Friday, July 20, 2007

Step-by-Step

Title: Step-by-Step
Author: Manfred Kopp
License: GNU Public License
Website: http://sourceforge.net/projects/step-by-step

It is probably bad form to review a game which is technically still in beta. I don't care. This is a blog after all; I can do whatever I want. This week's game, Step-by-Step, is still in development, a beta. But, I am going to review it anyways. I am going to say mostly nice things though. It would be really bad form to rip on a beta release.

I was wandering around the puzzle section of SourceForge about two weeks ago and found Step-by-Step. It is similar to Hex-a-Hop and MASRDBE, the former being one of the best games I have ever played. Step-by-Step does not rise to the level of Hex-a-Hop, but it still a damn fine game.

The goal is make each of the stones disappear by walking on then a certain number of times. You control the little pair of shoes. When you walk off a blue stone it disappears. When you walk off a green stone, it becomes blue. When you walk off a yellow stone, it becomes green. You have to plan your path so that each stone is walked on 1, 2, or 3 times depending on its initial color. You also have to plan ahead so that your final step is onto a solid platform.


Step-by-Step adds a few twists. First, there are the arrows. They force your next move; the game makes that move for you automatically. Next there are icy stones, the cloudy looking tiles. If you walk on one, you slide along and walk off on the other side, automatically. Then there are the numbers. You have to walk on all the stones with an i at least once before walking on any higher number stone. Lastly, there are teleporters. That is it, a very simple and clean rule set.

Step-by-Step comes with 99 levels. You can play any level at any time, good design choice! The early levels introduce the various tile rules. Then they start to get harder. The pacing of the levels is pretty good. But, they never got overly hard. I am hoping with the level editor some really tough levels get made. If you do get stuck, solutions to all the levels after 11 are given in a text file.

Step-by-Step is a beta, so it really is not fair for me to knock it, but I do have a couple of complaints. First, this game would be much better if it had an undo button. Second, I am not a fan of the isometric projection. With a top down view, you would not need to tell people what way the arrow keys move the pair of shoes. Lastly, I did not like the numbered tiles. They make levels easier. Take a look at level 15 for example. With the numbers, you just follow your nose and you cannot help but solve it. Without the numbers, that would be a much harder level.

Complaints aside. I had a great time running through the 99 levels. It is free. Go get it and play!

3 Comments:

At 7:16 PM, Anonymous Jared said...

Love the site, I've been looking at it for a couple of weeks now; you should try this game out if you haven't already, I think it's right up your alley:

http://mirror7.cgdc3.fizzlebot.com/?gameID=11

 
At 1:20 PM, Blogger Jimmy said...

Thank you for the nice words.

Time Raider is an interesting game. However, being part of the newest jayisgames.com game design competition, I cannot endorse it. As part of the presentation of the competition entrants, a series of three advertisements is prepended to the game.

--Jimmy

 
At 5:42 PM, Anonymous Jared said...

Those aren't advertisements, they're the people behind the competition; Adobe made flash, Nitrome designed the gameboy interface, and Arcade Town is giving out the prizes.

 

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