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.
Right off the bat, the game does not really look like the screenshot. The early levels look very empty and much less impressive. Also, the map ends in open air, rather than a constant grassland. For this deceptive/bad use of screenshots, this game immediately gets a thumbs down.
The cool models seem to appear in the later levels only? But why only in the later levels? Meh. Not enough for a thumbs up anyway. A little bit more consistency would have been nice. The screenshots sure look nice, but the actual game much less so (esp. early levels).
Also, I'm stuck in the level in which I'm supposed to climb up the vine. No matter what I do, I can't get up. I read the instructions, but they didn't help at all. Confusing and frustrating. Difficult is okay, but if I have no idea what I am supposed to do to do basic tasks like "climbing", then the game has failed.
If this game would have been a little bit more stable and playable, I might have given a thumbs up.
Well, I see you devoted little time to playing, but let's address the concerns:
This is a challenging game as it currently stands, all levels are beatable, and you must be creative in your climbing. To see someone succesfully play through every level, refer to here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7oV0-OhzAV0 (sorry for making it so hard, that was due to time constraints, future iterations with different levels will actually be easier/more general fun.
You are harsh about the screenshots thing, considering I start you off with basic training, which takes maybe 8 minutes, including reading time to get to the 5th level, which is a good starter level for seeing the beauty in the game. The screenshots are from in-game, except the first, which is just a laying of every single mesh in the game in one screenshot, pretty straightforward. What's more, you even got to those later levels to know it looks like the screenshots, just like everyone else that has attempted this game.
As for the constant grasslands thing: You can tell from all three that you are fenced in, so why would the outside grassland matter? All that would do is slow down the load times of the levels, and burn electricity.
I really do agree that this is frustratingly difficult, and plan to address that post-jam. Thanks for reviewing!
No, you didn't understand. I was simply not able to climb up a single step AT ALL, and thought the level was broken. Now after I saw the video, I saw the reason: I thought I was supposed to climb up the vine but this is actually not possible. The game actually wanted me to climb up with flower, although with "climb" the game means "walk forward". "climbing" in Minetest usually means "climb upwards" (like a ladder) so obviously I ran into the first vine I saw the whole time, you know, like an idiot. >_>
Yeah, the later levels have better graphics, I still don't understand why the tutorial levels couldn't look nice either. But yeah OK, time constraint and all that.
So after trying the first "real" level, I still only feel frustration. The whole Minetest collisionbox thing becomes a problem here. Trying to "climb" up often means in practice I bump into invisible walls and I have to find an practically invisible path to get to the goal. Really frustrating to me, I had to stop quickly after because I could not take it anymore, sorry. That's more than just difficult, it's like trying to figure out where the game "allows" me to walk, and where it blocks me. The inconsistency is the most frustrating part. Sometimes you can walk up super steep plant just fine, and sometimes a relatively smooth hill stops you dead in your track for no logical reason. You are actually blind to the world, as the plant meshes are deceiving you. :-(
This game could have probably worked out better for me if the collision handling would be better and more "logical". But it also seems like you bumped into a Minetest limitation here (collisionboxes). The collisionboxes might just be too imprecise, that is not your fault. Minetest seems very limiting here in that regard. :-(
Still, putting this game together in this fork seems pretty impressive. Just these highly complicated collisionboxes alone … That must have been a lot of work.