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Game Maker Games - Waffle's Adventure 2
 Waffle's Adventure 2 by RICANJO
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Review by Joewoof
Waffle's Adventure 2 is a pleasing rarity. It is a combination between a life-sim and a point-and-click adventure game. Although it is very simple and has the appearance of a hand-held title, this game is well-polished and lovable.

In this sequel, you play as Waffle (a Kirby-inspired character) as he tries to settle down in a new town. You start with an empty house, where you will later fill with new furniture, wallpaper, a television set and so on. To purchase all these fancy decorations, you have to work for the professor. Work is done in the form of various little minigames and tasks, ranging from fishing a key out of a pipe to searching for items around the town. Each completed task earns you a bit of money. You can also interact with a girl in town. With each day, Waffle grows fond of her. Eventually, you can take her out on a date.

= Attraction =

Fair.

Although this game focuses on cuteness and has a number of memorable characters, the simplistic design and the "mild nature" of the game cause the overall experience to be a little bland. There are no surprises at all.

On the other hand, its graphical style is very distinct and original. All sprites use very few colors with very little toning, giving the nostalgic look of an old hand-held console title. The menu screens, their buttons and the message box fit very well with the rest of the game.

= Variety =

Fair.

Most of the action in this game come in the form of minigames and tasks. They are all different, though most are played with a mouse. One activity involves gambling your money with an arcade machine. With the money you earn from them, you can buy a large array of items to decorate your home. At the house, you can experiment with a number of decorations, turning them on or off with a wall-remote.

Other than money-related activities, you can also interact with other inhabitants of the town. There are not many characters, but with each new day, each of the characters will often say something different.

Unfortunately, the entire process is repetitive. Ultimately, you talk, do work, earn money, shop and sleep. Situationally, each day is almost exactly the same as the previous one. The items you buy from shops are mostly cosmetic prizes; most of them merely add graphical changes to your house. In other words, there should be more things you can do as you progress through the game. However, this life-sim fails to emulate the fact that life changes, instead of remaining situationally constant. For example, getting the television set should impose a new challenge - the electricity bill.

= Depth =

Lacking.

While there are several things to do, it soon becomes painfully apparent that there is little substance within the minigames and tasks. All of them are purely reflex-based and can be done without any thought at all. The most complex tasks (non-minigame money-earning activities) only involve either basic memorization or following a series of simple instructions. The
"love system", while promising to be interesting, amounts to be nothing more than a tedious chore of alternating between sleeping at home and talking to the girl. The game is also disappointingly short, especially considering how easy it is to complete the minigames and tasks.

Fortunately, there is a small number of "secrets" to discover. Throughout the town, there are money bills hiding around. In the library, the books contain inside jokes specifically for the GameMakerGames community. The most important element is the "Cheats" item in the shop. It is very expensive, and without preparation, you may not be able to afford it throughout the entire game. Although you can complete the game without purchasing this last item, you will not end with a perfect completion score. This strongly promotes replayability, but unfortunately, the game is too linear and predictable to be played twice.

The story context is very weak. There is nothing remarkable about the characters or the town.

= Originality =

Good.

Although individually, the minigames, tasks and systems (items, shopping, doing work) are nothing amazing, together, along with the unique graphical style, the whole game is still quite unique. More importantly, the fusion of the life-sim and the point-and-click adventure is a concept that is extremely rare (if not completely new) around these parts.

= Smooth Learning Curve =

Good.

Although there is an instructional introductory sequence, the game still starts a little shaky for the player. For example, although it is not difficult to figure it out, the game does not tell you that you can scroll through rooms with your mouse. This can trip the player at the beginning. For some of the minigames, especially the "key in the pipe", the instructions are unclear. Furthermore, while there is very little to the "love system", the game should at least introduce the player to it, especially considering that the completion of the game depends on that system. It is easy to play through the whole game, never realizing that it has a "love system".

It is still fairly easy to figure these out though. They do not add up to a big problem. Besides, the game is quite simple overall.

= Flow =

Fair.

