1) Preferably no overly cartoony graphics. I want to see some really creative art styles here. I'd like to see something kind of dark(but not overly moody, that really gets to me).
2) Easy and fun to pick up and play, but still very creative in what it does. I just picked up Eternal Daughter. The graphics were nice for what they were, but i found the gameplay quite basic and the learning curve unforgiving.
3) Wouldn't mind seeing some top down games. Especially Zelda-like games.
With sidescrollers; PLEASE ones that use the parallax techniques available in later versions of MMF1.5, it bothers me looking at games with good graphics but are completely flat. This isn't an issue in top down games or NES style games(though parallaxing is still preferable).
4) Wouldn't mind seeing some good fangames. The Sonic fangame community, once the biggest outputter of Click games(well one of them) is now just a bunch of closed minded children who can't even finish a demo anymore let alone a full game. There must be other fangame scenes out there surely? I love seeing other people's takes on existing game series. I didn't mind a lot of Sonic fangames because they often had cool ideas, storylines and new characters that made me want to play them(see: Omni Khaos and it's sequels).
5) I absolutely hate, when I start the game, having to sit through 10 minutes of dialogue expecting me to care about "The Secret Elven Agenda", "Marias Toblingdeer" and "The many cats of Arthur Franklin". People who come up with original game universes are terrible at this. They all have their ideas they desperately want everyone to be interested in.
I don't want to be presented with this wonderfully generic fantasy character you've thought up. I need reasons to care about her and why she should interest me. I want concepts and characters introduced in a manner I can relate to, not flinging me with a bunch of enemies and saying "Oh, those are the PEN0RCAPTAINS, it says all about them in CONSTANTLY REFERRED TO SACRED TEXT". That nearly put me off an excellent comic book series, Promethea, where Alan Moore(rather out of characteredly) introduced a lot of concepts in the first issue expecting the readers to care about them for no reason. Your game could be good, but I'm not going to be a "Trekkie" like fan of your game or the series' your game is influenced by as soon as I load it up that cares about all the ins and outs and technicalities, so don't assume I will be. And have a sense of humour, please.
6) That said, I still want a storyline. Following on from "giving me reason to care about characters" I need a reason to care about what I'm doing in the game too. "Games don't need storylines!" people really bother me. Why not attatch a storyline to a game? Why not give the character a reason for doing what he's doing, why he goes here next and there after that? It won't hurt it for you if they do(you can skip them) but it will for me if I don't have them.
Ok, personal favourites that are of a high quality - in my opinion:
1. Super Ken Senshi. If you can find it, its an online shoot-em-up with amazing pixelwork. By Ben (can't remember surname!)
2. Darkside Adventures - Bernies most recent game (submitted here recently). It's equally professional.
3. Wandering Fighter - sidescrolling Wonderboy hack-and-slash with parallax scrolling. Failing that, Last Defender, both made by the same person - MIG2
4. Streambolt - fast paced platform shooter in the style of Gunstar Heroes. It's very innovative for a klik game. No parallax scrolling. Gustav of Fallen Angel made this.
5. Mr Stumps Dentures! Had to throw it in (hey, I'm biased). It does feature cutesy graphics but there's parallax. Also try Zone Runner if you want retro addictiveness
6. The Underside by Podunkian. Technically this isn't out yet, but its previewed at www.clickzine.net and there are a couple of videos up at YouTube. Its reminiscent of Cave Story.
7. Paroxysm - wonderful trap-dodging platformer. Engine is perhaps slightly flawed but the game itself is so addictive. Recently submitted here at TDC.
8. Treasure Tower - fast paced platformer of sorts. Graphics are ok, engine is ok, but the way the game is put together is wonderful. Levels are randomly plucked out from a set of 200, with a uniquely different gameplay experience where you're battling the clock, rather than the enemies, in order to beat the tower.
9. Spuds Quest - by Chris Davis. No parallax but wonderful graphics and Dizzy-esque gameplay.
10. Stack - Simple, very simple concept where you build a tower. The bricks move left/right faster and faster for each layer, and its annoyingly addictive. Weak graphics though, and theres not much else to it, but its different - and fun!
I got halway through that post and just thought fuck it, I could probably name some good games but I can't think of any that star a lesbian pirate from a two-thirds-topdown isometric perspective and six layers of parallax with photorealistic graphics that paints a vibrant picture of renaissance italy from the perspective of a viking posing as a monk, but without too much emphasis on the story, with lots of cute collectible monsters and that can be played with one hand and when you kill things it plays jingle bells but done with an electric guitar and q*bert samples.