LL (Little Lady) is a maddening game where your patience and careful movement
will be tested. Took me a long, long while to review this one. This is the type
of games in the same vein as Getting Over It (with Bennett Foddy). It's not
supposed to be fun in the usual way, like when you're playing a puzzle game or
casual platformer. I'm not entirely sure if this design was intended, but LL was
a real challenge to me most in part thanks to the ambiguity of nodeboxes and the
Anyways, the graphics here are quite unique in their own right. Never have
MTE-based games ever had such heavy uses of models (kudos for creating autobox
and using it). The UI/UX could use a bit of work in stylization but I think it's
impressive enough as it is. The music is actually pretty good and fitting for the little ladybug. Previously, i've mistaken due to MTE bugging out with the sounds on Pipewire (probably due to my setup). Overall, I would not recommend LL to anyone as
an enjoyable game, but instead recommend LL as a one-of-a-kind challenge.
In LL, you play as a ladybug tasked with collecting all of the stars in a level.
Sounds easy and not at all hard? Well, the game throws you a wrench by limiting
your movement to a "non-flying young ladybug" (i'm sure entomologists wouldn't
find that concerning at all). So, your only choice for upward movement is to
climb like a ladybug, or like a guy in a cauldron with a hammer. By "climbing",
I meant that you don't really climb like a spider on the wall, but rather hiking
your way upwards on top of leaves. That's the true pain of LL, knowing what can
be climbed and what cannot, since the nodeboxes aren't exactly easy to guess.
LL begins with introductory levels which are fine and deceptively easy - not
because they're hard but because they prepare you for what's after. Beginning
with the 5th level is where LL begins to show its true colors (aside from the
beautiful scenary of course). The enchanted scenary quickly fades into a
malevolent one as you realize how utterly evil the decorations are. Brute
forcing to climb is the best way to guess, regardless of if you followed the
"advice" of disabling your node outline/highlighting feature. Just as the
visuals deceive you, so too the outline/highlighting albeit less so.
Great work on the models and the autoboxing! I never thought i'll be able to see
the day that library is used extensively, but here we are now. It's completely
original and wonderfully thematic with the premise of LL, being a ladybug in a
garden. Heck, you did what most devs neglected, which is to replace the player
model with something suitable (3rd person perspective is also part of the
gameplay!). The rocks are also quite fitting for the structure in the 8th level.
However, extensive use of models also results in higher hardware requirements.
This is especially made apparent in the 8th level where again, the structure
while as immersive as it is, has been the worse source of lag thus far in LL. I
cannot imagine what would a lower-end user experience look like - if any frames
were rendered at all.
This ladybug will "fail" multiple times: falling into water too often, long
stares at the star above you in the dense blooming jungle, regretfully exit the
game because it took too long and now it's time for dinner. But soon, you'll
begin to understand the nodebox of each model and what limits it have in helping
you to climb upwards. You begin the journey of mastery. It is with this spirit
of challenging yourself is what you should invite when playing LL.
I had hoped for something better, but it seems that not even LL can escape the
same problems as
LB (Labryinth) and JE (Jail Escape) had. Anyways, I suggest that the UI is
enlarged to occupy more of the screen estate because this is rather small. You
never know what small screens are out there, so please do make it larger. Not
only is it for varying screens, but also for wider fonts like mine.
As stated in the Conclusion Section, apparently my instance of MTE bugs while playing any sorts of audio under laggy situations (and thanks to how bad MTE is optimized for long sessions, yup of course it happens). This resulted in less than stellar results, especially with music in the background. I apologize for the misundestanding caused by this, if any.
That aside, i went on a second playthrough on the 7th level to actually hear what i actually missed. The soundtrack is in actually the opposite of what i described previously. It's wonderfully executed, and in fact i would very much like to add to my ambient playlist. Funny how utterly wrong i was. Listening the tracks in isolation, it's clear that the compositional work here while not the best, were made with lots of attention and detail. Unfortunately, i had to give a similar albeit more mellow opinion in regard of the instrument/VST/soundfont/w.e being used. It's certainly stylistic, but it's probably not what i would have chosen. LL's music certainly evoked a kind of mood and setting while i wouldn't say perfect for LL, did it amiably nonetheless.
Hey thanks for taking the time to go back and have a listen to the soundtrack.
To put it bluntly, these were improv recording of me playing piano (listen for the cough in the very first level) , and zero compositional time went into them, besides what i was inspired by at the moment.
So these arent a VST, but relatively compressed and badly recorded (doing it during family christmas visits on an old piano). If you want I can make a mod release of the original quality recordings as a resource pack, it would be probably more like 50-100Mb though, vs the 10MB I wanted to keep in here.
Since this is getting good reviews, i worry about putting in 90+ more MB of data per download and update....