I played for a bit. Couldn't have taken more than 10 minutes to get through it, even with several deaths and replaying to try different strategies. Sorry I didn't time it. I think when I made it through I had roughly 17 pieces of gold if that helps you balance things. I wasn't going out of my way to get it though.
The red hat when you get damaged is kind of counter intuitive. I thought for a while that the red meant I was vulnerable for the time the hat was red... It turns out it the player looses lives as they come in contact with enemies, right?
I agree with this. Need some other method to indicate damage taken, in a visual sense. I didn't assume invulnerability, though.
You need something to do with the gold. A shop after a certain number of levels could be good. This mechanic would also help motivate 99 levels if there were good things to buy. A shop might clash with the Dante theme though. Dante is more about enlightenment and the nature of God, while a shop is about becoming more powerful and capitalism.
Um, well, I don't think this is supposed to be a complete and thorough lecture on Dante's literature, I think it's just supposed to be a fun and distracting romp through a video game. And, as we know, "shops" are a staple of gaming.
In general, it is difficult/un-fun to move upwards. This is because you must shoot to make a gap, but not just shoot where you want to go b/c you have to make ledges. Up movement being bad isn't too much of a problem because there is little reason to go up in this game. That may be a problem though. Essentially, there is little reason for the player to not just point the gun down and drop through to the next level.
I prefer it this way, I think it should be difficult to move upwards. It should take planning and strategy to move through the entire map. That being said, there needs to be an algorithm that prevents "trapped" spaces. i.e., pieces of gold getting stuck amidst four unbreakable blocks and the like. If he implements the "key" mechanics as he suggested, there will be a lot of reasons to move upward.
Additionally, I think the bottom layer should NOT be empty. It should populate blocks and monsters, just like every other layer.
Also, I was able to get stuck. I ran out of bombs and got stuck in some rocks. I assume that is just a glitch as of now. I don't recommend allowing that situation to occur, of course.
I've yet to personally get "stuck" anywhere, but if you add an item in your store that allows you to spend one gold chunk to boost your jump speed for a single jump, you will not only add a gold sink to the game, but an additional feature that won't get overused. I think that would solve the issue brought up here.
It isn't too fun fighting with the bad guys. Some of them are just sitting ducks. Others are very difficult to kill without taking a hit. My instinct was to just spam them to death though. I tried playing with more care and strategery and found that pretty much the best way to deal with the enemies is to completely avoid them. This kind of play was significantly less fun.
I agree, to a point. However, the game should be progressive. Personally, I believe you should have the game maps be almost entirely simple blocks and a couple of empty spaces with gold and monsters, and slowly progress to more "cracked" blocks, unbreakable blocks and tougher/more frequent monsters. The final levels should practically be a maze, and would make it more interesting if the exit portals were not in the same place. Consider having spooky/demonic "bubbles" guarding the exits until a certain criteria has been met. Also, time limit. Totally time limit this stuff.
The song is a little portal-ish. Not that that is inherently bad, its just it seems a little tech-ish for a game about bats and guns and digging and hell. Also the main character wears a top hat, which is kind of an old fashioned thing. (The song also gets annoying after a while.) You could get away with some bitchin' pipe organ stuff probably. Just don't get annoying with it and save the really good stuff for the important parts.
Uh... well, you are on your own here. I loved the music. I listened to the music even when I wasn't playing the game. LOL
Graphics are ok. The best part of the visuals are the particle effects. I have mixed feelings about not being able to see the main character's eyes. It makes him feel untrustworthy.
I don't think this is relevant, honestly, as the graphics don't detract one bit from the gameplay, but I respect the opinion nonetheless. It'll be good for the OP to hear all critiques.
Not sure if I like the title. I think the "99 Levels" part is what is getting at me. It describes the game, (Assuming of course that the final game has 99 levels!), but that's all it really does. If you are going with the Dante theme, which I think is a good idea, you might be able to get some names from that.
Again, this is just a game for the fun of it, not to be taken nearly as seriously as Dante's literature. I think the name is perfect as is. I am totally on this game's bandwagon here. We'll be seeing 99 Levels Cosplay in a couple years!
All in all its a good start with potential. Keep it up!