All 404 game Reviews

Thats my dungeon! Thats my dungeon!

Rated 3.5 / 5 stars

Irritatingly addictive! Although there are a number of significant faults in this game, I couldn't help but come back to it and love finishing it. Powering up the monsters was thoroughly satisfying, but it was only in the last few levels that I realised you could power up the nests/crypts as well.

An excellent difficult rating, not too easy but not too hard (though I appreciated the choice between easy and medium). And the diverse range of monsters, each with their own strength and weaknesses added to a surprisingly deep level of strategy. The gameplay was truly excellent, really well polished.

It was therefore something of a surprise to see the low standard of English. It amazes me that someone could create such an excellent game but detract from the polish of it with clumsy spelling and poor grammar. The story, though relatively unimportant, deserves at least a quick spell check.

Achievements are always good for replayability, but it would help to know what to do in order to unlock them! And a greater reward (additional stars, for example) than a relatively useless room with slightly more furniture would be a more satisfying reason to change one's style of gameplay in order to potentially earn more achievements. For instance, I set up rat nests in the first rooms and then proceeded to build long chains of ghosts for the majority of the game. I hardly touched any other creatures once I could achieve this, and it was satisfying enough so that I didn't have to alter my style of playing to win the game.

In terms of bugs, once (very frustratingly) the final enemy on the screen didn't have a health bar. Presumably I had already killed him, but he still stood there attacking my monsters. Eventually, after hitting fast forward to speed up the waiting time, I managed to scare him out of the dungeon by using the fear spell over and over. Additionally, using the fear spell will often cause monsters to leave their rooms as they chase their prey. This is less than desirable for me. Finally, zooming out revealed a number of treasure chests just floating in the air around the edges of the screen.

For improvements I would recommend assigning hotkeys so one can use the keyboard to quickly set up a dungeon type they play often. Making these customisable would probably help since there are so many buttons to choose from once you upgrade all the monster dens.
The graphics could definitely be spruced up, but it has its own kind of charm as a cartoon dungeon.
The music wasn't too bad at all!
Small point, but I don't think that clicking "Done" should make you go back a level. A "previous" button would have made a bit more sense.

A good game, though not without issues. If a sequel is made I'm sure it will achieve even more popularity.


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Dead Zed Dead Zed

Rated 4 / 5 stars

Not a bad game!

The concept was simple, and although it's been done before, it's still thoroughly satisfying to survive a zombie apocalypse by holing up with ammunition and sending out search parties. The animations and graphics were pretty good, with the zombies taking a satisfying tumble when shot in the knees, or the fast ones copping a bullet to the head. A greater variety of enemies would have been appreciated though- the repetitiveness of the levels allowed me to easily distinguish between the handful of different speeds at which they were able to move.

The survivor skills took a little while to understand- I hadn't realised that they each had their strengths and weaknesses until I had lost a few. If this had been made slightly clearer I would have enjoyed it immensely as it added a really appreciated element of strategy into the game. The concept of time was a little bizarre and confusing- 750 hours (31 days) to search a house for survivors, yet only 40 days to survive? I didn't even notice there was a correlation between searching and the hours available, nor do I yet understand how one can get more hours (other than starting the next waves and hoping for a large enough supply to be able to keep searching the next few nights). And setting the group limit at five was, I suppose, a necessary evil (though my search party became redundant around Day 30 after it has successfully found every kind of weapon and all the remaining survivors).

Speaking of weapons, a satisfying collection though most of them weren't worth using. Although not as numerous as other defence games, each weapon had a unique feel and was built for different playing times. As always though, I went with an assault rifle for ammunition and got as many headshots as possible. The rifles just weren't worth the reload time, and recoil could be minimised by clicking the mouse quickly without holding it down. I also felt that the secondary weapon took too long to bring out- it often wasn't worth switching between them because the reload was just as fast. I think this defeats the purpose of having another weapon on standby. I also found the different fire modes to be superfluous, with the exception of the three round burst (which I immediately turned off). It was frustrating to have to turn it off every time I loaded a new level, so a toggle option would be good. An obvious way of displaying remaining ammunition would also be appreciated.

The music and sound was quite repetitive (with the exception of the gun firing- strangely satisfying) and I soon muted it. A little more variety would have extended the marginal utility (the enjoyment received from playing over time) of the game.

Ideas for a sequel might include using survivors/time to set traps, adding additional weapons or other potential benefits for searching (which became redundant for me relatively early in the game).

All in all quite enjoyable and worth a play.


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Shen Long - Spirit Dragon Shen Long - Spirit Dragon

Rated 2.5 / 5 stars

Simple, straightforward, but very frustrating.

