You're an inhabitant of a small village. Your village decided that Cyclus, the god of cycles, is most likely a myth, and stopped giving it the yearly sacrifice of one crisp, juicy apple. It was not pleased, and has sped up the cycle of time. In order to appease Cyclus and restore the natural cycles, you have to collect 50 apples from its celestial realm to sacrifice to it.

Made for Extra Credits Game Jam 3, with the theme "Cycles".

Controls:

  • WASD/Arrow Keys to move
  • P to pause
  • M to mute

Gameplay:

  • If you run into an enemy, you lose.
  • Collect apples to score points.
  • The cycling circles determine gameplay changes.
  • Appease Cyclus.

Tips (Some Mechanical Spoilers, Read if You're Having Trouble):

  • Enemies move slower at night. During times where the apples stay alive for a long time (mainly autumn and winter), you can wait until nightfall to claim them.
  • Not all apples are reachable during summer. If you don't think you can reach it in time, just return to the middle to maximize your future chances.
  • In the first year, take plenty of chances. Having a strong apple count after the first year closes is essential.
  • The hitboxes are pretty generous. Watch how enemies collide if you're unsure.
  • The large skeleton is pretty easy to juke, so don't worry too much about it, but make sure you don't lead it to block you from accessing an apple.
  • You can do it. I believe in you.

I went with pretty much the most pedestrian interpretation of cycles, and I took a pretty unambitious scope, as I knew I was going to only have a fraction of the full game jam time to work on it.

Lessons Learned:

  • I really should find some people to work with for audio and graphics the next  jam I participate in.
  • Phaser has some quirks with nearest neighbor scaling that I didn't have time to work out, so there's sometimes some artifacting around the sprites.
  • Using Tiled with Phaser wasn't quite as quick and easy as I had hoped.


StatusReleased
PlatformsHTML5
Rating
(1)
Authorkhutchins
GenreAction
Made withPhaser
Tags2D, Arcade, Difficult, Pixel Art, Surreal
Average sessionA few minutes
LanguagesEnglish
InputsKeyboard

Development log

Comments

Log in with itch.io to leave a comment.

The gameplay is solid, just a bit too hard for my feeble skills, there's no place for errors, not even one.

This was a fun little time waster. The pixel art all looks pretty nice (except for the big skeletons shadow which looked tacky). The one thing I would recommend adding is power such as a shield or a speed booster.

Really, really fun game! I liked the challenge and must have died a hundred times trying to get past 35 apples hahahaha
I'll keep trying until 50 tho, never give up! >_>

The cycles spinning are really cool and fitting. The apples you collect being arranged in a spiral is a really nice touch.

My only suggestion would be to add  stuff to happen when the player resists through a year or season. Maybe add a bonus apple or speed boost? or maybe a teleportation device :O

Anyway, great game :)

Oh, I almost forgot: I sent the game as a challenge for my coworkers, and we are trying to see if someone will get to 50! (nobody until now hahaha)

(1 edit) (+1)

I'm glad you liked it! I don't know why power-ups never occurred to me while I was making this, but they could be really cool, and a good way of off-setting some of the increase in difficulty.

Great job on getting to 35. You'll have to let me know if anyone actually beats it! Then there's always hard mode. ;)

I think I mentioned this to you in Discord, but the chilled-out music is a must-have for such a tough game. The best score I could get was 21/50 on normal mode. I think you nailed the limited scope and the cycle theme. Everything feels complete: good control and hit detection, audible feedback, and clear end states are things that a lot of games end up not having due to the time limit.

Overall, one of the standout submissions I've seen so far. :)

Thanks for all the kind words! I'm glad it felt rather polished, aside from the difficulty. I was pleased when I found the music (creative commons music is great!), as I thought it did a good job of preventing me from getting too frustrated while I played.

First of all, the music is nice and chill. :o Eventually the screen gets really crowded, so I only managed to get 28 apples. I wonder if it's even possible to get all 50. Maybe some form of health would help? Also the apples in the HUD going in a spiral shape is a nice touch.

