Do you remember?
August 19, 2013 2:45 AM   Subscribe

A game that would be at home in an arcade cabinet beside Robotron, FORGET-ME-NOT is a classic-style, that is to say, neon-filled, randomness-laden, bone-hard 2D maze/shooting game, with cute characters and retro effects, inspired by the Commodore game Crossroads II, Nethack and Pac-Man CE. Collect all the FLOWERS in each random, single-screen level to make the EXIT appear. Then, get the KEY and take it there to move to the next level.

The only controls are the arrow keys (or screen swipes in the iOS version). Face down a large variety of randomly-generated enemy types, and get as far as you can! You automatically shoot in front of you, but beware: your shots can wrap-around, and if they hit you they hurt! They key to playing well is grinding: push into a wall as you sail past it to build up a charge. Charge up enough and you start glowing; while glowing, you instantly kill any enemies you touch, but if you charge to much you blow up.
Free: Windows - OSX - Pandora - Morphos. Not free: iOS

It gets hard fast, but there is a lot of skill to it! It is my kind of game; maybe it is your kind of game too? I've played this game a lot on iOS and have gotten pretty good at it. I decided to make a post when I discovered computer versions are free.

This is not a simple, coached experience with a tutorial, a simple difficulty progression and an ending. You learn to play this game by dying, and you'll die a lot, but you can start over quickly. A good player can usually get to level 10 or so, but it's possible to have a run of good luck and get there even when you're new. Even great players tend to die before too long, and it takes rather a bit of practice to get good at it. You can even play it two-players co-op or competitive!

Keys in computer versions:
P1: Cursor keys: Move. Enter: Start/Join/Enter
P2: WASD: Move. Tab: Start/Join/Enter
O - Options (Use to set to Full Screen, you'll enjoy it a lot more. You can activate joystick controls here too! Doesn't work on OSX though.)
P - Pause
Esc - Quit

Here is some help:
  • ABG: Always Be Grinding. Only stop once you start glowing red. It's fun to do, you move a lot faster when doing it, and will make the game much easier.
  • When a level begins, look for straight stretches that go all the way across the board vertically or horizontally. Be careful clearing those zones, as these are the places where you can get killed by your own shots wrapping around. Save clearing these areas for when you get the key; while you drag it behind you, it blocks your shots approaching form the back.
  • Don't forget, it's not just your shots that can wrap around. Often you have to wrap around the screen to progress.
  • The game follows what I call the "Crystal Castles" rule: all the flowers have to be cleared to advance, but it doesn't matter if you or enemies collect them, or if they get destroyed for that matter. Lots of things destroy flowers, so this makes the game much easier.
  • If you take too long on a level the screen will go dark and the ghost will come out after you. This is a bad thing, so keep working on clearing the board.
  • There are lots and lots of enemies, too many to list here, and each has its special behaviors. Focus on learning what these are, it'll help out a lot. Especially beware of exploding bombs!
  • When you pick up lots of flowers in a single stretch (with no gaps between them) you get more points. It might seem like a good strategy at first to focus on this, but those points pale beside what you get collecting fruit....
  • When an enemy is killed, it leaves behind fruit. If you collect a lot of fruit without leaving more than a second between each one, you get more and more points. This can get quite valuable, especially when you're running invincible through multiplying enemies, which reproduce as fast as you kill them! Fruit doesn't last long, so get it quick.
  • Every so many fruits that are generated, there will be a Green Potion. These refill all your health, and are your best friends. There are also Red Potions, which make your shots stronger, but this can be a mixed blessing in wrap-around areas.
  • Collect a lot of fruits and you'll earn an extra life. Each successive extra life takes more fruit than the last; it is very rare to get more than three extra lives in a game, and most people are lucky to get more than one.
  • The further you go, the weirder the enemies get. Look out for key thieves (they chirp happily when they take the key!), enemies that leave blocking walls you have to shoot through, multiplying enemies, enemy shooters, fireball-throwing wizards, rushing blocks, and lots of other opponents.
  • The iOS version has several extra game modes, but the computer versions are still a lot of fun!
posted by JHarris (22 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
posted by mannequito at 2:48 AM on August 19, 2013

Ah, here is a gameplay video, it should give you some idea of what the game is like.
posted by JHarris at 3:29 AM on August 19, 2013

I'm more of a Berzerk man, myself.
posted by evil otto at 4:15 AM on August 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

Holy hell this is fun, thanks for sharing.
posted by oceanjesse at 4:54 AM on August 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

I've had this game on my phone for... well, pretty much however long it's been out. It's my favorite iOS game.

