Ludum Dare 25 winners announced - four games that let you revel in villainy

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Phil Savage at

Gallant heroes? Honourable soldiers? Noble knight? BORING! Sometimes you just want to cut loose and be ridiculously, cartoonishly evil. Thank hells for the 25th Ludum Dare gamemaking jam, then. It's theme was You Are the Villain, giving entrants 48 hours to create a game that celebrated the twisted and horrible. Today, the most bad-to-the-bone overall winners have been revealed.

The staggering 1,327 entered games have been ranked in a variety of individual categories, such as humour, fun, innovation and adherence to theme. You can see the Top 50 Overall games (ones that scored highly in multiple categories) here. I've had a look at the Top 3 (technically four, thanks to a third place tie) and have some thoughts below.

1. Atomic Creep Spawner!! by deepnight

A fitting title, given that multiple exclamation marks are the ultimate evil. ACS!! plays like a cross between tower defence, Dungeon Keeper and Left 4 Dead's versus mode. An AI hero is assaulting your dungeon, attempting to destroy power cores. It's your job to spawn in monsters, which can only be placed outside of the heroes range. They'll then swarm through, trying to kill him for you.

It's a fun little thing that adds more challenging heroes as you progress. There's strategy in whether you save up for the heavy-hitting purple blob, or swarm the hero with cheap, easy-to-kill mobs. It'd be nice to see a few more monster types, but as a 48-hour project it's enjoyable and looks great.

2. Extinct: Humankind fade in the mist by Benjamin

A nice little puzzle game, challenging you to set traps along the path of a tribe that's journeying through a forest in search of food. The tribe's leaders can usually bypass certain traps, so your task is to arrange them in such a way that they'll kill absolutely everyone. It's tough and requires some serious thought, but it's sadistically satisfying to see those last few tribesmen freeze to death.

3 (Tie). End Boss by Ditto

You know the giant, impressive, multiple armed monstrosity at the end of every bullet hell schmup? Wouldn't it be easier to just play as that? Well yes, as it turns out.

End Boss lets you play exactly that, a massive ship covered in weapons that spews out bullets to chew through the hero ship that's trying to bring you down. You've got a defensive mode, that rolls your craft into a ball. But who needs that when you've got all the guns in the world?

3 (Tie). Happy Little Murder Friends by Farmergnome

Ban this sick filth! Happy Little Murder Friends has you rampaging through the city streets as one of five serial killers, tracking down your targets and activating "fetishes" for bonuses. Despite the disturbing premise, it's a frantic arcade title that has you dodging police bullets and the far more deadly vehicles that recklessly tear across the roads.