[LPC] Game Review: Bright Flame Tactics

This is one of the 48 Liberated Pixel Cup Games I’m reviewing.

Disclaimer: I am also competing. I am not a judge! I really like “Tactics” games!

Bright Flame Tactics [Download me!] [Bitbucket Repository]

This is a Two-Player Tactical Game made in Python. You need to install Python 2.7 and pygame to play it. In Fedora 17′s case, you need to run it using python2.7 game.py, because pygame hasn’t yet been ported to python 3, Fedora 17′s default. Greyhat’s LPC submission does not work on Linux, because the filenames were case-insensitive, while Linux does care about cases. He does have a git repository, so I highly recommend you git clone from there. It has several bugfixes as well as Linux compatibility.

Playing this game was a blast.

First, you start setting up the teams, by using the numbers 1-5 on the keyboard to select the multiple choices on-screen. Both my brothers were quick to point out that this system could easily be replaced with selecting using the Arrows.

The setup starts by asking which class you’d like your ‘Captain’ to be (It doesn’t matter if they get killed, they’re simply a bit stronger from what we could see). It then asks you for your leadership style. This is important, because while the game doesn’t clearly state it, the kinds of soldiers, and the weapons they’ll have available depends on that style. You’re asked to select 5 soldiers among the style you chose.

Next, you have to select among the 3 available maps, a small city, some sort of volcano and a lake with bridges and finally, select between Capture the Flag or Deathmatch.

For the first match, I played against my brother Saul on the volcano. I set up an external keyboard to my laptop, which allowed us to play without having to move around much. At first, we weren’t sure who was which color, but just by looking at the units (I had 2 mages, he had 1), we figured out I was blue, he was red. Moving around the units is simple, and there’s a clear “Help” bar at the bottom that you can hide using H. You can either move around your players, see unit’s stats, or use Items like Potions.

The blue path marks where you can move, while the red path marks where you can hit. As both of us were experienced in Tactical games, the game was pretty clear from there what each unit’s range was. We noticed several things during the skirmish, for starters, once you attack an enemy, a fantastic ‘Battle Screen’ shows up with both units standing in front of each other, and a small, animated fight takes place, complete with voice effects like ‘Die!’. We also noticed that units can level up after a couple of battles (Even if the enemy dodges, you still get exp. to level up).

Leveling up has its own set of flaws, as my brothers were quick to point out that some units’ HP was marked as 17/15 or 22/19, which led to confusion and being accused of cheating when one of their mages did 24 damage to a unit that initially displayed 22 HP, and still had 3 HP left after that.

As feedback for the dev, the units could often use 2 attacks, for instance Fire or Thunder, in a Mage, or Shortbow or Dagger, in an archer, but it wasn’t particularly clear which one would deal more damage against which enemy, so we kept on guessing and figuring it out by trial and error.

The other issue we had was confusion on who was next. I think the ‘active unit’ should be highlighted by flashing white or something similar, as I accidentally took one of Saul’s turns, who in turn took 3 of mine as ‘punishment’ for screwing up. (I was winning and felt bad, so I let him)

The first skirmish against Saul ended with my victory, though he wasn’t really satisfied and kept on claiming I was somehow cheating due to the above math issues.

My second skirmish against Alan went in his favor, and my last skirmish, against Alan, also went also to his favor (Who knew a team of mages were absolutely useless? :P)

We had a ton of fun arguing and playing this game, I highly recommend it for its multiplayer properties, and hope that online support is added soon! :-)

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Posted in Free Software, Free Software Games, Game Review, Gaming
One comment on “[LPC] Game Review: Bright Flame Tactics
  1. gr3yh47 says:

    I will be actively continuing development on the game and there are updates around 2x a week atm as i work on bugs and tune the code in preparation to add new features.
    Planned features (in no particular order):
    create a menu-based control system
    implement mouse control and integrate with menu system
    further reduce memory footprint
    add network multiplayer
    add AI
    more maps!
    controller support
    level object
    battle preview of some sort
    ‘flash’ the character who is up next and indicate which players turn it is (p1 or p2)
    ctf flag object, which has to be returned to the location, can be dropped, uncarried flag can be returned at the cost of a turn
    ice freeze chance, 1 turn

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