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

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by Aaranos - Compo Entry


You have been granted access to a powerful artifact that has been handed down by the warriors of your village. Your time has come to challenge your fate. The artifact will infuse you with the power of the totem it represents and shift itself to aid you in battle.

The spiritual guardians of your ancestors watch over you and lend you their power. The axe and shield are formed from the aspect of the bear. The greataxe gives you the same ferocity of a wolf. The spear gives you the same striking reach as a great elk.

Only when these three aspects used as one can you become worthy.


A - Left

D - Right

Space - Jump

1 - Axe/Shield

2 - Greataxe

3 - Spear

Left mouse attack

Give it a rate! I always try to rate those who leave a comment (and presumably rate).

V1.1 Combo attacks + transformation animations!
V1.2.1 UI Improvement

Downloads and Links




egos says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 3:31am

Well realized
i finish with a score of 2127 maybe the collision with weapon are to fast

srakowski says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 3:39am

Ha, liked the graphics and animation. Great job :-)

Apr 18, 2016 @ 3:48am

Nice, deliberate use of color.

I had to be careful not to swing my weapon too quickly and reset their animations. I get a little attack happy sometimes ;) Nice work.

Aaranos says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 3:53am

@egos, the weapon hit boxes track with the animation, but yes they are not perfect.

Aaranos says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 3:55am

@srakowski, thanks this is my first time using a dopesheet animation style.
@HoldMeImScared, I try to keep colors from clashing. The original background matched the player so that HAD to go. My favorite part of playtesting was spamming the spear and charging forward.

FerraWare says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 7:10pm

Fun game!

Could improve a bit, but for a 48h game it's nice.

You should make it to adapt to different resolutions though!

Apr 18, 2016 @ 7:12pm

Nice graphics and animations, first thing I try is to chop down the tree with the axe xD

Aaranos says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 10:41pm

@FerraWare, I chose to use a set resolution to avoid spending many hours trying to correct the UI scaling.

@Leon, No one chops down Yggdrasil!

SkullPixel says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 11:32pm

Really impressive animation! It's by far not the most common way to animate pixel art, and looks really cool! Nice game overall.

Trash_Empire says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 1:07am

It looks nice. Hitboxes are a little wonky. Whether I hit the enemy or not feels uncertain. Also, you have to wait for the attack animation to complete. Would be much more fun with better enemy collisions.

Apr 19, 2016 @ 3:24am

overall i think this is a really cool setting, i felt myself wanting to explore more of the world.

Wisedawn says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 3:30am

I have certainly enjoyed the gameplay. Great character animations!

datadazer says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 3:35am

Fun game. It gets really hard when you start missing enemies and they are surrounding you. The art was nice and I loved how the character animates in his run. Audio could be improved. Tutorial was great to have. Overall Nice work!

glaze_96 says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 6:26am

Nice graphics! Would've been cool to see some pixelart animation (sprite swapping). But that's hard if you're not an pixelart artist though. So id say that you did a great job on those animations!

The hit boxes are a little weird but overall, nice game!

Hope you had a fun time making it =)

Blobo says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 9:59pm

I loved the graphics! nice work.

Apr 20, 2016 @ 2:35am

Spear OP! That was fun

Jungle says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 2:47am

Nice graphs. Need mechanics improvement. Thanks for share

Aaranos says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 3:00am

@SkullPixel, thanks I have never used that method before but I needed a lot of animation in a short time and I knew my spritesheets would take forever.

@Trash_empire, Yeah the hit detection isn't perfect. I tried to mess with it but I had little play test time outside fixing bigger bugs.

@davidmcdonald, I plan to release a post-compo version with many more features. One of them being multiple levels you progress through.

@Wisedawn, thanks they are getting more praise than I would of expected. Player walk needs updated so bad.

@datadazer, Audio right now is my worst skill. I can fumble together a beat and that's about it.

@glaze_96, I chose the dopesheet animation for time reasons. I kind of like the freedom of it but at the same time spritesheets feel so much cleaner.

@Blobo, thanks it was really a good few hours of the dare just making graphics.

@Rise and Shine Games, yes very OP. For ground anyways, it can't hit a bird to save your life, not literally do try.

