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Review Information
Game Reviewed Cook Out!, by Cruise Elroy
Review Author Syaxamaphone
Created Feb 18 2018, 4:48 AM

General Commentary and Game Overview
Knowing Cruise's attention to detail, I was expecting a solid retro-arcade experience and I was not let down!
 
Pros Absolutely nails the aesthetic and feel of old-timey video games
 
Cons Gameplay doesn't strike the same balance of strategy, risk & reward of the arcade classics.
 
Impressions
Gameplay
7 / 10
The game is pretty simple and straightforward. Pickup veggies, put them in the pot. It's easy to assess the goals and hazards at a glance but movement took a little while to get used to. Sometimes Toadette would stop on stairs because I was not holding the proper direction. I like that you can drop off ledges.

Some stages I feel have too many choke points (especially the bottom of the fire stage). I think that the game could benefit greatly from a wider screen with more staircase options.

Invincibility stars appear to be random and anywhere from 0 to 3 at once have shown up on stages for me. Stars don't feel like a strategic reward (like a pacman power pellet) but more like a random free score booster that would make running this game competitively frustrating and unfair.
 
Graphics
10 / 10
I feel that the base sprites are enough to meet the needs of any retro junkie, but Cruise takes it further with an arcade-cabin frame and CRT filter to really nail the experience.
 
Sound
10 / 10
Fits the aesthetic to a T for Toad!
 
Replay
4 / 10
Once you've finished taking in the retro-style, there isn't a lot more to keep you playing the same two maps over and over. (the game says there are four but I didn't see the other two...)
 
Final Words
8 / 10
As a throwback it hits the nail on the head but as a full experience it leaves a little bit to be desired. Cruise has mastered the arcade aesthetic and I look forward to seeing him improve on perfecting the gameplay as well!

Comments
Cruise Elroy Feb 26 2018, 1:06 AM
Many thanks for the review, Syax!

I have to agree that there are a few areas where it can be difficult to squirm out of a tight spot when the baddies are closing in on you. I also kind of agree that the powerups relying on RNG to spawn can be frustrating, but I wasn't sure how to best implement it at the time, but the deadline was approaching so I just went with the first thing that came to my mind. The game might've benefited from a wider screen in the long run...but it was either that or the aesthetic \_(ツ)_/

As for the fact that you only saw two unique stages, I'm willing to bet that's because you only saw the game up to round 3. The two unique boards are accessed by round 4 and 8. I somewhat based the rotation off of Donkey Kong's system; the first rotation has only two stages, the second has three, and all subsequent ones have all four.
 
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