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[REMOVED] The 5 Keys Extended DEMO - iyanzakai10

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I should have something witty to put here (even if it's just to update dated info), shouldn't I?

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Name: The 5 Keys Extended DEMO

Author: iyanzakai10

Description: I hope you enjoy the second DEMO of my hack, The 5 Keys!
NOTE: The level "Dead End?" has a secret exit that does nothing at the moment!

Pros: Nothing, really.

Cons: Extremely bare-bones. Most of the levels lack any creativity, giving off the impression that you're basically doing the same level over and over again. Sure, there are some levels that utilize some unique "gimmicks" (such as screen-scrolling pipes) but they feel as if they were place in to be just there.

Padding. Too Many FISHES is an underwater level that has a fake block segments that goes back and forth with nothing else happening. Then it extends to a fetch quest to get a key and a Silver P-Switch (only it's actually BLUE), that is seven screens away from where you need to be. Oh, there's also a ceiling full of Munchers that the player has no idea about until it's too late. Oh, and the goal block in the level? The stone block above it is fake- rending all of that item babysitting a collosal waste of time.

Non-intuitive behavior. The solution to Miniaturzation is to enter an invisible door underneat a stack of blocks, but the player has zero idea that a door is there and was never given a hint to such whatsoever. Pipe Puzzle 2 uses invisible solid blocks (not Question blocks) as a staircase to proceed with the level when you have to use a pipe to travel back to start.

Lose the sole Goomba need to beat Pipe Lake (which is very easy to lose)? Sucks for you!

Strikes: Glowing yellow stone blocks aren't exactly a good look.

The BG in the first three levels is horribly put together with the huge amounts of cutoff it has. An issue like this is ignorable if the rest of the hack's length and quality holds up well enough, but it doesn't do so here.

(Recommended) Difficulty: Easy
(Recommended) Verdict: Reject

The idea and execution seem to go in opposite directions for this hack.

Beginning with the level design and such, the first thing I notice is that the hack seems to be based around the concept of having to unlock areas of the level using keys. It does sound like a good idea in theory but the execution leaves a lot to be desired. Starting with the early levels, I notice that there is one tutorial level that is pretty basic and in my opinion almost useless as it can easily be understood and figured out by the player using a few message boxes. The level also appeared as the title screen level and it does not give a good impression to any potential players out there. First impressions are quite important and you do not want to deter people from playing your hack by doing that. As I move on throughout the hack, there seems to be new obstacles and ideas for solving each puzzle (this hack easily presents itself as a puzzle hack). Screen-scrolling pipes are introduced but they do not integrate well with the level and seem to be just simply put there just for the sake of making the level seem slightly more interesting but I can clearly notice that it does not as it seems pretty obvious what the solution is in each level I play. Another thing that I am not impressed with is that you changed the properties of several blocks (especially throw-blocks) and introduced nonsensical elements into the later levels. I had quite a hard time with some of them. The level Miniturization made me search for the way to progress forward in Lunar Magic and I should not have to do that in any hack. Indications would be nice. You might also want to be careful with sprite-placement and sprite usage and the level Pipe Lake is a great example of this. You have a goomba which is very each to lose and it is also very easy to kill with other sprites in the vicinity. Bad execution overall along with uninteresting level design soured my experience with this hack.

There are not so many other aspects in this hack but the ones that are present tie in heavily with the poor level design and that is a major disappointment. You have concepts with zero indication of what to do and you used different graphics for some default blocks as I mentioned before. The aesthetics in this hack are not bad but some misleading blocks are a big problem in this hack and they should be avoided at all costs. Vanilla graphics and default palettes are fine but you do seem to have cutoff and misused tiles at certain places (example: incorrect ledges). The overworld does not seem great and it is really squarish and uninteresting along with the cutoff which is present and that is bad. The other things such as most glitches are not really major and aren't worth mentioning here (one that is worth mentioning is the broken path on the overworld at the end of the hack and you should have hidden it if you could not fix it). A few positive things I liked included the use of some custom blocks but the graphics they used did not look good. A prime example of this would be the key door graphics which use pipe graphics. Not good.

Difficulty: This hack seemed pretty easy to me and only a few parts seemed slightly challenging. I would go with an easy difficulty setting here despite being set as normal on the submission page as that is applicable for most levels. This is a bit redundant as I am about to show my verdict but it should be kept in mind.

