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A whole lotta Strife

  • Liberty
  • 02/17/2019 07:56 AM
Animus Strife was a game made for the 2018 IGMC. This review is based on the competition version so it may not correctly reflect any changes that were made after the competition ended. As such, I won't be tying a score to this review, though I will be giving it a personal score at the end.

Presentation-wise the game is a bit of a mixed bag. It has a style that is all its own, with custom graphics and tiles however there's a bit of stiffness in the animations that look a bit jarring, especially with the sprites.

The plot was a bit all over the place. While you are given some direction, it expects you to not only know where the places you are directed to are located or what they look like, but also expect you to find them easily. This is a problem when paired with the huge maps and slow walk speed, as it takes you a long time to get anywhere you might need to go and moving from place to place looking for the next plot point is a chore and likely to get you lost.

The dialogue and text in the game is pretty well written and much more interesting than the gameplay aspects are. The main issue I had with the gameplay was that there was no instruction on how to use skills in-game, which is an even bigger problem than usual since they didn't use the keys that would make sense to be used.

The gameplay consists of walking around, using on-map skills to kill monsters and trying to figure out where to go. Sometimes the fire spell doesn't shoot the ranged shot. Not sure if it needs a cool down before it does that or whether it's a bug. There's some weird inconsistencies such as having to talk to chickens from the top of their sprite. Also, I couldn't find a save point or menu. I figured ESC might bring something up but it just closed the program. Oops!

I only found two ways to attack and they both did the same damage. One was sometimes ranged. There wasn't really a need to use one over the other so it felt a bit bland. I never did find the way forward, and ended up lost in the wilderness, so I didn't bother to reload it after it shut down on me.

Ultimately it has some promise but it definitely needs a bit more work to make all the pieces gel together a bit better. Up the movement speed, compress the maps, work out the bugs in the spell system and let the player have a menu of some kind (even if it's a "Do you want to quit? Y/N" option) and it'll at least play better.

Overall I'd give it 1.5-2 stars. Poor but playable.