A lot of my play-testers miss the tutorial notifications in my game. The notifications fade into the screen and fade out after the player progresses away from where the tutorial was relevant. I've tried adding a moving gif (the little orange thing in picture below) but it still doesn't draw enough attention. Could someone please recommend me some options for how I can catch the user's attention better?
In the example below, the player is given their first "key item" in the game and I want to direct them to click on the "Special" items tab. About 60% of my play-testers open it up, while the other 40% skip past it by clicking the "Search" button to progress to the next part of the tutorial. Then some time later, when the player needs to check their "Special" items, they don't know where they are.
I'm a little unsure if I should prevent the player from progressing until they perform certain actions the tutorial asks. I feel it makes the game feel rigid, but as my game is more turn-based with decision buttons, its like I can teach them they can push blocks to make a staircase to get over a tall hill as one would in a simple platformer.