Ludum Dare: exciting tiny games, made fast
December 10, 2014 12:15 PM   Subscribe

Ludum Dare is a 48-hour game design contest run several times a year, with each contest having its own theme. There are often thousands of participants, and the winners are almost always worth a couple minutes of your time. Many have turned into "real" games. The current theme is "The Entire Game in One Screen" and one of the entries will make your head explode. Inside, the playable winners of the last dozen or so contests....

Here are winners for the past few years. Everything is free and playable in a browser, unless I note otherwise.

Connected worlds: Superdimensional: a platformer, of sorts, that lets you move between worlds using only your mouse. Also, the Antbassador (Windows only), where you play a hand that is also ambassador to the ants. Try not to squish them!

Beneath the Surface: The Sun and the Moon about what happens inside of platforms, and Scuba Bear, a fun exploration game.

You Only Get One: One Take (Win/Mac) in which you are a cameraman trying to capture the action in a single take.

Ten Seconds: PROBE TEAM, where your probe only has 10 seconds of fuel. NXTWPN10, a shooter where you have a different weapon every 10 second round.

Minimalism: MONO, a game inspired by art, and the metroidvania Leaf Me Alone.

You are the Villain: Atomic Creep Spawner, sort of an action-oriented Dungeon Keeper and The Chasm, in which you mine Mars.

Evolution: The stupendous Evoland (which spawned a bigger game), in which you play through the evolution of video games. Also the shmup ld24-x0ut-x-0ut (Windows)

Tiny Worlds: Fracuum, a maze within a maze within a maze. Also a maze.

Alone: Midas, about the cost of turning things into gold. Frostbite (windows), about a post-apocalyptic soldier at a watchtower.

Escape: Flee Buster, in which you must escape many classic video game scenarios.

It's Dangerous to Go Alone, Take This!: The very pretty and sad Appy 1000mg

Explore: Time Pygmy, you have 4 minutes in the future to discover as much as you can.

Enemies as Weapons: Fail Deadly has been called "deadly Tetris, Machiavellian tennis, or Advance Wars for nasty people."
posted by blahblahblah (15 comments total) 62 users marked this as a favorite
I played "Entire Screen of One Game," and I think I have to lie down now...
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:44 PM on December 10, 2014 [3 favorites]

When did "game" unqualified start to mean "video game"? And why does this upset me so?
posted by blue t-shirt at 12:47 PM on December 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

blue t-shirt, I heard that the root of anger is fear. What are you afraid of?
posted by hellphish at 12:54 PM on December 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

ludum dare is playable evidence that video games are doing better than ever.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 1:07 PM on December 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

I participated in the Jam part with one other person this past weekend. This is our second Ludum Dare together. We're still getting the hang of pulling something off in 72 hours without the scope blowing up or becoming zombified by lack of sleep, but it's done wonders for our small team's agility and ability to work efficiently, and I'm really glad that there's such a big & enthusiastic community gathered around this event. I love the feedback process and being able to provide/get good criticism from my peers.

And if you're craving more snack-sized Ludum Dare entries, there's plenty more where this list came from!

Disclaimer: none of the linked games are mine.
posted by Snacks at 1:12 PM on December 10, 2014

I achieved Samsara playing
posted by Renoroc at 1:15 PM on December 10, 2014

and one of the entries will make your head explode

ow my brain ow ow ow ow
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 1:16 PM on December 10, 2014

Well, I *was* fairly productive at work today.
posted by surazal at 1:23 PM on December 10, 2014

Faint of Butt: I played "Entire Screen of One Game," and I think I have to lie down now...
Dude… Put it this way: I only got as far as red.
posted by ob1quixote at 1:31 PM on December 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

Titan Souls from last year was perfection. It's like a mashup of Shadow of the Colossus, Zelda, and Demon's Souls. Glad it's getting a gorgeous full release soon!
posted by naju at 2:16 PM on December 10, 2014

Fracuum was great. There were a couple times there I needed to level back and take a different route. Ended up annihilated by a (final?) boss as I was trying to get into a closed room.

I'm going to have fun digging through these.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 5:39 PM on December 10, 2014

Holy fuck, that did indeed make my head explode.

Not surprised to see it's from Tom 7. His puzzle game Escape is really nice (and I played it obsessively for like a year).
posted by equalpants at 6:41 PM on December 10, 2014

Unlike a lot of jams, Ludum Dare does have a system built to encourage every game to get played and rated. There's a "coolness" factor which is based on how many games you've rated, and the default sorting when browsing games shows the games with high coolness but a low number of ratings. So the more you play and rate other people's games, the more people will play and rate your game.

There are also the Rescue Rangers which identify games without ratings.
posted by RobotHero at 9:14 PM on December 10, 2014

Scuba Bear is a nice, cute little game. There, I said it.
posted by JHarris at 2:28 AM on December 11, 2014

I played this for about 60 seconds before melting down into an existentialist puddle of tears.
posted by duffell at 4:24 AM on December 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

« Older Electric Literature's 25 Best Novels of 2014   |   Eat the Pear! Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments