I Wanna be the AIW

Creator: phgQED

Average Rating
6.9 / 10
Average Difficulty
56.2 / 100
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Needle (13) Visual_Challenge (1) Art (3) Tethys-like (3)


  • by Kilgour22
  • by CanusAntonius
  • by Gizmo

Creator's Comments:

phgQED [Creator]
After letting a very small amount of time pass, I'm mostly okay with the reception this game received. My main worry is that people won't have played the original Tethys or its immediate derivatives enough to understand why my approach to needle design was so constrained. Normally, a map needs 3 things for it to feel like 'me': fruit, water, and an f-jump. You can get two out of three here, but my inclusion of fruit is actually kind of controversial in regards to Tethys-likes (at least in my opinion, in that I haven't seen it done before).

The original Tethys is almost entirely straightforward 32px needle for the first half, and many of the screens had jumps I studied directly. In this endeavor, Serotonin was more of a guidance, and the things I took away from that game were t-boned gates and diagonals—lots of diagonals, with 16px block layouts. If possible, it might be more fun to look at this game as a direct inspection and attempted recreation of those specific elements—or, you can just say, as a needle game, it is quite limited and generic. That's a consequence of it being my first game, which is hopefully something I can overcome in the future.

Thanks to everyone for taking the time to play and review this game. I'm blown away at how many people left their thoughts and feelings. It's my sincere hope that the next 'real' game I release will be more approachable and enjoyable for everyone. <#~

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Tagged as: Needle Tethys-like
[0] Likes
Rating: N/A       Difficulty: N/A
May 5, 2022

26 Reviews:

I enjoyed the difficulty level as a needle game.
However, I feel input delay in operability, and I think it is quite fatal as a needle game.

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[5] Likes
Rating: 5.5 55       Difficulty: 55 55
Apr 28, 2022
Excluding the ever so prestigious 1jump collab for obvious reasons, this is such a good first game from a new maker. It hit a lot of good marks, marks that took me 2-3 years to start hitting myself. But, it is a first game, and with that does come some issues.

The main thing, that has already been mentioned here, is the balancing. I didn't mind it so much and it makes for a pretty relaxing experience, but it s all over the place. Not in the sense that there's stuff that's randomly hard, in fact it's the opposite: there's a handful of saves that are just 1 jump that I feel probably would have been better off being incorporated into other segments instead. An additional issue that arises I found is that occasionally you can skip a jump by saving early. There are also two instances where a minispike is placed on the save, and due to the way the visuals are I didn't see and died; it's an easy game so I didn't mind but it is a thing. I do feel though, kind of as a consideration for something in the future: the save balancing would be cool if it were executed the same way XIFT did it, where you can't see the saves. I feel the almost unpredictability would do well for such an idea, probably better than XIFT did it as that game does get predictable in its placements.

The last main issue I found with the game was with the spotlight. Overall, I will say I liked it--it solves the issue of generally not being able to find where the player starts when changing screens in needle of this style. There are a handful of segments though where you do have to go into a jump blind. Just a small nitpick

The music is quite good, especially for being self-made. I do feel there's a bit of room to grow from that, as the first song of the game did get a little same-y after a while, and this was primarily an issue of the percussion not changing at all through the song (an issue that doesn't exist with the second song of the game). The songs also end a bit abruptly I felt.

Overall, an excellent initial foray into the realm of needle. I look forward to your future works.

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[4] Likes
Rating: N/A       Difficulty: N/A
Apr 26, 2022
For the most part, AIW is a pretty good game that centers around the 50s in terms of difficulty, but thanks to "random" bouts of precision, the game finds itself being harder than you may expect based on what you get for the most part. With that said, this is actually rather accurate to the game this most strongly takes from, Tethys, and I think it does this better than that game did it as I only rarely found myself annoyed by a precise jump and for the most part just enjoyed the variety this style of design provided.

The best aspect of a dopamine-like is that you really can't make anything generic within it, at least if you do it right, which I think phg does. The block layouts are always super unique and that alone makes for a very interesting dynamic in gameplay, and that unique block layout almost always enforces interesting paths and jumps. I don't greatly agree with the usage of the word "generic" to describe the gameplay in AIW, though a few jumps are fairly straightforward and not particularly exciting, the main detractor for phg needle as it is (I've played many phg maps in IWM and I find that some sections can be rather interesting and others decidedly not, in the case of AIW I think that it mostly borders on the former rather than the latter). For the most part, I found this a fairly unique and surprisingly good needle game, although I do wish there was more in the way of gameplay variety than there is, even any use of basic gimmicks would have made this even better for me.

Phg also composed the music for this game, music which is also very good. The stage one song is very good while the stage two song is simply quite good. I don't love the semi-staccato drums, but I concede their purpose in the second song.

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Tagged as: Needle
[4] Likes
Rating: 6.7 67       Difficulty: 60 60
Apr 26, 2022
A fairly inoffensive needle game that's very reminiscent of the dopamine/dono style, though not quite as original. It's a bunch of jtool screens stitched together with a couple of psychedelic visual themes. I found it to be somewhat uninteresting though not unpleasant (except for the odd jump that is way out of balance). Not really much else to say; personally I am not a big fan of pure jtool games but there's clearly still an audience for it.

(+bonus points for the OST though)

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Tagged as: Needle
[3] Likes
Rating: 6.0 60       Difficulty: 64 64
Apr 26, 2022
Alright needle game with some very strange save balancing. It stays pretty generic and the game is instead being carried by its music and visuals, which are good and create a great atmosphere. I don't think the needle changes enough to warrant being 25 screens long and I eventually got tired of it. Not that the needle is bad, just that the game does not have much more than that needle.
Also idk if it's just me, but the engine felt like it had a lot of input delay, which I couldn't fix. As if someone left V-sync on. It made me struggle a lot more than I probably should have.

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[3] Likes
Rating: 6.0 60       Difficulty: N/A
Apr 26, 2022