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So. I played several times. And I think the game is ruined for general public. Maybe hardcore players can enjoy this.

Here is what I think. Just like lots of games in the past the game is made with a player in mind who already knows the game really well. Not for a first time player who have no idea where to go and what to do and why and how.

For a general player here are some things that blocking good game experience:

1. Respawning enemies. I don't know what would be best to do with that. It also ruins fun of exploring the maze.

2. Timer.(health going down) it's just one of the worst things in games from the past.

3. no map access. Why not give a map like all the best games out there do?

4. opening closing doors. I understand it goes from the urge to increase difficulty, because when developer plays his own game he doesn't feel it the way when first time player playing. So he thinks, oh it's too easy and adding something to add difficulty that he could feel.

5. items unresponsive to take. I had problems to pick up items.

6. Also the items gotta be visible on the map. As we have to drop some of them.

7. Maybe save points. Not sure tho.

I am not some unskilled player, by the way. I played and beaten many NES games. Their difficulty is way above average of todays games. Spectrum? Not so much. I did not had one at home.

If you want to bring in all those frustrating things - just add a hard difficulty and throw all that challenging stuff in there. Why not give general public to enjoy the game on a normal mode?

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Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts. It's clear that you don't like the game, and that's absolutely fine, we all have different tastes. The feedback we've had since releasing it has been overwhelmingly positive, so I think that "the game is ruined for the general public" is a bit on the strong side. However, that's your opinion, you're entitled to it and I'm happy you've shared it with us.

I took the time to check out your game on Itch and I have to say it looks superb. All the best with future projects.  :o)

I don't know why you think I did not liked the game. I did not liked the mentioned items. They block a great game experience for me.

Oh, you said, "the game is ruined". That kind of led me to believe you didn't like it. I'm not saying that's a bad thing, that's just how I interpreted it. :o)

"ruined for general public". It means the game is too hard for general public. And stuff like accessible map at any time is more player friendly and also most common these days.

There are map consoles on each floor. Essentially though, I wanted to keep the essence of the original game. I think I've achieved that, although I appreciate that doing so will put people off. It's a free game anyway, so you don't lose anything for trying it! :o)

And by the way. The first game I ever made was on ZX spectrum. And it was a very simple version of the game you saw on my itch.io
Was around 1996

Cool, what was the Speccy game called? I don't remember anything like that.

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It was just a small game I made at home when my friend gave me speccy. It was not released anywhere. And it was just a several levels with squares. Later I made also newer versions on ZX emulator, Pascal, QBasic, and only in 2004 first time it was something I posted to the web. In 2005 English version which called Orbox.

Ahh sorry, I misunderstood. I've made the same little games for various platforms over the years, it's good practice.

I disagree, and I will try to explain it in a reasoned way.

1- The game is inspired by Atic Atac, respecting its essence and mechanics deeply. It's like reliving that game 40 years later, in 3D style, with beautiful music and a really wonderful art style. And adding, in a very inspired way, new game modes. It would be meaningless without the frenetic pace, opening and closing doors, constant appearance of enemies, life drainage, etc.

2- The map is available on the consoles. There are 5 floors, and you have one map per floor. When you have discovered a complete floor, take a picture of it with your mobile phone (or a screenshot) and you have maps forever, if you wish so. Other players prefer to play without a map.

3- I don't think it's a hardcore game, not even close. My son, who had never seen a game like this before, saw it on Monday and immediately asked me to install it for him. He played two test games with Stamperlot, understood the objective perfectly, and the next game he won the game in 17 minutes (Andrew13 at the score table). I was surprised how well he knew the map after a few games, and he was more familiar with the main paths than I was. He made one more comment: Dad, it's too easy to refill the life bar, there's food everywhere.

After that, he won it twice with Lester (one of them didn't enter due to server error) and once with Zouch (was also not registered for the same reason). And although he usually plays Fortnite and League of Legends, he also loves Melkhior's Mansion.

So, as you can see, for some it is easy, for others it is hard. You have to ask yourself whether you really like it or not, it won't suit all players. In my opinion it's a marvellous game, a gem. And on top of that, it's free.

