Can't figure out how to start it/play--no instructions. I just get a scrolling background and a sprite of a dragon flies down occasionally. While writing this review, my browser opened a message box saying that the game was over and asked me to restart, which is the most interactivity I found. Please please please, don't ever have a flash game open a message box. Put it in the game window instead.
Perhaps you uploaded an older test version? Lava background is well-done, though.
I made it to screen six, the one with the staircase full of monsters. The game is overly hard, and at least part of this is due to the controls. If you hit z while running, your character won't stop and shoot. Instead, you have to stop first and then shoot. My first few tries, I couldn't tell I was being damaged--the health indicator doesn't make an eye-catching change. When you hit the top of the enemy, you're frozen until you push them back, and while it doesn't take forever, it does take an awkward, too-long amount of time.
On screen four, there appears to be a higher path you can take, but it doesn't go anywhere. Screen six appears impossible without spending a ton of health, as you cannot jump while shooting. You can jump while running just fine, so I'm not sure if it's a problem with input. I can press a lot of keys before my keyboard ghosts, so if this isn't a gameplay choice there's a problem elsewhere.
The dropdown on screen four, where you can see that the enemy at the bottom of the pit is a shooting enemy before you land, is very well telegraphed, so good on there. Screen three is also pretty well-done, though it would be nice if it was possible to jump under the monster on the second platform. If you can, I couldn't figure it out.
I dig the concept and the flavor of the game--with some gameplay and design tweaks/fixes, I'd gladly give this a higher score. Also, a thumbnail image of any sort would help with first impressions.
The problem is the gameplay and level design, mainly. The art is nice, and meshes well with the sound effects and the music you picked out.
I really like the core idea and the way the game works. It's not dissimilar to the games I made a long while back, but personally I would remove this and resubmit when it's a bit more complete. I applaud how quickly this was completed, and it's great for that restriction, but unfortunately that doesn't mean that reviewers should rate the game any higher.
You also might have miscategorized the game--This is more of a twist on the scrolling shmup or bullet hell genres. Maybe something in the Action or Skill categories would be more appropriate.
I appreciate the instructions in the author comments, but it's really unclear what the player is supposed to do without them. I had to guess at how to start the game The music is beautiful, but I don't think it fits the presentation and fast pace of the game.
The sound effects are well-done, especially for the time limit--they're all unique enough that I know my shield is down even if I'm looking elsewhere on the screen, for example. Then again, the lo-fi sfx clash with the clear tones of the piano.
Thank you for your feedback, I'll work on a few things post jam, you're totally right about the controls etc. I'm going to refine my game a bit, your review was really insightful and truthful, I think I need to step back from the code a bit in order to foresee things like those you mentioned.
Her hair is hatched like the popular D&D map-drawing technique. Really cool effect you have there.
example of the effect, if you're unaware:
Very well done and aesthetically pleasing, but its weirdness is almost as intriguing as its quality.
Art-wise a bit sharp, but if it's going to be an enemy I don't suppose it's supposed to be cuddly.
If these horses are not very threatening but the new design is better.
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