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Reviews for "The Last Balloon"

The gameplay is good but I feel little satisfaction in completing it despite it being genuinely difficult. It's difficulty had me believe that I would feel as if I had triumphed once I won, I'm not sure why but it leaves me with a feeling of emptiness unlike other games like it. Also the balloon seems kinda janky, Im curious as to how you programmed it to interact with the...bird...thing? I've read your Diary thing you have linked in the description, I like that you're sharing your process with us and it lets me appreciate this game a bit more. I wish you luck with getting better at evoking emotions with your games.
ps- I think a good end state would be that the bird guy would sit at the cliff watching the balloon slowly float away while the final human on the human counter dies, so nothing is left but the single balloon the player put so much effort into saving. The music would play and the credits would roll over the scene and that would be the end. I know this suggestion isn't worth much now but I just wanted to voice my thoughts and stuff. Sorry for the long review .

Hm, reading the dev diary, I see what you were trying for, but I'm not sure it quite comes across. The feel you were going for didn't quite resonate with me; I didn't care about the balloon as something precious, but just as a mechanical challenge that I had no attachment to. The feeling on failing wasn't grief at the loss, but frustration. The feeling at completion wasn't so much satisfaction or a sense of "at least it won't touch the floor ever again," but you noted it was a bit hastily thrown together. You made a point of starting us out without the balloon to let us get used to the controls and give us an idea of the obstacles we might face, which was a good choice.

If I might offer a slightly more ambitious take/suggestion on the feeling you were going for, maybe a more extended intro could give us a feeling of attachment or that the balloon was precious? Something like... we start in birthday area (the protagonist has a colourful conical hat in this part, therefore birthday) pre-Apocalypse, which is mostly just a room with some basic furniture to jump on and get used to how the balloon handles. The balloon counter could read "lots" and a new one respawns if the balloon hits something and pops. Then Apocalypse starts, brief time skip, you've got to get to, say, a tree house or something with a stockpile of balloons. The counter might read "???" to emphasize that you're hunting for balloons. Have the obvious way end up with us coming across the big cliff to let the balloon fly, or maybe have it along the way somehow. We get to the balloons, we see a big pile, the counter ticks up to 99 or something. You bounce a balloon a bit, then something dramatic happens (meteor? Bomb? Whatever, the minimalist pixel style serves us well here and it can be left vague) that causes the balloons to be popped by a field of debris as the character and the last balloon are flung away to wherever we should start the real part of the game. The Counter now reads 1.

More ambitious than the one game a month project, but maybe something to try if you ever come back to this concept?

To say something of value that hasn't been said already, I must say I couldn't see that the character was a human until I saw the red version holding a gun in the dev log (but I did notice the clear -1 human when I died). To me there were front paws and back paws moving insted of feet alternating... I belive the jump is what sells that idea.
To fix it, maybe try kepping the feet togheter when jumping, putting the head at the center and making a smaller back, but it would take a bit of experimentation to see what works.

I don't mind a game that expects no mistakes from the player, but I think it's reasonable to have the same expectation of the game. I've thought hard about whether to post this review, but after the balloon glitched *through* me on the drop section, I feel like it's fair criticism. On another run, I jumped directly through the balloon twice, and hit it twice on the same contact once. It's perfectly fine to make a challenging game, but the functionality of the core mechanic should be on par with what's expected of the player.

I must say that I had completely skipped the second gap. I convinced myself that this game was much harder than I thought, to the point that I was so sure squeezing the balloon through that tiny gap, at such a precise angle as to make it fall as straight as possible, was what made this game difficult. Besides my major goof, which gave me bragging rights for finishing this game the ignorant, harder way, the only other thing I didn't quite understand the significance of, was the human counter. Until I read your reasoning for it's birth.