Thanks, I'd agree with all of that, but then I wrote it so I'm incredibly biased. Sorry about the server issues, Fasthosts had a big outage earlier in the week, most annoying. Take a look in the log folder, your scores may have been written out to a file, I can manually submit them for you if you like. Contact details are on the bitglint.co.uk website. Oh and I love that your son has been playing it over his usual games, that's a result!! :o)

Don't worry about the scores, my son and I will continue playing it regularly. I'll tell you something else that worries me more, and that might be a bug. Yesterday afternoon I finally unlocked all the palettes, I left the last one on (Spectrum dimmed, or something like that). Today I started the game and it's as if my data has been erased: I have all the palettes locked again. Maybe you can figure out the cause. I don't mind getting them again, it can be fun. What worries me is that it keeps happening over and over again.

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I have discovered the <Setting Key="Palette" Value="0" /> value in the Settings.xml file, but I have never edited it. I don't know why it is set to zero. Maybe after taking them all, the next time it goes back to zero? Or something like that.

EDIT: Never mind: I noticed that this value is the selected palette, not the unlocked ones.

Yeh sorry about that, it's a bug that other folks have reported too. I'll be looking into it soon. Bit annoying that one.

Ok, thank you ;)

I suspect there are some hidden details about that you son was playing and found it easy. Maybe he saw someone playing it and realized some easy play tactics. Maybe you explained him something. I don't know. But I suspect there was some details that made it not a blind first play for him.

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The key to the game is getting to know the map. Once you become familiar with it, things do get easier. Kids do tend to pick things up quicker than adults! Maybe he's just better at it than you are? Sorry, but you're starting to sound a little bit jealous of a 13 year old kid. By all means offer feedback on the game, that's absolutely fine, whether it's positive or negative, I don't mind, but there's no need to start having a dig at the kid's gaming skills.

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Maybe if I knew the way to play easy right from beginning it would be easy for me. I gave feedback from absolutely blind playthrough. You sure his son did not saw something which made some great spoilers for him?

I find it a bit absurd to have to answer this, I don't see the point, but since you insist so much I'll do it just once. As I told you, my son saw the game and asked me to install it for him, because he liked it. He watched me play for about 2 minutes, no more. The only thing I told him was the objective of the game (which the game itself tells you), he saw that there were some coloured keys to open doors and I told him that one of the pieces he was looking for was in an attic (which the game also tells you!). From there, he went to his room and managed by himself to find the keys, look for the stairs upwards, go up to the attic, etc. All by himself and no more spoilers. And I assure you that after only three games, he knew the map much better than I did. I hope you'll feel more at ease now that I've revealed the 'hidden details'.

Honestly, I think you've put a lot of effort into criticising a game you clearly don't "get". 

It's a bit like criticising a bullet-hell game for being unrelenting, or a roguelike for permanent death. If it's not the sort of game you enjoy, then perhaps spend some time on other games?

Your criticism also appears rather contradictory - you want it to be easy to explore the maze AND to have a map of the maze given to you?

The fact that this is not like "todays games" is exactly the point.

Thanks for your support. He's barred now for going off topic.

I find the never ending spawn of enemies kinda annoying. I have to keep a finger on shoot button all the time. It's just gets tired. As well as to must always move around just exhausting.

It's inspired by Atic Atac on the ZX Spectrum. It's not a slow game, it's meant to be a bit manic! I appreciate that it's not for everyone. :o)

"never ending spawn of enemies" definitely sounds like Atic Atac.

Haha, yep!! :o)

By the way, if you're planning a Linux version, *please* can you check out the RG351 console(s) (based on Ubuntu 19) - they would be the perfect home for this game and already have some excellent native titles.

Does it actually run Ubuntu? I've not had much experience with Linux so excuse my limited knowledge. I have an OpenGL version of MM running on the latest version of Ubuntu, so should I expect that to just work on the RG351?

It's linux on ARM, so you would have to compile for the platform - and I think it runs Open GLES, which you can use directly, or may be able to use the GL4ES wrapper. The biggest thing would be to make sure it worked with the controls.

Ok thanks for the info. Have to be honest, that'll be quite low down the list, but never say never.

Wonderful game! A lot of work went into this. Excellent graphics and gameplay. I particularly like the music.