The flow of this game is generally seamless. There is a good dose of anticipation from trying to earn enough money to buy new items. Some items, after being bought, need additional supporting items to use.

On the other hand, the progression of the game is not dynamic. As mentioned earlier, the game has a very "mild nature" that causes the overall experience to be a little bland. This is due to the fact that the game neither leads up to a climax nor provides any feeling of tension. Commercial life-sims avoid this "lack of tension" by having status parameters that show your (or your pet's) well being in many aspects. These parameters constantly drop and require your maintenance, creating tension. This important feature of this genre is not implemented in this game. This game has a "climatic ending", but there is no foreshadowing that leads up to that climax.

= Modulated Challenge =

Horrible.

This game is incredibly easy. This is not a problem, if it were not for fact that the game is also short. As a result, this game provides little excitement. The feeling of achievement from completing it is also very weak. Not only that, the difficulty of the game does not increase much as it progresses. There is only a noticeable jump in difficulty for the final minigame.

= Immersion =

Good.

While the sprites in this game are simple and are placed in "monotonish" backdrops, they have a very distinctive style that involves very light shading around the edges. This retains the charm of the minimalistic hand-held look, but at the same time, creates an illusion of minimal depth. This prevents the visuals from looking "flat".

It is the music, however, that strongly drives this game. The pieces are excellent works that fit perfectly into the game. There is one for each building in the game, giving the right atmosphere to each of them. They are simple, following the overall style of the game, but at the same time, they have an "uplifting style" adds a great deal of energy.

Sound effects are non-existent.

The story plot is generally unremarkable. Likewise, the characters are nothing special, but the combination of their cute sprites and personalities successfully make them, to a degree, lovable.

= Polish =

Good.

The only technical problem this game has is the implementation of the message display system. When a message appears, the mouse cursor also appears. This causes the game to appear very "amateurish". The problem can be fixed by using a combination of "screen_refresh()", "keyboard_wait()" and draw functions, instead of relying on "show_message()" and its variations. This is especially serious in this game because it already uses a custom mouse cursor sprite and because messages are displayed throughout the entire game. It is almost as if it is a constant reminder of a lack of polish.

Otherwise, the game is free of bugs.

= Overall =

Fair.

Waffle's Adventure 2 provides an interesting and unique experience within a cute and simplistic context. However, it offers little challenge and depth, resulting in a disappointingly bland experience for some players. Regardless, it can prove to be a casual distraction for while.

Try it. Live the life of Waffle in this distinctive life-sim.

~ Joewoof




= Author's Description =

The sequel to Waffle Adventure, you must help Waffle start off his life in his new Village.

Download Waffle's Adventure 2 (EXE, ~1.2 MB , Suitable for everyone )

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Comments (Add your own):
2006.09.09 RICANJO
Rating: --

Thanks again!

And WA3 is coming, and Malice is working on the script :3
2006.08.24 Arkei
Rating: 10

Awesome work! I really liked the whole SNES minigame concept
2006.08.23 Mooseyfates
Rating: 9

I love these waffle-y games! This one is better than the first I think
2006.08.22 tomatoeworm
Rating: 9

Holy #*$@, ive never played waffle 1 before, but this is so fun. Thanks for the other link ricanjo. I got 100% in 15 minutes!
10/10 music
9/10 gameplay
5/10 replay value
10/10 creative
10/10 FUN
2006.08.21 RICANJO
Rating: --

It's on my old website as well as my new website.

Old website address: http://ricanjo.tripod.com

Thanks for the review and comments!
2006.08.20 tomatoeworm
Rating: --

For some weird reason my comp cant download anything hosted on sitesled.com. It wont for the ancients tome nor this, oh well, maybe you can switch websites or something
2006.08.16 Jabberwock
Rating: 7

Fun and quite immersive... for a while. Unfortunately it has no challenge, so I unlocked everything in maybe an hour. Still, I really liked this game, and I wish it had been longer.
2006.05.30 E.B
Rating: 8

cool game!
Just as good as the first, shame there's no 3 coming... =(

anyhoo, an 8 you get-eth ;)
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