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The locals say the ruins are cursed -- but you've also heard they hold an artifact that can make one immortal...


Citadel

A time-traveling puzzle game; find unexpected routes around obsticles as you traverse a ruinious landscape. Use both growth and decay to your advantage. Strategically position foliage in the past. Winner of the 2023 game jam.

Tips

  • Try to get to sparkly things!
  • When you first enter the ruins, walk towards the center, follow a path of black blocks, climb up a vine, walk along a wall, a drop onto a black, central pillar.
  • There are 4 magic stones: You will need to find all of them to complete the game.
  • There's something waiting at the top of the ruins...
  • Right click on the ghost to talk to it
  • There are 4 plants that grow in the ruins... perhaps you can use them?
  • There are 7 ancient artifacts in the ruins. Some of them are very difficult to get. They are simply collectables and not nessicary to complete the game.
  • Plants that have rubble fall on them are unlikely to grow
  • You can't time travel into a wall!

Reviews

Review

Do you recommend this game?

  • A pleasant surprise

    My favourite entry for this year's game jam. You encounter ruins and a ghost. You find things that make you go to the past, then to the future and there is 5 time periods of a citadel. You then have to use the seeds of plants and timetravel to reach different parts of the citadel. Each time period unlocks new speeches of the ghost which is a nice touch.

    I played this game for like 2 or 3 hours because I also wanted to find all 7 artifacts. (and I did. Woohoo!)

    The map is well-made and must have taken ages to piece together.

    Using plants to rise in height feels awkward. What I did was I placed an acorn and jumped to the corner and made future travel hoping it'll let me, then I move quickly back to the tree. Only takes me like 50 tries but it works somehow. Awkward. Unless this is cheating? You'd think that standing on top of a small tree then going to the future would work but no.

    The challenge is to obtain several important items and reach tricky locations by clever exploring and timetravel. The final goal is basically to reach the top with a special item.

    But that's not all! There are artifacts! These are a clever addition and they kept me hooked a while longer although they were completely useless. And some artifacts had really clever locations. Sadly they don't unlock anything, not even a secret dialog.

    The music is simple but sets a good tone. I wish there would be more sound effects. There isn't even a footstep sound yet. Shadows seem to not work in this game? Every block seems to glow?? It looks certainly a little weird but you get used to it.

    I don't really understand where the "unexpected" comes in but whatever.

    The submitted game jam version sadly had a lot of small bugs and it crashed when I destroyed the crystal (but this was the end anyway). I really want this game to become bugfree and more polished in future versions.

    Anyway, this game definitely kept me busy from start to finished including bonus items, so good job!

    0 comments
  • Difficult Inside the Box-like puzzle with time travel physics

    This is a discovery/parkour puzzle, with time travel and time modification. This runs similar to a very difficult Inside the Box entry, for those who have played those - it even looks exactly like one! Finding and recovering artifacts is hard, and there aren't a lot of hints, so you've gotta think outside the box :) As a general hint, you need to try to toggle between past and present to get to locations and find objects, but also, modify the present to find some (a lot) of them. Plants grow over time, so they can help you climb nodes or break nodes as long as they don't get destroyed in the timeline. There aren't a lot of sounds, and the background music got a bit annoying, so I just muted the game.

    You can't timetravel if a node is going to be at your position in the new time. But you can get around that (usually) by sneaking to the edge of a node and then time travelling - maybe a bug. It helped me to figure out what positions were going to be viable through the timeline though. Most of your time is going to be spent modifying the timeline with plants, because just time travelling won't get you very far.

    For how much effort this puzzle was to solve, I was almost expecting a resolving ending, but the ending didn't make sense to me and didn't feel complete. After the end scene, I was teleported back to the castle to see the same entities, which confused me further. If this counts as unexpectedness, I guess the author gets points. I haven't found all the artifacts yet, they're just incredibly hard to locate and recover!

    Despite some shortcomings, this is one of my favorites in the Game Jam, and I hope it continues to get development. It's a really tough puzzle with amazing logic and physics, and I like tough puzzles. :) Recommended - but don't give up easy or this game isn't for you!

