FranknJohn is a horror inspired action roguelike, where your head is your weapon! Battle your way through randomly generated environments and fight the demented creations from your creator Dr. Harmin. You must defeat Dr. Harmin and escape his domain!
User reviews:
Overall:
Mostly Positive (13 reviews) - 76% of the 13 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Mar 4, 2015

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Early Access Game

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Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early Access?

“Your feedback is immensely valuable. Early Access is your chance to get involved with the games development. We want to know what you like about our game, but more importantly, what you dislike. We want you to play it, break it, scream at it and help us polish off the rough edges so that we can make it the best game we can.”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“The game shall remain in Early Access until full launch, which we estimate to be within Q4 2016. Throughout development, Early Access supporters will receive a regular stream of tasty content updates, patches, access to development and full transparency.”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

“We've been working on the game for well over two years now and it has finally reached a point where the core systems are fun and playable. From here on out, our primary focus is on content creation, as well as listening to your feedback and tweaking the game until it's ready for launch. Scroll down to the 'About this Game' section to get an idea of all the exciting content we have planned.”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“The game is in Alpha, currently marching towards Beta. The core game systems are in place. Currently there are two areas to play, "The Garden of Denial", and "The Furnace of Anger" but due to the unforgiving, randomly generated nature of the game, players should find plenty of replayability. Collect Ooze and upgrade your character in preparation for the next area release, "The Cistern of Depression". As it is still in development, there will be bugs and issues with hardware configurations, but we will endeavor to squash those problems as quickly as possible.”

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?

“The Early Access price for FranknJohn will be the same as the full launch price.”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“We want your feedback! You can get actively involved in the development of FranknJohn by registering on our forum http://forum.bitsmithgames.com/ and through the Steam community group. Join discussions and chat directly with with us and other players.”
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Recent updates View all (19)

July 14

Update 0.5.8 - New garden enemy and other stuff

Hey everyone,

Sorry for the slow updates, it's slow going these days as we are all working in other jobs to make ends meet. But anyway, first of all, work is continuing on the next area, we can't wait to show it off.

So in this update we've added a new enemy to the garden. It is cocoon that hatches into a spider. At the moment the spider hatches as soon as the player goes near it but maybe it might be better if there's time to destroy the cocoon before it hatches...Let us know what you think of it, good/bad/needs work?

Also in the update are lots of tweaks to gameplay and some bug fixes.

Thanks,
the bitSmithers

Release Notes - Version 0.5.8
Added
  • New enemy, cocoon/spider appears in part 2 of garden
Changes
  • camera pulled out a teeny bit more
  • mary anne walks down to surgical table in tutorial now
  • tweaks to furnace Enemies
  • Nibbler health reduced by 5
  • zombie axe health reduced by 5
  • fnj base speed increased by 0.5
  • all skullcap kill charges increased a bit
  • tweaks to furnace rooms
  • increased to size of the lock symbol on locked upgrades
  • reduced amount ooze to pick up in Tutorial
  • low health sound played on a percentage of players health
  • tweaked upgrade costs, lower at start to get players on their way, gets higer later
  • water/lava plane in levels set to lowest room position
  • Flying nest fly won't increase skullcap charge up
  • little bit more ooze on first few play throughs
  • tuned up the dialogue UI a little
  • Mary Anne walks back up to exit after player exits the surgical table for the first time
  • pill pickup radius increased
  • another player can jump in at any point, not just in Hub
  • Nibbler stops moving for a second after attack
  • Zombie Axe attack Pause increased a bit
  • tweaked the health drop bonus upgrade
Fixes
  • coop fixed
  • football loading fixed
  • player not aligning with ramp when horizontal on the ramp fixed
  • load audio bank wasn't being called when going from garden to furnace
  • analytics stuff

1 comments Read more

May 14

Update 0.5.7

Hey everyone,

Been a while since the last update. Reworked most of the pathfinding system. Works a lot better now and is a lot more efficient. It's been moved onto another thread so there's no performance drop when lots of enemies are trying to find their way to you.

