2021 Halloween Competition results breakdown
| 27th November, 2021
Two games were made for The Daily Click’s Night and Day themed Halloween competition. It was very difficult to rank them because they are both very different games, and one does better in terms of implementing theme while the other is more unique and technically accomplished. However, we had to rank them and so the results areas follows:
* #1: Halloween: A Knight's Quest (WINNER!), a retro 'kind-of-turn-based' game where you are a knight saving the village from Halloween monsters made by LordHannu. Available from: https://create-games.com/download.asp?id=9351
* #2: Zi Si Noapte, a 2D Platformer that takes place in 1477 in Wallachia made by MonadoBoy64. Available from: https://create-games.com/download.asp?id=9350
There are also two honourable games submitted to The Daily Click this year:
* Volatile Witchcraft, a platformer by Tomssuli. Available from: https://create-games.com/download.asp?id=9353
* Walking On The Copyright Infringement Land, a gaming experience by yma. Available from: https://create-games.com/download.asp?id=9349
We’ll take each in turn, including comments from the judges msg and Joshtek (plus comments made on the game’s download page)…
Halloween: A Knight's Quest
Msg: I dislike games with enforced retro vibes that does not fit the gameplay. Luckily, none of that takes place in this game. The rules are simple yet, the map design, general idea is executed in such a tight manner, that it all comes together in the end result. The graphics are simple, though still pretty, the engine is functioning properly... almost. I have to say I got really disappointed, when I delivered all the villagers... and nothing happened as a result…but I later found out I just missed one of the villagers hiding behind a try. Despite that hiccup, I like this game better.
Joshtek: I like the whole ‘rescuing people’ premise and trying to keep them from the monsters – a Halloween rescue mission, with monsters that give the game a clear Halloween theme. It has a consistent art style which fits the feel of the game, and the gameplay was easy enough to pick up once I realised that you had to go off the edge of the screen to move to the next screen. The game was intended to have day/night cycles but the game wasn’t completed in time, meaning it appears to always be in dusk (which I guess is technically night and day). This game reminds me of Dungeon of Fears made by the same author for the Intellivision Jam 2019, but it is definitely its own game and also appears to take on board feedback made by MonadoBoy64 about the need for the movement to avoid getting stuck on walls. I would have liked to see how the game could have made better use of the day/night element and the ending when I completed could have been more substantive, but the game was generally solid and gets bonus points for being both creative and technically accomplished, going beyond simply relying on default Fusion movement or genre tropes. The step and saved counters give the game the potential for replayability, but does not have the same ‘just one more try’ feel I got from Flammable Freddy due to the slower pace, larger levels and lack of strategic variety and new game plus. I would definitely be happy to see future games made based on this engine, though.
MonadoBoy64: I really love this game! I do wish it was level-based instead of one massive level because it's a little disorienting not knowing how big the level is since the game doesn't show you how big the level is. And I wish there were more animations for the main character, hostages, and enemies. Also, the game is kinda on the easy side but I still enjoyed it. I also was kinda confused about how the game ended because I filled the Safe House with the required 150 hostages and it said to go back to the Safe House. And I did so and nothing happened other than the Safe House fully filled up. I guess that's the end of the game? But other than all of that, Halloween: A Knight's Quest is an awesome game and I really enjoyed it. Zi Si Noapte is probably going to have a hard time beating Halloween: A Knight's Quest. But may the best game win!
Zi Si Noapte
Msg: This Castlevania-like game has an interesting graphical vibe to it. The characters have been drawn like they are straight from some TV animation series, I like that. The gameplay though is quite lacklustre, with too slow, buggy movement, low gravity and huge, unprecise collision masks.
Joshtek’s comments: This game has a lot going for it, from the fun graphical style in the author’s familiar style to the large number of levels which play with different days. It makes some use of day/night element and was clearly made for this competition and the music loop does add to the ambiance of the game. Unfortunately, the engine felt way too buggy and punishing for me to really enjoy the game. I’m sure there are people who deliberately seek out such frustration-inducing games, but I am not one of them. My type of platform games is more like Bald Man by Devid K which require some skill but are more about figuring out the trick behind the puzzle; Trick or Treat by Dustin Gunn and Steven Burgess which is challenging but has great action; or has Bat Sweeper by 3kliksphilip which has a fun adventure storyline. On the plus side, this game does have a save system and does not require you to start from the beginning if you die, making it a step up from certain ‘hard level’ games. This game did have some storyline at the beginning and end of the game, but the font and colour choice did make it hard to follow.
LordHannu: You have followed the theme, done own graphics. Well done. I couldn't for my life complete the up down up down level with the spikes and lights. I'm glad you had a continue button so I can try again.
Joshtek: Created for the Ludum Dare gamejam rather than for the TDC competition. The author did make the argument that the moods of the witches will change like day and night, but this game was neither made for this competition and in any case missed the deadline and so doesn’t count as a competition entry. However, it is nevertheless worth playing. It has some fun with the Clickteam Fusion 2.5 physics engine to make a dynamic platformer which makes good use of the double jump mechanic. The controls and objectives are not immediately clear if you don’t read the TDC entry, but the gameplay is well thought through with a good amount of signposting for what is going to happen to impact the world and it builds up both the weapons and the threats in a gradual manner to prevent the player from getting overwhelmed. This means the game is about situational awareness rather than simply luck or fast reaction times, although the procedural generation does sometimes mean you are at the mercy of the randomness of the game, waiting around for a while with nothing obvious to do to progress the game (especially in the first level before you get more of the weapons which provide more options). I like how you simply lose life when you touch water instead of it being instadeath. In some cases the level seemed to get harder the longer it went on, and so it seemed easier to die and start again. I think this game could be made even better if there were more ‘little wins’ you could be getting while there is nothing else to do, like items to collect that pop every now and again to give you extra lives. The game closed (crashed?) after I completed the second level, so I’ve not played the third level which appears in the gameplay video. Fun graphics, gameplay and music combine to make a nice little game and the fact it was made in only 72 hours is impressive.
Walking On The Copyright Infringement Land
Joshtek: The opening screen with the wobbling text is a fun start to the experience, and I couldn’t find any bugs… but is it really a game? I could definitely imagine this as a Flash animation someone posted on Newgrounds back in its heyday. It has a Halloween theme, but not a night and day theme.