per second to use this ability (green button in the game screen). The increased fire rate is meant to help you when no power ups are running, sometimes you'll feel a little stress because of the crowded map and at that point the player must have a way to compensate the lack of power up, but of course, it has a cost. Nothing is free and it also adds up to the token-collection mechanic.

About Pixel Perfect bonus; all of the power ups have a cooldown time for spawning, this is there for balancing purposes, if you leave things completely random the game may feel unfair sometimes, and some others too op, so to produce an enyoyable experience I needed to implement a way to moderate the spawn probability and time. This also makes you want to upgrade the power ups lasting time, as you enhance each weapon you'll notice that the spawn time in-between the lasts time you picked up a power up and the next spawn is reduced.
Pixel Perfect bonus is meant to help you farm tokens, while it increases the waves spawn rate a little and at the same time throws tons of ships at you (not related with the wave spawn time) to enjoy a massive destruction and op feeling. While it is on, you are invulnerable, and always when it finishes it blows up all of the enemies on the screen while it leaves the shield on for you again. This always works this way. It also as a spawn cooldown and a probability of appearing (2%) when killing enemies. You can't have it all the time.

Missiles, well they are a little op on my oppinion since they produce explosions that cause area damage, so having them target a single enemy will destroy them much faster than the laser and in groups. So that's why I decided to spread them, although and re-evaluating letting them turn while split is on, it seems fun but balance may be an issue, so I need to determine whether yes or not will they seek while split is on. One thing I'm definitely doing is improving their turning speed.

Skins, will improve some, just wanted to throw some funny looking ships just for the sake of fun. Is like piggies in space on the muppets, I mean... why would you have pigs flying a spaceship? The same reason why a cucumber, a banana or a chicken will do... xD... I will draw some better looking ships for those who want to brag about them.

So how to skins affect the gameplay? Each skin bought adds an amount of damage to all of your weapons (yeah, all of them... will update the description). Having a more expensive skin was a way of "locking" them for you and encouraging players to fetch more tokens, this will remain as it is. Once you have it, the damage bonus will be there always, you don't have to equip them to have the bonus so just choose the skin of your preference. Speed, damage, armor are variables that are not included in the game. The whole progression relies on the complexity of the formations for each wave since enemies always have the same amount of hit points. These factors will produce a very different game, so for now that's why I'm not including them. The damage bonus of the skins I calculated was based on the max hp of the strongest enemy. Going: increased enemies HP and player damage as upgrades will produce the same type of games that flood the internet, so I wanted to be a little different in a good way.

On audio, thanks! Some are assets I included in the game, some others are just effects I was able to generate. Don't forget to support the music composer too, his webpage appears on the splashscreen of the game.

Thanks for taking the time to do such a complete review, I really appreciate it and if you guys want me to include a particular feature that may benefit the game I'll be more than happy to hear your suggestions.

I think there's a bug somewhere in your game

TristanMX responds:

Well, that's plausible... if you could give me more detail that will be a appreciated a lot. What happened?

Good so far needs more upgrades, like ship health, base damage output and maybe even ship speed. Just upgrading random drops feel like a bad investment on something that might not even show up.

TristanMX responds:

Sure I will put some more upgrades.

Power Ups have a probability to spawn and a duration time, that's why you have to buy upgrades to make the power ups last longer. As you progress with those upgrades you'll notice power ups spawn a little more often. The upgrade doesn't influenciates the spawn, it is just that power ups have a semi-random spawn prob and a cooldown to spawn (non-visible) after you pick them up. This is for balance purposes.

Thanks for your feedback!

Aren't the little ships on screen supposed to disappear when I lose life? Also the music is good and the game play is over abysmal but over all good game. I see that this will be a good game.

Conform. (@_@)

TristanMX responds:

Those little ships are your extra lifes, you use them when you die by spending life-tokens, that's when they disappear. The spinning blue shields are your HP.

It's great you liked it, don't forget to support me sharing the game with your friends and voting on P-Bots monthly games, a follow on twitter is welcomed also. :)