The only issue I am having is that I am getting flickering at the maximum resolution 2880 x 1620 both windowed and full screen. The lower resolutions work fine.

Thanks for this great game! Well done!

Thanks, glad you're enjoying the game. Testing beyond 1920x1080 was a bit limited due to my hardware. What's the resolution of your monitor? Do you see the flickering on full screen mode?

My monitor resolution is 3840 x 2160 which is the default for my Windows 11 Dell system.  Yes, I do get the flickering in full screen as well.  It is not a problem since I can use a lower resolution in the game settings and it works fine.

Ok, still useful to know, it shouldn't flicker. I'll get my laptop connected to the 4k TV in the lounge!

Ok, I figured out what was causing the flickering...it was the GPU.  My laptop has two GPUs: an Intel UHD Graphics 620 and a NVIDIA GeForce MX 130. The Intel GPU was the default for the game. When I changed it to the NVIDIA GPU the performance improved and all flickering stopped.

Ahh, brilliant, thanks for the info. ;o)

Is there a Pause key? I keep getting killed off while trying to take screenshots of all the great rooms! 😄

Oh, no sorry, pressing Esc is the pause key, but I guess that's no use! :o/

What I do is to press the print screen key and immediately after that the ESC key. Then I go to my favourite editing program, for example paint, and paste it (ctrl+v). It's not the most comfortable, but it works. I hope it helps.

Thanks! I'll try that.

Una extraordinaria noticia. Dos preguntas, por favor: ¿Está su desarrollo finalizado completamente? ¿Opciones para roms en raspberry? Saludos y enhorabuena por esta brillante 'vuelta de tuerca' al maravilloso Atic Atac.

¡Muchas gracias! Puedo agregar más características. Lo lanzaré para Linux. No sé si eso funcionará en Raspberry PI.

Absolutely magical - nice work on this ... and the blurb is just awesome - I live in Leicestershire and not that far from Ashby-de-la-Zouch! So obviously the links there are fantastic. ;)

Haha, nice one, I've been waiting for someone to mention the Leicestershire references. They're all over the game, some more subtle than others. :o)

Ey! Very good job and very very funny the game! Congratulations and thanks very much!

Thanks ;o)

First of all, the game is just wonderful! It has exceeded all my expectations, which were very high.  I am enjoying it enormously.

If I may, I have two small suggestions:

1- I agree with what others have said: it would be great to be able to move the character with the left joystick.

2- I think the food respawn time needs a little tweaking. As it is right now, you can wander around a few rooms, without even needing to change floors, and you won't be short of food.

Best regards and thank you very much for this precious gift.

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Glad to hear you're enjoying the game, thanks for offering feedback. Joystick control is on the additional features list. The food thing is a very tricky one to gauge. Try the harder tasks, you may find yourself short on food there :o)

Thanks for the answer! What do you think about a menu option to choose between short, medium and long food respawn time? It would be like a customisable difficulty level.

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If I did add something like that, and it was actually considered during development, then it would be a more general "difficulty level" setting that could affect other things, eg. energy drain, number of baddies etc, etc. It does however complicate the high score table, because I then have to take into account difficulty level. Also worth noting that I've got quite good at the game, as you might expect, and I still find myself running short on food when playing the harder quests. Like I said, it's tricky, getting the difficulty level right is so hard. Appreciate you sharing your thoughts, consider it "being pondered". :o)

If you finally decide to implement full difficulty levels, of course that would be great. But it seems like more work. What I proposed is simpler: Leave the current food respawn as "Short" and make it the default option, and then add the Medium or Long options in the menu (totally optional) for those who want a greater challenge, without needing to change anything on the leader boards. In any case, and whatever you decide, it is a real pleasure to share these thoughts with you, and that you are such a nice person  :-)

Yeh I see what you mean. I think I'd still want it mentioned on the leader board though, it's makes the challenge worthwhile if you get a fast time on hard core. I'll stick it on the "ideas" list. Thanks again. ;o)

Thanks!

Thanks :o)

It stays blank (white screen window) on my win7 machine. Tried both installer and portable. Could it be because of the second monitor? Nobody on the chat here seems to be having such issues.

It's been tested on Windows 7, worked ok here. Are you up to date with DirectX? Second monitor shouldn't make any difference.