@Jungle, thanks, what would you like to see improved specifically? I have two major design ideas I'm working on with one being the bow I planned to use but never coded and also adding combos.

kabel says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 6:25am

Yeah, well it's a small little game. It was ok.

JOK says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 8:01pm

Nice game. Impressed with the 2D animation system!

sP0CkEr2 says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 12:49am

some really good work on the art - good concept - nice work

Imperial Unit says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 2:26am

Nice game. The graphics and animations felt very polished and consistent.

norseware says ...
Apr 22, 2016 @ 12:15am

Animation was wonderful, collisions were "eh", mechanics were okay, and the variety was great. It was a bit rough changing weapons, and turning around to attack. But over all, this is a solid submission. Nice work! :)

jacklehamster says ...
Apr 22, 2016 @ 5:41am

I think that's a nice start that can be expanded. One think that should be resolved is the fact that you use the mouse click for attack, and the rest for moving. I would try to come up with simpler controls.

Aaranos says ...
Apr 22, 2016 @ 10:52pm

@kabel, I'm sorry it wasn't that fun for you.

@JOK, Thanks!

@sP0CkEr2, a good portion of my time on it was art so that's good to hear.

@Imperial Unit, thanks, the animation on the player was sloppy but I plan to clean it up when I add new features in the next update.

@norseware, thanks, I recognize the collisions issue and hope I can correct it. Just glad it works somewhat.

@jacklehamster, I do plan to expand on it. The mouse was included because at the start I planned to have a bow and you could aim with the mouse.

draq22 says ...
Apr 22, 2016 @ 11:34pm

Nice style and gameplay!

draq22 says ...
Apr 22, 2016 @ 11:35pm

Nice style and gameplay.

Khaoz_Fang says ...
Apr 23, 2016 @ 1:33am

The pixel art is nice. The control needs improve though. The axe will sometimes hit an enemy twice in a swing, and all weapons behaviors weirdly when you click quickly.

Aaranos says ...
Apr 23, 2016 @ 1:56am

@draq22, Thanks!

@Khaoz_Fang, The hit detection is on enter. I need to fix that in the next update but it was the first, albiet bad, way of detecting collisions that came to mind when making it. The animation doesn't lock you so you can spam it and it restart the animation.

Apr 23, 2016 @ 4:29pm

Pretty good, especially for a compo rules game. Took a little bit to figure out that it was arena-style and not "get to the objective", but did pretty well after that.

fin_nolimit says ...
Apr 23, 2016 @ 6:52pm

I LOVE THE PIXEL graphics!!!! We did pixel graphics as well!! Very cool game! Nice work!!

yuigoto says ...
Apr 23, 2016 @ 7:27pm

Nice work!

The sprite graphics remembered me of some old Game Gear games I've played, and I liked'em! :P Sound fx selection and soundtrack is good too, well done! :)

My main issue playing the game, besides controls, were the attack animations resetting if I clicked too fast, something a bit faster could put some more action into the game. :)

But I liked the challenge, really! I couldn't do this in 48h, so that's always a plus! Nice work on the Compo! :)

Good work, Cheers! :D

nlbi21 says ...
Apr 23, 2016 @ 8:21pm

5025 haha nice game i think the attacks need cooldown, if i press mouse all time, the character attack all time hahaha but the game is fun, add more enemies and a bow :D. I like the pixel art and music.

leo_p_mahon says ...
Apr 23, 2016 @ 10:39pm

My high score was 6000. Interesting animation style and a good use of color palette. Game play felt a bit too easy / not skill based. Maybe the timing needs to be a bit tighter?

Apr 24, 2016 @ 10:16am

I'm no good at this kind of game, but I think the controls could have been better. Even if you have a qwerty layout (I had to switch), doing both movement and weapon switching with the left hand is awkward. The physics all feel rather floaty and not very responsive. I do like the fact that the character is fully animated (even though his legs move weirdly). Would like to see more of that in LD.

puppetmaster says ...
Apr 24, 2016 @ 1:36pm

Coole animations and art style. Laughed about the double jump. Point of hurting could be more precise.
Keep up the good work!! Well done!

MatMortatti says ...
Apr 24, 2016 @ 5:49pm


I like the Dark Souls-esque style of combat you developed here, with the momentum of the weapons and strategy that comes within.

However, I feel that the game only barely fits the theme, because it can be argued that it doesn't have "shapeshifting" per se, only weapon-changing.

