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Ludum Dare 46 game jam entries include trains, eldritch horrors, and hearts

Twice-annual online game jam event Ludum Dare is wrapping up this evening so let’s check out some of the nifty things that have been submitted so far, shall we? These are all games made from scratch over the course of the weekend, so there are plenty of odd bits and bobs built to Ludum Dare 46’s theme “keep it alive.” Among them are a time-based line puzzle, a coal and heart-powered train ride, and a horrifying lovecraftian Katamari-like thing.

First up is Adrena-Line by Daniel Linssen. I do enjoy a Linssen game since I can always spot them at a glance. Something about the color palette always gives it away. Anyway, this one is a frantic spacial puzzle where you need to navigate your little box to a button within a time limit.

Your box moves in a straight line until it hits a wall just like the inevitable ice puzzles that I remember in every Nintendo game of my childhood. Ocarina Of Time had one. Pokemon had one. I remember those always being head-scratchers for me, so doing them under a time limit, while neat, sounds a bit grueling for my personal taste. Aw heck, I’ll probably try it anyway.

Here’s a grim-looking train game by another Daniel. This one’s Keep It Alive by Daniel Mullens. “This game takes about 10-15 minutes to complete and has an ending. Hang in there,” Mullens says. It’s a fraught train journey during which you’ll need to keep pumping coal to power your locomotive while also pumping the heart you’re caring for. If you neglect the coal and slow down, hook-handed raiders will peak into your windows. If you neglect the heart, well, I suppose you know what happens.

I do quite like Katamari-style games where you’ve got to gradually collect more things to become bigger and collect even more things. It’s just satisfying. It Lives by Riley Neville is that, but horrifying. For some reason, you’ve summoned a spooky eldritch creature and must lead it to food. At first it will eat apples but eventually it will graduate to chickens and sheep. Be careful, because once it gets large enough it will be tempted to eat you, so you’ll need to be constantly on the move. The spookiest bit is walking beneath trees, losing sight of the creature, and then finding it’s nearly upon you.

There are tons of other submissions, all of which you can find on the official Ludum Dare site. You can also find a bunch to play right in your browser on Itch. The theme is “keep it alive” so as you can imagine there are quite a lot featuring hearts, fire, and plants. Oh, and monsters. We love monster pets.

Here’s a last bonus for ya: that guy Terry Cavanagh wot made Dicey Dungeons and VVVVVV is submitting something he’s calling Tower Defense Of The Heart.

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Lauren Morton

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