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Sploder => MRE => Reviewer Lane => Topic started by: Bricc on January 21, 2019, 12:04 pm

Title: "A Gem Without A Shine" - A Review of Seafaring Adventure by furfurrykitty
Post by: Bricc on January 21, 2019, 12:04 pm
This is Bricc on a regular non-college Monday, searching for just about anything to do but study. Keeping up my procrastination, I decided today would be a good day to finally write my reviewer application. Personally, my skill level really only allows for me to play PPG games since I've never been great at games made with the other creators, so it took me a while to find this gem 6 pages into the featured games list. A gem without a shine.

Being a member who's been around since 2011 but going by different aliases, I've gotten to know a lot about the popular game makers of Sploder. However, I actually don't know a whole lot about furfurrykitty aside from little communication on the community forums a while ago. This meant that I hadn't really got any set expectations for this game apart from how I received the thumbnail. The thumbnail for Seafaring Adventure is relatively bland and doesn't really provide much information about the game or its story. The main thing that caught my eye was in fact an eye in the center of the thumbnail surrounded by an unusual, spiky looking shape which I assumed was a sea urchin judging by the game's name. Knowing this was a Physics Puzzle game and understanding the general concept (being an underwater game) of it, I was admittedly quite looking forward to the experience I was about to get. Before I jumped in, that was (get it?).

The first thing I did before actually playing the game was read the description, which contains the story. I was intrigued since nowadays coming up with a story even remotely original is pretty difficult and I wondered how well furfurrykitty would do this. Had the story been a little bit more detailed or progress slowly throughout the game, I may have said that it was quite a good one. Unfortunately, though, this isn't the case and I'll have to call it average. I like the combination of an underwater game with an alien invasion game where the protagonist (Arty the fish) attempts to save his ocean from the aliens' poisonous spit. That's it, though. The story just ends there. It feels... incomplete. As you progress through the levels, there is absolutely no story progression either, leaving you to feel as if the writer of a book you were reading got bored while writing the second paragraph and walked away. I feel like all this game needed to have the story element go from "okay" to "good" was a little plot twist and an "update" on the story at the beginning of each level.

Next up I want to talk about the gameplay, because boy do I have a lot of complaints about it. Everything gameplay-wise in Seafaring Adventure has been done before and usually much better. Now I'm not at all saying that simplicity can't be a good thing, but this is just far too simple. In each level, you must find a purple crystal in order to unlock the exit. You're also required to kill each and every enemy in the level too. That's all you have to do. If that wasn't bad enough, the enemy placements in this game are beyond bad - terrible. While playing through the game, there were multiple instances where I could easily avoid an enemy's bullets by moving very slightly above their bullets (in this case assuming they're shooting left or right) so that they couldn't hit me, but by then shooting I could hit them. The enemy placement was real cheap since and it was way too easy to cheat my way through it on multiple occasions. In one level, which I believe was level 2, I was even able to kill an enemy who was placed near a wall by shooting the opposite side of the wall.

On top of that, the gameplay and controls just felt really... janky. Bullets can be shot by the player by pressing the spacebar and there isn't a limit on how many the player can shoot at once. All bullets, whether it be an enemy's or the player's, collide with each other with no use of pass-through layers. Not only that but the player can collide with their own bullets. All of this put together honestly just causes chaos and makes it incredibly difficult to move through the level while completing the set objectives. Tieing into the controls is the player movement. In general, it's not too bad because the gaps are quite wide and accessible. However, in level 3 there are spikes that shift up and down. While this is a great obstacle as it allows variation for ways to lose a life, it's also a pain in the neck. This is only because of the way the player moves - it's too slow and its acceleration is too little to the point where this is just a huge difficulty spike in the level, causing it to be pretty tedious.

Seafaring Adventure doesn't even look visually appealing, at least to me. In college I study Games Design and learn about this sort of thing. I personally struggle quite a lot when it comes to graphics too, and I wouldn't take the game's scenery score down too much if there was at least a good attempt at graphic design. I really feel like there was little to no effort put into the visual aspect of this game, though. The player has a fish graphic which is probably one of the better looking ones. At least you can make out that it's a fish. With the aliens, furfurrykitty had a little more freedom considering an alien can look however you want it to, but they're still pretty low quality. Credit where credit is due, they look decent but nothing more. Pretty much everything else in the game doesn't have a graphic created for it and uses the PPG's default textures. Sometimes this can work much better than even applying a graphic but this game is one I can point to as a bad example of that. The scenery is pretty slap dash all throughout with just a couple of coral reefs/rocks here and there, leaving it quite bare. Overall, I would say I am not impressed by this element of the game.

This is not a difficult game at all. Sometimes it's nice to have a little challenge but honestly this game won't provide you with one, so if that's what you're looking for, look elsewhere. The only deaths I had in the game were at those moving spikes I talked about a couple of paragraphs ago, and that was only because of the lacklustre controls. I believe the underwater theme could have been explored much better with use of bubble columns and other unique features that you can find in the ocean to add more original sections to the level. This would increase difficulty and the game's length (because it is far too short), but by making it more unique, it wouldn't feel like as much of a drag to play, because in my opinion it feels that way.

Ratings

Story • 2/5 • Effort shown but not a very successful attempt.
Thumbnail • 2/5 • Drew me in a little but only just about.
Visuals • 1.5/5 • Pretty disappointing with very empty levels.
Gameplay • 1/5 • Nothing original, very annoying and unreliable controls.
Difficulty • 1/5 • Only difficult because of the bad placements and unreliable controls.

To conclude, I have to admit I don't see any qualities in this game that warrant it being featured. Granted, it had some good ideas behind it but all in all it was very poorly executed. After dying right near the end a couple of times I just gave up because this game's replayability for me is an absolute zero. This is a gem of a concept but there is definitely no shine on it with the attempt furfurrykitty has made. Thanks for reading my review, and hopefully you'll be reading my next one over on the main site.
Title: Re: "A Gem Without A Shine" - A Review of Seafaring Adventure by furfurrykitty
Post by: Ethan2009 on January 21, 2019, 12:05 pm
Nice review, good luck! ;)
Title: Re: "A Gem Without A Shine" - A Review of Seafaring Adventure by furfurrykitty
Post by: Bricc on January 21, 2019, 12:07 pm
Nice review, good luck! ;)

Thanks Ethan! Now that I'm done with this we can return to our True or False Game. :D
Title: Re: "A Gem Without A Shine" - A Review of Seafaring Adventure by furfurrykitty
Post by: Crazykittyzz on January 21, 2019, 04:19 pm
I can obviously see the vast skill you have in this field just by reading this alone. Of course I’m totally aware that you have experience in the reviewing “industry.” Your review had consistent flow and seemed to give extreme criticism which really payed off. Of course I’ll be accepting this. Keep up reviews like this man, it was a good read.
Title: Re: "A Gem Without A Shine" - A Review of Seafaring Adventure by furfurrykitty
Post by: Bricc on January 21, 2019, 04:23 pm
I can obviously see the vast skill you have in this field just by reading this alone. Of course I’m totally aware that you have experience in the reviewing “industry.” Your review had consistent flow and seemed to give extreme criticism which really payed off. Of course I’ll be accepting this. Keep up reviews like this man, it was a good read.

Thank you! I'm glad you liked it. :D
Title: Re: "A Gem Without A Shine" - A Review of Seafaring Adventure by furfurrykitty
Post by: Ethan2009 on January 21, 2019, 04:35 pm
congratz