Ludum Dare 29 — April 25th-28th Weekend — Theme: Beneath the Surface

Event Links: [ MiniLD 50 | Warmup Weekend | Real World Gatherings | Ludum Deals | Wallpaper ]

Back to Browse Entries

A Glorious Escape for A Lich King

by Benjamin - 48 Hour Compo Entry

Fight against hoard of humans while you dig a tunnel to make the lich king escape the battlefield.

The surface :
Build towers to protect your city. At first, only peasants will attack you, but soldiers and knights will follow...

The underground :
Hire gobelins to collect gold and dig tunnels faster.
You can also raid tombs and find relics with special power. Hire orcs to protect the lich king.

Clic your city or hold spacebar if you want to switch from the surface to the underground.

Show where to dig to the goblins by just dropping the pickaxe on some dirt block.
If you can reach the underground border you win the game !

Don't... : ( = known bugs )
- Dynamite near the border if the hole is not connected to your tunnel.
- Use the graveyard wall relic, if it would close all road to your castle

Downloads and Links




TijmenTio says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 11:56am

Nice work as always! Only the navigation was tedious, why didn't you make a camera following the mouse? And you could've made some more visual feedback. Because for example, I only found out after 10/15 minuten that the goblins were carrying gold back to the ladder as opposed to just wandering around haha. Anyhow I enjoyed it to the end of it :)

MokuJin says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 2:10pm

i've run it twice, and i win the second time.
Is there a win screen ? i'm asking this because the game freeze when i win.

Very good game, a lot of work for the multiple animations : they are amazing !

Skywilly says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 3:55pm

Great idea. Maybe too slow sometimes, but it's really to find a negative point ;) Real great game, good job !

feiss says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 4:10pm

amazing. This is amazing, great job man, you must be very proud! Of tens of games i've tried, this is the funniest!

Sakuyan says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 4:13pm

This was probably the most fun I had on an entry. Thanks!

Apr 28, 2014 @ 4:41pm

Amazing Benjamin! All of this in 2 days? Chapeau bas!

fserb says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 5:14pm

Really really enjoyed your game! Great job! :)

Xaychru04 says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 6:36pm

Awesome game, kept me playing for quite a long time!
The visuals are very nice, the gameplay is clever too, I like how you mixed a TD game with a mining game, it was really fun to play! :)

Zathalos says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 7:40pm

Great graphics and fun to play. Switching between screens was pretty innovative too. My only gripe was the miners were a little slow. Awesome job.

Apr 28, 2014 @ 8:54pm

I think this game has one of the best audio than any LD game I've ever played. The way the bg music mix with the sound effects its so amazing it seems like a rhythm game.

stoo says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 9:25pm

This is great! I love the dual mode of the game with the above world battles and the below world tunnelling. Works really well.

GFM says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 2:02am

Amazing game! The soundscape generated by the actions of everything was simply... wow!
The game was really fun! I'm usually lazy about this, but I liked that it's possible to create a maze a soon as you get the blocking graveyard.
I also liked the fact that you didn't use the theme as a simple "you play beneath the surface", but added meaning to it!

zatyka says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 2:27am

Very well done. I played through a couple times, and really enjoyed it. It's one of the few games I played where the theme had an actual meaning to the game.

The camera seemed to have a mind of its own, and the game intermittently froze for a few seconds when there were a many sprites on the screen. (FYI window 8.1 with chrome v34)

Tipyx says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 1:40pm

Awesome Ben ! Need some improvements but it's terribly addictive yet !

Apr 29, 2014 @ 4:11pm

Fun little Defense Game!, I love it

TheGrieve says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 4:52pm

Great work, thoroughly enjoyed and well made.

larouxn says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 5:02pm

Absolutely gorgeous work. Although the controls can be a little confusing at first, moving downstairs and such, they become pretty intuitive.

The animations, especially for the menus, are stunning. Great work!

brother.byto says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 6:43pm

Great game, as always

Garris says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 6:59pm

I love when tower defense games add resource management that's more than just "Kill all the things to get more things". Good use of theme, and it's just really fun!

kmakai says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 8:20pm

Really cool game and a nice take on tower defense, I wish the digging was a bit faster but still had a lot of fun!

Anoarith says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 9:53pm

Really nice work, great game design :) !

lekochen says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 12:32am

Awesome! It is really fun to play.

rylgh says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 2:30am

so well done... love the little polished bits (the cool open-grave sprite, the arrow arc, the way the imps mining seems to be synced to a beat)

Sestren says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 2:46am

Great entry. I found it fairly difficult even on the easiest setting, but it was still pretty fun to play.

Apr 30, 2014 @ 11:52am

Solid td! I like the hex-grid.

Apr 30, 2014 @ 2:42pm

On my first try the game froze after some time, maybe there was too much stuff walking around... The second time I made it, but the game only switched to the underground view without a win-indication.

Otherwise really nice, it's hard to prioritize escape over getting all the goodies!

