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The Entire Screen Of One Game Will Hurt Your Brain

Ludum Dare 31 entries have 19 days of judging left, and there’s already some gold to be found within. The theme this time is “Entire Game On One Screen”, and amongst the 2637 entries is The Entire Screen Of One Game by Tom 7. A platform game where the platform game is the character jumping about in the level of the platform game which is also the character, and that character is in fact the level of the platform game, which is the character in the game…

This is what I love about Ludum Dare – making games in 48 hours on a surprise theme sees smart people throwing ideas really hard against a giant wall. What sticks may not be a complete project or product, but there’s so much potential for them to be. I have no idea at all how this concept could be meaningfully developed into a full-blown game, but I sure as heck want to play it when someone figures it out.

The description above is actually far more accurate than it appears. The game, literally impossible to play properly, features an ever retreating view on a square platform game, which as things pull back reveals itself to be a square moving player character within a square platform game, which as things pull back reveals itself to be a square player character within a square platform game, which as things…

It’s all very clever, too. There’s no moment where control switches from the ever-shrinking square you’re focusing on, and the one that contains it – you’re simultaneously in control of all of them at once. There’s a lovely moment each, um, loop? – it’s not a loop – when you have to abandon caring about the previous level-character, and focus on the next, seeing how high you can climb it before abandoning that one too. Each lasting about five or six seconds, the whole thing leaving you feeling like you’re falling backward out of a fractal.

It plays directly in your browser, and will make you feel all weird.

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John Walker

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