The change for apples being a spiral was actually the last change I made. They were previously randomly laid out, which ended up looking rather haphazard, and I figured it was easy way to add another cycle-ish thing to the game. The game is way too difficult, but it is possible to beat it. I did beat it... once.

Really fun game concept and really great execution. The music and graphics are all really nice. It is a very hard game, and I think a little bit of forgiveness for the players in the form of life or a health bar would help.

Thanks! I'm thinking about how I could drop in a health bar with all the comments suggesting it. Maybe some slight invulnerability and the enemies move away for a second? All the feedback is greatly appreciated.

yeah, something like that could work as well! 

I got 28. Eventually there's just too many enemies on the screen for me to dodge them all! Good times; solidly playable. I wish it was a bit more clear what the various seasons do. There's the big skeleton with lots of apples and the summer where the apples despawn quickly, but the other two?

Yeah, eventually the enemies hit a point where it's really difficult to keep track of them all. The autumn and winter seasons aren't differentiated enough, the only real difference is that autumn spawns more enemies, and in winter the apples last for longer before disappearing.

Wow this is a great game although it is very hard I can only get 15 max so far. I really like how you used the theme. Great Game I liked playing it!

Thanks for the comments!

That is really hard. I could only barely get 20 on normal mode. I like the variety of enemies and how it changes over time.  It keeps the game from feeling tedious. Others have mentioned it already, but recovery items or more health might be a good way to show some mercy to players without removing the stress of avoidance. Other than the hopeless difficulty level, it was a fairly enjoyable game!

Thanks for playing! The difficulty is definitely something I'm going to work on, and I appreciate all the different ideas people have been giving me for how to address it.

Wow! What a unique interpretation of the theme! Enjoyed playing the game! I loved how you made a season-clock out of cycles and changed the scene according to it. My score is 16/50 as well (finished 2 years). I think while playing I was mostly trying to avoid getting killed than getting apples... There were just so many! Maybe you could add a few lives, like 3 to make death less punishing (and next step is to add healing items on the map?). Also, I was tempted to look at this beautiful clock (really) instead of looking where I'm going and it had terrible consequences. Maybe you could put a simplified version in a corner of the map? (Small circles for seasons, day/night and apples). Finally I think the cool spinning wheel on the main menu could go to one side of the screen, text to the other - just to make it easier to read. Phew, that was a lot of suggestions, but they're totally optional : )

Thanks for playing! The difficulty is definitely too high. Once I have some desire to come back to it, I'll probably explore different ways to reduce the difficulty, including adding a few extra lives. Your point about the clock essentially being impossible to look at while playing is noted. Spending a bunch of time on things people can't look at while playing the game seems to be a trend for me and game jam games, it seems (my last game jam game had the same issue). Solid point about the main menu as well. All your suggestions are greatly appreciated, thanks!

*whew*  That was fun, but tough, at least for a panicky player like me.  In 10 tries of normal mode, my best scores were both 16/50.  I'm glad that arrow keys work in addition to WASD, since my left hand isn't quite as dexterous, (no Latin pun intended.)  I like how there's a difficulty curve to it, (even though I didn't get very far up it), with the increasing number, variety, size, and motion of enemies.  The varying speed of enemies and lifetime of apples over time is pretty neat, too.  It might be interesting to have another type of enemy that just gets in the way instead of ending the game, or some other sort of obstacle to vary the play space a bit.  I am very glad that enemies seem not to spawn too close to the character, else I wouldn't have even made it as far as I did, haha. :)

Thanks for playing and your comments! Having one of the seasons break up the game arena is a really interesting idea. I wish I'd thought of it for the jam, as three of the four seasonal enemies are functionally identical. It also would have helped the difficulty curve not ramp up quite as quickly. I realized the difficulty curve was really tough after I submitted it (I thought it was going to be easy, which is why I added a hard mode). If I could tweak it a little, I would have made the normal mode the hard mode and made something easier (if just a lower, more reachable target) the easy mode.

I made sure to not let the enemies spawn too close to the player. It's no fun when you die to something completely out of your control. One of my goals was to have everything (mostly) predictable for a player, so theoretically someone acting perfectly could play forever (until the screen filled up with enemies).