    0 comments
  • Classic Tomb Raider in 4.5D, incredible concept, tolerable jank

    A mix of maze exploration, gentle parkour, and puzzle solving gameplay in a world with free travel across more dimensions than you thought you were getting when you opened the box. On top of the 3 spatial dimensions, not only do you need to travel across time to navigate the citadel, but you need to change the past and create alternate timelines.

    The gameplay is well executed, given how ambitious the idea was and the tight timeline. It's rough around the edges and there are minor bugs galore, but the core seems to be intact, and the gameplay is well thought out and reasonably balanced. The setting, storytelling, and atmosphere all work together well, and the plot twist fits the jam's "unexpected" theme, as does the surprising depth of mechanics.

    To navigate the extra depth and complexity of the game, players will need to bring a measure of patience and keen perception. The deceptively small size of the game world in 3 dimensions hides a maze of surprisingly intricate maze of paths across time and possibility. Expect to spend a lot of time looking for subtly hidden treasures, and trying to fit an image of the citadel superimposed across a handful of different eras in your mind.

    Things that aren't obvious bugs but I'd still like to see include reducing immersion breaks (diagetic guidance, and the entire inventory screen is unnecessary), a bit richer in-world sound (footsteps! maybe voice acting...?) and some accessibility improvements (fixes for HUD/GUI and font scaling settings, translations).

    I'm excited to hopefully see more developer attention on this game in the future, to clear away annoyances and distractions and add the shine and polish it deserves, and hopefully the community will rise to the occasion with play testing, bug reports, and pull requests.

    1 comments
  • Nice concept but highly frustrating

    I can't give a negative vote because, if we consider the author had 3 weeks to make a game, this is definitely a solid concept. The core idea of time travelling is well executed, there is a good attention to details (music, graphics, NPCs to talk with), yet I find it very frustrating gameplay-wise. The only instructions are given by opening the inventory, and it requires an important amount of patience. I think that with some tweaks here and there it could become way more enjoyable. Chapeau for the 4D exploration :)

    1 comments
  • The best game of GJ2023 (in my humble opinion)

    After 5 minutes of trying to write a review for this game, I'm going to say it: I can't describe how good this game is, and I don't want to spoil the good impression of it, so just try it for yourself! It's great - I'd even say it's mind-blowing (for a Minetest game)! But you will need your head - it's a puzzle, and a pretty difficult one. However, the ambient soundtrack won't get in the way (I liked it, I even added it to my playlist). I won't say anything else - it should be Unexpected for you after all!

    0 comments
  • Really fun parkour puzzle game

    Maybe too hard for the most to appreciate though. I'd say difficulty is not a flaw. It's actually maybe my favorite

    1 comments
  • Fun and clever, but also complicated and almost sad.

    Definitely the best of this year's Game Jam. Citadel is a complex puzzle game hidden in an almost rpg-type setting, with a fascinating but relatively simple plot and a dreamy but almost sad environment.

    Lists and ratings:

    Scores rate how good different aspects of the game are.

    Effects is mostly how the game looks and is built. If a game doesn’t have good-looking textures, particle effects, or architecture that is actually plot-relevant, it can get a low Effects score.

    Gameplay involves how good, fun, interesting or effective the gameplay is. If a game doesn’t have well-designed puzzles that are something a gamer actually feels they can figure out with obvious end results, it can get a low Gameplay score. A game doesn't have to be easy, just motivating.

    Plot, of course, is how good the plot is, how well it fits with the game itself, and whether it is interesting enough to keep players interested. If a game doesn’t have an obvious plot or goals, it can get a low Plot score.

    Theme is how the game feels and is laid out. If a game doesn’t feel right, have a theme that fits its plot or gameplay, or is too bland or empty-feeling, it can get a low Theme score.

    Unexpected Theme is only how a game fits the theme of the 2024 Game Jam.


    All of these are rated out of ten (#/10), and the Overall will be a combination of all these scores out of fifty (#/50).