Version 11. I will update to 12 and report.

Thanks

Currently running DX11.1. I have an ACER NITRO laptop downgraded to win7 64b. The nvidia inside the laptop reports it uses DX12 here and there and it is impossible to upgrade this further without going win10. When running 2 displays, the external one gets driven by nvidea while the laptop monitor runs onboard GPU. With these running, all I get from the game is a white screen, sound is coming through. Primary monitor is set to onboard GPU, laptop screen. As I disable the second screen, laptop monitor runs with nvidea, at which point, the game boots fine. So, the second monitor and GPU running it seems to be the problem. I could probably force the laptop monitor to use nvidea and onboard for the second monitor, which in theory should also fix my issue. Thanks for the attention, I will finally be able to savour this game :)

Well, sorry that it's a bit of a pain to get up and running, but glad you've managed it anyway. Without being able to recreate the problem on my own hardware, it's hard to know what to do. Targeting Windows PC is not without its challenges!! So much hardware variation to deal with.

It's brilliant, as we all knew it was going to be :)

A couple of bugs/issues I've noticed:

1. Thumbstick not recognised on standard XBox controller (needs this, with deadzone obviously, the d-pad isn't ideal)

2. character sprite peeks-through the barrel "doorways" when they walk up close to them

Fantastic work again :)

Thanks, glad you like it. You're not the first person to mention the thumb stick. Perhaps that's worthy of an update. I did notice the barrel issue, those round objects are a pain in the bum. I can live with it if you can? :o)

Thanks for this beautiful gem of a game! Any plans for another game? Maybe an Alien8 sequel? :-)  :-) Can't wait for the Spectrum Next version!

Thanks. Next on the list is probably turning this into a full game... Underwurlde Towers Playability Demo by BitGlint Games (itch.io)

Exciting news, thanks for letting us know!

YOU ARE THE BEST! RETRO RULEZ 4EVER! THANK YOU VERY MUCH!

Haha, thanks! :o)

Lovely project and so well documented during development that we all fell in love with it even before release date. I will wait the Next version, unless porting it to Mac is not too complicated (don't use Windows). Thanks!

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Thanks. An OpenGL version is underway for Linux, so that should pave the way for a straightforward Mac release.

Lovely ^_^

The Linux version is great news! I look forward to it :-)

This is awesome news! I am using MX Linux 21 (Debian Bullseye based) Hope itt will support that too...  Then I do not need to switch to Windows if I want to play Melkhior's Mansion :-) :-)

Cool, keep watching this space. It'll be a few weeks.

Congratulations for the game and thank you so much for thinking of releasing that for Linux.

You're welcome

Great work!! Many thanks! Will there be joystick support? (Or am I missing something?) I'm tempted to whip out my old Kempston joystick and build an interface that maps it to a HID keyboard input :) 

Thanks. It should work with Microsoft XBox compatible controllers.

A yes, didn't have the controller activated when I started the game *blush* 

Excellent! :o)

This is absolutely incredible, the gameplay, music and graphics are better than I could've possibility imagined. A big thank you to everyone who donated their time to make this a reality.

Totally random question - does anyone know of a handheld device which would run this? I'm currently playing it on my Mac in Parallels, but would happily buy dedicated hardware to play it.

Thanks for the feedback, glad to hear you're enjoying it so much. Can't help you on the handheld question, sorry! :o)

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One more comment: Atic Atac has always been my favourite game. But when I saw that in this game every character brings a new game mode, as well as the connections to Night Shade, Knight Lore, Pentagram..., I almost cried with emotion. Well done!

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Haha, yeh it was fun getting all those little nods to Ultimate in there. :o)

My two cents... I know, i'm italian... No one is perfect.

https://www.thegamesmachine.it/forum/showthread.php?t=2630&p=2607528#post2607528

My nickname is Strider.

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Thanks Strider, that's a nice write up. :o)

Game is amazing, been playing it all day. Only thing is, changing the palette does not seem to do anything for me.. Am i missing something?

Good to hear you're enjoying it. The palette thing sounds like a bit of a mystery. How many palettes have you unlocked

Sounds strange, it works perfectly for me and my son, on two different PCs. You simply choose the palette you want and the colours of the game change accordingly.

