The latest make-a-game-in-48-hours Ludum Dare competition wrapped up recently, with an impressive 352 games created for the theme "It's Dangerous To Go Alone! Take This!" The overall winner is Appy 1000mg by deepnight, the story of a worried little fella suffering through what could easily pass as a typical night out in Croydon, dealing as he does with intense drug addiction, wandering a blood-soaked wasteland, amnesia and jetpacks. Also on show is some basic environmental destruction by way of delicious looking voxel graphics, making the 48 hour time frame seem incredulous with the high level of graphical polish.
You can check out the rest of the Top 20 here, and we've selected some favourites after the jump.
First up is Don't Go Alone by pgil, based around a walk through the woods to see your dear old Gran by way of a passive top down shooter. You can't fire at your foes, but you're accompanied by a TOTALLY TRUSTWORTHY AND NOT AT ALL EVIL creeping glowing-eyed hooded shadow figure who helps you by dispatching the usual woodland creature fare, like poisonous snakes and boomerang-energy firing giant alien terror gates. It's all done in a wonderfully low-fi presentation, reminiscent of the bleary haze of a child's memory of Croydon before private parking and a witless local council starting putting up alien terror gates at all the tram stops. Unfortunately it doesn't have checkpoints, but just think of it like a commentary on endless one way streets that dump you screaming onto the flyover and you have to start all over again.
Next is Have You Considered the Benefits of Life Insurance by crackerblocks, doing a very good job of recalling the experience of wandering through Croydon's pedestrianised shopping district, albeit not in control of your own destiny and actually in control of a godlike life insurance salesman who can telepathically close life-threatening holes to protect his flock of money-making drones. While frantically keeping both your funds and your clients alive, spend your cash on meaningless gifts for your unseen trophy wife before you go bankrupt. It's a lot like taking trips to Bluewater to suck dry the local economy and aid in the destruction of the town centre and disappearance of all the good music shops.
Then spend time with Officer Alfred by Hempuli, a very blue 2D platformer that confidently experiments with freezing time in a facility that more than slightly resembles Aperture Science, though the voice of help is pleasingly simply helpful instead of expectedly vindictive. Whenever you freeze time, all matter and energy is frozen solid, letting you climb over explosions and run along laser beams. Neat! The puzzles are tough and require superhuman timing with your powers, but the regular appearance of cloning machines takes the edge off. Here's a timelapse of it being made followed by a full walkthrough if you get stuck:
Diamond Hollow by arkeus has a great time being a compulsively satisfying vertical scrolling action platformer. Jump around like a maniac shooting the blobs and collecting the gems while trying not to fall off the bottom of the screen and don't worry about anything harder than that. All pleasing enough, but what makes it great is the upgrade screen seen after death where you can spend those tasty gems on all kinds of stats, eventually turning you into a little spikey-haired demigod who destroys all he sees, sucks screens clear of gems at a stroke and can practically fly. The metagame gives such clear results from the upgrades it's rewarding to return to again and again, almost exactly unlike how unrewarding it is to return again to any part of Croydon after it's underwent renewal.