Review Information
Game Reviewed Hydroshi: Through the Reservoir(Game Jam Demo), by mack
Review Author FrenchOrange
Created Jul 17 2020, 12:04 AM

General Commentary and Game Overview
For the most part, my several play sessions of "Hydroshi" have been quite satisfying, the game so far having a really cute artstyle, a super catchy soundtrack, and physics that are responsive for the most part (more on that later).

Regarding things I’d recommend changing, it’s mostly just in areas I except the dev to polish up once they find the time, such as the game’s desktop icon looking a bit odd in terms of colors, the scene transitions not taking up all of the screen, a few sprites (namely Yoshi’s House) looking a bit rough, and some sentences lacking periods. The intro text also says "dialouge" instead of "dialogue", and the loading screen in "Baby steps" states "fundementals" instead of "fundamentals", though these are simple spelling errors and are easily missed.

The lack of a pause option is bearable, but the absence of any sort of health HUD is a tad bit annoying at times. Shy Guys walk way too fast, which makes the pipe section of "Man Steps" almost impossible to get through. As for the inclusion of Green Zingers, I suppose these may be placeholders? I bring up this particular point as it isn’t really clear at first that you can jump on them (they are also placed in annoying spots, but once again more on that later).

Now, the game is quite responsive as I mentioned earlier, though I did notice a few technical mishaps here and there, namely, walking to the rightmost edge of the screen in "Man Steps" will render you permanently stuck between the pipe and the invisible wall. On the lighter side, it is possible to get out of bounds in the underground portion of "Man Steps" by dying, and pressing the flutter key as soon as the death animation finishes and immediately going left or right, which will let you walk on the ceiling.

I think the game’s true "fault" however lies in its difficulty, which isn’t as bad as it may sound. Indeed, while fluttering and jumping in general feel nice, they require rather snappy reflexes... which isn’t good as the first jump gap you find in the game is above a bottomless pit. Right now, you have to try again and again to master the controls, and while hard it is manageable. What isn’t manageable, however, is the first half of "Man Steps", as once the Goomba falls down it is almost impossible to get on the platform without either hitting the Goomba or the Shy Guy. On the same note, the slope physics in the underground portion of "Man Steps" make getting out of the water without hitting the Green Zinger a bit tedious, while the second half of this area is nearly impossible to traverse due to the path of the Zinger. Indeed, while I can manage to get on somewhat consistently by jumping on the Blue Shy Guy as it falls but it feels more like an exploit than an intended method.
Pros A rather pleasing presentation, featuring good graphics and tight controls.
Cons A somewhat steep learning/difficulty curve and the lack of a health HUD.
7 / 10
While hard to master at first, once you get the hang of things you'll find yourself having quite a bit of fun exploring the platforming sections as your disposal. Aside from a two actually "unfair" areas, this is all really solid.
8 / 10
The graphics are for the most part consistent and nicely animated, aside from Yoshi who is maybe just a tad bit stiff. Aside from that the game is rather pretty and the few issues here and there could easily be fixed in the next update.
10 / 10
The sound design really is spot on, sound effects play where they should and blend nicely with the level themes. Nothing to complain about in that department.
Final Words
7 / 10
To conclude, I’d say that while currently unpolished, Hydroshi has some real potential to become a game enjoyed by many. The gameplay itself is rather enjoyable, the round Yoshi’s Island-inspired graphics look adorable, and the music is once again really pleasing to the ears. I often find myself playing through the two levels available just because of how fun I find it. As such, I would definitely recommend checking this demo, and I await seeing what the next update will bring!

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Aug 20 2020, 2:41 AM
I haven't noticed the spelling mistakes lol
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