GertJohnny says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 9:16pm

Fun game with a good amount of polish. Tower defense has been done to death but the twist was nice.

Yacodo says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 9:54pm

Sillyguy : Always love your games. thanks. really !

(I posted for him)

rvmook says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 1:54am

I'm hooked. Love it!

PapyGaragos says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 9:47am

This is a fantastic entry. The attention to detail is amazing Bookmarked!

fullmontis says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 1:20pm

Superb game! Had fun playing for quite a while :)

gingerbeast says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 5:21pm

Lovely! Thats all I have to say.

Cirrial says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 5:32pm

The soundscape being perfectly aligned was just so incredible. I love it. It feels almost like a rhythm game! I love so much about this entry I don't know where to even begin. Fantastic!

Exergy says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 5:56pm

Truly amazing game!
I'm very impressed!

tomvert says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 6:05pm

Probably the most polished game from this ludum dare, impressive, bravo :D

allinlabs says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 6:06pm

Can't find any flaw, it's a great entry and it's very satisfying to play it a long time. I paid for game that are way worse than this and I spent less time on them...
Great job!

Zer0XoL says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 6:08pm

Very nice game! There are a few bugs thought. E few major ones like being able to place tower on top of eachother. I would like my miners to not stop mining. Enjoyable, might win this year. :)

tidalkraken says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 6:10pm

Great game, lots of options and very fun!

Jod says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 6:10pm

Wow, loved this one! Spent a lot of time playing it. The underground power-ups really give it some spice!

One of the best entries so far!

Shivur says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 6:33pm

Very solid and complete game.

loxo says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 6:41pm

Great idea, great game! I managed to win the second time I played in easy mode. The interface is nice, I wish I thought of that.

cageinabird says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 6:53pm

There's a lot to appreciate here: the animations, the pathfinding, switching to and from the underground view, the visual polish, the audio which never became irritating, the hexes, oh, the hexes...

Only negative point was that it was too easy on normal difficulty, but it's not realistic to expect perfect balance from 48 hours.

2HitAdam says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 6:53pm

Incredible! Didn't realise what the win conditions were at first so I opened ALL the graves, and even though it was tedious the sweet beat of the little goblins mining made it still very enjoyable. So much polish for such a short time, damn fine work!

anissen says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 7:29pm

Awesome game! It has some really great concept and polish. Not far from being a "real" game :)

anbreizh says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 8:14pm

Very fun game. Very good gameplay. I'd like to see and extended version of this. Nice work !

oxysoft says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 9:20pm

Great game, although pretty challenging. I could see this become popular if you were to continue it, it's a solid idea.

Huder says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 9:50pm

This is a great start to awesome game, you need to continue this project. Graphics is well polished, nice gameplay idea. My only discount is that after 5 minutes if you place your towers at right positions your base is inviolable no matter how much enemies will come. But this is 48h so i can't expect prefect balance :P

Huder says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 9:52pm

And one more thing i forgot to mention. Later sounds are irritating.

SonnyBone says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 12:04am

I really enjoyed this one. It froze up a few times and I had to restart, but what's here is really promising and addicting. I love the audio design and the sprites. GREAT use of theme, and really cool twist on the typical defense game.

PriorBlue says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 1:01am

Great pixel art and nice slide animations.

May 2, 2014 @ 2:14am

Great game! I got a little confused by the camera controls at first and didn't understand that I had to buy/respawn goblins when they die, but nicely done overall!

ripatti says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 12:07pm

Finished the game on Easy. And it's just incredible! Great gamedesing, art and sounds. A bit buggy though. Anyway, great job!

MaesK says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 4:22pm

One of the greatest games I've seen around here. Simple, yet addictive, and nice graphics. Every element of this game has a great sense of detail, surprising for a 48h time frame. And on top of that, is fun.

Only drawbacks? Goblin icon is not very clear, and a "tower spiral" technique makes "Hard mode" easy too. Nonetheless, excellent work.

xdegtyarev says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 8:22pm

just amazing entry! congratulations, nicely done with such complex task!

eugman says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 12:42am

I really enjoyed it. Very beautiful artwork

May 3, 2014 @ 1:53am

AMAZING work. Mixing up TD with RTS-styled resource gathering. Great show, mate!

Venturelli says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 2:18am

Wow this is really good, and a super-polished game. It's interesting how we both ended up making a TD/Dungeon 2-layered thing, but they are completely different games. Your design is much better as well! Could use some better pacing, but that's super hard to get right during a game jam, so 5/5 for you, mister!

Dreii says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 3:15am

THIS GAME WAS AWESOME like i just played it for half an hour enjoying every minute. I think it froze when I won though, also I found an ultimate strategy at the end, you can just put towers around your base, make a tunnel of towers at the enterance and make a million goblins if you get the goblin perk that lets them roam above lol. never lose :p

01101101 says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 9:10am

Impressive work! Your pixel-art is really cool, the sounds are great (they end up making some sort of music themselves ^^)
The idea is really good, it's a lot of fun to play. One of my favorite from yours and from this LD.
PS: My game froze once while I was on the surface (presumably when the goblins unlocked the Graveyard Wall upgrade, but the path to the castle wouldn't have been blocked by that anyway, so I don't know...)