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This game is absolutely amazing.
From the crisp and colourful graphics to the very catchy music its a pleasure to play.

The only thing I would suggest is for younger players they may find the game frustrating and may need some kind of map as you're going through the rooms. Otherwise, if you ever played Atic Atac this is right up with that classic and then some.

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Thanks very much, that's lovely feedback. I did think about putting a kids mode in during development, but it's something that never happened. That said, there are map consoles on each floor to help with finding your way around. ;o)

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The music is divine, can't wait to play this; I have been following the project with some enthusiasm! Woohoo! Congrats on the release!

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Thanks, enjoy the game. :o)

Where is the donations button? Where?

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It's a freebie! :o)

You are incredibly kind. The game is fantastic, a true gem.

You guys are awesome! :-) Your game is awesome! Kindly ask for a donation button. :-) :-)

I would also like to donate. By the way, I was the first to submit a score on the leader board! :)

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Thanks, but no donations required. I saw your score, well done. Hope it's not too easy! :o)

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Rather than easy, it feels like infinite food. Maybe later on you can add a new difficulty level where the food takes a few minutes longer to reappear. In any case, the game is really wonderful. Even my kids have been excitedly enjoying it all day  :D

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Oh happy day! :)

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I think so too! :o)

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Congratulations!!! A new classic is born!

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Haha, cheers ;o)

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Congrats on the release! Been looking forward to playing this!!! :D

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Thanks Ric, enjoy.

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Very excited, I have been following this project since the beginning. I am one of those people who in 1983 were lucky enough to play the original Atic Atac, which left an indelible memory in my mind. Now, at 51 years old, I will be able to feel like that child again, thanks to you. The game you have made is really amazing!

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Thanks so much. Really hope you enjoy the game. We've had so much fun writing it. :o)

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Woohoo! C'est arrive! \o/

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Oui! C'est arrive!! :o)

Santa Claus is coming to town !

Let's cross our fingers !

:o)

Oh, yes!

... just like something is missing under the tree :(

Super crunchy and simply gorgeous! 

Thanks ;o)

Hi guys, any news? Any hope of being able to play M'sM by July?

Hi, I think we're looking around autumn time. The game is functionally complete, but there are still lots of frames of graphics to be done, and all the boring stuff to finish off, plus a lot of play testing. Hang in there, and thanks for your support ;o)

Thanks for the reply and sorry for bothering you. As a kid, I spent maybe hundreds of hours on Atic Atac. M'M seems like his worthy successor to me and I really look forward to it more than any triple A title. Can't wait ... :)

Fantastic... Any news about the release of the final version?

Thanks. Should only be a few months away now, we're about 90% done.

Great!!! Thanks for the answer, can't wait to play it. :)

Hola


Hola.

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Simply wonderful ! I can't wait to play the final release.

As you said, this little great gem will be released as freeware and of course I'm ok with that BUT, if that can motivate you, I would pay for more games like this !

... and I loved the c64 palette, will you also add 16-bit graphics a la Head over Heels remake, a game speed option and other sound modes ? (a c64 SID chip version would be perfect)

Thanks for the comments. I'll think about a speed option, but I need to consider if that might introduce a sort of "cheat" in tricky situations. A 16-bit graphics option and alternative music aren't really feasible. It would mean asking the artist and musician to do twice the work, and they're already doing it for free :o)

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Thanks for your reply.  Just some more tip, if I can:

- sometimes I like to play with the "draw floors" option turned off, in that case I can't see the shadow enemies (what an amazing mine of quotes this game is). Could you give them color in this mode ?

 - if you will add an auto map please make it optional for a true retro feel because back in the good old days we hadn't such gimmicks

- what about a 4:3 ratio option ?

-  Lester seems so proud of his moustaches it would be very funny if he occasionally left them on the ground when he loses a life :)

Thanks for the suggestions, always good to get ideas.

- I'll look into the shadow option, might look a bit odd, who knows.

- The on screen map will be accessible from certain places in the game, so you don't have to use them if you don't want to.

- 4:3 ratio would mean some of the larger screens wouldn't fit on screen.

- Haven't finalised Lester's death object yet. The moustache could work.

