August 23rd-26th 2013 :: Theme: 10 Seconds

Ludum Dare 27 — August 23rd-26th, 2013
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Amulet in Ten

by mtrc - 48 Hour Compo Entry

Guide two heroes to the Amulet in each level. But think carefully - you only have ten moves!

Inspired by those "Checkmate In Ten" chess puzzles - I wanted to make a game about positioning and careful movement, with an RPG flavour.

14 hours in total for this one. I composed my first ever piece of music, and still managed 15 levels! Exhausted but proud. Let me know what you think.

How To Play

Double-click the Jar file to run. You have ten moves to reach the Amulet in each level.

Arrow Keys - Move
R - Restart Level
Shift - Hold to dash (as the Thief)

Notes on the Game

I developed some mechanics I liked but ultimately didn't get the time to design puzzles that took advantage of them. The last level in particular was a bit of a rush. Still, I hope you enjoy playing around with it!

Thanks to all those that go to the trouble of downloading it - I'm sorry I couldn't get a web version working.

Tools and Reflection

Built using the great LibGDX and the irreplaceable flixel-gdx library (

Art doodled out in Pixen.

Music done with Bosca Ceoil - - by Terry Cavanagh.

Downloads and Links




Toadpud says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 2:45am

Looks interesting, but the game crashes consistently when I get to the amulet in level 1 as the knight.

Toadpud says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 2:48am

Never mind, the problem was because I never extracted the zip file, I was running the jar from the WinRar viewer.

Aug 26, 2013 @ 10:44am

Very nice game! It reminds me a bit of the Trine series :)

mtrc says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 12:22pm

Thanks for sticking with it, Toadpud! :)

ZeDutch: Yes! I hadn't intended for the party swapping mechanic initially, but I didn't have time to write a third party member so I wondered if there were puzzles to be made by combining the two characters. It turned out alright-ish :P Thanks for playing!

Zelosfan says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 12:50pm

Really amazing game ;) The pixel art really fits the game. With your step-by-step tutorial it's easy to learn the game.
Keep up the good work ^_^

Kevlanche says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 12:55pm

Great game! My first 5/5 overall. Excellent level design. My only wish is that it was longer :-P. I vote for the next ludum dare theme to be "sequels" so you can make a sequel to this :D

Gaspard_ says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 12:56pm

Loved the Gameplay!
However the theme didn't seem very integrated...
Any plans for this game?

Aug 26, 2013 @ 1:24pm

This is great! After the simple warmup puzzles, things get real difficult real quick. I have to admit I got stuck on the level where you can switch characters and there are four trolls and two beholders and you have to kill them all...

One minor gripe, which can probably be resolved with one added line of help text or some animations, is in what order things happen. It seems like I have to step onto a monster to attack, yet they can hit me at 1 distance?

I like the music -- simple without being annoying. Overall, the game feels very complete.

mtrc says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 1:31pm

Thank you all! I'll reply in turn :)

Zelos - You're very kind! I started really trying hard with my pixelling this year. The Knight is my best sprite yet I think! I'm glad the tutorial was okay.

Kevlanche - I'm honoured! Thanks a lot :) I might try and extend it, I kinda like the idea and it would be good to spend longer working on the level design.

Gaspard - You're right about the theme. The original idea was based off how turn-based roleplaying games sometimes say a turn takes X seconds. I wanted to do a 'Complete the level in 10 seconds' kinda thing, but I also wanted the player to have time to think carefully. This was the tradeoff!

Fractal - Hey! Everyone gets stuck on that level. I designed the levels really quickly and if I could complete them I just moved on. Also you weren't the only person to tell me that the order of actions was confusing. I've been playing and makings lots of roguelikes this year, and I kinda took their mechanics for granted. I should've included something in the tutorial.

Thanks for the compliment about the music! I love Terry's tool so much. Can't wait to practice more.

kunzbe says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 1:36pm

I really had fun to play through the game. I will come back to this game for sure :)

neekobus says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 1:40pm

Good puzzle with good and simple mechanics, if we ignore the theme.
I can't pass the Thief level with the 3 beholders ("Don't get surrounded") ! I get kill even if I use the double move.

mtrc says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 1:58pm

Thanks to both of you! I wrote a little bit about the theme above, here it is pasted again:

Gaspard - You're right about the theme. The original idea was based off how turn-based roleplaying games sometimes say a turn takes X seconds. I wanted to do a 'Complete the level in 10 seconds' kinda thing, but I also wanted the player to have time to think carefully. This was the tradeoff!

