Ludum Dare 35 — April 15th-18th, 2016 — Theme: Shapeshift

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by LevelUpJordan - Jam Entry

Full screen is recommended.

A stylish top down shoot'em up inspired by Geometry Wars and WE Are Doomed. Kill enemies, gain experience and become more pointy.

The catch? Lacking the ability to aim at the enemy you must maneuver yourself so that your bullets make contact with your target.

Your bullets aren't your only weapons in this microorganism eat microorganism world though, when under pressure you can hold space bar to unleash a spinning laser.

Downloads and Links




Apr 20, 2016 @ 9:14am

Nice concept.

LevelUpJordan says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 9:22am

Any criticism/feedback is greatly appreciated!

Thanks for checking out the game

Pestel Crew says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 9:23am

Love the sound design and main tune! Gameplay is pretty self explanatory which is good. Main character could use some work as it is often hard to see.
Overall its really nice and slick. Keep up the good work!

vethan says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 9:24am

I really liked this!! Fun concept, I loved geometry wars, it's a cool take on sh'mups

Raptorij says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 9:41am

a good game , but it's hard to follow the hero , interfere score

Apr 20, 2016 @ 9:43am

I really like the idea of spending XP and getting bigger as disdvantages that come with your super-weapon. My only real problem with the super weapon is that it doesn't seem to work all that well. Stuff slips through it and hits you anyway sometimes.

Enemies come out of spawn portals fast enough that it's pretty much like them spawning right on you sometimes, too.

Plus, I don't really get the point of Arcade Mode. You're invincible and you can get infinite points, but for what? What's the goal there?

Chaos Mode is more like what I was expecting, but it's way tougher than Arcade Mode. Kinda weird considering it's also the mode where you're mortal.

Anyway! Pretty sure the highest I got was the one after Glip Glop, but only for a second. Haven't seen Spike yet.

I'd like to see this built on and improved. I would make it so that the spinning blades make you invincible, activate for a set time with each press, and spin much faster. I can think of some other tweaks, but that's the biggest by far.

Dread_Lord369 says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 9:57am

Fun gameplay, great sound design, good progression. I like it all!

There are two things that would make it a lot better though I think, and they are:
- Make the player more visible, maybe play around with a stronger color pallet for the player, maybe saturate the colors of the player a little more against the desaturated background/enemies.
- the special ability feels like it take a second or two to actually kick in, which, in this style of game, is a second or two too late. I do like the fact that you are punished if you just sit on it though (growing in size, then slowly shrinking again). Maybe swapping the slow turn with more of a rapid spin that pulsates (eg. rapid spin>pause for half a second>rapid spin>etc).

Other than those two nitpicks, I loved it!

Great game!

LevelUpJordan says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 9:57am

Not sure if there's a nicer way to respond to people than just a separate comment, so here goes:

thegooffromspace: The laser is definitely underpowered, I didn't really get much time to balance it I'm afraid.

Arcade mode isn't endless, it should end after wave 20. It's all about score, the punishment for getting hit is your multiplier resetting. I feel like forcing you to restart is unnecessary.

As Chaos is endless lives (or a time limit) become necessary so that's why it's like that.

amras0000 says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 10:07am

Very nicely done. The graphics are quite pretty and smooth, the controls are relatively responsive, and there's a lot of feedback for getting exp, getting new levels. The enemies are well-communicated and consistently colored, all that's solidly built.

A couple of things you could definitely improve on, though. To start with, death is far, far too punishing and far too quick. Once I'm knocked down from death machine to Kobe I can't really do much if all the enemies around me are still balanced as though I was the death machine. Sure there's more experience to pick up, but I can't get to the experience with all the overpowered enemies around me. As a simple improvement, you could make damage remove only one level, instead of dropping down to Kobe. If you do want to go down the traditional twinstick route of bringing the player down to zero, have player death cause most of the enemies around the player to be vaporized so I'm not instantly swamped with enemies while I'm trying to regain my power.

I've already praised the visuals, and you do make a good effort to distinguish the enemies, but they're the same color as your shots, and as such the screen gets really busy really quickly. It's hard to make out what's enemy, what's projectile, and what's a spawnpoint. Most of my deaths in busier moments of the game were to things I didn't see coming. More color variation between projectiles/spawnpoints/enemies/enemy explosions would have helped a lot, as well as a bigger contrast between foreground and background, and smaller/less pronounced graphics for the player's projectiles.