I can see why people are getting frustrated with the controls. I switched to the mouse controls at your recommendation, but I don't think either were very good. What frustrated me wasn't the buttons or mouse, but the way Shen Long moved. His turning circle was so huge and it took so long to turn around if you didn't line up each interception perfectly, the spirits would have no trouble getting to the sacred cherry tree. It was so difficult missing a spirit by just a few millimeters and then spend precious time trying to turn around (with varying levels of success) only to watch it get there first. And, while chasing the one spirit that got away, letting other spirits get close or damage the tree before you had the chance to improve your course.

I appreciate that this may have been an intentional challenge of the game, but it was ultimately frustrating. A dragon that could turn a little faster, or move a little quicker would have made this game many times more satisfying to play. I'm afraid the best part was the music.

Hope you take my criticism into account for future games!


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Hungry are the Dead Hungry are the Dead

Rated 3 / 5 stars

Lots of little things letting the game down

It's a very simple and straightforward game, which I appreciate, but I had some major irks with it. It's a great pain to click the pile of ammo to reload- if you assigned this to a button or it happened automatically it would save having the player re-aligning the rifle each time. Music needed variety quite badly. Putting prices on store items would have helped a little in making purchase choices. A story would have been nice, but certainly not necessary for this genre of game. The artwork was a little scrappy, but that didn't majorly affect how much I enjoyed the game.

Please work on these before trying a sequel!

Goblin Defense 2 Goblin Defense 2

Rated 3.5 / 5 stars

Limited, but with good potential!

The game starts off very easily and overpowered, but the difficulty rating climbs significantly around halfway through. I had maxed out all my upgrades by level 6 (starting with strength, so any arrow was essentially a one shot kill for many enemies), but around the time catapults and dragons were introduced, my archers died before I could heal them. In fact there were so many flames and arrows flying towards them I couldn't see how much health they were on because their health bars were covered by the enemy attacks. Unfortunately, despite my impregnable walls and their ridiculously high health, I could not see where they were aiming so I had difficulty returning fire and they all died. I think this is a simple thing which more or less ended the game for me. Still enjoyable, but if you improve slightly on visibility of your archers, and give a tutorial that you can click through rather than sit through it would be appreciated. All in all, a fun few minutes.


Prince of War 2 Prince of War 2

Rated 3.5 / 5 stars

Shallow, but satisfying

I am very fond of the Prince of War and the Battle for Gondor, so I was delighted to see a sequel that followed on from the story of the original. It kept the basic skeleton of its predecessor- hire units and send your hero in. However, though two years on and with a new face, this game was noticeably less enjoyable than its sources.

The graphics were upgraded, but I felt this detracted from the charm of the vague outlines. The environments were darker with a rather bleak colour tone- it certainly added to the morose mood of the battles, but it was far less enjoyable than roaming the hills with your army. And the characters had more detail, but their dialogue-box pictures were a little scrappy- it seems inconsistent.

Gameplay was also a little different. The lack of health bar confused me at first- I couldn't tell how injured the Prince was, nor how to revive him, until around the 14th stage. A tutorial (like in the first game) would have been well-appreciated, especially for the new layout. I wasn't as big a fan of the new character layout- having the nine of them in a box with bright and easily identifiable traits was much preferred to the fairly generic-looking row of faces. Information about their attack, defence, speed and cost was well-appreciated, though I wish I could have looked at these at my leisure rather than trying to read them during a battle. A beastiary/character bio screen would have been welcome here. And also it was a little difficult to gauge the range of the prince's sword because enemy units mostly took more than one hit- at what point did you start doing damage, and at what point were you just swinging hopefully at the air? I also dearly miss the Prince's curved sword.

The cutscenes were long and didn't always seem necessary- information was being repeated, or very little was happening. While these could be skipped, I chose to watch them to try and appreciate the story, but it was unnecessarily tedious. Pressing the spacebar to move onto the next line would have been well-appreciated. A significant part of the game was spent watching cutscenes- before a battle, after a battle, at the end of a chapter, before a chapter... they seemed to be put in to cheaply lengthen the time it took to pass the game.

Granted, the story was a little more complex, but I don't think it was necessarily as well-thought-out, or as likable as the story from the first game. The characters, while they had basic personalities, were very artificial and mostly extremely shallow. There were, however, moments of gold admist the vapidity, but overall more thought could have been put into the characters, especially given the serious atmosphere of the rest of the game.

The units weren't particularly well-weighted. At least, I didn't find them to be. A handful of heavy infantry could hold back an entire army. The cavalry and gryphons were just slightly stronger but many times more costly. Wizards died as soon as they were summoned, and most of the other infantry lasted little longer. One tactic I discovered towards the end was getting 10 archers and just letting the perpetually-healing hero halt the armies and bosses in their tracks. I hardly touched the other units because they didn't seem to help.

