Fin: Here Are The ‘Minimal’ Ludum Dare Winners

The dust settled on Ludum Dare‘s 26th marathon development sprint a couple weeks ago, but one very important question was left hanging in the air: who won? I mean, that’s all games are about, right? Winning and losing? Oh, and TV, sports, and dogs. Urgh, sorry. The Xbox One reveal must have rotted my brain. In reality, games can be about quite a bit more, and Ludum Dare compos prove that time and time again. But when you’re dealing with a list of 2346 games, it’s helpful to have some form of organization. Jump past the break for the winner’s circle.

Ludum Dare 26 consisted of two categories: 48-hour, single-person and 72-hour, with a team. The big winners in those respective divisions were Mono, a contemplative, brain-teasing, er, eyeball adventure and Leaf Me Alone, a delightful little Fez-and-Wind-Waker-inspired romp that I highlighted in haiku form. The top fives, meanwhile, went as follows:

48 Hour

  1. Mono
  2. You Must Escape
  3. Minimalism
  4. LOOP
  5. Undercolor Agents

72 Hour

  1. Leaf Me Alone
  2. Gods Will Be Watching
  3. Potato Dungeon
  4. Mustache Armies
  5. RUST

That’s a lot of excellent, exceedingly free games, right there. And once you finish those, there’s also Porpentine’s roundup in addition to my own. I wrote a bigger thing about Gods Will Be Watching as well, and it’s still probably my favorite of the entire jam. So yes, you now have a whole, whole, whole lot on your plate. I’ll go ahead and leave you to it.


  1. Mike says:

    The ratings system still has a lot of issues. Mobile games, multiplayer games, and open-ended games seem to get a harder time than others. It’s understandable, and there aren’t any easy answers, but I feel it leads some developers towards ideas that they know will be easier to rate.

    Obviously some people don’t care about ratings. But it would be nice to see some cool games get more recognition. I really liked Alan Zucconi’s Tower of Pixel for instance: link to But it ended up with way lower ratings than it deserved because it was a bit more of an involved game, and players weren’t likely to see the end within 15 minutes, which (this is a guess from limited experience) seems to affect ratings.

    • paulmcgg says:

      I think this totally ties into the Michael Brough’s and Adam Saltsman’s recent blog posts, that groups of creators start to become self-selecting. That is, the kind of game that appeals to widest range of ludum participants will come out on top. Ludum Dare itself adds to this in the fact that because there are so many games, a game needs to grab you straight away. I don’t know what solution there is. I think it’s just that we need people like Porpentine/Nathan highlighting what stood out to them as well as the competition aspect.

      On a related note my own game Bayou (link to was definitely a lot slower than most (which is what I was going for). I’m happy some people liked it (I’m happy primarily to have made it) but it’s interesting to see people who played it for a minute then quit versus putting a bit of time in.

      The competition angle is definitely a double-edged sword in that it gets people discussing and giving feedback on each other’s games, but is also a bit abritrary. So many amazing things that didn’t get much attention because they don’t fit the right boxes, even for specific categories. Eg: The art in Erase completely blew me away.

      Ps: Really liked Tower of Pixel.

  2. Dr I am a Doctor says:

    Loop was awful, though

  3. Fenix says:

    Leaf me Alone’s maker’s Dropbox account has been temporarily disabled for generating too much traffic :/

  4. MrThingy says:

    Wheeeee. I got bronze for humour, which is probably more than the game deserved by a long shot! :P

    “Be The Wind” ( link to ) remains one of my favourites from this compo as it sums up what I love about LD. Novel ideas realised in a beautifully elegant way.

  5. Mr. Mister says:

    No Genova Convection? I am disappoint.

  6. The First Door says:

    Well, Mono is just lovely!

  7. mchaza says:

    Congrats to the winners!

    my ludum dare entry Rebound ( came 31st yet generated a insane amount of traffic and got my dropbox account suspended. For my very first game its amazing to know people liked it and around 20k have played it. I must say it has been a joy reading peoples comments and articles on it and recommend to any one to have a go next time. Some of these games have great amount of detail but in case of mine and many it can be as simple as a pole that bounces, and the blocks break from under you.