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Friday, February 3, 2012

Golden Guli (ゴールデン玉) Review

A friend of mine just released a new game on the AppStore called the Golden Guli - Hit The Marble Out. This game is one of the projects under the IPCC 2011 programme, where the selected (winning) teams are given a sum of 50,000 (Ringgit Malaysia) to develop a casual game within a specific period of time (approx. 6 months). You can get the game for free now on iTunes.

The Good:
- Simple and casual
The game is based on an old, traditional Malay games which involves around shooting a target guli (marble) out of a circle (drawn to the floor), using another guli. If you manage to shoot out the target guli, you won the game... and the guli too. The game was kind of a hit back then, until... game consoles arrived.

I don't remember much about the original game, but in this iOS version, you're also doing the same thing: hitting a guli out with another guli, except this time, with obstacles in the way, which makes the game even more challenging, compared to the original.

- Soothing music
If you're a local here in Malaysia, and you've play traditional games when you were young, around the Kampung, beach, and seaside, with lots of coconut trees... you'd know the feeling (90's kid would know better). The BGM (background music) of the game is something like that, with a tint of Malay-Indonesia traditional instruments in it. 

- Interesting level design
I've seen some games developed by this guy which weren't so eye-catching, but I can see that he had improved a lot in this one. It kinda feels like I'm playing Where's My Water or Angry Birds, where every levels has its easy and hard part, which is a good sign.

Every level of every stage also features some "familiar" obstacles like those you'll find in a Kampung or at a beach, such as slippers (I used to discover a lot of them on my family beach trip when I was young), bamboos sticks, wooden plank, coconut, etc. It's a good thing that the developer remember to place them in, and not changing it into some industrial-like setting. 

Hope he continue keeping it that way.

The Bad (Not too bad):
- Bugs
Bugs, the most common "bad" thing about any game. It's not very big deal, considering the game wasn't too tedious or boring. It can be avoid by replaying the game, though some may find it annoying, but I don't think the most will.

- UI
The main menu and in-game UI doesn't feel polish enough, and has some positioning problem.

Particularly the in-game UI, it took me a couple of levels to realize there was an "abort" button at the lower right corner, mostly because I'm right-handed and my right hand covers it up.

It would be better if the developer could line them up (including the "number of guli/marble left" UI) on the top (upper part) of the screen, and not the bottom. I would also prefer if the "abort" button could have a little re-design, instead of using a cross icon follow by an "abort" text. Actually it would look better either one of the element of the abort button (the "cross" or the "abort" text) is removed.

Also, certain buttons on the screen seems a bit off-screen on the iPad, probably because the game was also developed for the iPhone and iPod (smaller screen size). 

Conclusion
This game is only in Beta stage just recently, still got some bugs to fix, and graphics to improve on. But it's pretty fun and worth keeping an eye on, so give it a try while it's still free on the AppStore. :D

1 comment:

Jaya said...

Ooo. Nice review. We are definitely want to improve that, but we re going to make other theme using guli engine