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10 Ludum Dare games you have to play

OneArrow2

If game jams are the lifeblood of independent game development, then Ludum Dare is the life giver. Ludum Dare essentially birthed the concept of game jams (making a game in a short period of time; usually 48 hours) and thus has been either directly or indirectly responsible for Superhot, Broforce, Viscera Cleanup Detail, Evoland, Gods Will Be Watching and countless other indie hit titles all prototyped during game jams.

Running since 2002, Ludum Dare’s 28th edition was held this past weekend. The theme of this edition was ‘You Only Get One’. I took one for the team and went through all 2065 games to find what I believe are the best games of the weekend, check them out after the break! (They are all free to play and many have web builds!)

A Trip to the Moon

A simple and beautiful fantasy game about a kid’s journey to the moon. The experience is very short, but extremely relaxing and soothing.

Play it here!

A Trip to the moon

Death in One Stroke

I am absolutely in love with this simple, fast and addictive action game. It’s packed with feedback in a way only a few games can match. My high score was 37 – will anyone challenge me?!

Play it here!

Death in one Stroke

The Hunter

A top down stealth game where you can only see your enemies’ footsteps, and how far the sound of your own reaches. Playing in complete darkness with only sound guiding your actions is an incredibly unique experience. One of the most innovative experiences this Ludum Dare.

Play it here!

The Hunter

 

Underbyte

This action platformer is clever, action-packed and an excellently crafted satire of Super Mario Bros.. If you love the look of Vlambeer’s upcoming Nuclear Throne or are in the mood for some Mario-themed quips, you should definitely give this one a go.

Play it here!

Underbyte

FASTBACK

Each element of this game is fast: the levels, the movement, how long it takes you to respawn – everything is constructed to keep the action flowing. When you do eventually stop playing you’re so pumped up with adrenaline that you’re shaking. It’s basically FPS Hotline Miami without the psychedelic graphics.

Play it here!

Fastback

Constrained

This cunning little puzzle platformer forces you to completely break the habits you’ve constructed over three decades’ worth of platformers. Indecision is punishing in this real-time puzzle solving game, so pick a direction and keep moving.

Play it here!

Constrained

TekkuNikku

Imagine if you only had one attack in a fighting game and you had the power to decide what it was? TekkuNikku is the weird love child of Surgeon Simulator and Dive Kick that is surprisingly fun to play. Grab a friend and give this fighting game a go (although single player is supported). Requires an Xbox 360 controller to play for now, but a keyboard compatible build is coming soon!

Play it here!

TekkuNikku

One Arrow

Probably one of the most complete and polished products of the weekend, this game pits you against waves of enemies in a time attack fashion. What’s different? You only have one arrow, and have to collect it after each shot. This sounds banal, but rather results in you strategically placing your shots to hit multiple enemies. Also, how ridiculously pretty is this game?

Play it here!

One Arrow

Jump Chip

This adorable Robot love story has you controlling two robots simultaneously, and using them to solve increasingly difficult puzzles (it hardly starts off easy). This game is obscenely hard, but you find yourself pushing through it to see the completion of the endearing and well weaved narrative.

Play it here!

JumpChip

Crew

This brain-wracking sci-fi puzzle game is definitely one for fans of Cluedo. Try discover which member of the crew killed the captain of the spaceship; in what room; and with what weapon! Whatever you do, don’t choose wrong…

Play it here!

Crew

 

What are your favorites? Did I miss any? Did you beat my score in Death in One Stroke? Let me know in the comments!

P.S. Also, our local game developers often have a strong presence in Ludum Dare (Free Lives won the overall Jam category in Ludum Dare 25) – check out their entries over on Make Games South Africa.

 

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  • Delano

    Great list, Ben. I’ve played all of these and I couldn’t agree more with your choices. The only addition I would have added would be LD24 X0ut, but hey, being limited to 10 forces us to make concessions.

    • Ben Myres

      Thanks1 :D

      Oh they title should actually read ’10 Ludum Dare 28 games you have to play’ as this was only for one competition.

      It would be near impossible to collate a list of all the best LD games ever. The quality is pretty staggering across a decade :/. I’d have to do at least a top 20.

  • Rick de Klerk

    Nice. You just keep adding to my list of items to check out. A thread of prototypes, now this… could you link me to where I can buy Time, please?

    • Ben Myres

      I certainly can’t help with time! After having read your Risk of Rain review I’m screwed too for the number of games I have to play :/.

  • Miklós Szecsei

    So One Arrow is pretty damn amazing for something that had a 48 hour gestation period. O_O

    • Ben Myres

      Ah One Arrow was actually made in 72 hours.

      There are actually two parts to Ludum Dare, the compo, which is 48 hours long and everything is made by one person and the Jam, which is 72 hours and content made by multiple people.

      It’s still pretty impressive for that time period ;/.

      • Miklós Szecsei

        Totally impressive. I really like how fluid the animation is.

  • husky543

    Thank you for the list!
    I like “The Hunter” !

  • sunil kumawat

    good

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