So I didn't ignore the theme entirely, but I didn't want to force the player into too arbitrary a time limit. Thanks for playing. :)

Fireblend says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 1:59pm

I love how deep this game actually is. Plenty of great ideas and mechanics, all well executed. Lots of room to expand on, if you're planning to release a post-compo version. Specially if you remove the 10 steps limitation. I also quite like how it looks. Great game!

gritfish says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 2:01pm

WOW - this is such a clever little puzzler!
I was playing with Bosca for my game, but couldn't get anything I was happy with.
While zedutchgandalf said it reminded him of Trine, I got a distinct "Adventures of Lolo" vibe...

mtrc says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 2:09pm

Fireblend - Thank you! That's really kind :) I'm hoping to expand on it but keep in the 10 steps. Maybe have a variable step target or something, but definitely keep the player focused and thinking about each decision :)

gritfish - Ooh, I've not heard of that game. going to look it up now. Thanks so much!

ThirteenWB says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 2:29pm

I got stuck on the level with the four trolls and two beholders as well but it was really fun up until then. The graphics are awesome.

nek says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 2:30pm

I liked your entry a lot. I can see the effort put into polishing the gameplay.
The pixel art works well here too.
It doesn't feel like it's really on theme but it's so good otherwise I can live with it.

Great entry!

Now back to

nek says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 2:31pm

I liked your entry a lot. I can see the effort put into polishing the gameplay.
The pixel art works well here too.
It doesn't feel like it's really on theme but it's so good otherwise I can live with it.

Great entry!

Koltiman says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 4:22pm

Really fun little game which i enjoyed for all of its length, the concept was good and the gameplay was well thought through. Good job sir!

Taiters says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 7:57pm

This game looks pretty interesting, but whenever I finish the first level it crashes :(

I'm on Windows 7 x64

Aug 26, 2013 @ 7:57pm

Very nice game, with impressive detail! Got badly stuck on one level though... My brain malfunctioned...

mtrc says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 8:06pm

Hi Taiters - I'll have a think as to why this might be and try to fix it.

Zeppellin - Was it with the eight lava squares in a ring? Everyone gets stuck there, don't worry! Sorry I made it a bit hard, i didn't have time to balance the levels...

kristof says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 8:23pm

Very nice ideas on the mechanics and the character switching! I would like to see something like this in a less puzzley and more RPG like game if you know what I mean. Had a lot of fun playing! The level with the four trolls and the two other monsters took me a while, but I made it through.

Mclogenog says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 8:41pm

Clever design. I think you succeeded with the "10 Move Checkmate" feeling. I wish there was a broader gradient of progress than success or failure, though. I barely managed to beat one of the puzzles, and there was no way for me to know if I was really close to the solution, or not at all. This uncertainty leads to brute forcing solutions, which isn't fun. But this is a problem that's much easier to identify than it is to solve; "checkmate in 10" has it too.

Despite that (or perhaps because of that), I feel pretty good about beating it!

Ithildin says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 11:09pm

Nice job! I was already enjoying the game by the second act, and then using both characters' abilities made it even better =)

olafurw says ...
Aug 27, 2013 @ 1:05am

A very well done puzzle game. Teaches mechanics well and is designed to have pretty varied and sometimes complicated puzzles. Bravo!

f345an says ...
Aug 27, 2013 @ 1:10am

Awesome game! Love the tile based movement, the theme doesn't exactly match though but I'd love to see more of this game in the future?

borden says ...
Aug 27, 2013 @ 1:30am

crashes on ubuntu :(

Aug 27, 2013 @ 1:36am

Great execution on a clever idea. It reminds me of Nethack, which also made me miss the "wait" command. I got stuck on the "don't get surrounded" Beholder level as well, but all this talk about character switching makes me think I should revisit this one. Nice work!

lekochen says ...
Aug 27, 2013 @ 2:00am

Complete! Really fun to play!

rogueNoodle says ...
Aug 27, 2013 @ 12:02pm

I really enjoyed this, although like a few others, I'm stuck on "Don't get surrounded" puzzle. Is there a way to switch characters in this level that I'm missing?

mtrc says ...
Aug 27, 2013 @ 3:01pm

Thank you to everyone! Your kind words really made the weekend worthwhile :) Apologies to those who have crashes - if you can run it through a command line (java -jar amulet-in-ten.jar) and let me know what it says I'll try and fix it.

