Saturday, 10 May 2014

Capsized: Game design review

Capsized is 2D action platformer game with grappling hooks and jetpacks with its mechanics very clearly influenced from Liero and Soldat. You control a spaceman who can wield multiple weapons and have to complete an objective such as destroy something, kill enemies or reach the exit.

What I liked:
Grappling hooks and jetpacks- Few games have both. This game gives them to you pretty much straight away and its really fun to grapple around and fling yourself upwards.
All weapons have dual fire- Each weapon has two firing modes effectively doubling the amount of weapons you have.

Solid mechanics- Mechanically the game is smooth and solid and controls were responsive.

What I didn't like
Level design is way too claustrophobic- The levels are terrible for a game with a jetpack and grappling hook. All too often you end up stuck in a cave with poisonous gas billowing at you or a requirement to move rocks through thin narrow passages.

Physics puzzle- Like many other physics based games, occasionaly you will have to drag and drop rocks to certain places but frankly its a real pain to actually control them and al too often I'll get stuck trying to place a rock in a specific place or overshoot it. Frankly I think they should just had you pick up keys rather than trying to position rocks or alternatively have objects click in place one you're close enough.

Enemy camoflague- Just like the environment, the enemies are all green meaning they are difficult to spot when you're whizzing through the level.

Jetpack underused- Jetpack is almost slow considering the grappling hook can easily fling you across the entire screen if timed right. There's also a hammer which air blasts you backward. Using both the jetpack and hammer can allow you to pull of some amazing moves. The jetack on the otherhand does very little flinging and is mosty used to stabilise yourself to close the remaining space to reach a platform.

Small screen size- Screen size is very small especially considering how fast I could fling myself. All too often I would not know where I was headed. The ability to zoom in and out the faster you travel would have helped solve this problem.

I played up to level 11 in Capsized, but the game became way too tough and reptitive. So I stopped playing. As mentioned I don't understand why this game got such high scores from everybody. While mechanically sound, the game lacks interesting level design and just doesn't make use of its full potential. I can't really recommend you play this.

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