Author Topic: REVIEW: Helmtlands: The Ambassador's Letter by Dinonykos  (Read 119 times)

Offline manikus

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REVIEW: Helmtlands: The Ambassador's Letter by Dinonykos
« on: August 07, 2017, 12:55:40 PM »
"Helmetlands: The Ambassador's Letter" is the first adventure of Corporal Binjo, a beautiful Helmettigress life guard of the Emporer of the Helmettigers. I say fist adventure because in the chronology of the Helmetland series, this game comes first (so far).
Dinonykos has done a wonderful job of bringing his world alive in this design. The world setting is important to the story, especially the history of the helmetlions. Very early on, the player has the option to learn more about the setting, or if already familiar with it, to skip that bit and get on with the game. This option is indicative of the whole game, where Dinonykos has taken into account player use and is greatly appreciated.
The story unfolds in three acts with quite a bit of literal guidance in the beginning and at the end. At these times, it feels more like an interactive show/book than a game, but is effective at keeping the player focused.
The stated game play time was 30 minutes, but it took me an hour. I'm not complaining, just thought I should mention this bit of information. Also, if you are not the kind of player to already do this, having a pencil and scratch paper handy is advisable.

.-~=+=~-.~=+=~-.~=+=~-.~=+=~-.~=+=~-.
RATING  based on a five star rating scale)
[Characters:      3
The main character is great - likeable and well protrayed graphically. I am not sure that the royalty and military command would so readily talk to a 'mere' corporal as if they were an equal, or even worth talking to at all. In general the lower ranks seemed awfullly familiar with their superiors, but perhaps this is common in the setting. I suspect that with the stated gender balance, that is not the rule, but that these characters are exceptional. If so, a little bit of explanation as to how they are exceptional would go a long way.

[Graphics:      5
Tip-top marks. The art is beautiful and all goes together very well.

[Playability:   4
The use of guided tours is great, though at one point before leaving in the carriage I became lost in the castle (I used the opportunity to explore).
The combat was innovative. The mecahincs of the combat worked very well and the graphics that accompanied it were amusing.
I don't think this design has a lot of replayability, unless you want to explore or go for sidequest(s).

[Sounds:         5
Great use of sound effects and music at all the right spots.

[Story:         3
A simple story for a short adventure. It was very clear what the objectives of the game were. There were several sections of long chains of text that felt too long for a single go, but not something that you could skip and still complete the game

[Avg rating:      4

Offline Dinonykos

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Re: REVIEW: Helmtlands: The Ambassador's Letter by Dinonykos
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2017, 01:45:23 PM »
Thank you very much for the review, Manikus. I only wondered if it would make sense to put it in the same thread as the review by Kaz-Keith. I am generally not sure if reviews should be answered in the respective section or if there should be an extra discussion section.

Some remarks/questions concerning your review:

Characters: The members of Toratenno's lifeguard are generally friendly to each other. Hierarchy is handled more strictly within the Helmettiger military. The Helmetlions, by the way, handle things like ranks quite like the Klingons in Star Trek (maybe with a little less violence). I personally think Binjo is still a little plain as a character, but I am happy you and Kaz-Keith like her since she is also important in "Snow Tigress" and will occur in other Helmetlands adventures, too.

Playability: I was aware that the palace was too big, this is why I added the transfer event which takes you automatically to the next step.

Story: I am not sure if I understood correctly what you meant: I assume you mean longer text sections should have been skippable?
Find four contributions to the Pre-Generated Character Mini-Module Design Contest on my homepage.
New: THE AMBASSADOR'S LETTER, my contribution to the 7-day-challenge.
DINONYKOS DUNGEON CRAFT DESIGN HOMEPAGE

Offline manikus

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Re: REVIEW: Helmtlands: The Ambassador's Letter by Dinonykos
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2017, 02:11:22 PM »
I think that every review should have it's own thread, unless the review is a response to an already existing review. :D

Hierarchy:
This is not that big of a deal, but i see terms like "General", "Corporal" and "Private" and I suspect that the former won't have much to do with the latter two. ;)

Story:
I don't really mean those texts should be skippable, just that they shouldd be broken up. Like maybe each book could be in volumes with some of the stories in each volume. :D I still enjoyed your game

Offline Mechanaut

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Re: REVIEW: Helmtlands: The Ambassador's Letter by Dinonykos
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2017, 03:43:02 PM »
I played it through to the end, and enjoyed it; and was impressed.  8)


* Though I kind of assumed there would be a chance to return with some herbs; as per being asked for them by a castle resident.

Offline Dinonykos

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Re: REVIEW: Helmtlands: The Ambassador's Letter by Dinonykos
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2017, 05:13:30 PM »
* Though I kind of assumed there would be a chance to return with some herbs; as per being asked for them by a castle resident.

Good point, that was another planned side story that did not make it into the final version. Sorry for that...
Find four contributions to the Pre-Generated Character Mini-Module Design Contest on my homepage.
New: THE AMBASSADOR'S LETTER, my contribution to the 7-day-challenge.
DINONYKOS DUNGEON CRAFT DESIGN HOMEPAGE

Offline Dinonykos

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Re: REVIEW: Helmtlands: The Ambassador's Letter by Dinonykos
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2017, 01:24:55 AM »
Since there are also several typos and other mistakes, and Manikus also mentioned that sometimes the text on top of the giant sprites is not very well readable, I think I could do a Silver Edition including some of the side quests I originally planned. :) I had also thought about doing a little outro comic or an epilogue-like final scene, the contest version ends quite abruptly in my own opinion...
Find four contributions to the Pre-Generated Character Mini-Module Design Contest on my homepage.
New: THE AMBASSADOR'S LETTER, my contribution to the 7-day-challenge.
DINONYKOS DUNGEON CRAFT DESIGN HOMEPAGE

Offline manikus

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Re: REVIEW: Helmtlands: The Ambassador's Letter by Dinonykos
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2017, 01:44:38 PM »
sounds cool. I always enjoy reading the comics that you create. :D :D :D

 

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