We also hope to have the trading cards out at some point over the summer.

Lots of other fixes, tweaks and changes in the release notes below :)

Thanks,
bitSmith

Release Notes - Version 0.5.7
Added
  • new pathfinding system, works better and much more efficient
  • mortar / rocket projectile added, model rotation follows the velocity of the projectile
Changes
    lots of tweaks and changes
  • tweaks to trap spawning, more traps in garden but sprinkler spawns less often
  • secret appearance changed
  • flamegoat doesn't spawn in packs anymore
  • camera zoom in/out a bit more snappy
  • camera rotate more snappy too
  • less of a chance for 2 healths to spawn at once
  • reduced brightness in the furnace
  • increased turtle/under pressure skullcaps recharge kill count
  • serpent sting skullcap puddle damage reduced
Fixes
  • fnj eye position get reset after each level load as they were drifting for some reason
  • sprinkler puddle resetting properly
  • zombie tombstone getting cleared after death properly
  • going through drop room when camera zoomed out doesn't make the camera freak out anymore
  • fixed, fnj spinning loading screen wasn't spinning
  • enemies weren't spawning in proper numbers on later levels

0 comments Read more
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About This Game

FranknJohn is a horror inspired action roguelike, where your head is your weapon! Young FranknJohn is a failed experiment of a demented scientist, Dr Harmin. He wakes, with no memory, in a cell, with a head that can only stay on his body with the help of a chain. FranknJohn is far from helpless however, as his flaw becomes his strength - he can swing his head wildly round to smash away the plethora of strange creatures that roam the house of horror...

Current Features
  • Smash enemies with FranknJohn's weaponized head
  • Experiment with 20 different Skullcaps that alter gameplay in many different ways
  • Huge skill tree. Collect Dr. Harmin's mysterious ooze and use it to upgrade your body and mind
  • Randomly generated environments. A new experience with each new life
  • Local co-op - play with a friend!
  • Battle through the first area two areas of the game, "The Garden of Denial" and "The Furnace of Anger"
  • Perma-death, challenging enemies will test the sternest of players
  • Glorious soundtrack by Ben Prunty (FTL/Gravity Ghost)
  • Pills to temporally upgrade your stats
  • Explore FrankJohn's underground hideout

Planned Features
Content
  • More areas - The Cistern of Depression and the final showdown with Dr. Harmin in the "The Lab of Isolation"
  • More variety, challenges and secrets - We have lot's of fun stuff in store
  • More Skullcaps - these are so much fun to make we want to keep making them forever
  • More enemies - Each new area will have roughly the same amount of enemies currently available
  • More bosses - Dr. Harmins most prized creations are being readied for battle
  • More glorious soundtrack by Ben Prunty

Bug Fixing
  • We have put a lot of effort into making sure FranknJohn is as bug free as possible, however the game is in Early Access so it is unavoidable. We will do our best to squish them as soon as they present their ugly heads.

Balancing
  • A game like this lives or dies on it's balance, so expect a lot of tweaking to occur throughout Early Access.

