I tried to play it. I could not hit the mob no mater what I did. Looks like it might be a cool game, if I could figure it out. The intro is cool. But I don't understand the blocks. After dying about 25 times, I gave up.
This was great. Installed it before a big Europe trip, played it in the car almost daily. That said, it needs a lot of work! These are game-dev related and not exactly narrative-related, but maybe you can pass them on: Pros: - Art style is on point - Sounds and music do their job well - The writing is (with caveats, see below) atmospheric - The actual core mechanic of matching-by-tilting is innovative and fresh, and works really well. - No bugs. And now the constructive criticism: - No meta! The only thing that happens is you progress through levels, sometimes get upgrades to your armor or weapon or level up (giving you more health), and fight progressively harder monsters. That's it. And the "harder monsters" are just monsters with more HP and more damage output. There's absolutely nothing to break this loop up: no skill trees, no money or merchants, no player-driven progression, not even an ongoing storyline (more on this below). The potions and scrolls are a cute idea, but they don't work (more below). - Player skill cap: although the match3 gameplay is unique, you learn it pretty quick. By the time I stopped playing I basically won every time. All you have to do is do every 4+ match you can, then do 3+ matches until you win. If you don't, it's basically just because of bad luck. - And the big one: NO CONSEQUENCE FOR FAILURE WHATSOEVER. In fact, failure often was a good thing, as it gave me a chance to pull some more random chests with random upgrades, instead of wasting half my life trying to kill monsters. - [Industry stuff] Monetization must be terrible. No IAPs, only rewarded video ads? Fine, in theory, but why would you ever use them (see the point above). Since there's no loss, no meta, and no way to lose progress or any of the sort...it really doesn't seem like there's any reason to use them. Also, why can't you buy scrolls/potions? The system seems to be set up around exactly that, yet there's no way of doing it..? And finally, the story + presentation (which is a part of the meta, really): It's fine, very dramatic, very grimdark, well done. The little flavor texts before encounters are nice. BUT. It is also obviously pointless. Why should I care about this or that dead village or dungeon, filled with just monsters alternating with chests and treasures? For ANY kind of narrative to work, you NEED characters to interact with. People who help or hinder you, people to rescue or to abandon. It's not enough to slap you in the face with a big bunch of expository narrative and then call it a day. That's not a story. What more, this is an interactive medium: you can make stories with choices and branches! On mobile, stories are hard. They're usually skipped completely. But that's because they're usuall throwaways. You have here a chance to make a real difference, to actually make story a part of this. What more, this would also let you fix a lot of the tedious problems that this game gets pretty early on. Let me offer a scenario: Flavortext: "A man wearing rags and blackened scars staggers up to you from a ditch. How he survived you cannot begin to imagine. He begs you to help, saying he came here as a scavenger, looking for the Tomb of the Lord, and the treasures within. He claims he found it too. 'But you cannot eat gold', he says, through his tears" - Option 1: He is lying, and will cut your throat in the night. Kill him. - Option 2: You have no time for this. Chase him away. - Option 3: Intriguing. Invite him to share a meal, and a story. Option 1: Leads to a fight with a very weak enemy. Once killed, a brief flavor text appears, e.g. "You search through his meager belongings, and to your surprise, you find a pouch full of gold coins, each with deep tooth marks. Before you have time to think any more on it, you realize the sound of battle has drawn more demons to your location." (gain some small bonus, e.g. money, then start next encounter) Option 2: Leads to just a flavor text, e.g. "You nearly have to resort to violence you get the man to leave, but you cannot avoid the feeling of being stalked for a long time after. Soon, you realize you are - but not by a human." (no reward, normal encounter) Option 3: Flavortext, e.g.. "You sit down with the man, and watch him eat your dry jerky and hard bread as if it were a feast for a king. Once he has finished with what you gave him, he sits quietly for a long time. Finally, he speaks..." <- now you can either have a long-ass exposition here, or then break it up into several installments as he tells each part of his own story as you get closer to the tomb, etc etc. However you want to do it. Yes, this would require a bunch of more UI and other work, and a lot of work on the meta - i.e. this would work a lot better if there were resources like money, food and time, and if the player could pick on a map where they want to go next (instead of just essentially being forced to go to the next 'area' on the map directly). But even in its current form, changing almost nothing, you could weave some kind of story out of this that could actually be engaging and interesting, and give a real reason to continue playing. Sooo..yeah. Wall of text! Thanks for the game, anyway!
@jdscogin please look at the Rules on the main page. it will show you how to connect the tiles to win :)
@wolfrug thank you for taking the time to send this feedback. As always, you are hitting some good points. Indeed, how does a game make money, what are people willing to pay for, are Ads enough? A lot of exploration on that side specially when "pay what you want" feels like a good idea until you realize people choose : 0$.... 99% of the time. We decided to divide the game is half. The second half has to be purchased. People that buy the game will get 40 more creatures, more weapons, 4 more locations, and finish the story. We are also making some other locations that can be bought + more creature + different board tiles. if you don't buy the game, you can still play forever and try to unlock most of the achievements. For the ads, as you mentioned, it's the players choice to watch them or not. We think this model is the way to go. No one wants to be forced to watch ads anymore. Our first game Breacher got a LOT of negative reviews because it had a negative outcome - you'd die, you'd lose some progress... This brought down our reviews immensely. This time, we decided t he player won't die, and additionally he can get shields upgrades (by watching an Ad ) to become stronger and win more often. ( note - we are still balancing the creature strength...so they might be a bit easy in the current build. We are gathering feedback...). The "quests" are the Achievements you have to do. Presently you can see them getting unlocked and view them on Google Play. ( see attached image ) We might put them directly in the game since I've done all the art already :) We did discuss some "choices" as you mentioned. It often comes down to "is this a 6 month project or a 12 month project" We decided on 6 month. ( Weekend and some evenings )..But it could be something to develop if the game has a good fan base. if you tried Breacher - the first version didn't have any upgrades, or text messages. This all came in later as the fan base grew. One thing for sure, we are not done. Again, you're feedback is truly appreciated. :) [Achehere](//muut.com/u/fungus/s2/:fungus:KdvF:achehere.jpg.jpg)
@ianic Dividing the game in half is probably a good idea, and I hope it works out for you! You could of course also frame it as an "expansion pack" or something like that, and end the story just before on a cliffhanger. And yes, 99% of all players never purchase anything in a mobile app, I am way too aware of that; you can of course still try to monetize them with ads though. Have you considered a supplies/health regen system, where you have to wait for either supplies or health to regenerate, with the option to watch an ad to immediately fill it? I know you probably don't want to share metrics, but I'm curious about your retention numbers; D1, D7 etc. (I work in the mobile games industry too, so all of this is very familiar to me) I understand the timing thing with the narrative, 6 months versus 12, fair enough. But if the achievements are the quests, don't put them into google play - put them right into the game. A lot of players (like me) don't even look at / care about what google play is whining about re: achievements, but if there's something IN the game telling me to go for it, then I usually do. It's also a chance for you to put in some more lore and story by adding some justification for the achievements. And since the code is already there... I hope you gain a fanbase big enough to start expanding on the game - I'd really like to have something else to look forward to than just another fight with a slightly bigger health bar ;) Good luck!
@wolfrug indeed... packaged as an expansion pack. Ill add your additional input to our 'to do list".