    Effects: 8/10

    Gameplay: 6/10

    Plot: 9/10

    Theme: 10/10

    Unexpected Theme: 5/10

    Overall: 38/50

    0 comments
  • Atmospheric and Evidently Complex

    Rating Scale:

    1-10 for each of the 6 categories, 1 being a thumbs down, 10 being a thumbs up. Max total being 60.

    Gameplay: 7 | Innovation: 8 | Graphics (Content) 6 | Music & Sound (Content): 5 | Theme: 9 | Stability: 10 |

    Total: 45

    I'm not a fan of parkour at all, and to be honest I don't have enough time or patience to play this game properly. That being said, I think it deserves my time to write this review. Even though it's not my cup of tea, it's clear to see that quite a lot of thought went into this game. It has a plot, it has a unique and somewhat haunting atmosphere and a solid time-travel mechanic. It could do with a bit of sprucing up visually post Game Jam and probably some more sound effects, but for the time allowed, I can't really fault it too much.

    If the above review sounds like your kind of game, I'd say give it a chance and see how you like it.

    0 comments
  • 8/10 A truly unique puzzle game, not meant for everyone :)

    (I have not 100% the game) This is a puzzle game that involves parkour, lots of thinking ahead (and i guess behind too?!) and familiarity with the map. I expected for the music to have overstayed its welcome but it is still very nice to listen to. The story is pretty neat. The idea of time travel and using growth and decay to parkour and explore regularly inaccessable areas is very unique! The level design here is very well made, even if there's some jank here and there.

    btw, i destroyed the crystal with only 3 stones and 4 plants. is the fourth stone necessary? i couldn't find it even with fly and noclip hacks.

    0 comments
  • Haven't completely played through yet

    (Disclaimer: This review was made in the context of the game jam 2023. May contain spoilers.)

    • You can fall out of map, if at the beginning you don't enter the cave, but climb on top of it.
    • Hud text dialogue fade in/out causes low fps.
    • Nice challenging puzzle platformer.
    • I'd like to have some indication when the time travel didn't work.
    0 comments
  • A Eerie Puzzle, with Eerie plot, and Eerie bugs!

    Puzzling!

    You can solve this puzzle a ton of different ways. Explore each and every era carefully and methodically. Search those nooks and crannies! It will take patience.

    Hint if you are stuck: Look for plants!

    Hint 2 if you are stuck: find solid ground through the ages!

    Really solid level design, honestly. Great Jam Entry - and a good entry for Minetest generally.

    Plot!

    Yep, it adds and doesn't subtract.

    Current Bugs!

    1. Falling sucks, don't fall through.... (need a way to return the player back to "start" or something for this scenario for now)
    2. Design for other screen sizes than 1920x1080 haha
    3. Love the trees and textures: but the current very text-like looking black with white text node: please change that texture === too many attempts to read them all.
    4. Technically I solved / beat the game with only 3 plants, but perhaps that's a feature, not a bug!
    5. After beating the ending, I got a nice NPC still floating at the top of the citadel, tried talking to him - nice "nil" bug because he didn't have anything to say - double check the entity disappears or have a better ending sequence (go to main menu, credit reel, you get the idea)
    2 comments
  • I fell out of the map

    Other then that its a good game. I didn't finish it, but it was well made. EDIT: I right clicked a ghost and the game crashed with the error reason being:

    AsyncErr: Lua: Runtime error from mod 'citadel_core' in callback luaentity_run_simple_callback(): ...0-win64\bin..\games\citadel\mods\citadel_core/ghost.lua:27: attempt to concatenate a nil value stack traceback: ...0-win64\bin..\games\citadel\mods\citadel_core/ghost.lua:27: in function <...0-win64\bin..\games\citadel\mods\citadel_core/ghost.lua:22>

    EDIT 2 I broke the crystal and then fell out of the map
    and I can't to /grantme for some reason so I don't know what the ending was. :(
    

    Overall:

    gameplay: 9/10

    innovation: 7/10

    content: 8/10

    theme: 3/10

    Overall: 27/40

    0 comments

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