Posted Sat Dec 17, 2011 2:02 PM
First, thanks for the game. I've been playing a few rounds after work recently.
A lot of random thoughts and feedback:
The reason it caught my eye in the first place is because of how outspoken you are with gaming opinions. Your pages on ET explaining the high points and strategy of the game convinced me to have another go at that game. The ET pages and your posts on randomness made me curious about what type of game you'd make from scratch.
I remember a post where you compared ET favorably to Pitfall! It seemed like hyperbole, but after playing Seaweed Assault I can definitely see you really meaning it. Pitfall! makes an amazing first impression, but over time its lack of depth shows. ET, I now realize, does almost the opposite. ET gives a very jarring first impression, but over time its depth slowly surfaces. Seaweed Assault makes a much better first impression than ET, but it still has a muted first impression. The graphics seem utilitarian. We need seaweed to grow randomly and the only way to make that possible is for the seaweed to be composed of simple rectangles. The ship, the canisters, and (to a lesser extent) the Wrothopods seem also to be drawn with a purpose. The canisters don't have a pixel art kind of visual appeal, but when a damaged canister starts to rotate in the peripheral: an electric startle jolts up the spine.
There's _a lot_ of negative reactions in the game. That was my immediate first impression when I played the game with no context. After I've read the manual, browsed the threads, and played a little deeper, I still feel it. The percentage of actions in the game that result in something bad happening give the game a kind of Operation type of frustration. It's stylistic, and probably inherent to the game's core idea, but it definitely makes me play less than say Oystron or (to be unfair) Metal Slug 3.
The sound effects are very effective. The bring the ET pages to mind again. All of the sound effects sound pleasant on their own, but what makes them significant is the way they're used to convey things about the game. It's almost the opposite of Pitfall Harry's tarzan yell that sounds awesome on its own, but exists solely to sound awesome.
You'll forgive if I couldn't get into the game more. I guess I'm a Pitfall kind of guy,