Ne Touchez Pas IV

by Notalot

Posted on March 12, 2010 at 6:54 AM

Ne Touchez Pas IV, my entry into YoYo Games Competition 05 (no, I'm not particularly in it to win it, I just like entering this stuff ) is a game which builds off NTP3 in the pursuit of improvement.

All of the levels are the same, probably not a massively popular decision, but I'm trying to bring in improvements in other areas to make up for that.

For those unfamiliar with NTP, it is a game which compiles many variants of don't-touch-the-walls games (including two from my past - Rockit and NAL's Jet Pod).

There are 50 levels, playable with six separate characters:
Bird will be familiar to anyone that's played Messhof's Flywrench or any of the previous NTP games. New to NTP4, Bird has an autoflap button as well as a manual flap. Left/Right make the bird strafe, Z is for manual flap and Up for autoflap. Down can be used for the level start if you want to start with a freefall, not an upwards movement.
Jetpod is the only character unaltered from NTP3. It's basically a slower, easier version of the bird with smooth upward thrusting and strafing.
Missile is a redesigned version of NTP3's "Rockit". Since mouse controls are disallowed from Competition 05 entries I had to alter the controls. The D-pad now makes the missile hurtle in whichever direction is pressed. It's at one set speed and is unaffected by gravity.
Spaceman has been changed from NTP3 significantly. He's still unaffected by gravity and friction, but now the entire screen rotates as he does and you have to keep control of him and track of the level as it turns before you. Pretty good at inducing dizziness.
Vehicle, first of two new characters, is a small, speedy car in which you use up to accelerate, down to decelerate/reverse and left/right to turn. This is a fairly easy one to do since you can be patient with it and it's nippy and agile enough to get through the tightest of gaps.
Square is named to reflect its simplicity. Direction keys simply move it in whichever direction is pressed. It stops instantly when you let go. It's fairly slow (though holding Z will double its speed), but small enough to get through super-tight gaps. Designed to be similar to World's Hardest Game, though is much easier.

The menu system has been redesigned also. It's incomplete (if you play the build you can only access The Grid and Quit Game on the main menu) but getting there. What exists is pretty much fully functional. Controls for the menus are given so I needn't go in-depth into them.

Juju commented March 12, 2010 at 7:14 PM
Second level as the bird breaks if you fall through the floor.
Ferret commented March 13, 2010 at 1:01 AM
Haven't I played this before?
Castypher commented March 13, 2010 at 8:36 PM
Ridiculously difficult, and not in the good way. Anyone can make a hard and frustrating game, but making it well is the real task. I'm not going to review this as I normally would, as I was unable to finish the game, but here are some things to take note of.

Bird and Jetpod are too similar. What's the point of having them both do the same levels?

Square is too easy until you get to the QUICKLY level, at which point I decided to quit. Having it in there is unnecessary unless you want to implement a learning curve of some sort, in which case you should have arranged or pointed the easier objects to play as. Naturally everyone will try Bird first, which is one of the most difficult ones.

The visual effects were nice but horribly misleading. The walls' boundaries changed depending on what object you played as. Bad idea.

The game was long enough for even a casual player to try for hours. However, each object should have had its own set of levels, rather than sharing most. Half of the levels were too geared toward one object, which is also a bad idea, since they don't share progress.

Counting deaths is demeaning, as probably 75% of the deaths were from your spawning quirks. Particularly as bird, holding a key (which you're likely to do at death) will cause you to run into a wall. There was no pause or keyboard clear, leading the player to much unneeded frustration as he died a thousand times from trying to spawn once.

Decent game, but as I said before, anyone can make a ridiculous and frustrating game. In this case, you have no way of keeping the player entertained, and nothing rewarding the player for the hell of the levels you made. I felt no sense of accomplishment in passing a level, because there was yet another nigh impossible one coming up.

This has a long way to go before it can really be enjoyable, because really the only thing I can say I liked was the visual effects. I honestly don't know if you even playtested this. Playtesting also involves more than yourself. You know all the tricks, other people don't. If you're the only one playtesting, you can't judge how difficult it is.

My reviews can sound harsh, but learn from them.
Crane-ium commented March 14, 2010 at 5:07 PM
^ Truth. Very frustrating...
Haven't I played this before?
...and not very creative.

It's entertaining at first. I played far, but my boredom got the best of me. Most ships are too hard, and the square is too boring. Graphics are interesting with the fake 3d engine, but it gets mundane after a while. 6/10
Ferret commented March 15, 2010 at 8:48 PM
After going back a bit I found that this game is exactly like yours.
Toadsanime commented March 15, 2010 at 10:54 PM
@ Ferret - To be fair, this is the fourth Ne Touchez Pas game that Notalot has made, so that other game you linked to probably used the original Ne Touchez Pas as influence. ;)
Ferret commented March 16, 2010 at 12:32 AM
Ah thanks for that clarification. ;)
Cesque commented March 16, 2010 at 10:46 AM
I like NTP for some reason (maybe it's because I played all of them, IIRC). Yes, they're annoying as hell, and yes, I usually end up stuck on the third level or so, but I still like them :P

Love this version too.
Broxter commented March 16, 2010 at 9:43 PM
It's NTP. What can I say.
Notalot commented March 18, 2010 at 8:37 AM
Thanks for all the feedback. I know there isn't really a huge advancement in this from the previous games but the intention was to make a version of 3 for the YYG competition. I guess I probably should've made it a spinoff or 3.5 or something instead of calling it #4.

@Ferret Yeah, that game's based off the original NTP. It says so in the description: "based off of ne touchez pas". :P
Castypher commented March 21, 2010 at 2:21 AM
Just looked at your Innocuous, or whatever that was called. Now THAT'S how to do a puzzle game. Give the player more time to rest and think. Transfer more of the ideas you had from that game, to this one.
Rambopvp commented March 31, 2010 at 9:14 AM
Well I had fun playing this game. It is straightforward and pleasing, despite having brought nothing especially new conceptually, but now I'm just being a mean critic!

Difficulty is one of the identifying traits of such genre of games, so I will not complain about it.

Other gripes I might have about the game it seems Kilin has already covered in the 3rd comment, so I won't repeat it.

Good game! Keep up the good work.
Zaron commented April 12, 2010 at 7:02 PM
The room rotation thing can be a bit disorienting but downright neat, especially with Spaceman. While some of the deaths from spawning can feel a bit cheap, I had no
leading the player to much unneeded frustration as he died a thousand times from trying to spawn once.
moments like Killin did, but did often find myself crashing two or three times depending on who I was playing.

In brief terms:

> Bird and Lander are similar, but Lander is much easier to control and less disorienting. Anyone claiming they're too similar may have a point, but I find the bird to be considerably harder to play.
> Missle was a smiden too fast for some of the tighter, curvier levels. It could be doable, but cripes. Sans that he was pretty neat, but...
> Car was probably my favorite, since it took the level rotation effect and made it somewhat relevant to the gameplay itself better than most anything besides maybe Spaceman, but gave me more direct control over things than space explorer did. That said, the little astronaut ended up being my second favorite just with its unique quirks.
> A lot of the visual layouts were outright painful. On that note, when it seems to be determining assorted colors out of a total of what, three? Why not allow for a custom layout in-game? Not that hard to do, and would let people keep their personal eye strain to a minimum, as even the standard black-and-white got hard to look at at some point.

I've not played the other NTP games, and did find this a tad frustrating, but in short sessions it's pretty decent and creative with the same ol' same ol' "don't touch the walls" formula that tends to be moving your mouse through tiny little holes, so good job keeping things mixed up and offering a good deal of variety.