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

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Cactus Ray

by neontropics - Compo Entry



RED RAY can punch enemies so hard that they turn into cacti, if you time it right.

BLUE RAY can push cacti so that they slide on the ground.


I did about 2 more hours of work and added 3 more levels (2 before and 1 after the previous level 5) as well as the background music I made during the weekend. It really makes the game flow a lot better. Obviously don't judge based on this or anything but if you're interested you can play it here:


My first Ludum Dare!

After the first day I switched from an action game to more of a puzzle game + redid all the graphics, so it's all very last minute - I would have loved to have been able to make some more levels and mechanics. It still shows the concept successfully, especially level 5 is fun and has all the mechanics coming together pretty well. The game just loops level 5 after you complete it though, it's the last level I managed to get in in time.

The source code is pretty atrocious due to switching the gameplay mid-Jam as well as learning how Unity does certain stuff and hacking around a lot of bugs that I didn't have time to fix in a good way.

You can switch levels by pressing numbers 1-5 on the keyboard.

Made using:

* Unity 5
* PyxelEdit
* Tiled

The Web game should work, if it doesn't embed here then it should work on!

Optional theme music I composed over the weekend but didn't have time to add in the game:

Downloads and Links




Tijn says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 9:30am

Well done on finishing a game for your first LD! Getting an entry submitted at all is half the challenge :)

The game itself is pretty nice. I like the mechanic where you can manipulate the level. It's a bit of a shame there is no audio, but given the fact you've switched genre mid-jam, it's impressive you made something this coherent at all.

Keep it up!

GAFBlizzard says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 9:30am

Good work, especially for the last minute. It's like Sokoban with a twist.

Aurel Bílý says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 9:33am

Could be interesting with more levels / more focus on puzzley level design. I tried to do the last level without reading the description (and without realising I can turn enemies into cacti), … so obviously needs some instructions, etc.

htspencer88 says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 2:41pm

Its a brilliant bit of work!

Other people have mentioned pretty much what I wanted to say, vis-a-vis procedural generation and a more in game tutorial.

Congratulations on getting through the chaos and coming out the other end with a great game, you should be super proud of what you accomplished and this game could very easily be increased in scope and fleshed out. Well done!

tanjent says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 9:47pm

Very cute and a good puzzler. Could add some action bombs ala bomberman and some interactive walls if you want to expand the levels a bit more.

EdoMiyamoto says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 12:22pm

Good retro feeling, I'm listening to the music you did as I writing this comment. I hope next LD you'll have time to include music to go along with your game, because you have potential :)
For the game, it's minimalist but understandable and challenging :)

TheMightyTeam says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 7:39pm

8bit games will live forever!. Good job and keep working.

Saiodin says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 7:59pm

I really liked the gameplay. I had fun experimenting how to solve the levels. Needed a couple tries for the fifth one, but managed to solve it.

cudabear says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 3:58pm

This feels just like an old tile-based puzzler that you would find on DOS in the early 90's, like Chip's Challenge. And that's awesome! The puzzles were genuinely puzzling without being frustrating, and the mechanics were straightforward. My only complaint is that sometimes it was confusing as to why I died, as the enemies sometimes chose to move into my space (which is enough to kill Red Ray for some reason) when I was moving and other times they didn't. Avoiding collisions entirely helped negate this problem, but I still felt like sometimes I was either getting killed cheaply or was getting away with what should have killed me.

The music is super groovy! It's a shame you couldn't get it playing in the actual game.

Well done, a great entry!

neontropics says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 9:33pm

Thanks for the great feedback people! Chip's Challenge was definitely an inspiration (the goal tiles are basically a colored version of Chip's), as well as Sim City (original), Tetris, Go and random roguelikes.

Re-confusing deaths: I think I need to make it clearer which ways the enemies are facing, maybe with brighter colored eyes. Enemy AI is pretty much to either walk towards player if they are turned towards them *and can move in that direction*, and otherwise turn towards player. Enemy makes his decision before the your move is executed though, which might lead to some confusion.

Apr 20, 2016 @ 11:13pm

Interesting little fun game! :)

wg_phancock says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 1:48am

Nice take on the classic block-pushing puzzle...turning the enemies into blocks.

The enemies could probably use some better indication of which way they are going to walk when you take a turn; it took me a little while to figure out how to time the punching without dying.

JNI says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 1:37pm

Wow really nice and classic game!

grayhaze says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 1:44pm

This was a fun and challenging cross between a roguelite and Sokoban, with a nice element of strategy thrown in with the shapeshifting. I enjoyed playing and would like to see this developed further. Well done. :)

jakass says ...
Apr 22, 2016 @ 5:06pm


adsilcott says ...
Apr 23, 2016 @ 1:31am

This is really fun. It reminds me of combat in classic rogue-likes, which I love. Great job!

WizByte_Games says ...
Apr 23, 2016 @ 4:14am

With some audio, more levels, and probably more enemy types this could be a game that could be steam worthy.

Steven Miller says ...
Apr 23, 2016 @ 7:57am

Very fun game! I was actually quite surprised by how fun and open-ended the puzzles were in this game. I loved the art and the mechanics were very solid. 5 stars from me!

LinealGames says ...
Apr 23, 2016 @ 5:34pm

I never figured out how to punch enemies as Red Ray but I found it to be very fun but also really hard

demogorgon says ...
Apr 23, 2016 @ 7:46pm

That was really fun. Not entirely sure why but I enjoyed it more than I thought I would have.

jhell says ...
Apr 23, 2016 @ 10:15pm

Interesting concept, although simple :). Too bad there aren't any sounds!

FurtherForm says ...
Apr 25, 2016 @ 9:55pm

Great idea. Really like how puzzley it gets. 8-bit is not my cake, but it works nicely here.

Kerdelos says ...
May 1, 2016 @ 1:50pm

The game is nice but it is hard to understand which shape does what and what is the ennemy behaviour. Welcome to Ludum Dare by the way !

pixelpotions says ...
May 2, 2016 @ 5:50pm

What a enjoyable game!
I love this turn based gameplay mechanic, reminds me a lot of Rusty Bucket from cellphone! Loved the idea and the minimalist vision. Well done!

May 3, 2016 @ 10:07pm

Nice game! It took me some time to figure out what I could do with the two different shapes, but I managed to complete all 5 levels. Congrats on your first LD game! :D

May 7, 2016 @ 12:37pm

I like the presentation, very 80s ish and atmospheric. The first 4 levels are a bit too easy. As is, gameplay seems a little random to me, but could be quite interesting with more puzzle elements.

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