Stuck In A Chapel
This will be my first HardMash review - Yes, I changed center.. Again. - Anyway, the game I'll be reviewing will be startrekzooka's "Ancient Spirit". Startrekzooka is one of the game creators who knows what he's doing. He has four featured games and I have played his games before so I have a few expectations for this game but nothing too great.
If you're wondering why I named my review this way, it would be based on the storyline. Startrekzooka has given this game an interesting title, Ancient Spirit is the kind of title that gets me curious at what's in store for me once I play this game. The thumbnail doesn't reveal too much. From what I saw, there were some hazards that could be one of my problems once I reach that point. So far, startrekzooka has done a good job. But the true question would be if the gameplay would be given the same feedback.
Like most games, startrekzooka added a storyline to his game. The setting of the story was somewhere around the 1800's; according to the description, it is a period when times are tough. The story was basically about being stuck in a chapel and the only way to escape would be to collect certain "Chapel Crystals". The storyline altogether is like a piece of candy - its small but packed with flavor. In other words, the storyline is short yet it says everything needed to be said.
As I played the game, I found a slight difficulty getting past the first challenge. But that was just for my first try. Afterwards, everything went along easily. Without getting far into the game, you can already see that Ancient Spirit is more on a Puzzle game rather than Action. One of the puzzles that startrekzooka put in his game wasn't so new to me. On most puzzle games made with the platformer creator that I've played, including mine, this kind of puzzle isn't one that would catch you by surprise. You would know exactly what to do and it doesn't require generous amounts of thinking to surpass this part. Luckily, startrekzooka added some factors that gave a higher level of challenge to the game itself. Other puzzles in the game weren't so new either but like I said, there were some things that were added to give it a bit more of originality and challenge.
I wouldn't say this game is too addictive as I also found it repetitive and dull at some points but there are some points that I liked. For instance, the traps and tricks that startrekzooka added in the game; they would sometimes fool you which would lead to you eventually having to restart the whole game. I haven't exactly finished the game up to the very end, but I believe that I've gotten far enough to understand the game and what it intends to show whoever might play it. Ancient Spirit isn't best game nor is it addictive but I wouldn't say I hate the game. But if startrekzooka would add a bit more of unconventional and original innovations to his game, it would be a lot better.
The block placement was good. From what I've seen there were only a few misplaced ones. The rest were very good as I could see the purpose of each which would be either to assist, distract, challenge, trick or all put together. I didn't quite enjoy how startrekzooka gave a cramped up feel to the game. I couldn't exactly see the purpose of making it tight because as far as I know, chapels are quite roomy. The only time this tight feeling contributed anything to the gameplay was when you had to avoid hitting something or falling into something. But that comes rarely. The enemies were scarce but most of them were placed well. As I said, there were a few problems that I encountered with the enemies; some enemies didn't serve their purposes as they just die immediately and don't contribute to the loss of your life. The health was well placed, there weren't too much nor too little. There was just enough to help you survive the game. Overall, the placement can be compared to a battery - it has positives but opposite to that, there are also negatives.
The overall design of the game was good. I can't classify this as great, its just good. The design of this game suited the title and the theme very well. There were stained glass windows [always good for a chapel-ly feel], torches that set the game to a medieval tone, stone tiles and background, etc. The design didn't quite astound me but it matched the theme of I would rather see a design that isn't completely excellent but matches the them than one that has completely nothing to do with the game at all. To explain what I've previously stated, think of a carton of orange juice. A good design would be like a carton of orange juice that actually contains orange juice rather. The game design that has no relevance to the game would be like an orange carton that when poured, out comes the milk. the game therefore making it better. To summarize, the design is good but nothing too special.
Ancient Spirit can be likened to a slide on a playground - sometimes you're up, sometimes you're down. In other words, startrekzooka has mad a game that is neither amazing but neither is it bad. I can't say that I thoroughly enjoyed the game but it was good enough to keep me going. In a sentence, the game, Ancient Spirit by startrekzooka is another puzzle game with a great storyline and good gameplay. This game isn't quite ready to be featured and there is quite a number of things startrekzooka needs to improve on.