After some thorough playtesting on real hardware, I've released beta version 2.1 as an addition to my original post. I've added the functionality where the player can choose to continue the game upon its completion, automatically moving to the harder difficulty (if not already there). I'm viewing this as a release candidate. I'm still interested in people's opinions and feedback, though at this point I don't really have room for any new features.
There are still a few niggling bugs that have happened basically once, so it's really hard to trace them. But I'm curious if anyone has had a similar experience.
- StanJr, as noted above, got an instance of the game kicking back to the title screen instead of the "game over" screen in Difficulty A.
- Once I got a sound that hung until I completed the level.
- Once--out of easily a thousand times--I got trapped in a canyon with no path to the water. (There was a path, but it was too narrow for my poor cactus to fit.)
I can't hunt any of these down in the code, so alas they might remain. But they seem pretty rare and ultimately I don't think they detract from the game in any appreciable way.
So, try playing version 2.1, and let me know what you think! In the meantime, in anticipation of nearly completing the coding on this project, I crafted a 3-D version of Space Cactus, shown below.