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Stretch reality to solve platforming puzzles in this fun little free game

Made in 72 hours, Stretchmancer won the latest Ludum Dare game jam

A humanoid gecko in a spacesuit in Strechmancer artwork.
Image credit: Ollie Powell, Tom Carrell, Adam Butcher, Ezgi Hazal Aygan

Stretch and compress rooms to make your escape in Stretchmancer, a nice little puzzle-platformer you can play for free. Your heroic gecko is a Stretchmancer, see, able to bend the dimensions of spaces to push walls far away and draw distant objects near. This is handy when trying to defeat an evil space empire. Stretchmancer is in a similar vein to Portal: a first-person puzzle-platformer which uses one neat trick to change how you see the world, and builds on that while a baddie taunts you. It's short, it's free, it's fun, and you might enjoy it slightly breaking your eyes.

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The powers of stretchmancy let you stretch one dimension of a space while keeping its volume the same. So if you push one wall away, the adjacent wall and the ceiling will both squish in closer—and so will everything else in the room. So you can escape prison bars by stretching that wall out and simply walking through, or turn an unjumpable gap into a wee hop, and so on. Puzzles! Adventure! Chat and jokes from allies and enemies! An uneasy ocular sensation as you acclimatise!

Stretchmancer is not a long game but it is does escalate difficulty a little as puzzles evolve and it introduces another puzzling element. A fun time. And you shouldn't be surprised it's short. Stretchmancer was made by the team of Ollie Powell, Tom Carrell, Adam Butcher (who you might know for finishing his childhood dream game after 13 years), and Ezgi Hazal Aygan inside 72 hours for Ludum Dare 54, the latest round of the prolific game jam.

I could see this being developed into something longer, or the idea giving birth to another game, much like the student project game Narbacular Drop spawned Portal. Or maybe it's fine as is. It's fine for games to be short. It's fine for a fun weekend project to not become a commercial venture which leads you to staking your house as loan collateral which leads you to increasingly sleepless nights of panic which lead you to ruin which leads you to frankly a far more sensible job in a whole other industry as you try to gather the fragments of your life.

You can download Stretchmancer for free for Windows from A version you can play in your brower is also on Itch, though the embedded game box didn't play right for me.

If you're curious about how this wonking works, check out the dev blog post which explains the tech with such exciting phrases as s.c^2.w.h.d = w.h.d. As I understand it, that's maths for "make it do the thing."

You can see Ludum Dare 54's full results and all its games over here.

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