Also, it would be nice to add some grip in the hits :) feedback to the player is aways welcome.

Felladrin says ...
Apr 24, 2016 @ 6:37pm

Interesting art. Nice game menu.
Was the greataxe the best weapon overall?

LeReveur says ...
Apr 25, 2016 @ 1:01am

I killed every mob I can reach by spamming my left button before I died, it was surprisingly fun. :D

Geti says ...
Apr 26, 2016 @ 2:22am

Man the scrollbars on the embed here were not great, haha, and it fullscreened kinda funny. Enjoyable game, the running animation made me laugh a lot.

PowerSpark says ...
Apr 26, 2016 @ 4:13am

I like the graphics but the music could be better. I enjoyed it :D

Apr 26, 2016 @ 8:20am

Sweet compo entry, it was definitely fun and engaging ! The combat system is really good and has potential to be enhanced with new mechanics such as combos and new weapons. The pixel art and music are pretty nice and I especially loved the animation.

(And thank you for your feedback, it allowed me to fix some bugs !)

pjimmy says ...
Apr 26, 2016 @ 10:15am

Cool, but I don't like the controls, I prefer to move the character with the right hand. My control suggestion is the following: Arrow keys, or IJKL to move character, UP or I to jump, ASD to change weapon, W to attack.

AnaGF says ...
Apr 27, 2016 @ 11:53am

Audio is a bit repetitive, but mechanic is simple and cool. I had fun with it. Nice job :)

pixelpotions says ...
Apr 28, 2016 @ 4:03pm

I must say well done, mate!
The skeletal animation style was really well made, and the pixel art is cool!
I made exactly 2000 score, hope it's good haha!

KairosXIII says ...
Apr 29, 2016 @ 12:22am

Audio and pixel art really sets a nice 8 bit feel. Good job.

Xanjos says ...
Apr 29, 2016 @ 12:30am

I loved the animations although attacking feels a bit off as sometimes you have to remember not to spam the button too much other the attack animation would keep replaying over and over (might be better to wait until the animation has finished before playing it again).

CliffracerX says ...
Apr 29, 2016 @ 1:33am

Funny and fairly easy to get into the swing of once you understand the mechanics.

Gets a bit grindy and could stand to have a few more kinds of enemies and/or a bigger map.

TheMeorch says ...
Apr 29, 2016 @ 3:42am

Great artwork and animation. This is a fun arcade experience, and the 3 different weapons balance each other nicely.

I'd recommend not allowing the player to interrupt their own attack with another attack -- players will inevitably try to attack quickly and repeatedly, and will end up just restarting the attack animation. Also, making players complete each attack that they initiate will force them to be even more strategic.

P.S. Thanks for trying out my game, Theseus -- the split ability isn't available at the start of the game. The early levels are all solvable without that ability (which requires a pickup in later levels).

terryg says ...
Apr 29, 2016 @ 11:14am

Nice animations. Switching was difficult with having to hit the number keys. Perhaps using the Q,W and E keys would have been easier since I wouldn't have to move my hand. Still nice game overall.

emielboven says ...
Apr 29, 2016 @ 11:23am

Made me think of Apotheon in the way the weapons feel.
Tip: try giving the animations exit time so they won't reset everytime you click to attack ;)

APantaloni says ...
Apr 29, 2016 @ 12:21pm

Cool concept! Animations are a little weird sometimes (the hero walking) but nice, I especially liked the skeletons. The impacts lack feedback, some kind of hit/knockback animation would have been cool I think. Fun!

mrnannings says ...
Apr 30, 2016 @ 7:05pm

Cool game. The movement is a bit slow, i feels like the player is in the water. Gameplay itself is nice, gfx is nice - animations are right, music is a bit repetitive. All in all very good jam game.

DSSiege11 says ...
Apr 30, 2016 @ 10:42pm

Simple but fun game. My highest score is 2800! Would be great if the weapon animations were faster though. Good job anyway ;)

3rdChance says ...
May 1, 2016 @ 9:34pm

Liked the graphics =)

avinashd says ...
May 1, 2016 @ 10:03pm

Skeletal animation, fancy!

geekguy100 says ...
May 1, 2016 @ 10:05pm

I really like the graphics and the player animations were awesome!

