Ludum Dare (to give a game in Latin) was founded by Geoff Howland, and held it’s first competition in April 2002. For those unfamiliar with the event, it’s a 48 hour solo competition that challenges game developers to create a game centered around a core theme that is selected through a series of community votes.
Ludum Dare 26, once again attracted developers from all sides of the industry, students, hobbyists, industry professionals from many well respected game studios, as well as many independent game and saw a record breaking 2346 participants.
For Ludum Dare 26 the game theme these talented developers had to illustrate in their efforts was Minimalism. Participants who submitted a game have been given 3 weeks to play and rate games created by their peers, and the results were tallied. Bellow you’ll find everything you wanted about the games that won.
MONO by timtipgames, the winner of the 48 hour compo, is a beautiful polished audiovisual game where you control an eye through 6different levels which feature puzzle and skill based elements. There is no need to finish every level. If you can’t beat one, press escape and return to the main menu to select a different one.
The second place in combo was taken by GertJohnny’s You Must Escape. You must escape is a top down flash game maze-like game divided in levels with a twist. You play as a man who’s trapped in a series of intricate tunnels with no memory of who you are or how you got there, and you are not able to see anything. Instead, you’ll have to rely on the sound you can produce while walking forward.
Minimalismism which took the third place was created by Alexander Taylor and is platformer consisting of a single screen where as you progress the environment shifts providing new obstacles. All you have to do is guide your tiny avatar to the glowing block. But when you touch the block, that’s when the magic happens. In a fountain of pixels, the level falls apart and rebuilds itself into a new configuration.
The winners of the Jam event which takes place concurrently with the main competition and allows teams, unshared code, and an extended deadline of 72 hours were Leaf Me Alone, Gods Will Be Watching and Potato Dungeon.
Claw’s Leaf me alone inspired by Proteus, Fez, Melodisle, Zelda (Wind Waker) and Final Fantasy. focuses on exploration, with some platforming and light puzzle elements. In the game you find and use a leaf that will help you glide through the air as you explore the world around you.
In Gods Will Be Watching players are tasked with keeping their crew, which has crash-landed on a cold desolate planet, alive for 40 days. A unique aspect of the game, however, is that it takes place almost entirely on just one screen, as your character, Sgt. Burden, and his crew surround a campfire. You also have a maximum of 5 actions per day, so you’ll have to choose your actions wisely to make sure you and your crew stay alive until the rescue team arrives. It is a pretty fun point-and-click game that raises some interesting ideas regarding minimalism and simplicity in game design.
Potato dungeon by Rilem is a sidescroller with a very minimalistic combat system. You have a sword which you control by pointing it with your mouse. To defeat your enemies, stick them with the pointy end. Your goal is to clear the dungeon, save your horse and claim the treasure hidden deep within.
We may had a look at the top rated entries but the truth is that everyone who gets involved in a Ludum Dare competition, from the event organizers, and game developers to players and those who rated the games, is the actual winner. Those of you who want to take a closer look at the results can check the Top entries into the main Ludum Dare competition here and the same for the Jam event here.