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All Aboard! {IGMC Review}

  • Liberty
  • 03/07/2018 01:26 AM
YOMOTSU was one of the entries for the IGMC (Indie Game Making Contest) for 2017. As one of the judges of the competition it is my pleasure to share my thoughts on the game. This review will basically just be the notes I took cleaned up. It will be based on the competition version of the game, so certain aspects of the game may have been changed, and thus I won't be giving an official star score (unless otherwise asked to, though I will be including an unofficial score).

YOMOTSU uses a mix of custom, RTP and other assets, which sometimes clash a bit but usually work well enough together. The mapping is simplistic due to the game being set inside of a train, so there's really not much to see. What is there is plain and simple - there are some areas that are much better than others and some make no sense in the setting of a train (but do make sense in the overall setting). It's a bit of a mess but for the most part it works.

The writing is quite well done with no errors that I could see. The characterisation is good, for those characters who actually talk, but even those who don't talk have some interaction which helps make them seem more than just a sprite on a map. The plot is also interesting - you wake on a train after sleeping through your stop and now you're on the way to Hell. It works as a framing device for the game pretty well.

The music is use well and fits with the various areas. You don't get many different tunes but what is there isn't jarring. It suits the scenarios it's showcased in and does help enhance the whole experience.

Sound effects usage is pretty basic stuff. There's some atmospheric sounds such as the train, but otherwise it's minimal. It fits though and doesn't stand out in a bad way.

The menus are nice and simple, easy to read.

The game starts with you battling by yourself, but you soon gain a few companions after beating them in battles, though you can only have one of them in battle at a time. They can equip an amount of skills to use in battle and as they level up they can equip more - both active and passive abilities. The skills are all tailored towards the character themselves and help enhance their characterisation a bit more, though it's based mainly on what kind of monster they are.

The hero learns skills differently to her allies. Defeated enemies drop crystals that she can spend to learn skills from an NPC. Like the others, she can only equip a set amount of skills for battle.

Crystals are also used to purchase equipment for three slots that only the hero can equip. There's a LOT of choices to make but they tend to cost a fair amount of crystals to purchase so you have to choose between picking equipment or expanding your skill flexibility.

Battles are mainly well balanced, but skewed a little to the harder side. There's a definite challenge of picking the right skills for the job and learning what the enemy does that allows you to beat them. For example, a Necromancer will spend some life to summon a minion but if their life gets low they will absorb the minion for a full heal, so killing the minion and then focussing attacks on him works where just beating on him won't.

Thankfully you can switch in and out your allies at any time in battle, which means you have access to all the skills your allies have equipped.

This game was engaging and quite fun. Some of the battles were frustrating (goddamn vampire battle having to beat him over and over again grrr with no save between either! double grrr) and depending on your skillsets they could go by fast or slow. Strategy is the key, as is figuring out which skills are better to bring into battle against which foe.

The ability to farm crystals by re-beating souped-up versions of previous bosses for a larger amount of crystals was much appreciated, but some of those bosses were pretty frustrating! Then again, challenges are meant to be overcome.

The game is about battling your way to the front of the train and dealing with what comes your way. It does a good job in setting out what you can do, but it could do with a little more instruction for battles (took me a little while to realise I could switch allies in and out, as well as that allies learned new skills). Fighting for your life/soul is a more literal example of a theme and the game does a great job making you work for it.


There is an issue with the level up screen where if you learn more than one skill in a battle there's a fair amount of overlap with the words. It's a little messy.

The game got very laggy about half an hour in. I think it might be an optimisation issue that causes the game not to dump files properly. A restart sorted it out but it's something to look at.

4 Choo Choo Trains