System Requirements

Windows
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows Vista/7/8
    • Processor: Intel Core i3 or AMD equivalent or better
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel HD 4400 or Nvidia or AMD equivalent or better
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Storage: 516 MB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX compatible Sound Card
    • Additional Notes: Should work on Windows Xp but not offically supported
    Recommended:
    • Processor: Intel Core i5 or AMD equivalent or better
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Dedicated graphics card recommended
    Minimum:
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04+
    • Processor: Intel Core i3 or AMD equivalent or better
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel HD 4400 or Nvidia or AMD equivalent or better
    • Storage: 525 MB available space
    • Additional Notes: SteamOS coming soon, few graphical problems currently
    Recommended:
    • Processor: Intel Core i5 or AMD equivalent or better
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Dedicated graphics card recommended
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated Sept. 2016! Learn more
Overall:
Mostly Positive (13 reviews)
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13 reviews match the filters above ( Mostly Positive)
Recently Posted
Sibbi
10.2 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: July 16, 2015
Really really great game loads of fun
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Gentleman
0.2 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: May 30, 2015
Really basic graphics, weird combat,,, and not dinamic fights... 4/10 (being generous with it). MUCH BETTER purchase FLAME OVER, super addictive, well done, cool graphics and difficult
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
30 of 38 people (79%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
2.1 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: March 16, 2015
Enter the strange world of Dr Harmin and fight off his minons using nothing but your skull. While FrankNJohn may appear to be just another roguelike, it's also very much a twin stick shooter in disguise.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IReS8H_ovbo
Starting with basic head attacks you progress through the world killing creatures, each level is multilayered and set around a 'tree of life' set in the center. You are able to clear them completely or just make a beeline for the next portal. Clearing levels is far more rewarding as you have the chance for more marbles (currency) and skull caps. Marbles gives you the ability to upgrade skill trees after your characters death which results in future playthroughs becoming much longer as you become more powerful. Skill trees included Damage, Defense and Utility and the games 'hub world' seemed to contain secret areas to break open once becoming strong enough.

Skull caps are really the essence of the game, each having pros and cons while some had entirely unique powerups set on timers. During play I discovered all manner of caps, most being reference to great games from the past. Examples include Turtle Cap (TMNT) which provides a full body shield, Bomberman Cap which gave the ability to drop bombs as you moved and the Sonic Cap, which provided a great speed boost of course.

When first playing you will notice the art direction and level design, it's very distinct and beautiful, quite similar to the Trine series. Couple that with the music which was put together by Ben Prunty (FTL/Gravity Ghost/StarCrawlers) and you really do get drawn into a Tim Burton-esque world.

For Early Access this is a solid game that's addictive already (just one more turn!). At this stage it only includes the one area 'The Garden of Denial' and a boss fight with spider Queen Sheela but in future it will add many more zones, bosses, skullcaps and local co-op support. Would love to see online co-op added but I'm not sure if that's possible. Also I'm sure they are planned but achievements would be great. :)

If you enjoyed games like A Darker Purpose or The Binding of Isaac, FrankNJohn is basically a 3d third person version with similar dark twisted humour. Worth shortlisting and recommended. Cheers.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
21 of 25 people (84%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
1.4 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: March 4, 2015
bitSmith Games is bringing their A game when it comes to FranknJohn. From the fantastically done theme, the amazing music from Ben Prunty. Tight controls and clever twin stick combat. FranknJohn is a game that will surprise you for an Early Access title. With very little bugs in the game and more awesome content to be added. The game itself is a fair mixture of difficulty and progressive gameplay. Giving you skill tree upgrades and power ups to help you along the levels. However more enemies appear as you get deeper. All whom have their own tactics and strategy to defeating. With bosses, local co-op, and more of everything to come. I am very excited to see where this 3rd person roguelike ends up.

I made a video preview to show off some of the features and gameplay of this game!
http://youtu.be/X-U4Oa25vow
I hope you enjoy!
Martyr
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
13 of 16 people (81%) found this review helpful
Recommended
4.9 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: March 5, 2015
Amazing game. Beautiful art style, addictive gameplay and difficult enough to make me rage a couple of times! Thoroughly enjoyed playing it, and would recommend to anyone who enjoys a good rogue like
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
6.7 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: March 10, 2015
Loaded up game,walked into t the garden of denial and was eaten by a giant plant vag. 10/10 would play again.

