So there’s this Indie game competition called Ludum Dare 2 and they have recently broke a record of developing 2,497 games in one weekend! Wow!
So I decided to check them out and give you the low-down on what they are like. Not all 2,497 of them obviously but 3 of which stick out and caught my eye, as most of the games involve mining, digging, or swimming in one way or another…
This is my first real indie game review, so bear with me guys.
I’m going to break it into 3 categories and mark out of 5; Which I’m going to call PAM:
First off I’m going to talk a little about Ludum Dare 29. There are two modes in the Ludum Dare, ‘Competition’ and ‘Jam’, each with slightly different rules regarding submission deadlines such as using art from your other projects, and whether you can work in teams. The end result, though, is the same: make a game, make it fast, and give it to the world. In their own words:
“Ludum Dare is a regular accelerated game development Event. Participants develop games from scratch in a weekend, based on a theme suggested by community.Ludum Dare was founded by Geoff Howland, and held it’s first competition in April of 2002. Since then the community has run more than 22 regular Events, several dozens of practice competitions, collectively creating many thousands of games in just a weekend each. The event attracts developers from all sides of the industry. Students, hobbyists, industry professionals from many well respected game studios, as well as many independent game developers. For many people, it can be difficult to find or make the time create a game or prototype for yourself. We’re here to be your excuse.”
Game 1: Bloody Barry (I couldn’t resist the name)
You start in the middle of a red screen and rock hurl towards you slow at first, then they pick up in pace, using WASD and your mouse pointer to target the rocks, left click to fire. You have 3 lives and unlimited ammo. If a rock makes its way past you and hits the other end of the screen, you loose a life and if one hits you, yep, you loose a life. You can pick up ‘power ups’ and better weapons. It seems a little easy and there is no option to change the difficulty. Be warned: I have noticed that if you fire at the rocks from South-easterly direction, your projectiles do not work. So to sum it up then with PAM:
Play-ability 2/5: Standard WASD movement coupled with a mouse pointer target. Glitch with directional fire. Nothing exiting here.
Artwork/Graphics 2/5: A 16 bit looking character, who looks like a robot with a police hat on, its based on a red leather looking background which gets lighter as you loose life, projectiles look like cross between rocks and flames. Bit boring Visually.
Music/Sound 3/5: As soon as the game starts some retro music starts which kind of stimulates the panic stations and charms you into understanding that the poop will hit the fan soon, so keep your hand on the keys, unfortunately it seems just to be the 1 track. The SFX are standard 8-bit ‘explosions’ and sound out of place.
Try Bloody Barry
Game 2: Box Simulator
Built to simulate boxes and mining trucks for up to 16 people. The Aim: BOX! Move the boxes to the depot. Move other trucks out of the way. Move more boxes. The Theme: It’s very loosely based on the theme. The trucks are mining trucks. They are in a hole. They are moving boxes about. Clearly, the designer was not in a mood for creating a deep, metaphysical philosophical view on the world to marry to the theme. You start straight from the get go, you pick a team either Red or Blue (as its a multiplayer game). Unfortunately there was no one on the server to ‘box battle’ with. The graphics remind me of Mario kart, if it was made for PS1, but also makes things seem confusing because the boxes are similar in color to the background. As I gathered pretty quickly, you need to ram in to as many boxes as you can, earning more points the bigger or more challenging the boxes are to get. You then dump them in the correct color dumpster all this as the time ticks down. This would probably have been more fun if there was some one else to play with online. There was no music at all, just a voice saying ‘box’ which got higher pitched as you accelerated, which I thought was quirky until it starts putting you off. So, the PAM rating is as follows:
Play-ability 2/5: The truck was quite hard to control and unless someone is paired with you, there is no real competition. Mediocre. Now, except for the boxes being quite hard to see, the game was overall vibrant and attractive. OK for a indie game.
Music/Sound 1/5: There was no soundtrack over the game, accept a voice that says ‘box’ to the speed of your truck. Which annoyed me.
Try Box Simulator
Game 3: Chupacabra
Explore the dangerous mines collecting Totems that could help protect you and the town from the Chupacabra! First Impressions are good with this one, it jumped out at me purely for the name, I used to read about the mythical creature and was fascinated by it. The game starts in what looks like mountain areas, surrounded by big boulders and trees. The graphics are smooth and well done and the control and in-game information appear on sign posts in game, so there are no massive pop ups getting in the way. So you navigate using WASD and use the mouse to move the character in the right direction, collecting Totems on the way round this 3D platformer. Unfortunately, like most of these games, the controls don’t quite match up, in particular the mouse movement, sometimes the screen will just spin up and you lose the character from screen. The character you play is a bobble headed teen looking boy, who looks like he is holding a torch, which is useful in the caves. The soundtrack is a Majestic roaring noise, which adds suspense, but isn’t so annoying that it puts you off. Overall I would recommend playing this one. So what are the scores PAM?
Play-ability 3/5: Except for the random mouse spinning out the screen, it is smooth and relatively easy to control. Just find the Totems by running over them.
Artwork/Graphics 3/5: The artwork is smooth and creates atmosphere and the graphics are around about PS1. The character moves like a plank, but its doable.
Music/Sound 2/5: Good earthy background SFX and in game SFX, not too over the top, but could have added more veriaty.
There you have it, and that’s just 3 of 2,497! I would suggest checking out the site and giving it a whirl, it is now in the voting stage and you can vote for your favorites, that’s saying that you can through the sheer amount of all sorts of games. This site is deffo getting bookmarked for future use. Who knows maybe I’ll have on there come next years competition. All you have to do is sign up, play and vote! Remember Guys, I’m on Twitter @GaryIND13 if you want to chat about anything I have said.
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