Review Information
Game Reviewed Landborne, by bigpotato
Review Author Q-Nova
Created May 1 2022, 7:57 AM

General Commentary and Game Overview
Back in the summer of 2020, MFGG hosted a game competition where the theme is "Too Much Water." bigpotato presented a very creative and unique game, where the story is about "Not Enough Water". When I said creative and unique, boy, do I really mean creative and unique! There's nothing like it, not even in the commercial game realm, and that alone makes it worth playing! Honestly, I think even Miyamoto would probably be intrigued! However, since it's a very new concept, there are many flaws that can make the experience frustrating.
Pros +Very innovative idea
+High-quality NES-style sprites
+Creative level design
+Simple, funny story
+Stars add replay value
Cons -Too short
-Uneven and frustrating difficulty
-Screen size is too tall
-Music is a bit too simplistic
7 / 10
Imagine this: A Cheep-Cheep flies to the right, using Goombas and springboards to keep himself airborne (despite the name, interestingly). Only one key is used, which makes the fish dive downwards at high speed. Dives must be well-timed, because if the Cheep-Cheep ends up laying on the hot ground, you may have to restart the level! That's the gist of Landborne; it's such a unique concept, it must be played to really know what it's like! While it's very short and very few features exist, the 12 levels have a lot of variety and interesting designs for such a very limited amount of resources.

Unfortunately, Landborne flops from the unusual dynamic of being both too easy and too hard. It's too easy because once you get the timing down, you'll blaze through the level in just a few seconds. It's too hard because the timing is very tight; expect to hit the retry key over 30 times in some levels! I think it wouldn't be so bad if the Cheep-Cheep was slower and had a more forgiving hit detection. It'd also help to have a marker that shows where you'll land and pause at the start of each level until you hit a key, like what Pedigree suggested in his review.
9 / 10
bigpotato is always known for his masterful NES-style sprites, and he certainly didn't slack off here! I love the SMB1-esque aesthetic and the Cheep-Cheep is so expressive! The story screens are good, although I feel like some could use a little more detail. I'd prefer a more even pixel ratio, but it's not much of a problem.
8 / 10
Landborne uses a single song that uses different instruments in different parts of the game. It's a neat idea and nicely executed; the song fits and doesn't get annoying, although it could use a little more variety. The sound effects sound original and are nice; the Cheep Cheep one is kinda funny! I think the Goomba squash sound is a bit too quiet, though.

==Replay: 4/10==

At first it might take you 10 or 20 minutes to beat the game, but at the second or third time, you'll likely fly through the game in just a minute or two. Each level has a special objective that awards a star if completed, but a lot of them require even stricter and more frustrating timing and I'm not sure if level 10's challenge is actually possible. I think I tried that over 100 times, believe it or not, and I've only gotten so close in maybe 2 or 3 of those attempts.
Final Words
7 / 10
A brilliant idea that could become an equally brilliant game if given enough refinement.

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