I bought the game yesterday evening and just wanted to test it a bit but since the levels are pretty short the “just one more level before I go to sleep” factor made me play it a whole hour.
I really like the game play. It took me a while to get used to the controls but then I was able do do some awesome maneuvers. Even though it is pretty hard the game doesn’t feel unfair and I can’t wait to continue playing this evening.
But there are also some mechanics that might cause people on steam to write a bad review.
The title screen forces you to hit “w” three times in order to start the game. While this (same as the hyperspace jumps) has a nice feeling to it since it gives the feeling of building up thrust, the player needs to read the text beneath the spaceship first to know that “w” has to be pressed 3x. This is quite an unusual way to start a game.
Maybe you should put the “w” into a separate text object and make it flash from white to red back and forth to draw attention.
It took me a little time to figure out how the shop between missions works. At first I thought hitting “e” to buy one of the unnamed things would just upgrade one of my stats. 2 or 3 missions later I figured out that these work like a pinata - hit it a couple of times in order to make it burst and reveal the item. A little hint or descriptive text would be helpful. One thing I still don’t know is how to equip stuff. The tutorial told me how to switch weapons but how does it work for engines ans other stuff? I can see it in the ESC menu in the items section but how do I equip it?
Is it possible to repair the hull between missions?
I still don’t know where I can see the current state of my shields. I guess the red objects in the top left corner represents my hull state, am I correct? I’m currently just roughly judging the state of my shields from the sound effects. (maybe I missed this in the tutorial, I don’t know)
But all in all I’m really impressed. I had lots of fun so far.
I would like to see it get reviewed by WAB.
I highly recommend to send a free copy to him:
He is more than happy to review indie titles, and rape the devs if they done something really bad. But joke aside you can get not only a review but some really useful suggestions how to improve the game. But be prepared, he is very hard on the games and also on the devs, not very polite if your game sucks it won’t be a nice review and you get f**d in a way that only adults should watch. But when he get a free copy for review normally he try to be polite for the most part but remain honest at all time. This is why I personally like him. I buy games only if they are WAB approved.
I’m looking forward to see your game get WAB.
Good point about the title screen, I might make that more obvious.
The game doesn’t have classic inventory management, the only thing you can equip and unequip is you active item (bottom left). You can switch that out with other actives from chests. Passives all apply their affect for the whole run after you picked them up, so you don’t have one specific engine, rather you can have technically infinite passives that modify your engine, jump, shots etc. I din’t got out of my way to explain this in the tutorial since it seemed kind of like a known genre convention to me. But that might still need to be made more clear.
You can by one to two half heart per zone at a store, other than that you’ll need to depend on random health drops and passives for restoring your hull. Shield isn’t telegraphed beyond the sound and the ! rectangle ! thing that appears around your ship after being hit. Smaller rectangle means your shield is lower. If you judged this mostly by sound and feel than you’r doing it right. I find giving you a bar or numbers would be more distracting and still not tell you how many more hits you can take. You’ll eventually get a feel for how much damage enemy shots deal and how much more you can take before taking heart damage.
If you have more feedback feel free to drop in the games discord if you like: discord.gg/GfQGNhr
Hyperspace Dogfights 1.1: Realspace is live, a free content update that adds controllers support, loot tooltips and 40+ new items for your jets.