August 24th-27th 2012 :: Theme: Evolution

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Nom's Evolvathlon

by bvanschooten - 48 Hour Compo Entry

Nom's Evolvathlon, an LD24 entry by Boris van Schooten. Time taken: about 20 hours. Based on Java and JGame.

Nom the Onmiphage wants to eat everything. To succeed, he needs to evolve the right abilities: walking, jumping, swimming, flying, breathing, and shooting. The more he eats, the more abilities he can evolve, and the more easily he gets around.

This game includes procedurally generated caves, 8 types of organism, and 15 difficulty levels.

If you get stuck, press "Q" to commit suicide. You can also start at any level you like by selecting the level in the title screen.

To play the Android version, you probably need a big screen (tablet) to be able to point accurately enough.

The Jar runs as 640x480 by default. You can pass x and y size as command line parameters. Pass 0,0 to get full screen. Example:

java -jar NomsEvolvathlon.jar 1024 768

Known bugs: the player sometimes floats around uncontrollably in thin air (but eventually lands on his feet again).

I have also recorded screengrabs for a timelapse, but I will upload it later.

Downloads and Links




TobiasNL says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 10:18am

Ha that was cool. It took me a while to figure out the walking system but the gameplay was actually pretty awesome. Liked the jumping mechanic. Looks pretty nifty as well. Good use of the theme.

Birchmountain says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 10:20am

I like the overall idea and i really like the game! I didn't get through the first level though. I took breath instead of jump that made it impossible.

bvanschooten says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 10:57am

If you get stuck, press Q to commit suicide (sorry, forgot to mention).

Dietrich Epp says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 11:32am

I'm impressed by how sophisticated the game is -- very nice. I have a bit of trouble with the controls though. Also, when you get a new ability, sometimes I'm already clicking when the ability menu pops up so I click on something before I can read it -- and I can't figure out what ability I picked!

I'd love to see a more polished version sometime.

Misericorde says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 11:34am

Great game. A lot of nice features, hard to understand the way it works but then it's really great.

Wan says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 11:53am

Brilliant! While the controls are at bit annoying at times (but I get that you has to adapt them to make the game work on mobiles), the game ideas and overall gameplay are very interesting.

There's some kind of strategy when choosing which power-up to choose, so it's not just a basic platformer. I'm pretty sure that with some effort (refined controls, bigger and nicer sprites, more precise indications on what powerups can actually combine - since some seem to replace others), this could really make a sellable product.

Jiggawatt says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 11:56am

Great concept and execution, like some sort of procedural Metroidvania puzzle monster. You have to think about which upgrades to buy to not get stuck. Lots of content too, it feels like a very complete game.

At first I thought you'd proceed by going beyond the level boundaries, but it turned out you just have to collect everything, meaning you have to kill the enemies too. While there's attention to detail like trajectories turning into parabolas above the surface, the mouse-only controls seem a bit awkward when trying to move small distances.

Nonetheless, this is clearly a 4- or 5-star entry.

Ponte says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 1:18pm

It's hard to jump has hell but very nice game.

turnip says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 1:19pm

Really very good. The procedural level generation is awesome, but I think making the first few levels hand-made would be better at teaching the mechanics. This could make an excellent puzzle game with more work!

Porter says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 6:15pm

Pretty neat so far. The controls are extremely rough (jump conflicts with movement, movement fails to respond a lot, etc), but they can definitely be fixed. The overall concept is great, and the puzzle element of needing to carefully decide on an upgrade is cool.

wumpus says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 6:17pm

Took a while to get my head around the mechanics but once it clicked I really enjoyed it. It was good having to think about which trait was needed and when too.

Maacus says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 6:17pm

Very nice game when i understood it. At first I thought the small things on the bottom was dangerous. I had fun playing. Nom was cute.

IgorLopes says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 11:56pm

Very cool, but take a my doubts, the same programming code, you generated for apple and android? in what program? = O

Zccc says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 12:02am

I really liked it, it's pretty addictive :) but I got an evolution wrong and couldn't get past level 4..

RARoadkill says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 7:57pm

I found the controls a bit odd. Would have enjoyed it more if it used keyboard instead of mouse. Once I got the hang of the controls I really enjoyed it though.

Aug 28, 2012 @ 8:06pm

If Only I'd known about Q! I really enjoyed playing that, evolution system worked really well and lots of variety

DevWouter says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 9:40pm

Really nicely done and very addictive. Was a bit sad when I noticed that every level resetted the evolution, but then I found out it was a puzzle game. Nice!

Eniko says ...
Aug 29, 2012 @ 6:04pm

Really awesome gameplay mechanic. The only thing I didn't like so much was the levels where you start with the jump ability, because it can be so finicky trying to get anywhere with it.

tcstyle says ...
Aug 29, 2012 @ 8:55pm

This really is a great idea. But with the current implementation it's quite easy to get stuck. Did I miss it or do the levels lack any goal? I didn't reach a new stage without refreshing the page.

Drabiter says ...
Aug 30, 2012 @ 2:09am

Can't access your site (

BenW says ...
Aug 30, 2012 @ 3:18am

Neat idea but I felt like I was fighting with the controls the whole time.

goerp says ...
Aug 31, 2012 @ 3:24pm

Very good gameplay, the levels were good, which I find impressive.

EatThePath says ...
Aug 31, 2012 @ 11:55pm

Quite cool! Controls were a little clunky on a mouse. I liked the puzzle-solving aspect of it. It'd be nice if there were some ordering of evolutions so that you, say, couldn't get "fly" before getting "breathe", and if there were a way to restart the level without restarting the game.

evilseanbot says ...
Sep 3, 2012 @ 11:27pm

Pretty neat. It was somewhat frustrating to get stuck, as how many evolution opportunities you have left is rather opaque.

heuermh says ...
Sep 4, 2012 @ 4:55am

Cool, nice sprite animations.

airdeck says ...
Sep 5, 2012 @ 4:11am

I really enjoyed this game, however the controls (on a laptop at least) felt buggy and made it difficult to play. Other than that, I thought it was great. The procedurally generated levels worked really well too.

free_napalm says ...
Sep 6, 2012 @ 6:10pm

Great work. I actually wanted to get every evolutionary trait, as they were fun to use and you felt more powerful with each.
The generated levels worked, but they didn't get harder at all with the increasing difficulty setting. The only challenge was shooting enemies that sit in cave like positions. It was quite frustrating that you could walk right next to them and were unable to shoot. Maybe a melee trait would have been nice?

solkar says ...
Sep 8, 2012 @ 6:39am

I really liked.

hgcummings says ...
Sep 8, 2012 @ 9:58am

This was a really neat concept and it felt reasonably polished. I found the controls a little bit unintuitive with the mouse on desktop, but they were great with a touchscreen on Android. I liked that there was a puzzle element to picking the correct evolutions in the right order on each level (although it was annoying you had to completely start over if you got one wrong) and enjoyed the very different styles of play that came with each evolution. The graphics were quite cute too.

pighead10 says ...
Sep 11, 2012 @ 8:21pm

Fun puzzle game, liked it all except for the annoying jump sound!

jplur says ...
Sep 17, 2012 @ 10:51pm

Loved this, works beautifully on my phone, and I've played it quite a bit since downloading it. Will be keeping this app ;)

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