Goldfin, a single-screen Boulder Dash-like game by Michael Eberlein from simpleGUIDE

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RAP
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Goldfin, a single-screen Boulder Dash-like game by Michael Eberlein from simpleGUIDE

Post by RAP »

Heya folks,

Here's another game that I seem to have downloaded years ago that I haven't tried out until recently, it's called Goldfin, made by simpleGUIDE, but checking on https://www.simpleguide.net/sg/impressum.jsf - it seems the person who made it is Michael Eberlein; this is also mentioned when starting up the game.
The first thing seen when opening the game, Goldfin Reloaded.
The first thing seen when opening the game, Goldfin Reloaded.
javaw_2022-08-28_10-38-39.png (916 Bytes) Viewed 281 times
You can find the game from https://www.simpleguide.net/sg/goldfin.jsf - there's 2 versions, the original DOS version named Goldfin, and the more accessible version using Java Runtime called Goldfin Reloaded, which has a .jar and .exe version; I used the .jar version.

Before starting up the game, you're greeted to this:
The main menu in the game, Goldfin Reloaded.
The main menu in the game, Goldfin Reloaded.
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I can't really read something that's in another language other than English, so it's a bit of a stumbling block. Navigate the choices using the Up and Down keyboard buttons and pressing the Enter keyboard button to confirm your choice. When you open the game the first time, the first or second choice it's just the same as starting a new game. However, the choice between the two makes a difference when pressing 'Esc' or dying and losing all lives in a current level, since the second choice starts a new game, and the first game actually loads the game.

A bit saddening, according to the website, there's supposed to be a level editor, but checking all the three choices, with the last choice just closing the game, there's no level editor. Awwn...
Level 1 in the game, Goldfin Reloaded.
Level 1 in the game, Goldfin Reloaded.
javaw_2022-08-24_22-31-37.png (5.58 KiB) Viewed 281 times
  • There's 10 levels in the game, and I didn't find out how many until I had to complete the game through; the dimensions for all the levels are 45 tiles horizontally and 23 tiles vertically; as all the levels are on a single whole screen, no scrolling needed!
  • Each level you need 50 gold pieces for exit to open to be able to advance to the next level; quite a curious one since I thought the amount of gold pieces needed would vary.
  • You have 3 lives when starting a new game, with 0 lives counting as a life. When you die, the level doesn't start over as you continue where you left off, respawning at where you began in the level. There are yellow life totems that you can collect that adds an extra life. However, being able to respawn without having to start over the level has a downside in where if you get stuck or block your way towards finishing the level, you'll have to press the 'Esc' and reset the current level.
  • The game doesn't use any audio, no sound effects or music.
  • There is no smooth movement like in Emerald Mine or Supaplex, as this movement style jumping from one tile to another is more akin to Boulder Dash's way of movement.
  • The game's speed, oof, it's not rate limited to something to something more fair, basically all the stuff zips around pretty fast, and that includes the player, making it difficult to control. I'm not sure if this is intentional, but it makes the game much more difficult than it's supposed to be.
  • The arrow keys are for movement, and pressing the 'Esc' keyboard key quits the level and sends you back to the main menu. You don't really have a 'snap' move where you can dig dirt or collecting gold pieces while staying in place.
  • Regarding Boulder Dash-likes on object or obstacle types: there's the usual empty space, green dirt, boulders, gold pieces, brown indestructible walls, and an exit.
  • There's only one enemy type, a pink bat; they move in a straight direction, and changes direction to the left upon hitting a wall; if it can't move to the left, it will move to the right, and if not, it will move back to the opposite direction (although the movement is a bit erratic). Pink bats can be hit by either a boulder or a gold piece and turn into a gold piece itself; this also happens when colliding at the player. Interestingly, unlike a boulder, gold pieces do not get destroyed if used to hit a gold bat.
  • Regarding score point stuff: Collecting a gold piece earns you 10 score points; finishing a level earns you 500 score points; hitting pink bats or collecting life totems do not earn you any score points.
  • Pressing 'Esc' or dying and losing all of your lives will save your progress, so you can select the first choice to resume playing where you left off without starting over at level 1. However, be careful of pressing 'Esc' since not only it saves your level position, it saves with the amount of lives left. However, the latter can provide an opportunity for cheating, as you can stock up lives in the existing level in the first level, by getting to the easiest life totem at the right, just mind the basically luck-based pink bat that circles around you at where you first spawned.
Look at how many lives I have as I enter level 2!
Look at how many lives I have as I enter level 2!
javaw_2022-08-24_22-34-45.png (3.88 KiB) Viewed 281 times
  • As for the level design, while it's hard to tell if the game's speed is intentional, what I can say is because of the implementation of getting extra lives during the session, there are various sections where getting an extra totem is just a complete trap and . There are some sections where you have to spend your lives just going through it since you can't collect or dig stuff while doing it in place.
  • Despite those iffyness above, not mind those, the types of levels are varied despite having only 10 levels and the objects being just the player, empty space, green dirt, gold pieces, boulders, pink bats, and an exit. Just sucks that again, there's no built-in level editor as far as I know.
Demonstration of using the Q and M keyboard key buttons in Goldfin Reloaded.
Demonstration of using the Q and M keyboard key buttons in Goldfin Reloaded.
javaw_2022-08-28_14-49-45.png (5.58 KiB) Viewed 281 times
  • I just discovered this earlier as I was writing up this, pressing the Q keyboard button makes you drop a gold piece and teleports back to where you spawned in the beginning of the level; this will not work if you have 1 life left on the HUD (even though 0 lives is considered a life) or if you're standing on the spawn area. The consequence is that the amount of gold piece needed to finish a level goes up by 1. It's a different way from snapping, but this seems useless and I finished all the levels without knowing this at all! Warning, if you use this function while the gold piece is settled on where the player spawns at the beginning of the level, the gold piece doesn't get collected and is destroyed instead; the only other time you can destroy gold pieces is if the player is hit by one! Careful!
  • Another one, pressing the M keyboard button pauses the game and lets you rotate what color you can use for the wall from left to right.
  • ...Oh my goodness, I found the the speed keyboard keys, pressing the plus number pad keyboard key increases the speed, and pressing the minus number pad keyboard key decreases the speed; it looks like the slowest speed possible makes the game much more manageable and fun because now it's not hectic and maddening now. Woo!
I didn't really bothered to take a screenshot of my final score, since I mainly cheated through because of how haphazardly difficult the game is on constantly chewing lives (well, that's before discovering the speed keyboard keys). If someone has bothered to finish the game without doing the cheat (or rather, playing the game and on the default speed you start off with), I commend you for your effort for masochism.