Looks amazing, however when I run the demo I get an error "This MGFX effect was built for a different platform!" in Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Graphics.Effect.ReadHeader(Byte[] effectCode, Int32 index), which was ultimately called from Melkhior.Helper.GraphicsManager.Initialise(Game gameObject). I'm running Microsoft Windows 10 Pro, version 10.0.19041.  Anything I can do to make it work? Thanks!

Oh, that's odd, but thanks for mentioning it. I notice you're on a slightly later build of Windows than me. I'll do an update and see if that affects how things run here.

Well I've done the update (that was a scary one!!) and it still works ok here, I'm now on version 19042. I might need to compile a new version to get to the bottom of this issue. If you're happy to take a newer version, can you drop me an email? Contact details are in the Readme.txt file included with the distribution. Thanks ;o)

Thanks for looking into it. I found there was a problem in my system configuration that caused the game to load the wrong MonoGame.Framework.dll (i.e. not the one from the game directory). When I fix that it works perfectly. Sorry for the false alarm. Fantastic game, and love the art style! Can't wait to buy the full version. :)

Oh ok, that's an interesting one, I'll add it to my troubleshooting notes. Anyway, glad you like it. The finished version will be released as freeware, mainly due to it's affinity with Ultimate/Rare's old classics.

Outstanding. A perfect fusion of  Ultimate's  'filmation'  isometric perspective with the frantic gameplay of Aric Atac. I've already spent more hours probing and delving this gem than many of the AAA  acquired over the last few  years. Bravo!

Thanks Andy, glad you like it and appreciate the comments. We'll get it finished one day. :o)

A very enjoyable weekend spent mapping and completing that - thanks very much! I love the way the room layouts hint at a purpose for the rooms, like having the barrels more common in the basement, and the feeling of a real building. Great stuff!

Thanks and well done on completing it. Only takes about 4 minutes when you know where everything is :o)

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Hi BitGlint games, i play demo today,. Very nice game (Im ZX spectrum fan). i have several tips for enhance. 

ad 1) - when you start game i need see all action buttons, because i try to jump, probably isn't possible (jump to tables for thinks on it). Is there any jumping ?
ad 2) collision box of thrown weapon is too small, when you trow sword, and go direct after it in this direction, ghosts can bite you, because sword does not hit him.  I think its bug.

Maybe sometimes it can help, when you do automatic gate navigation (when im close enough). What about auto map making ? 

In other way i like:

game play is fun, graphic is very nice, palette switching is so nice, music is nice. 

Bob

Hi Bob, thanks for the feedback, it's very much appreciated. To answer your questions...

1. There is no jumping, it's just a run around game.

2. Yes, I think there is a problem here. I'll add it to the bug list.

3. The final version will probably have an auto map feature.

Thanks again,

Rich

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you are welcome. :)

This game is everything I expected and more. The first time going through the mirror made me smile like a fool. Animation, sounds, the music, it's just... perfect. It took some time to get used to the controls and I find myself liking the 90° setting best (with cursor keys). Somehow the years of training in Knight Lore and Alien 8 didn't translate here - or I'm just too old. Still, no complaints. The C64 palette is very nice and I can't decide which one I prefer. Great job and thank you!

Thanks, lovely to hear more positive feedback. It's quite different from Knight Lore and Alien 8, more running, less jumping :o)

Well, I did try to jump on the tables to pick items :/

:o)

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A rare treat (parden the pun), no question about it!. For a change, its made 2020 memorable for a positive reason. So looking forward to its final release, and my Spectrum Next waits patiently to process what it was designed to, and fulfill its purpose :)

Haha, now I feel like I've saved 2020!! :o

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Well, what can I say? Beautifully authentic, packed full of effects and surprises. A Masterpiece. Kudos to Rare for allowing this project to go ahead. This will become a treasure to the legacy of ACG, Ultimate Play the Game and Sinclar. This is a masterpiece. Dare I say it!!! The best Isometric Game ever. Slick, & Polished, fast paced and beautiful sprites and scenery, such attention to details as well. This is absolutley the greatest Crash Smash ever! Best Retro Remake Ever too.

Thanks for the feedback, glad you're enjoying it.

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