Some tips for puzzles:

"Don't Get Surrounded" - The Thief dies if he ends a turn next to a creature. So try to draw the monsters away so they get picked off one by one. Monsters can't attack or move diagonally!

"The level with the ring of lava" - The tip I've been giving people is the order in which I kill the monsters on this level. Beholder, Troll, Beholder, in that order. Then see if you can solve the rest ;)

nthird says ...
Aug 27, 2013 @ 7:27pm

Very interesting as is and a lot of potential to expand on it. I'd love to see a few more classes (a mage would open up some interesting space). Varying the number of moves would make it more interesting as well. With some of the levels beatable in under 10 moves it changed the difficulty curve dramatically. I hope you work on this more, its a good concept and well executed.

GFM says ...
Aug 27, 2013 @ 9:24pm

Nice game! :)

That level on the picture (actually, the one that looks like that but has two beholders) was by far the hardest... it should had been way nearer to the end. xD

SCCOTTT says ...
Aug 28, 2013 @ 12:39am

Beautiful game. Love the graphics! Very polished. Well done!

Jason says ...
Aug 28, 2013 @ 12:46am

At first I thought this seemed a bit basic, but with a littler perseverance through the tutorial and understanding how the mechanics work, its a very well done puzzle game. Great job!

mtrc says ...
Aug 28, 2013 @ 6:50pm

Thanks for all the feedback, everyone! Especially suggestions for where to take it next :) I hope I get time to do this. Really appreciate you taking the time to play and rate.

awesomesauce says ...
Aug 28, 2013 @ 8:44pm

Awesome entry! Puzzle-games can be hard to pull off, but this is a lot of fun and the story is well executed.

I couldn't get past:
"When you attack you deal damage before your opponent. (Thief)"

Moving one tile gets me surrounded and moving two out the gate and I immediately die to the beholder. What am I missing?

mtrc says ...
Aug 29, 2013 @ 12:31am

Moving one tile is okay - as the Thief, you have 1 HP which means you'll die if you're attacked. But you get to move first, so if you move up or down, you'll kill the Beholder there and not be attacked by the others.

mtrc says ...
Aug 29, 2013 @ 12:31am

And thanks for playing!

Puck says ...
Aug 29, 2013 @ 7:27am

I loved it! The graphics are simple but stylish and get the job done, the audio fits (though an attack/hit sound would have been nice) and the gameplay is top notch. In fact I have to say some of the puzzle are quite devious, and even the difficulty curve is pretty good for a 48 hour game.

The whole thing feels very polished and has an Amiga era charm to it. Well done!

Venturelli says ...
Aug 29, 2013 @ 9:32pm

Really simple and interesting! Would love to see a full rogue-like taking advantage of this approach!

chrisamaphone says ...
Aug 30, 2013 @ 12:12am

Love the puzzle mechanics in this. Got stuck somewhere in chapter 3; might try again later.

marccspro says ...
Aug 30, 2013 @ 2:29am

Very good game :D

SnoringFrog says ...
Aug 31, 2013 @ 6:39pm

Level 7 was definitely more difficult than the rest of the levels; I'd kinda hoped the subsequent levels would be a bit more like it in terms of difficulty. After finally beating 7, the rest felt like a joke. Regardless, nicely done. Great audio (wish I'd had time to try Bosca Ceoil to get something in my game) as well.

Sergey Mohov says ...
Aug 31, 2013 @ 9:03pm

Quite interesting, and for some reason reminded me of this for some reason:
Pretty solid entry.

Sep 1, 2013 @ 1:56pm

Pretty cool puzzle game! I was stuck for ages on the "do not get surrounded" level.

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