Again, you can find the game on https://www.simpleguide.net/sg/goldfin.jsf - curiously, they didn't say when the original was made, or even the 'Reloaded' versions, now that I think about it.
ncrecc
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Re: Goldfin, a single-screen Boulder Dash-like game by Michael Eberlein from simpleGUIDE

Post by ncrecc »

curiously, even though the original page itself says it's a boulder dash clone, what you've described reminds me somewhat of the game kye:
- extra lives that respawn you without resetting the level itself
- levels all on one screen
- discrete tile-based movement
- fast game speed
- no audio

kye also has objects that are similar to boulders (they can be square or rounded which affects whether other "boulders" slip off them, and fall in any direction) but unlike in this game they can't be used to kill enemies.

(there's also an RnD-esque clone of kye and all its derivative games named "xye" that i made a really incomplete manual for once)
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RAP
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Re: Goldfin, a single-screen Boulder Dash-like game by Michael Eberlein from simpleGUIDE

Post by RAP »

Huh, Kye, I seen the game more than a couple of times, but I didn't necessarily thought of it as a Boulder Dash-like game on first remembering or glancing at the screenshots from the website. Admittedly, it kinda speaks to me more of a Chip's Challenge-like game, even though there isn't a lot of game elements compared to Chip's Challenge.

Maybe I could play those games someday, after some more Boulder Dash-like games to go through from the backlog, although I'm not sure if posting it here at least in this section would be a good idea since I'm not too sure if it is minimally 'Boulder Dash' enough, I could post it in the off-topic section, but at least a good tile-based puzzle game to chew through though. I could make a topic or two on what are the minimum requirements of a game being Boulder Dash-like; would be interesting to explore and attempt to narrow down. Either way, good observation ncrecc!
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Re: Goldfin, a single-screen Boulder Dash-like game by Michael Eberlein from simpleGUIDE

Post by Holger »

Feel free to post interesting stuff regarding BD-style games here, even if they are only remotely BD-style. Which forum section you want to use (this one or the "off topic" section) is up to you. :-)
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RAP
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Re: Goldfin, a single-screen Boulder Dash-like game by Michael Eberlein from simpleGUIDE

Post by RAP »

Holger wrote: Mon Sep 05, 2022 3:10 pm Feel free to post interesting stuff regarding BD-style games here, even if they are only remotely BD-style. Which forum section you want to use (this one or the "off topic" section) is up to you. :-)
Thanks Holger, I'll see what I can do, although I'll continue focusing on Boulder Dash-like games.

