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A standard platform game ruined by one single issue

  • El_WaKa
  • 02/17/2019 04:54 AM
Alpaca Moon is platformer game made in Unity for the second CFN’s game jam at itch.io. The theme was “The Road Less Traveled.”I’m not sure how an Alpaca having adventures fits the theme though. Funny thing, I actually tried to participate in that jam but real-life stuff got in the way and I never managed to finish the game in time. But anyway, back with Alpaca Moon…

The story is about an alpaca that one day decides to leave the pen and go on a journey, facing many dangers and adventures along the way. To be honest, this is just an excuse to have an alpaca as the main character; the game doesn’t really have a “story.”But it doesn’t matter that much, what matters in a platformer game is that the gameplay is fun, right? Well... the game works for the most part. It's nothing amazing or groundbreaking though, just a run of the mill platformer. You move, jump, collect gems, avoid enemies and jump on moving platforms. Again, pretty standard stuff, I would even dare to say that there’s nothing really “wrong” with the game (aside from being boring due to how generic everything is.) The graphics are mostly fine, they look pretty nice except for some details. For example, I’m not a fan of that orange sky, and the legs of the foxes look so wrong. The sound is also very generic with nothing of note to say about it; the background music can get a little annoying though.

Now a single but very big problem turns the game from “standard/mediocre game” to “almost unplayable,” and that’s the camera. The camera is so zoomed in that is hard to see your environments. It reaches the point where 70% of the jumps in the game are leaps of faith and is incredibly frustrating having to jump without knowing where are you going, only to fall to the bottom of the level. I couldn’t even finish the first level and was so frustrated that I didn’t advance more than a few screens on the other two levels due to how annoying this issue is. It doesn’t matter anyway, as the other levels don’t bring anything new to the table, they even share the same graphics as the first one. I even messed around with the resolution options to see if it was because I was running the game in a small window but nothing changed (by the way, in low resolutions, the hud doesn't even appear.) I know I shouldn’t judge too harshly on a game made in a little less than two weeks, but the camera is more of a design issue than a problem of not having enough time to polish it.

Overall, I can’t recommend it, unless you have 5 mins with nothing better to do. The game isn’t bad per se, but I just can’t stand that camera, it ruins the whole game for me. I would love seeing another version with the camera less zoomed-in, the overall score wouldn’t really change, but the game would be a lot more enjoyable.