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It was so pretty! ;.;

  • Liberty
  • 04/15/2015 10:43 PM
Unravelled was one of the entries for the IGMC (Indie Game Making Contest) for 2014. As one of the judges for the RPG portion 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.

Graphics were a mix of a small handful of RTP files and almost completely custom work. The mapping was wonderful, graphics lending a lot to the atmosphere of the game and highly polished to boot.

Music was original music and fit the scenes wonderfully, building up the atmosphere a lot. The addition of many sound effects also helped build it up and make the world in the game come alive. It truly was highly polished in that regard.

Writing is very few and far between. Indeed, bar the starting scenes there is no dialogue. The game, however, doesn't need it, instead using sprite poses and action to pull you into the story. It's wonderfully presented and very touching. Characterisation is seen in the many sprite poses as well, and helps build up the relationships between the characters quite well.

Battle GUI is very sleek and professional-looking, with a lot of charm and clarity. Tutorial images were well-presented and helpful, too.

There were a few small bits and pieces of the game where things felt that tiny bit off - for example, having the monster jump into the screen from the darkness of a walled area, which was a little jarring.

The interaction points of the map had very subtle markings to show where you could interact. In some places they were missing, which was a pity as they were quite well used and helpful, without jarring you out of the game.

Gameplay was both great and kinda good. You ran around in an environment, interacting with bits and pieces of it to progress through the various areas.

The climbing, jumping, scuttling and other animations and interactions were really well done. There was quite a bit of back-track in some areas, but for the most part it was a lot of fun to run around on the map, finding the correct way to go and collecting items.

Items were a mixed bag. There were only either in the game, and you only got one of each. This was fine, however the marbles you had to collect to open the next area of the game felt as though they didn't really serve a purpose except to keep you in the area longer than necessary.

Honestly, there were obstacles enough to keep you in an area without the need of having to collect the marbles to proceed. They didn't really feel like they served a purpose, especially for a game where everything else was necessary for the flow.

In fact, certain areas already had ways to stop you from progressing - butterfly doors, for example - without the need of having to find the marbles instead. I could understand if they allowed for some sort of power up or even an achievement but they felt a little tacked on - the optional collectable (even though they were required and you already had the items as collectables).

Battles were well-balanced to start with but soon became far too hard. The last battle, for example, was impossible to beat (and I tried quite a few times) unless you kept all the items you found to help you, but each battle since the start got harder and harder and required the use of the items, so at the end you'd be lucky to have two or three left to help out, and usually they were the less helpful ones.

Two different endings is always a nice thing.

I really wish the game hadn't been made in RMXP because it lagged to hell and back, even on low graphics. I had to close all programs (which I haven't had to do for any other games in the competition so far) before it would work well and even then it stuttered in points. If only it had been in Ace, which actually runs at a better FPS. >.<;

Hey, achievements. It wasn't hard to get the speedrunning one - I got it just by playing normally and found all bar one of the items that time through as well.

Fun factor
Overall the game was a lot of fun to play and I enjoyed it a lot. It's a pity that it was created in a lower FPS engine as that made it much more system intensive and caused a lot of stutter and lag during play. The battles were, for the most part, fun and interesting - though that last battle is impossible to win and I got a bit frustrated trying.

I really enjoyed the characters and story. Yes, I cried again, damnit. I'll admit it.

It was so pretty! ;.;

I gave the game a 54 out of 60 - one of my highest scores for the IGMC. On RMN I'm giving it 4.5 stars. If the battles weren't quite so scarring, I'd have broken my 'no perfect scores' rule for the second time and given it the full five.


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Self-proclaimed Puzzle Snob
Wow, these are really well-written reviews. It makes me want to ditch the fluff in my reviews and just present it how it is. Too often I'm just emulating what others have done when a review that points things out in a clear manner like this is pretty useful for both the developer and the audience. Because we're not trying to sell magazines here, we're trying to edify and/or improve games, whilst recommending to others what the game is like. This is good at-a-glance reading plus it's informative to boot. Who knew?
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