Anyway, it's time to cover each of the levels, all 10 of them, in relative detail, each level with their own screenshot of more or less the starting part of the level. Keep in mind that these were my experiences when I finished these levels from start to finish before discovering I was able to slow down the game to make being able to play more manageable and less frustrating.
Level 1 in Goldfin Reloaded.
Level 1 in Goldfin Reloaded.
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  • Ah, the first level, and immediately in the starting area, there's a circling red bat around where the player is. Fortunately, they only kill you upon collision.
  • There a lot of ways to get gold and a few instances of extra lives sprinkled around, sometimes as freebies, sometimes as bait, sometimes as a trade off. The first steps you should take is the east area where there's 12 gold and an extra life. You'll have to constantly deal with the circling bat but you might have to get hit by one with the default speed being played with.
  • If playing at the slowest (and best) speed, you'll be able to get 16 gold and an extra life without accidentally colliding with those bats!
Level 2 in Goldin Reloaded.
Level 2 in Goldin Reloaded.
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  • If you never hit a bat with a rock or even a piece of gold, you'll have to if you don't want to be collided by said bats. You'll need a minimum of 2 bats to be able to get to anywhere in the level.
  • Most of the areas there are easy ways to get gold without killing more than 2 bats, just mind your movement!
  • Do not get the only free life in this level, it's a trap!
Level 3 in Goldfin Reloaded.
Level 3 in Goldfin Reloaded.
javaw_2022-09-11_14-10-49.png (5.23 KiB) Viewed 129 times
  • Quite a bit of a difficulty ramp up with more bats you may encounter, but there are still opportunities to get gold, just avoid dying too much, and in worse cases, there are free lives, but tricky tricky!
Level 4 in Goldfin Reloaded.
Level 4 in Goldfin Reloaded.
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  • Even more bats, some sections have more than one bat moving in the same space! Fortunately, almost all of the bats can be killed by fallable objects like gold or boulders.
Level 5 in Goldfin Reloaded.
Level 5 in Goldfin Reloaded.
javaw_2022-09-11_14-14-25.png (5.56 KiB) Viewed 129 times
  • Huh, writing this up, I didn't realize this level is just a remake of level 4, the previous level.
  • Unfortunately, you may have to eat up a bunch of lives in order to pass through the level with the default speed.
  • By the way, about half of the extra lives, they're even more traps!
Level 6 in Goldfin Reloaded.
Level 6 in Goldfin Reloaded.
javaw_2022-09-11_14-16-39.png (4.24 KiB) Viewed 129 times
  • It is really important that you have to get to the main majority of the gold, because if you don't, the bats will swarm over and make it much more difficult to get the gold safely, and may have to eat up a lot of lives. Doesn't help of the fast default movement!
  • The other sections? Useless! The death to gold ratio is too high!
Level 7 in Goldfin Reloaded.
Level 7 in Goldfin Reloaded.
javaw_2022-09-11_14-17-29.png (3.68 KiB) Viewed 129 times
  • Finally, a breather! You can tell with only 2 bats only found in the level, a smaller level layout to go through, and loads of opportunities to get gold!
  • For such a breather, 2 freebie extra lives!
Level 8 in Goldfin Reloaded.
Level 8 in Goldfin Reloaded.
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  • Much of the right side of the level can be a major problem since when trying to exit, there's a chance you can trap your way from being able to exit, sadly due to the default fast speed.
  • There may be a bunch of extra lives, but they're no good if you have to hard restart the level!
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RAP
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Re: Goldfin, a single-screen Boulder Dash-like game by Michael Eberlein from simpleGUIDE

Post by RAP »

Had to make another post since the max amount of attachments per post is 8.
Level 9 in Goldfin Reloaded.
Level 9 in Goldfin Reloaded.
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  • The second last level, and this requires more than a couple of extra life sacrifices in order to access to those needed gold.
  • Quite baffling, the top-right area of the level is not accessible in any way, it's surrounded by solid wall!
Level 10 in Goldfin Reloaded.
Level 10 in Goldfin Reloaded.
javaw_2022-09-11_14-23-09.png (5.71 KiB) Viewed 129 times
  • Remake of level 1, and it's much much more difficult with that amount of bats sprinkled all over and the level redesigns.
  • Lots of extra life usages needed, even on having to exit the level! Keep in mind, I mentioned that I was cheating in the initial post of this topic because it was a pain dying a lot and losing a lot of lives, so I stockpiled up the lives. However, with the slowest (and best) speed, I was able to finish this level with the amount of lives I got with that speed.
If you notice by the screenshots, I was playing these levels with the slowest speed, as the amount of lives gotten is more realistic due to being able to deal with the pink bats much better. It's a much different experience from the default fast speed. Thus, my final score for this game playing with the slowest speed is 12,070 points. I didn't get all of the possible gold to be able to maximize my score, but it was much higher than I anticipated. I didn't even use the drop gold technique to try and hit the bats for extra points. Perhaps someone else can challenge me with my score, that would be fun!
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