A downloadable game

Thorny Sweets; a game where two lovers face their fears and brave the castle. Use your ability to switch, mix and match magic with items and make your way through to the end.

A: Jump
S: Attack
Q: Switch spells/Dash
E: Switch characters
F: use items/use spells

I didn't have as much time to work on this as I'd like, but I hope the premise of it is alright.(And that it isn't too buggy at the very least) Maybe in the future I will come back to it. Also, it kind of turned a bit spooky. Just a bit.

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Thorny Sweets 2.zip 23 MB

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Hello, can you please add platform tags to the game page? The Itch desktop app uses those to identify if a game can be downloaded to the system it's installed on.

Thank you.

(4 edits)

(Came from Yuri Game Jam page. I know, it's been months now, but I only just got around to playing through the submissions.)

Not gonna lie, I spent close to a minute just staring at the first room (the art and animations are actually very impressive, and after completing the game I spent a good minute or so just slashing with the sword girl and watching her sword reform on her back), and maybe five more minutes jumping around the first room. The core gameplay (how recently did you last play Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin, out of curiosity?) and controls actually seem pretty polished and seem to have a fair amount of potential, and the graphics are excellent. I'll get into specific things I liked down at the bottom. The current build isn't really specifically yuri-ish in any way other than the interface, but I'm fine with that in an early build of a game where it seems like gameplay would be the primary focus anyway.

It also kinda drops you in without explaining anything, so I'm going to phrase this as a list of comments on things that aren't obvious and assume that some of them are probably bugs or oversights.

  • If the pink-haired girl runs off a ledge, she takes about half a second to start falling.
  • The pink girl's air melee is always a staff swing even if she doesn't actually have her staff, though she can't throw it again.
  • It's really hard to tell what background objects you can hit to get items.
  • At certain points, I wasn't able to be hit by enemies; sword shadows, shadow stalkers, floating hands, and tables were all attacking right through me, no matter which girl I was on, with no effect. No idea what triggers this, though I assume it's an intermittent bug given that it was working before and after in the same playthrough. Maybe I managed to carry invincibility frames from being hit over from a previous room. (This made my first playthrough a lot easier than it should've been. I can't seem to reproduce it. Never mind, reproduced it without a room transition.)
  • The icy surface from the ice cube item can extend a ways past the end of a ledge.
  • I have no idea what's up with the black dot that floats above your head at all times or the way you flash black when you kill things.
  • I also have no idea what it is that sometimes locks one of the girls during the last fight. Not sure if I missed a visual indicator other than the X over her portrait.
  • Room transitions can be a little clunky, especially this one where it doesn't actually put you above the ledge when you jump up/down, it puts you off to the left.
  • You can run into this wall but it doesn't really go anywhere. Easter egg?
  • It seems like the brief animation freeze used for effect when you hit something can actually chain together for hilarious results; I had the staff girl do a swing which lasted over a second and took out more than one shadow soldier, because the animation stayed frozen and kept hitting them again, (also making them flinch so they couldn't get away) since they were still in range.
  • You can jump before you hit the ground if you run/dash off a ledge and fall. (This is honestly kind of neat and I'd be OK with it but it feels like a bug still.)
  • If you dash, then jump mid-dash, you can't dash again in the air, even though you could have dashed again on the ground when you jumped.
  • Sometimes the shadow stalkers just pose and make an noise without actually attacking?
  • The shadow stalkers are really easy to kill with the sword girl just by spamming attack, since her second swing hits behind her.

Things I specifically liked about the gameplay:

  • The heroines feel pretty different; the sword girl has fast attacks with her sword and stomp, as well as fast horizontal movement with her dash, the staff girl has consistently fast movement and a slightly higher jump.
  • When you press a key, stuff happens immediately, often even if you're doing something else (you can, for example, jump while attacking, and it just cancels the attack animation).

Things I personally disliked about the gameplay:

  • Spells and items aren't really that useful. They run off a very limited resource and don't have the vast power that they'd need to be worth using given that you can only use two or three of them before you need to go find a mana potion.
  • If you manage to get your staff to hit you in the back, that feels like it ought to kill the shadow stalkers.
  • Having to go hunt for keys to open doors is kind of eh, after the first time. It's not the detour I object to so much as backtracking through it afterward. It's okay, and I think with either non-linearity and a map, or a bit more disguising of the keys (figuratively speaking. Making them or power-ups that do distinct, interesting things, or something) or adding some challenges along the route, it would be totally fine, it's just the way it is right now that's a bit annoying.

Edit: Typos and minor rephrasing

Edit 2: Oh, in conclusion... I enjoyed my time with it, which was probably around an hour including typing this up? The graphics and animations are actually pretty good, the sound and music fit well, the controls work better than some actual full games I've played, and while it doesn't quite play like a Castlevania game, it does play like it was designed by someone who's played them. I'd be interested in playing this if it came out as a short but finished game. But it does feel like a demo right now, in a lot of ways, with a handful of bugs, no intro, and just a general shortage of... content, I guess the word would be? Or content variety?

(In case you're wondering about the edits, I accidentally hit space with the text field deselected and posted this before I was finished typing.)

(+1)

Wow that's quite a lot written up! I have to thank you for putting so much effort into all this. But you are correct on it, it is really just a demo. Because I was kind of the only person working on it I ran out of time rather quickly. From sound effects, to making the sprites to even programming it. I had to borrow some music since I couldn't make it. But, that doesn't excuse the quality of it! I wish to come back to this with more content and a a nice huge fix. There is so much that isn't explained and even so much that people might not even notice. Like how after a certain point the hands will send you to a darker dimension. But, because the game is so short you never really see that at all. So, it makes me sad.

Now, as much as I'd like to continue working on this, I am working on my main project. I hope to have it posted one day and it will absolutely be worked on 100% since I kind of want to sell it if I can. (While this game will remain free)

Regardless, thank you so much for taking time out of your day to play my game. It means a lot!