A few orcs made it through while the prince was unconscious, but there didn't seem to be any consequences for this... Somehow this game was less-punishing for making mistakes than its predecessors.

Finally, the credits were less-enjoyable, which is a small point but one worth making. I loved the characters walking onto the screen, identifying themselves and having their moment of glory. This game ends rather abruptly.

In summary, a game built on the formula of its predecessor, yet lacking what made the previous games so enjoyable. Shallow characters and drawn out cinematics made for a disinteresting story, but enjoyable, if biased gameplay made it worth fighting to the end. If a third in the series presents itself, I hope it will return to its roots and show both the character and potential of the PoW series.


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The Torture Game 2 The Torture Game 2

Rated 0.5 / 5 stars

You know, that's pretty despicable.

As a game, I'm sure it has its merits. Wide variety of options, replayability, good physics engine etc. But as an idea, as a moral concept, it's pretty disgusting. Having a human being tied up without story or reason just for the pleasure of putting the player in an omnipotent position to torture him until death, revive him and repeat is sickening. It makes me terribly sad that people could become to innure and desensitised to the brutality of hurting another human being for no other reason than to watch them squirm.

The Final Death Wish The Final Death Wish

Rated 4 / 5 stars

A straightfoward and simplistic game.

Enjoyable in its simplicity. I spent hours playing this, and though the graphics weren't particularly amazing and the soundtrack got repetetive, it was still a pleasure to play through. For the first half.

The formula was simple. Shoot, reload, move and jump when necessary. A healthy variety of enemies kept this enjoyable for the first half of the game, but it got stale towards the end. The enemies only varied slightly and provided no great challenge once the character had maxed out a weapon and chosen some useful skills. There was nothing further to gain from the game except completing challenges, which was mildly interesting (given how long I had invested already) but stupid hard for some of them. Not impossible, but not worth the time or effort to gain the minimal rewards. Speaking of rewards, I liked the medal system. I think more could have been added to the game if achieving a medal gave rewards in-game, like bonus damage or extra-long magazines for weapons. Newgrounds medals would have made attaining achievements MUCH more appealing.

I really appreciate the expansive variety of skills to choose from. They shaped the style of gameplay in significant ways, allowing the player to, in a sense, play a different game every time.

Problematically, there wasn't need for any other weapon than the magnum. Perhaps my gaming experience was devalued by the narrow lense of artillery, but I didn't find a need to try anything else. The double bouncing, homing bullets did hundreds of damage per second. The only reason I kept playing after I had passed the game was to see what bonuses the other weapons had, but the prospect of levelling them ALL up wasn't really enough motivation for me to bother.

Amusing humour to keep things interesting, depending on the events taking place in the game. I appreciated the many references to pop culture you made, especially The Matrix. I too am a great fan.

A few glitches include the final level's Agent Smith's not being able to quite make it onto screen. Some of them would continue walking at the edge but not make it onto the part of the level where they would open fire, so they were just cannon fodder in that sense.
The direction of the homing bullets seemed to change whenever a new enemy appeared on screen, leaving the other it was formerly targetting on low health but still doing full damage.

One suggestion I could make is give enemies a healthbar or some kind of indicator to let you know how close you are to finishing them off.
Also, there's no way I know of to turn off the cheats to continue getting challenges, so that was kind of a bummer.

All up, a good game but with many limitations. Enjoyable on a surface level, but unsustainable as a longer game with several flaws and limited replay value. Good job.


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Arkuni responds:

Awesome review! Please come back when I release my next game :)

Space-ninja Space-ninja

Rated 3.5 / 5 stars

Simplistic but enjoyable.

There is something thoroughly pleasurable about the simplicity of old school gaming. Straightforward, very few variations of controls, just good old fashioned point A to point B platforming action. I like it.

Easy to pick up, hard to put down, a pleasure to play (though perhaps needing just a little more snag to get replay value).


Chubby Ninja Chubby Ninja

Rated 3.5 / 5 stars

Simplistic but amazing.

Jolly good fun! Very straightforward and very addictive. Easy enough to be casual, but the challenges push that easiness to the next level. Because it's so basic, how good can you *really* get? For example, it's easy to collect 5 or 20 gold. But can you collect 1500? It's challenging in the sense it's easy, if that makes sense. An interesting combination, but taking a little too much time for my likes. Driven by achievements rather than story or goals, and I'm not really motivated enough to complete the challenges. Great potential as a platformer though. Very satisfying range of powerups! Just... say what they do in the tutorial.


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