I never got the hang of grinding, though.
posted by Metroid Baby at 5:08 AM on August 19, 2013

Morphos - hardest of the hardcore 32bit holdouts. Amigans do know how to put together a decent arcade-style game. Pacman meets shmup!
posted by Slap*Happy at 5:19 AM on August 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

Forget me not is awesome, it's like a PacMan rogue like. I love how there's tons of weird stuff that randomly happens; I've had it for a while and don't think I've seen everything yet. Well worth the post, deserves to be more widely played.
posted by pravit at 5:20 AM on August 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

I was totally hooked on the desktop version of this for awhile last year. Got to the point where I could get to level 30 or 35 on a good run.

It's a very well tuned game too. Eventually I did hit on a sort of score balancing issue, though: every once in a while it generates a level with only one enemy type, and if it's a benign one and the stage is roomy enough to avoid the ghost, you can sit there smashing through them for as long as your attention doesn't wander. That with purple spinning squares was worth 40 million points, once.
posted by finka at 5:29 AM on August 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

JHarris, your YouTube links both point to the same video.
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 6:09 AM on August 19, 2013

Ah, so they do, sorry. The second one should point here.
posted by JHarris at 6:48 AM on August 19, 2013

finka, that's awesome. I've had some good runs, but nowhere near that good. Actually, I wonder if that's been balanced out of the iOS version, which I have the most experience with.
posted by JHarris at 6:49 AM on August 19, 2013

I've been playing this game off and on on iOS for awhile now. It's really good. IIRC the iPad version plays quite differently (and easier, more fun) because the maps are bigger. I really like the sounds he picked for the game. In addition to the clear Robotron homage I hear a lot of Wizard of Wor in the crunchy chaos of it.

The video JHarris linked is by Brandon Williamson (aka Nyarlu), the game creator. He has other game videos on Youtube. Also some interviews GameZebo, Retrospekt.
posted by Nelson at 8:32 AM on August 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

This is a great game. Really channels the spirit of early arcade games.
I think they got rid of this little feature and/or bug... But there was an enemy that replicated when you shot it. So once you got a good grind on you could just plow into it rack up MEGA points. That was so satisfying.
I think, now they have and endpoint to the replication. The creature becomes resistant to bullets and will only die when you hit it with your energized body.
posted by hot_monster at 8:59 AM on August 19, 2013

JHarris. This post requires a 'hot grinding action' tag. Please rectify immediately.
posted by hot_monster at 9:01 AM on August 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

I'm more of a Berzerk man, myself.
posted by evil otto

Someone could say you're a little biased.
posted by JHarris at 12:35 PM on August 19, 2013 [2 favorites]

I think they got rid of this little feature and/or bug... But there was an enemy that replicated when you shot it. So once you got a good grind on you could just plow into it rack up MEGA points. That was so satisfying.

Yeah, they fixed that by adding inert enemies that sometimes appear when the multiplication happens. You can still do it, but not as much.
posted by JHarris at 12:45 PM on August 19, 2013

Someone could say you're a little biased.


posted by evil otto at 9:20 PM on August 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

I wish there were more discussion in this thread, as the game really is special, it would have been the talk of the arcade had it come out in 1982. I probably should have had those example videos in the FPP text, above the fold.
posted by JHarris at 1:59 AM on August 20, 2013

I bounced off this game when I first played it. I hadn't known about the grinding trick. I also hadn't noticed the random generation of the levels and the huge number of enemies. Now that I know the grinding trick, I should be able to form a better opinion of the game. I really like it. This post convinced me to get the iOS version, and I'm addicted.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 5:07 PM on August 22, 2013

That said, the worst enemy I've encountered so far has been the spreading diamond. It kills my momentum and camouflages the lock.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 5:50 PM on August 22, 2013

Yeah, the diamonds make it impossible to grind, and when one appears the best thing you can do is often just to do the best you can not to shoot it, since that's what causes it to spread. On the other hand, when it spreads it destroys any flowers the new ones cover, so that's at least that much less to worry about, and while the board is full of diamonds most enemies can't touch you.
posted by JHarris at 10:42 PM on August 22, 2013

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