SECOND PRIZE - $500
Spectrum Spelunker: Shoot Blocks to Win the Game, Also Jump and Run: Starring Hue
NOTE: The version of Spectrum Spelunker submitted for judging was a slightly earlier version than the one available for download. Dan and Patrick’s comments refer to the earlier version, of course.
You are Hue, a little videogame guy. The object of the game is to shoot blocks to score points without falling off the edge of the screen. The rub is that you can only shoot blocks that are the same colour as Hue, meaning that you have to constantly change Hue’s... hue to survive.
“The player plays as Hue, the intrepid video game character, as he attempts to gain as many points as possible by shooting blocks.
“Sound easy? Well, the blocks are three different COLORS. Hue can only shoot blocks that are the same COLOR as he is. Luckily, he can change his own COLOR to match that of the block he wishes to shoot. Also, his name is a color pun.
“The presentation is a bit rushed so the title screen kinda sucks. Sorry!
“Play through the game as far as you can - the music gets more and more awesome.”
Oh man, this game is so much fun. It’s so colourful and good natured, and the music is all boppin, and little Hue is so adorable, that you can’t help but grin while you’re playing it. And the gamey part! The things you do – they’re fun too! Jumping around, shooting blocks, trying to get colour combos while desperately keeping ahead of the ever-advancing screen – it’s just fun funny fun fun-fun.
That said, there are a couple of ways I think it could be improved. Specifically, I think if the levels were properly designed instead of randomised, and if each had a specific goal you had to achieve – like, say, getting a certain number of points or something – then this could go from being just fun to HOLY SHIT EXCELLENT. Basically, I’d like it if the game had more structure and purpose. But of course, I know that’s a big ask for a three month competition, so it’s not a big deal or anything. I mean, you still got second place, so I’m obviously not THAT hung up on it.
Spectrum Spelunker is an indie hit about to happen. It’s not mind-blowing; it’s just a simple action/puzzle game – sort of a horizontal Mr. Driller – with a cute character, good music, happy visuals and excellent controls. But that’s a recipe for success, I guess, ‘cause Spectrum Spelunker is so much fun! Quite challenging at first, but you’ll quickly get used to it, and then... well, it’s still challenging, but in the good way.
It’s a well-made, polished game, but Spectrum Spelunker seems like it could be even better – which makes sense, given that it was made to a deadline. If Tim spent a bit more time on the levels; maybe added some game modes; stuff like that – he could have a ‘commercial quality’ game on his hands. Of course, the term ‘commercial quality’ doesn’t really mean what it’s meant to, these days – because of all the excellent freeware games like Spectrum Spelunker!
I guess what I’m saying is... Spectrum Spelunker is so good that it raises your expectations of it? Look, it doesn’t matter; just download it for god’s sake.
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