challenging or frustrating?
I think it's somewhere in between. But it's leaning towards the "I don't know what having rusty knives pushed through my eyes feels like, but I assume it feels better than this" side.
I just want to say, i did infact finish the game, without even crying. It was very challenging but at times depressing. The later levels (I'll get to the last two soon) were quite brutal. I did however, like level 26 (I don't remember any other late levels too well). It was challenging but by no means did it make me want to kill kittens. I knew I could beat it and it took some skill, but did not take pixel-perfect timing and 500 deaths.
I finished with about 1800 deaths. At least 1000 of those were from the last two levels. By the way, the deaths only shows the first 3 digits of your death count. Trust me it's very likely anyone striving for the finish will reach 1000 deaths.
Getting onto the last two levels. They both started with exceedingly difficult and precise tasks. Then when you eventually passed that part, you would get near the end of the level and usually fail. Then you would start again, only to spend another 5 minutes and 100 deaths just to have another go at beating the later parts. Ok, i was probably exaggerating a little, but still.
Anyway, the fact that I managed to beat it says something i guess. It's not often that I complete these types of games. By which I mean, platformers/puzzles made to be as difficult as possible. The medals do give the game a purpose to be conquered though.
Ah those last two medals.. the people that have them, are courageous, masterful and dedicated (most especially the 10 deaths). But seriously those medals are quite insane. If I even tried for under 100 deaths let alone 10, I'd probably end up nothing but a bloody mesh on the floor, somehow.
Now I'm not saying having those medals was a bad idea or anything, just too hard for me, and many others.
Ok, ending my rant on how hard it is.
Originality - It's a typical platformer that follows all the old school platforming rules and whatnot, but it does have somewhat original elements to it. It required thought and precision. Although quite a few other games are the same.
Programming - everything seems to more or less work fine, but better hitTests could have been nice. The controls were reasonable, couldn't really be improved.
Art - Pixel/sprite art. Hard to go wrong with that. Although it's possible. Main thing is it looks ok. Nothing too special though, but still good.
Sounds/Music - The music was pretty good, it fit the theme and didn't distract from the crucial concentration of gameplay. The sound were simple, they sounded good. Not really much else you could have done with them.
Gameplay - I'll rate you on gameplay as well, even though it's similar to programming and originality. The gameplay was simple enough, hop and bop to the end. it definitely took a lot of skill later on. There were times when i was literally hanging off of the platform (level 30) and I went to jump and got killed by the thing above me. Well frustrating-ness aside, the gameplay was pretty fun and kept you on the edge of your seat.
I believe a lot of people have rated this low because they can't handle the difficulty/figuring out how to beat certain levels. But I'm sure you've put a lot of work into this, and I commend you for having to test it over and over (if you actually did). It's a good game, but only a 7 because of various things. Anyway, good work.
I hope you read this, lol :P
.. holy shit that was a long review, especially from me.