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Rating: 4.6/5 (142 votes)
| Comments (11) | Views (35)

SonicLoversoniclover_fiends_screenshot.gif"I don't get it. This game is called FRIENDS, but I'm alone!" Actually, Pepe, it's called Fiends, and it's stefanT's entry in Casual Gameplay Design Competition #9. Fiends is best described as an innovative puzzle game masquerading as a roguelike RPG, and worst described as an unentertaining game, though you'll find that "unentertaining" doesn't enter into the equation.

You start out controlling Pepe, a hammer-wielding, black-haired character in red overalls. He can attack any fiend by moving to a square directly adjacent to it (click on him, then on any blue square to move) and smashing it with his hammer (click the fiend when the square it's on turns red). If any other fiends are directly or diagonally adjacent to Pepe when he attacks, they'll attack back... and since Pepe can't take it any more than he can dish it out, that means you'll have to take back your move (click "UNDO" when it pops up) and think of another line of action.

Competition second place award winnerThankfully, Pepe won't be fighting alone for long, or this game wouldn't fit the "friends" theme very well. Before the game is done, he'll team up with Bonnet (who can prevent enemies from counterattacking by engaging them in VERY interesting conversations), Harumaki (whose bow and arrows enable her to attack fiends from two squares away instead of Pepe's one), and Gummy (who can't interact with fiends, but whose "pajama" makes him completely invincible, allowing him to block counterattacks meant for his friends).

As the growing circle of friends makes their way from outer space to a castle to an abandoned marketplace, they'll encounter new fiends with different counterattack ranges, set up in all sorts of arrangements to create all sorts of puzzles, leaving you thinking constantly. Who can I pick off first? If I stuck Gummy there, could Pepe attack that fiend safely? Could Bonnet put those three monsters to sleep without getting countered, and would it help? And by the way, just what are these four friends doing in this weird world, and how will they get home? So many questions.

soniclover_fiends_screenshot2.gifAnalysis: This is my personal favorite entry in the entire competition. Apparently a lot of people agree, if its win of second place is any indication. Everything about Fiends is excellent. The gameplay is the main focus, and it's quite a nice challenge. It's like a one-player game of chess, in a way, and it incorporates the competition's theme perfectly. The fact that you only have to take back the one move when you screw up, and the additional fact that it's impossible to get into a situation where it's impossible to beat the level, takes away most of the frustration that haunts most similar puzzle games.

Elsewhere, the game is simplistic: simplistic graphics, simplistic audio (no SFX whatsoever), simplistic mechanics. This is a good thing; Fiends wants you to focus on the gameplay without distracting you with anything else. There's also plenty of fourth wall humor embedded in the game's dialogue (yes, Pepe, it is typical of RPGs), which is also a plus in my book.

To boot, the game caters to a lot of playstyles. Do you want to make a pacifist run, killing a few fiends as possible, or are you like me, with the desire to kill every fiend you can? Do you want a run that minimizes mistakes? A speed run? A fewest-possible-moves run? It's up to you.

There are few if any flaws in Fiends, and although several bugs turned up in testing, stefanT has been hard at work fixing them. I look forward to a sequel, if indeed stefanT intends on making one. But for now, let's work with what we've got.

Play Fiends

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Yay! Thank you for the review, SonicLover! I also talk in behalf of stefanT when I say: thank you all for voting on our game in this competition! It was awesome to participate again - but only now he gives credit to the ppl who helped him with his game developing, writing that "stefanT -and friends-" thing. Hahaha.

Anyoldpotatoes, we're really glad you guys liked it and gave us this wonderful 2nd place. And congratulations to all who participated this time as well! This surely was fun to experience. We'll be looking forward to the next competitions and strive to make even better games!


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Really nice game. Maybe not the most impressive in terms of graphics, but it still manages to be cute & puzzling at the same time. It's really satisfying to come up with the solutions to the puzzles.

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This game is making me giggle so much. And the puzzles are just challenging enough to be really fun!

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Very satisfying.

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I played it when the winners were announced.

A puzzle that was hard enough to be interesting but not so much as to be impossible.


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LuckMage26 Author Profile Page December 9, 2010 8:10 PM

I couldn't pass the last level,when the competition began...

ANYWAY,Awesome game. Simple,complex,addictive,with charismatic characters..

The game that won the first place is also cool,and touching...But I thinks Fiends' more of a game than the other one..

still,it deserved to place. And I'm glad it was in second place,at least! *3*

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Aw, it was cute. And just the right length, too.

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Dr. Curiosity December 10, 2010 2:42 PM

Cute piece. Unfortunately, I hit a bug at the start of the market level and it crashed horribly :-(

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Excellent game! This length was perfect, but I'd love to see more...

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such a great little game. I WANT MORE!!!
the only thing i found a bit annoying was not being able to skip the talking (and instead having to click, wait, click, wait to get to the next level)
but really, this is a fantastic game. my favourite of the lot.
i hope that there will be a bigger version made with more levels.

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Ditto pretty much what's already been said. Nifty little game. It's cute without being too silly, and challenging without being ridiculously difficult. I also echo many of the suggestions: the talking bits were a little tedious, would be nice to have any or all of a timer, a move count and a enemy body count going to increase replay value. Level editor would be cool.

Nice job.

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