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Game Maker Games - The Jeluvian Project
 The Jeluvian Project by Pondwater
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Review by Jabberwock
The Jeluvian Project is a squad-based strategy game that's got a lot going for it; solid gameplay, beautiful presentation, plenty of depth, and plenty of charm.

One of the game's strongest aspects is its deeply involved storyline. It isn't extremely complicated, but it's well executed and the dialogue is well-written (something that I find painfully rare in independent game development), and it ends up becoming an important incentive to keep the player playing. By the end of the game, Pondwater manages to establish sympathy toward the main characters, something I can't really recall coming across in a Game Maker game before. In any case, I won't reveal the storyline, as that would (at least if you're like me) sort of ruin the fun.

The gameplay is rather complicated (perhaps overly so), and if you are the kind of person who makes judgements about gameplay after only a few minutes, this is probably not your kind of game. There are quite a few commands to remember (which probably could've been consolidated a little) and a pretty in-depth tutorial to wade through, and after all that, it still takes a while to really get used to the gameplay, because it is quite unique. It's sort of a mix between an overhead shooter and a real-time strategy game. To some extent, what you get out of this game is dependent on what you expect from it- it's important to keep in mind that this is NOT a typical real-time strategy game; in order to succeed, each operation requires careful planning and even more careful execution, with the player constantly keeping an eye on health and ammo supplies, rather than gathering resources and building units to throw at an enemy base. In most missions, the player faces enormous odds, and thus success really relies more heavily on your strategy than your firepower. It is really a truer test of strategic ability than most so-called strategy games, and is commendable for this. Particularly, the lack of pathfinding might throw off players who are used to traditional strategy games. Though the game has a pretty well-modulated difficulty curve, in the last few levels it becomes extremely hard. Fortunately, there is an "Easy" option, made available once you fail a mission, which really takes the edge off of things.

The presentation in The Jeluvian Project is simply wonderful. It feels like a professional effort (albeit one from the mid-nineties); the graphics are beautifully pixeled, and there are plenty of little touches (ripples from shrapnel landing in the water, for instance) that don't seem like much, but really serve to set this game apart from the rest. My only complaint as far as the graphics is that the units all look rather similar, and I would've liked to see a little more variety in the levels. Still, the game is far from boring, and it's helpful that the sound is also excellent. There are plenty of sound effects and several tracks of fitting music. Overall, the game is one of the most professional I've ever seen made with GM.

This is not really a game for everyone; it takes quite a bit of patience to get into, and even more patience to play all the way through. However, if you're not turned off by anything less than pure action, and you've got some appreciation for a well-executed storyline, I think this is a great game and is definitely worth your time.


Author's Description:
This version of TJP is Vista-compatible (GM7).

Some creations can hardly be strictly classified as "strategy" without failing to meet accepted standards of the contemporary RTS model.

Group Overhead Action then? Perhaps. And yet it lacks the fast-paced activity and atmosphere to maintain that.

So, putting the expectations of the player aside, I hope that this game will at least, be able to deliver a pleasant experience on its own merit, yardstick-free.

Now then. Get involved with the characters in the story, encounter and control six different unit types, through a variety of 14 uniquely-designed operations. Features engaging electronic audio tracks from talented composers.

Download The Jeluvian Project (EXE, ~10.4 MB , Suitable for everyone )

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Opinions about The Jeluvian Project
engaging
100%
artistic
100%
original
100%
strange
0%
challenging
100%
polished
100%
compelling
100%

Overall: recommended

Recommendations: The 5 people who like The Jeluvian Project also like the following games.
Comments (Add your own):
2007.06.28 Kahjah (TNTgames)
Rating: 10

nice game, i don't believe how you did everything.i liked everything.thanks for making a game i was lokking for!
2007.06.28 nezmaj
Rating: 10

Wow! Sometimes i wonder why you didn't sell it!
2007.06.10 DrackGames
Rating: 10

Nice game! Just search on creators name; Drack Games!
2007.06.05 DeathMasterGames
Rating: 8

Very nicely done. Lots of story and plot, although I found myself skipping through some of the dialogue just to get to the game play at first. There were a lot of instructions, and having to learn a lot can be a weakness in a game, especially for new users. The graphics were very nice, and the controls were better than I expected. It ran smoothly. I can see why this game is in the spotlight. But it's not quite perfect. Maybe 8 or 9 out of 10.
2007.06.04 pondwater
Rating: --

Oh don't worry about it. Thank you very much: the review was very beautiful and captured many things that I really tried hard to present in the game.

My bad really =P It's like that when you try something different that deviates quite a bit from expectation. And the 'fun factor' too. At a risk sometimes.

TJP really isn't that fun - based on 'fun' alone - I think so too, myself. But, the vision of character integration and level 'choreography' were realized very similarly to what I had in mind. I'm happy with that. I really am!

I've been glad to have been able to make a contribution to the much undeveloped Strategy Genre of GMGames, though. And that's a goal I had since I first undertook GM, and I'm more than happy to have accomplished it. =)
2007.06.03 Jabberwock
Rating: --

*sigh*

I'm not at all happy with the rating this got, but at least it got the spotlight.
2007.06.02 Chaz
Rating: 10

...wow. This is a must have. I love the music, the storyline, the effects, the strategy and the originality. I love playing this game, and you should too!
2007.05.30 Re_jex
Rating: --

Who can say no to pond water? Not I, not I.
2007.05.27 elmernite
Rating: 9

Really great game! I just keep playing for the storyline. Though I do think the gameplay could have used some touchup's here and there.
A must download for sure.
-Elmernite
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