I would go with rejection as this hack is very uninteresting and has its fair share of problems that need to be fixed. I would start afresh while keeping the key concept in my opinion.
The ideas are there, but their potential wasn't fully realized. The puzzles felt lazy and could not capture my interest. This felt like a item babysitting quest blown into a whole hack, which is never a good thing when making a puzzle hack. The level design overall left me without satisfaction and I feel as if you were uninspired when it came to actually doing something with the global gimmick you thought up of (that being, finding the key and brining it to the gate). Some levels outright disregarded this gimmick, like Tick Tick Tick Tick, which is an attempt at a platforming level. In that level, you didn't both to do anything interesting in finding the goal, all you did was tack it on at the end and just hand out the key right there for the player. Dead End? has some slowdown which gracefully lengthens the dull skull ride. That level itself is rather poor as to complete the puzzle, all you must do is repeat the same room, which is very repetitive. It doesn't help that the gameplay for most of the level is just waiting while riding on the skull raft, either. Too Many FISHES! has a section where you must go through a tunnel of fake cement blocks, and that isn't very enjoyable, as not only is it unnecessarily long, but the stage is underwater and Mario moves at a much slower pace. For some reason, the celling in that level kills me, which is unfair as it is off screen. In Pipe Ghost House, all you must to do is herd a bunch of Boo Blocks to reach a far above key, which is tedious to do at best. Last but not least, there is Miniturization, a level with a puzzle impossible for the player to figure out with out resorting to Lunar Magic. You, the author, should take more caution when designing puzzle levels, as you can easily end up with issues like this that, despite you already knowledgeable of, can become a brain-freeze for the player.

Aesthetically, this hack isn't that bad but it's not the great either. The blue hills background's palette is screwed up. Additionally, the glowing yellow blocks are pleasant looking. The miniature pipe in Pipe Ghost House also strangely appears as a log.

I'd give this hack a verdict of rejection. The design could've been thought out better. As for the the difficulty, other than a few unfair moments, I would classify this as easy.
So, this wasn't that exciting.
If you take aways the custom blocks, there seems to be hardly any work put into this. The levels are usually only 2 screens long and the design seems rather poor too.
You could spice them up a little by maybe using custom graphics. Plus, you should make them longer and the puzzles more challanging. I think at this point, I wouldn't even call them puzzles, since it'S plain as day where you need to go and what you need to do.
You did setup reset doors, I'll give you credit for that, but given the level design, you have to play really stupid to even be in need for them.

As for the sprites, if there ever were any, they seem to be placed mostly random. There was this one level with spinyies, koopas and a bullet bill shooter, were you actually had to use the koopa, other than that though, I don't see much purpose nor thread in them.
You also had this one random midair sliding koopa in a level.

There are also a lot of levels where I had to check on LM to figure out what to do. Having random invisible doors and changing the appearance of blocks is not a good puzzle, it's annoying. Especially if you don't even give indication.

Verdict: Rejected.
Difficulty: Easy
There isn't much else to say about this hack. If you want to make a puzzle like game, make it acual puzzles, that's about all. Oh, and spice up your levels a little.

@MrDeePay, maybe nex time add a link to the submission?
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... what even am I doing with my life?
This was a little, fun puzzle hack but the levels were so small. Take away them custom blocks and you got like nothing. I'm gonna say that I think this game is too easy. Plus, the first ghost house creates glitched tiles when it appears on the OW.

The one thing I didn't like was the item babysitting. I don't do that kind of stuff. It gets annoying after the 5th level or so.

Originally posted by JackTheSpades
There are also a lot of levels where I had to check on LM to figure out what to do. Having random invisible doors and changing the appearance of blocks is not a good puzzle, it's annoying. Especially if you don't even give indication.

Yes. This was true in me too. Put a door where it needs to be, hack creator.
Verdict: Rejected.
Difficulty: Easy
I think this was way too easy. You need to change some puzzles to make them harder, like world 1's castle. You did good for a start, though.
Nice in terms of idea I must say: the key gimmick seems a good point for this hack, and I was really looking forward in playing it. Unfortunately, this was a disappointment.
The level design wasn't executed well in terms of puzzle: most of the levels are two screen long, and the player is able to clear them in a matter of seconds. There's another type of level in here, that gets into unfairness in my opinion: the one I remember most is the one where you're supposed to jump on invisible blocks to go on; there's also that "miniaturization" level, I had absolutely no clue about how to clear it until I read MrDeePay's review. Not intuitive at all.
The aesthetics are pretty bad too: while I don't mind vanilla GFX (why should it mind? >w<), some palettes are very bad. The palette 6 cement block was ugly, and the most frequent bad paletted graphic in your hack. The overall in general was not pleasant to see.
Another thing I'd like to point out is the amount of glitches, that should be fixed in order to have a more professional looking hack (as glitch I only recall the one in the water level, where hitting the side block generates a glitches graphic).
Said this, I'm for rejecting this hack: the former idea is good and innovative, though the execution is poorly made.
For the difficult, I'd say easy, although some parts were unfair and not intuitive.
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