One further aspect of visual design is the point/experience popups, the +100's and such. Half the time I'd have the entire immediate area around me covered in the stuff, which made it really hard to see the enemies through the fog. I'd have much preferred a bar at the bottom of the screen, or an arc around my character, that just increased as I picked up the pellets to signify progress. Something less obtrusive.

Finally, this might just be me being used to standard single-direction-pointing twinsticks, but the fire rate seemed incredibly slow and threw me off many times, where I'd be expecting a projectile to appear a lot earlier than it did and get killed because of it.

Still, I had a good time with the game. Nice work.

TreenewT says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 10:27am

The music was good, I think that making the character follow the mouse would make the controls a bit more intuitive for me, at least.

xandy says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 10:27am

i like the changing gameplay and the sound atmosphere. i had a hard time in the beginning keeping track of the player but i got used to it after some time. chaos mode was a bit too much chaos for me. arcade mode was a lot of fun but for some reason i didn't die even if i got hit when i was a tri.

had a lot of fun playing your game

tentacode says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 10:31am

Nice game! Not azerty friendly though :)

Obvious_San says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 10:37am

Very solid entry! Because of time constraints (lunch break) I wasn't able to play THAT much but I had a lot of fun! Propably going back to it again after work.

- controls are very slippery, it has an "ice surface" feel to it, which isn't bad in itself, but here it's too much. I kept sliding into enemies
- super weapon is missing some kind of "punch". What I mean is, that there's no real feedback. Enemies just go through it with out knackback or any hit indication

Good things:
- super easy to pick up
- audio is great. Sets a nice mood and is very nice to listen to
- visuals are minimalistic and fit very well
- different enemy types and AI make it more challenging, because you have to remember how enemies act

So overall: Great job!

WitchBoys says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 10:37am

Very nice game! I really enjoy to play it.
Some improvement that you can make:
- Enemy should be more visible (it's hard to know the exact hitbox, a little bit too big)
- When you die in Chaos mode, destroy the player, here you can always move during the fade out animation.
- Show a progress bar of transformation to know how we are.
- Show the level of our player, what form you are? the first, the second, the 10th?

Very good job!

EpiFouloux says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 10:39am

good job, a bit chaotic but really fun.
Can't understand why it resets my shapeshift when I take damage

Apr 20, 2016 @ 10:42am

Nice shooter and gameplay. relaxing sounds :)

Kuality Games says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 11:08am

Good use of the theme, the graphics were pleasant and the audio was very nice. The feedback could have been better. Overall mood was nice :D

UgiWithAKnife says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 11:22am

Great feel in the game and it has a high skill cap which is great for an arcade! The special ability could be more devastating since I get hit alot when trying to use it. The graphics and music fit together very well and I like the names of the shapeshifters. :D

I like the fact that it's hard to see, it makes you wanna practice more.

crucknuk says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 11:59am

Nice entry! It has a good mood and graphics are effective. It is a bit frustrating when you get hit and switch from your current form to the weakest one, especially when there are tons of ennemies. I would have preferred to go back to the previous form. Anyway, good job ;)

stefvanschie says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 2:27pm

I would like to control where I can shoot.

Fumiko says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 2:43pm

Nice shooter, really cool playercharacter design and well matching the theme

zzapp says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 3:08pm

Really fun game, the graphics and audio were both great.
The concept is cool, as are the designs for more spikey versions of the shapes.
The super attack could be more super though, I liked the idea of forcing the player to spend XP on it, but it didn't feel worth it most the time.

ChrisMingay says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 12:08pm

Really well made game, smooth gameplay, lovely graphics and good implementation of the theme

HolyBlackCat says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 4:06pm

Great game!

Apr 21, 2016 @ 5:09pm

Haha, I spent a lot of time as Kobe unfortunately xD the game is quite addictive! my best shape was "Glip Glop" not sure if that good or not but I'm proud of my accomplishment :)
keep up the good work!

ougrouk says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 5:12pm

I like the gameplay a lot and the art.
But it's hard to percieve the enemy due to their mat colors. it can really help to make the enemy stand out more.

orukinawa says ...
Apr 27, 2016 @ 4:43pm

I'm really impressed by the enemy variety and really liked their spawning animation. It's a bit hard to keep track of where you are cuz it lacks some contrast (unless you meant to do that!)

panurge says ...
May 2, 2016 @ 9:44am

Awesome game! One of the best entries I've played for sheer, addictive fun! My only suggestion would be to use a different colour for the enemies or bullets as it can get a bit confusing at higher levels because they look (to me at least) a little too similar.

Otherwise, high marks all round - great visuals and audio, fantastic concept and polished gameplay. Good job!

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