The fifteenth annual Ludum Dare competition, in which indie designers have 48 hours to create a game based around a particular theme, came to a close on August 30th. This year’s theme was “caverns,” and the entries — all 144 of them — have been posted at the official site, in order of assumed awesomeness.
ChevyRay’s Beacon took top honors, with Matt Thorson’s Broken Cave Robot coming in second. Beacon‘s not bad (albeit really slow going at the start), but Broken Cave Robot takes the cake, as far as I’m concerned.
It’s a pretty typical Metroidvania, except the game world is much, much smaller, you only have five minutes to complete it, and you have to draw your own map to navigate it. You’ll die or run out of time with alarming frequency, but since the map you’ve drawn stays around no matter what, you still get a sense of definite progress. That said, I’m too lousy at cartography to actually beat the damn thing.
Still. Nearly a hundred and fifty neato indie games fueled by a hectic deadline and a vague theme. Worth checking out, in my opinion.