Honest Dan’s Trout is honestly one of the most honest to goodness Gameboy experiences I’ve played on this Ludum Dare. The limited color palette and well-crafted sound effects took me back to those nostalgic days before backlit screens and rechargeable batteries. Not does this game look slick but it’s hella challenging- in a fun, fast paced way, not a old Gameboy platformer way. My old person brain was quite entertained by the brick breaker paddle and tetris block rotation all at the same time. A great puzzle game that relies on a simple, clean mechanic framed in a neat, aesthetically pleasing package! Honest Dan’s Trout gets five trouts out of five. (why is it called trout???)
I can’t praise this game highly enough. I’m a huge sucker for a well-executed creep factor and Woodsy just does a great job with very difficult art driven elements- like mood and humor and ambiance and tension… I could go on. The pixel art is stylish and unique looking and the monsters are certainly creepy and scary but also very well designed and individualized. The writing in this is fresh and a little sardonic but natural feeling and that really lends itself to the overall tone of the game and the implementation of this jam’s theme. This game also describes my idea neighborhood. I give this game 5 friendly cryptids out of 5.
This game is beautiful, I still can’t believe the art is so well done on a Jam game. Not only was this a relaxing, aesthetically pleasing play, but the writing was cute and personable without being contrived or shallow feeling. The colors and structure of the environment plus the simple, straightforward mechanics of eating bugs and keeping both birds full made for a highly enjoyable experience. I give this game 5 out 5 aesthetically pleasing borbs. 🐦
Bowling but with Grenades. similar in nature to the game we made, we felt a deep kinship with this title.
So if you’ve been following my reviews you might have picked up on the fact that I have a very special place in my heart of hearts for chill as hell gaming experiences. Bloom is one of those games. Its a hybrid game mixing elements from Civilization, a platonic dating sim, with a kind of inherited-trait twist and a certain Catan-esque look. I love it. You lead your tribe in forging friendships and alliances with the other tribes, sharing resources and breeding settlers to have physical features that appeal to as many of the other tribes as possible. And you just… get along. This game was calm and engaging and I’m always after relaxing experiences like it! Funny story: when I was a wee kid my Dad used to play Civilization 3 and go absolutely ballistic when the game didn’t go as expected (my old man is so bad at all games its so sad) and it sort of ingrained an instinctive, immediate dislike of any game even remotely resembling it. For Bloom’s ability to placate years of childhood trauma and deliver a great experience, it gets a big, therapist-approved A+.
Its little secret that I love playing chill games and relaxing. Fishing Asteroids delivers both, thankfully, and it’s laid back atmosphere, oceanic galaxy theme really puts me in that zone that only fishing games in rpgs can put me. The art is cute and visually appealing- all the elements on the screen are easily distinguishable from each other at a glance, and the music suits the the theme well. There’s been a lot of really high-energy, almost frantic play experiences in Ludum Dare #41 (which are highly enjoyable in their own right) but Fishing Asteroids was a well designed, well executed oasis of chill. This games gets a full 5 out of 5 high powered super rods.
Dungeon Solitaire is a great mix of concepts where you play a solitaire-like game of cards against yourself to the ultimate goal of using all the cards possible. You play the cards to build a dungeon full of all kinds of traps and parameters like spinning saw blades, extra gravity, winding passages, and more. Its a fiendishly simple mechanic that’s quite challenging in play. As a compo entry, this game has homemade assets too and, frankly, we kind of think that the simple, vintage style graphics helps cut back on the clutter-potential this game has for an overall pleasing visual style. On a scale of 1 to Getting Rid of that Last Stubborn Saw Card at the Very End, this game gets an 11.
One of the best puzzle platformer ideas I've ever seen.
I played this game early on and the only reason I hesitated on a ‘review’ was because I wasn’t entirely sure how to word my reaction. Whether the developer intended it or not, there’s a stark poignancy going on here that elicited a real reaction from me and I was very excited to think about its potential. Inherently neutral game mechanic or possible vehicle for a much deeper meaning aside, the game quickly established an insidious tone right out of the gate that could easily couple with any number of wider reaching motifs. Again, I think the potential to link this to overarching themes of injustice could make this a super powerful game serving up capital A art. But all that aside, what IS here is a great mechanic that can swing into dark humor or harsh metaphor (or both?) and I’m impressed with the mood and versatility that’s come out of a Jam game- scratch that- a COMPO game. For delivering a solid mechanic that really plays off two themes with a lovely bit of sardonic crunch, this game gets 5 concealed assailants culling the weak from the herd out of 5.
From the creator "One of my goals was to see what it would take for an interactive experience to generate empathy instead of normalizing violence"
Pinball Gardener combines pinball gameplay with resource purchasing to manage a farm. While I love- LOVE- the concept, I think it could use a little more refinement to fully integrate the two genres. However, Pinball Gardener’s strongest suit is it’s art. The art itself is gorgeous- chunky pixelated colors and shapes really add a clean, visually appealing style to this game. Also everyone knows I have a crippling weakness for cute things rendered in pixel form. Beyond the basic art style though, the UI design is so clean and clear- some of the best UI I’ve seen this whole Jam. The sound design is also top notch, sfx are differentiated from each other and well balanced. This is a fantastic product to turn out in only 72 hours. I award this game 5 pixel art vegetables cute enough to actually make me want to eat vegetables out of 5.
We might be biased cause Alien Holes is another funky golf game but it has surprisingly refined mechanics and a great vintage arcade feel, even in a 3D environment. The laser you shoot the ball with has explosion force applied to it, meaning that if you hit to the side of the ball slightly, force still gets applied and head on shots will apply the most force. It made for a fun learning experience as we experimented with shots and the aiming vs power relationship. With some slick aesthetics and a little visual fine-tuning, this could be an awesome, full release retro arcade style experience. This game gets 5 emoji alien heads outta 5.
I played Toby Gawk early in the voting period and I’m still chuckling about it. Any copy with the phrase ‘hella mouse controls’ should tell you straight up that you’re dealing with some quality writing. Immediately into the game I’m being blasted with MIDI punk that’s bpm was still high enough to trigger flashbacks of my younger years in some dive venue getting shoved around by a hundred other bodies in a room meant to hold 20. The score counter is always ratcheting upwards and it somehow makes rushing from one gawking-target to the next extremely funny. The spirit of this game gets 5 outta 5 sick kickflips.