All jokes aside,beautiful aesthetics,music and theme. Gameplay is extremely addcitive and oh boy does this game make your heart wanna break out of your chest when you are swarmed by enemies. For anyone who loves a real challenge and a great sense of humor in video games this is the game for you. Its rogue like smasher up style compells you to keep crashing and bashing until you have destroyed everything in your way. Ive played about 6 hours in total (a lot was offline play as i have been travelling so it doesnt show on record) and i am still getting the same satisfaction and thrill from when i first started.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
8 of 10 people (80%) found this review helpful
Recommended
3.8 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: May 9, 2015
FranknJohn is a very fun, creative addition to the rogue-like sub-genre that has been popular on Steam lately. There are quite a few different heads available that are used to attack in interesting ways, or that grant you passive bonuses such as speed or greater defense, or special triggered abilities. Unfortunately you generally find yourself using the same ones time and again, as some are of limited utility. The game is currently very early access; there is currently only one set of stages, which you won't mind playing through many times. The enemy designs are also quite unique and interesting.

I would recommend purchasing this game if you're an avid fan of action rogue-likes and want to support the development of what is sure to be a great addition.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
6.6 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: March 13, 2015
FranknJohn is easily the most unique rogue game I've played, it takes all the good things while adding even more.
I personally got bored of games such as rogue legacy after several hours as the combat/gameplay got a bit stale for me but with FranknJohn the skullcaps keep the game alive and add a twist to every playthrough. and with the promise of even more skullcaps im certain the gameplay wont get stale anytime soon.
The aesthetics is a pleasure to look at and the theme makes for some really interesting design choices for the levels and the monsters.
The game is still in early access and I've yet to run into a game breaking bug, as expected there are a few minor bugs but none that made me die or have to quit. The level of polish at this point of development is great!
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6 of 8 people (75%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
2.3 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: August 22, 2015
[EARLY ACCESS REVIEW - 8/22/2015]

Let's start with the tl;dr: this isn't a bad game, it's just not done yet. It's not worth the 15USD at this point in my opinion.

So why don't I recommend it?
It took me roughly 2 hours to finish the game. There's one area, randomly generated (good replayability) and it has 3 levels that basically repeat themselves.
There are around 10-15 enemy types I would estimate, but they generally act in a similar way. There is one boss in the end of the area and it took me 4 seconds to beat it with the best weapon in the game.
This game has a solid base to it and a lot of addicting elements, but still has some bugs and it definitely lacks polish.

To be a game worth the price of 15$ they need to add at least an area or two, make the levels at least a little different from each other, and add copmlexity and strategy to the game. Other than that, it could be a solid little roguelike.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
6 of 8 people (75%) found this review helpful
Recommended
5.4 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: April 7, 2015
Okay, so before anyone reads this, know that I'm not anywhere's close to a professional reviewer, so take everything I say with a grain of salt.

First all, my biggest complaint about this game is the fact that it isn't finished yet, and if that's my biggest complaint, that speaks volumes about the game itself.

Gameplay is fun. If you've ever played games such as Binding of Isaac and A Wizard's Lizard, you'll feel right at home with this game. The AI can be a bit derpy at times, but since I'm not one for insane difficulty, I don't mind the fact that most enemies charge at you only. Also, they only have the first area created (as of this writing) so I'm sure they'll be adding more varied enemies/attack patterns.

Audio isn't bad. Music can get a little samey at times, but all in all, it fits the feel of the game quite nicely.

Do I recommend? Definitely. Glad I bought it and I can't wait to see what the developer has for us next.

TL;DR: Great Roguelike, 8/10 Solid game all around.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
Recommended
5.2 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: August 11, 2015
Awesome Roguelike game! Incredibly addictive!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
5 of 8 people (63%) found this review helpful
Recommended
1.0 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: March 17, 2015
FranknJohn is a head-smashing action RPG with rogue-like elements.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTc_cu5d92A
Young FranknJohn is a failed experiment of a demented scientist, Dr Harmin. He wakes, with no memory, bursting from his grave, with a head that can only stay on his body with the help of a chain. FranknJohn is far from helpless however, as his flaw becomes his strength - he can swing his head wildly round to smash away the plethora of strange creatures that roam the house of horror.. - Highly Recommended!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny