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Mmmm, I'm gonna have to agree with the other comments about nerfing the second level. I think there's something to be said about introducing concepts slowly so the player can learn mechanics better, especially in puzzle games. I think focusing on teaching the player the enemy movement mechanics would've been a big boon, or giving us simpler enemies while the player learns how their own troops move. And then later, you could introduce more complicated enemies. I was caught off guard by their attacks and movement, because I spent the majority of the first levels trying to figure out how my troops moved. It's really difficult for me to just read something and intuitively understand how it works in action (although different people learn differently, so it's still good to have the written information available.) I really love turn-based strategy games though, so it was really neat to see one in the jam! And I can tell you put a lot of thought into this. Thank you for sharing!!!

Thanks for playing and commenting! Agreed on all points, I appreciate the feedback.

This was an interesting mix between a turn based strategy game. So far, I've only made it to the second level and its pretty fun (albeit a bit brutal). The one thing I would suggest changing is maybe simplifying the text a little.

Thanks for trying it out!

Lol I have got to nerf that second level.

Which text(s) in particular do you think needs simplifying? It's already hard to reduce without losing critical information.

Looking back now I'd say that the text is fine (being a turned based puzzle/strategy game it's gonna be text heavy) but I would say that it be better if you start at the beginning of the level you lost on instead of the first level.

Oh, I wouldn't say the text is fine yet, lol, but yeah, a certain amount is inevitable. Could space it out better, definitely. Did you see 'UUUGE wall o' txt in the description? None of the help was in the original Jam version, it wasn't even written, I ran out of time... I had to write the help text in the game description after the jam had already locked submissions, lol.

The 2nd level was a particularly bad place for a difficulty spike, in hindsight. If you fail the first mission, there's a special mission just for that scenario, and if you fail the third mission the game plot continues with only a slight difference in descriptive text. But mission 2 just sends you back, and there's not even any random elements to make mission 1 any different. Oops. I'll fix that. Thanks again for the feedback, I really appreciate it. :)

Pretty cool.  The first level was fairly easy; the second level made me think about whether the boundary between turn-based strategy game and puzzle game in this type of setting is related to the quantity or variety of ways in which one could win... because I failed big time, haha. :)  Maybe if I'd taken more time to plan things out several moves ahead, instead of only one or two, I'd have done better.  I was a bit confused about the order in which things occurred, so a few times, moves I thought would work didn't result in a move, so my attacks correspondingly didn't hit as effectively.  Also, did some of the non-javelineer, non-banshee units deal friendly fire damage?  I might have unintentionally dealt myself a bunch of damage from that.  It might help to significantly slow down the animations depicting the damage and the moving to make it clearer what's going on, and communicating the order of events that the player has control over (both moving and damaging) before they're enacted would be handy, too.  This is a very neat setup, though.  You could probably make all sorts of funky puzzles with the basis you have here and experimenting with different units.

Thanks for playing and leaving feedback!

Hmm, maybe I should just nerf that second level, seems to be hammering a lot of people. The undead beasts outpace their allies, so if you just wait for them and slaughter them as they arrive, it quickly becomes 6 vs 4 and straightforward to win.

There's no friendly fire in the game. I guess by specifying it for the ranged units it made you wonder about the other units? I'll change their text.

I agree that the animations need to be slowed down. And maybe an ability to rewatch a turn (everything but the AI is deterministic so not too hard to code).

Do you think an in-depth breakdown of how turns are resolved would help? I'm worried it would just put people off, but... I think I would like it if I were playing.

...Let's see:

Fast unit movement (chariots and beasts) is resolved first before and then after other units.

If two units moving at the same speed are ordered into the same square, the friendly unit moves and the enemy unit bounces off.

Units moving at the same speed can follow directly behind each other, but will bump into a unit leaving in a different direction. For example, if you move north into the square of a unit moving north, you can, but if you move north into the square of a unit moving east, you'll bounce off of it.

Most attacks happen at the end of the turn, but bumping into an enemy unit attacks it immediately, even if it's leaving the square you're attacking. Chariots inflict their side attacks as they move.

Unit deaths only happen at the end of the turn after all attacks are resolved. Dying skeletons and zombies don't get their regeneration abilities.

...I guess that wasn't that bad?

I liked it :D Tbh im not very good at these kind of games either but from what i played i can see you put a lot of hard work into it and even though i didn't play for long i had a fun time :D

Maybe having it a bit more clear that you dont move diagonally when you press the "diagonal" button would've been nice, i found myself quite a couple of times trying to move diagonally just to realise that i wasn't moving at all. Maybe i missed something in the text but in general just more clarity when it comes to all the different buttons could be useful. :)

Other than that i havn't got much to say, you've made a really cool game and you should be proud of your work! :D

Thanks for trying it out, I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Ooof, there's no diagonals in this game (except the Banshee attack), it never occurred to me that the change-facing buttons might be mistaken for a diagonal movement. I was thinking about putting "tool-tips" on them, I guess I should get on that!

This was an interesting strategy game! I will admit, I'm pretty bad at this type of game, so I couldn't beat the whole game by myself, but I did appreciate how the defeat became part of the cycle. I was going to say that the skeletons felt more powerful than the phalanx, but then I thought of a scenario where the phalanx would be more useful, so it generally felt pretty well balanced. I'm sure you're aware of this and it was due to game jam constraints, but it would have been nice to get a better indicator of the mechanics of each unit within the game, even if it was just the text inside the text box. I think the simple graphics worked in this case, although having slight alterations to the directional triangle for each different unit could be fun.

It's always nice to see games that require strategy, even if I am terrible as them.

Thanks for trying it out! Sorry you couldn't win. One thing I'm thinking about doing is having the player continue to accumulate units when they lose, so eventually if they keep playing they'll win by sheer mass. This would be in addition to having more randomness in the level generation and a really simple "RPG" phase where you can "re-equip" one of your units between each battle.

I agree that skeletons are better than phalanxes overall. It's hard to get really good balance with such high granularity. Almost any one-full-point nerf would make the skeletons too weak.

Yeah, in-game help was always on the to-do list, but in the end having a functional game took precedence. The plan is to have a more-or-less complete help screen, and also to have the side bar show the specific help for the unit currently moused over or selected. I'd even like to have little per-unit videos, like Into the Breach has.

...Never thought I'd get complimented on the graphics, lol. Another thing on the to-do list...

Here's my question, though: Do you think this has legs, per se? Should I keep working on this, or should I just call this done and work on something else?

I tend to like a clean graphical style, so I was a fan. No promises as to how most people would feel. I would had a better shot if you gave me more units, but I also probably could have thought my gameplan through more. I thought the phalanxes acted better as support units (since they just deal more damage per turn), but the skeletons are probably a better unit all-around.

I can't say what I would do in your place. I haven't really been making anything with an eye towards monetization, so I'm probably not the best person to ask on that front. I do think with a bit more polish (unit descriptions in-game, maybe some terrain to work around) it would be something that would get the interest of people who like strategy games.

Thanks again for the feedback. :)