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Reviews for "High Stakes"

So hard...

Ah, that worked. I got upset over nothing. I guess it's just happened too many times before.

Krystman responds:

Reload the page. It should unlock when you get to the skull screen. Contact me if this didn't work. I invested extra work to ensure the Medals don't get lost.

The art, music, and sounds are good, but the game itself is lacking. One of the big issues is that the player has no incentive to take risks. This is for two reasons, the first is that a player can get tons of blood by playing safe, there are plenty of times when you'll get a pretty easy board, and even flipping over just half of the cards and passing pays out pretty good, so the reward isn't very enticing. The second is that there are no consequences for playing it safe, passing is way too cheap and you can do it basically as often as you like until you get a more optimal board with 0 consequences, I'd recommend either making passing more expensive or making it so that there's some other pressure not to, for example, a limited number of games before the player automatically loses. The second big issue is that it's not a particularly good puzzle, there's not much room for being really clever or strategic when trying to track down the vampire, so it's not very satisfying when you do (beyond the visual of the stake going through the card), it always feels either very obvious or like random chance. The game is ok for killing some time, mostly because it looks nice and the sight of the stake going through the vampire card is rather enjoyable, but in my opinion it falls flat as a design.

Krystman responds:

Thank you for your observations. Overall I think they are fair - certainly questions I was grappling with myself. I just wanted to add some context for anyone interested in the Design process.

I considered adding pressure to reach the game's end within a certain amount of matches. This would be an obvious way to punish an overly conservative play style. However, this would inevitably cause some players to find themselves in a hopeless situation where they can't possibly win anymore but they aren't technically dead yet. In a game that depends so much on luck this would be extremely demoralizing and frustrating.

There are ways to add the pressure differently but they would require a number of new systems and that's a whole new can of worms. It wasn't really in the cards for this game jam. But I certainly plan to work on this in a possible follow-up project.

In end, I think understanding when to show restraint in a gambling game is a skill and should be rewarded. And taking the cowardly, long-winded way is it's own form of punishment.

As for the game not being a good puzzle - it's true! It's not a puzzle. It's a gambling game. It has to resolve to a guess at some point. If there was a way to figure out the vampire with certainty every time there wouldn't be much of a gamble. But I do understand the desire to be given more tools to figure it out.

For anyone interested in the Game Design process I recommend the Design Notes video posted above.

I'd like to thank you for taking your time to share your thoughts. The feedback is certainly appreciated.

Great concept. I could see me playing this game with a friend using actual cards.

I love how simple this game is, the basic strategy behind it is, the music, and the design. Combines to make it addictive.

That being said, pretty sure the game moves cards when using the radar, since it would without failure put it on the biggest group of non-revealed cards, and never ONCE landed on a card by itself outside an already available group. That's pretty lame, even if I get why it would have made it too easy at times.