SUNFURY says ...
May 2, 2016 @ 3:57pm

Hahaha Great game!
I liked the running a lot its looked like dancing and it was fun game!

General says ...
May 2, 2016 @ 7:36pm

Switching the weapon happens in many games, it's not actually a shapeshift, but after the jam, as you'll have no theme restrictions, you can expand the game and release it.

Green Soda says ...
May 3, 2016 @ 1:19am

nice animations :o
i like the mechanics... it's actually one of the game ideas i had in mind... =) the game's nice and fun but i's kinda uncomfortable to play with the hitbox but it just needs a few getting-used-to...
nice entry, great job with doing a nice set of variety :)

rhastapunk says ...
May 3, 2016 @ 10:16am

Interesting entry, Maybe I felt the gameplay a bit slow compared with enemies. Anyway Good Job :D

neilcorre2k6 says ...
May 3, 2016 @ 11:25am

Nice! :D I liked the pixelated graphics, but the animation is quite slow, kinds takes away the immersion :) or its just me, it may be better if the animation plays faster after pressing the button :)

May 3, 2016 @ 11:22pm

Interesting concept (And use of the theme), great animation/graphics and nice gameplay

Great job! ^_^

kariamoss says ...
May 4, 2016 @ 9:17pm

Nice job! :)

PaulJs says ...
May 4, 2016 @ 11:16pm

Nice graphics !

HolyBlackCat says ...
May 4, 2016 @ 11:26pm

Even though the combat system needs a more polishing, the game is still pretty nice. Congrats on finishing it!

Btw, I've found a single tiny bug: When you open "options" menu and click "apply" for the first time without touching anything, the volume still changes.

Geckoo1337 says ...
May 4, 2016 @ 11:29pm

Small little game which is well done. Il like the pixel art. maybe I could be more frenetic. Overall, great ++

lycoris102 says ...
May 4, 2016 @ 11:31pm

so fun, and nice Graphics :)
the beginning I did not know is that you can attack in Click.

Reisen says ...
May 5, 2016 @ 2:31am

Animation is cool, but maybe a bit too slow. And as many has mentioned, you shouldn't be able to cancel the attack animations. Though, cancelling allows for some interesting strategies. (Use axe, spam click, and you'll never have to worry about birds ever. Release for skeletons.)

May 5, 2016 @ 2:50am

There's a certain satisfying fluidity to this game. It's way hard to hit those pesky birds with any of the combos that I could find, but otherwise a solid entry!

Lullaby says ...
May 5, 2016 @ 5:00am

Haha, we quite have the same plot on our side, but concerning a different culture and with another type of Gameplay/3C !

Well played, and a special mention for the nordic culture and the great animation!

MalyTimi says ...
May 5, 2016 @ 8:00am

cool mechanic but where is the shapeshift?

Louspirit says ...
May 5, 2016 @ 10:05am

There are many features for a compo game, good job! The mood is unique and it is fun to play.

tomlum says ...
May 5, 2016 @ 5:58pm

Wonderful weapon designs and animation. A really cool style.

CaptainPilot says ...
May 5, 2016 @ 7:10pm

Nice use of colour, cool swinging animation, just wish there was more to the mechanics

TheCain says ...
May 7, 2016 @ 12:55am

I generally liked the game, so i state my criticisms.
I get your explanation, but I don't think the theme fit too well.
And graphically, you conflict. The knees rotate along the pixels vertex, and you have a giant tree with giant pixels.
Also the movements a bit weird.

dollarone says ...
May 7, 2016 @ 11:48am

Cool idea. Tutorial was a nice addition and worked nicely. I kinda hoped the spear could be attacking up as well, to kill those nasty birds. In the end I was most successful with the axe, trying to get a hit in before moving slightly away. The animations look awesome!

Music was a bit repetitive, but good enough for a compo game!

Would be cool to have more enemy types and other challenges to make the weapon choice matter more, but more this is more an idea if you want to extend it - for a 48h hack this is already a lot of work! Good stuff!

dollarone says ...
May 7, 2016 @ 11:49am

oh, also - I think it would have made more sense to attack with a keyboard button instead of the mouse :)

dunin says ...
May 8, 2016 @ 8:17pm

There is q lot of good things here (a complete menu! funny animations...)
Need some polish (speed, animation speed, control mapping) but nice game!

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