The first thing I don't understand is why there are monsters roaming through this warehouse. It looks like a puzzle game where you have to find these special presents, but it feels like the author thought fighting was a must have, forcing these creatures in the game. They don't seem to add anything special to it (also, when damaged, they have no feedback but the HP bar changing on their head).
Another thing I can't seem to grasp is how the aisles counting works. I... just can't navigate through them properly, so I have no idea of what present I should open. Furthermore, instructions in chat aren't that handy (why not a GUI or an HUD?) and, if you die, you respawn outside the warehouse, breaking the game
PLEASE NOTE: This review is written for the 2021 Minetest Game Jam version of this game, by a PARTICIPANT. I used Minetest version 5.4.1 to playtest.
Bad. You fight with a diamond sword against retextured stone monsters between shelves full of presents and that's it. Sounds mildly exciting but it's really not. The map is also very repetitive. I don't see the point. Very boring. Is this an incomplete game? And when you die, you teleport outside the map.
A code nightmare and full of re-used code and assets
From the moment I launched it this game had my CPU running flat out on one core for no apparent reason. We'll get to the bottom of that and other technical problem issues. For now, gameplay: It told me presents were in a few different aisles but there are no signs on the aisles to tell me what number they are. Actually, it turns out this is the z-coordinate of each present. Also, I didn't have damage turned on when I started it, so I was actually cheating without knowing it. Games can override this if they know what they're doing.
So you eventually find at least one present, congrats, it wasn't on the shelves like the others and it was green. At least it doesn't matter if you have colourblindness when the special presents are in a different spot. You run back, place it down, easy enough. Then it tells me I can leave. Leave how? and do what? There's no door, the wall is impenetrable and the world outside is flat and featureless.
At this point you begin to ask what's original in the assets here. Mobs - from an old mod by PilzAdam. Walls - copper blocks from minetest game. For some reason all of MTG default was included. Shelves - from infinite IKEA. I guess the present texture is original? The git history is a mess and there's no licence file in the game's (1) original mod.
Now why does it 100% my CPU? All of the code runs in a globalstep and while the author, mercifully, added most things in a conditional in that globalstep, the entire warehouse of copper blocks, shelves and presents is replaced every single globalstep. Look, clearly the author is new to coding and probably overlooked or didn't fully understand this, but I just find this inexcusable.
The mapgen is very bugged (i had the time to dig dirt before the copper hall generates), the mobs are slow and don't see me, the texture are ugly. The only thing to do is to find a box which spawn near my spawning area and was too easy to find.
I was just walking around a huge room with shelfs of presents, looking for some green presents, while some random mobs would show up and just attack me. I got killed, and then was stuck out of the building with nothing to do.
The instructions were nice and straight forward, but the game wasn't super enjoyable.
Anyways, thanks for participating.
This minigame, while suffering a bit from the creator's inexperience with game creation, proved challenging enough to keep me from quitting out of frustration.
The presentation is a bit simple, and the aisles could have used some variety; but having to complete the objective combined with keeping enemies at bay with your "butter knife" in the maze of shelving is fun, and only rarely was I swamped by zombies.
Post- Jam development should focus on:
disallowing cheating by climbing shelves with presents;
addressing issues with the mobs (i.e. pathfinding bugs and cheapshots between shelves);
polishing player experience (i.e. a better look for the mall, maybe adding a spooky/ holiday themed music, maybe small story elements);