Ludum Dare is a challenge in which competition entrants must create a game in two days. The games are all based on a theme voted for by the competition's participants from a selection of ideas. Once the games have been completed, they're released into the wild so the general public can play them and rate them. The results are now in, read on for a look at some of the best entries.
The theme for Ludum Dare 19 was one of discovery. All of the games can be downloaded and played for free. Here are a few of the stand out entries.
Attack of the time travelling pygmy from outer paleolithic (aka Time Pygmy)
Coming first in the Fun, Theme, Humour and Overall categories, Attack of the time travelling pygmy from outer paleolithic is one of the best entries in Ludum Dare 19. Even ignoring the fact that everything, from the background art to the animation, was done in 48 hours, it's still a hilarious little flash game that's well worth a quick play. You are a paleolithic pygmy kicking his heels in his prehistoric cave when suddenly a portal to 1981 opens up. You have to wander around the '80s household discovering new objects to take back to paleolithic times.
Mother Robot leads the Ludum Dare 19's Innovation category with its interesting system that has you controlling two separate robots. You have to use your droids to target beams at power sources to light up the surrounding area. If you wander into the dark your robot is violently dismantled, turning this game of exploration in to a smart little puzzler in which you have to leapfrog your bots through the caves, searching for the next power source to light the way.
Batcave was the runner up in the Innovation category. In Batcave you play a bat who has lost his bat-wife in some pitch black underground caverns. A button press sends out a glowing sonar pulse that reflects off nearby geometry. You have to flap your way through the narrow caves, picking up stars and clues as to your wife's whereabouts. She's in there somewhere.
Frolicking Furballs Safari Resort
The winner of the Graphics category, and runner up in the Humour and Coolness categories. Frolicking Furballs Safari Resort stands out from the pack because it's in 3D. Somehow the game's creator, Sos, managed to create a huge 3D environment, populate it and create music for the game in 48 hours. Cannot ... compute ... mind ... boggling.
Taking the vanted Coolness top spot, Universal Conquest clocks in at 100% cool. That's cool enough to get away with wearing shades indoors, so Universal Conquest is not a title to be trifled with. It's the scope of the game that impresses. You're given a number of star systems to visit. In each of these there are a number of orbiting planets that you can roam in your space buggy. If you're lucky enough to find some resources you can buy upgrades for your ship in the shop. Somewhere in the universe there are even aliens to find, and inevitably shoot in the face.
Our own Tom Francis entered Ludum Dare 19, and in line with the theme, quickly discovered that making a game in 48 hours is no easy task. You can read all the trials and tribulations here .