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Semblance Semblance

Rated 4 / 5 stars

Soo... what do we have here? Yet another platformey stuff made in Stencyl, though I suppose it's just natural considering that such type of game is in the tutorial. Apart from that, yet another "philosophical" game (by which I mean "a game whose purpose is to deliver some message") which happens to be platformer. :P With an addition of shooting ability and some mouse-draggable cyan-thingy, which probably represents self-defense mechanisms, since I often used it as a shield against these green pickle thingies (ha ha, go out of the screen, you evil green sunglassed not-always-simulating thing, you! >:D).

However, during playing the game some details distracted me from the general message. Sometimes it was graphics, like blurred text with part of its glow "cut" (in one of the first levels, where you could walk on words) or monochromatic walls inconsistent with Col's gradient (also, I might be called FREAK for that, but I've noticed that Col's gradient is mirrored when he turns around; it's a detail, but a bit distracting too! ^^'). Other time there were some issues with grammar/spelling/words I saw there, though I can't remember them anymore, and I'm not even sure if these were mistakes, anyway - my inner Grammar Nazi was astounded to find out that subconscious can be actually used as noun as well and decided not to be picky for a while (silly me >.<). Uh, but yeah, I guess it's not your mistake, after all! >.<
However, sometimes gameplay felt a bit inconvenient, like in the level starting with Col being on platform and having to fall precisely between to spikes in order to advance. Jumping turned out to be quite annoying because Col had to bounce a bit before he could jump again. Also, the first level with breakable wall was a bit confusing as well, since it was the first level where you had to shoot, while information about it was much earlier; by that time I had completely forgotten that something like that is possible *at all* and dragged Col around trying to find a secret passage!
Oh, and that easter egg was really lame!!1!1

But yes, apart from these details, I found this game quite enjoyable and heartwarming as well. To be honest, if it weren't for ending I'd probably get much more mad; depressing would completely outrage me, sticking to pills wouldn't be satisfactory at all. But I got to a certain level and it didn't end after going to pill, and when I realised what you have to do with that it was like "BIG YES!". In fact, the cake at the end made me worried for a bit, but then it was stated that it's not a lie, so even that doubt was solved! XD
Oh, and Col's expression at the end is just adorable. âTM¥

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0paque0ccupant responds:

Whoa. Thanks for the review, I really appreciate it! :O

If the enemies were always simulated the game would be a lot harder, so I had to adjust that purposefully.

Semblance would have been a lot more fleshed out if I hadn't procrastinated so much, but that was partially because I couldn't feel the monologue or the level design as much as I needed. I could never incorporate the shooting function into the beginning levels/monologue very well so I just took it out altogether until much later. Over half the time I was focusing on trying to make the mechanics more natural, because the majority of the other contest entries seem to be struggling with that. Apparently it's not quite right even now, and I do recognize that a lot. The monologue was also never proofread, sadly. It just came to me as I went along developing the game and I probably hit grammar issues more than once.

Again, thank you so much for taking the time to tell me all the little stuff that seemed wrong with it; you hit it right on the head.