NoNoBattle says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 2:27pm

Very nice audio and graphics!

The minimalistic background music mixes well with the SFX, I really enjoyed the drumsolos which the goblins make underground :D

Gameplay works well, you did think that through^^
I'm a little bit disappointed by the difficulty, started it in hard mode and didn't get stressed or challenged at all... Also, when you place the towers around your base to build just one path and have the sides filled with graveyards and bowtowers, you have practically won. That means, if you could win this game?^^

Graphics are so cute! I love the little bustling goblins and their little animations! Overall, animations are minimalistic but they fit very well.

So while I was writing the above, it seems that I have won, so you can win, but I unfortunately missed the winning condition...

Anyhow, I had a lot of fun and love to see this game evolve a little.

Good luck!

ehtd says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 2:53pm

Not sure why, but on mac is unplayable, the map flickers and moves. Tried on safari, firefox and chrome. All same results.

nSun says ...
May 4, 2014 @ 11:45am

Realy nice game.
I dont know if I'm a bad player or if there is a small defect in the orc's AI. In normal game, they did not seem to care about to defense lich king, even though they were on adjacent cell where knights were killing my king...

Muciojad says ...
May 4, 2014 @ 4:00pm

Holy crap! I play this one a looooong while. One of top entry what I played so far this LD. Amazing work! ;]

Thorig says ...
May 4, 2014 @ 5:21pm

That was a lot of fun!

Lacaranian says ...
May 4, 2014 @ 7:10pm

Very addictive, well done. There was one bug where the camera drifted upwards sometimes, but apart from that the game was fantastic. Before I knew what I was doing, easy mode was tough, and after I figured it out, hard mode was easy.

FREEZX says ...
May 4, 2014 @ 8:46pm

A very nice game :D

Split82 says ...
May 4, 2014 @ 9:48pm

Awesome! Very addictive.

dector says ...
May 4, 2014 @ 10:04pm

Super nice entry. Liked art, solid gameplay.

BTW can't finish it because game freezes and now I have pink screen while music is playing. It happens when I dug to +1 zombie deal.

DDRKirby(ISQ) says ...
May 4, 2014 @ 11:21pm

Not just a TD, but a Maze TD?? Man...

Took me a bit to figure out exactly what you were doing here, but this is very enjoyable, though of course I'm sure you know it can be improved. Great compo entry :)

porglezomp says ...
May 5, 2014 @ 12:03am

BEAUTIFUL game. It was hard to figure out that the goblins were bringing me the money, I thought they were just wandering around, but other than that it's really great!

May 5, 2014 @ 12:42am

Hey! The Lich King (not Arthas... the cool, pixel-made Lich King) is featured on my "favorites" post

mechabit says ...
May 5, 2014 @ 1:57am

Brilliant game in such a short time. Probably needs more mechanics for a longer game though.

Penguincat says ...
May 5, 2014 @ 3:32am

This was a lot of fun, and the graphics were great. I especially love how the sound effects have a musical/rhythmic quality that matches up with the music, that was a really nice touch! My only problem was the interface, I wish spacebar would just toggle the view back and forth rather than having to hold it down, and I wish I could select any number of tiles to be mined out instead of having to micromanage it. Also I don't understand why the goblins just wander around aimlessly when there's a mine order waiting. The game also froze after playing for several minutes. But otherwise it was pretty good, and surprisingly fun given that I normally don't like tower defense. Nice work!

Candyhandy says ...
May 5, 2014 @ 5:23am

Awesome game mechanisc, i love it the most of all the games so far.

FrameMatt says ...
May 5, 2014 @ 6:57am

Muy divertido!

Toby Pinder says ...
May 5, 2014 @ 6:17pm

This one is simply sublime. I can't say enough nice things about it! I love the art style, I love the gameplay and it's very polished.

The thing I particularly find impressive is the audio work you've done, to synchronize game events with "music". It gives the whole game a very low-fi rhythm that's truly awesome.

I did find the difficulty curve a bit easy - "Hard" was fairly trivial after my game on easy. Though I imagine it's difficulty curves are tuned for first time play (it is an LD entry after all) and that's absolutely to be expected!

Fantastic job!

Erkberg says ...
May 6, 2014 @ 12:08am

Probably the best game I played so far, really fun gameplay and I also like the graphics. Great job!

c1tr00z says ...
May 7, 2014 @ 8:27pm

Very nice work! Dungeon Keeper meet Majesty! Awesome!

sorceress says ...
May 8, 2014 @ 1:03pm

It's a good design, but the game freezes part way through as I'm building a spiral maze of towers. Suspect it's a pathfinding error if orcs block the path in?

NightShadow0 says ...
May 10, 2014 @ 7:26pm

Really fun, but really hard! I always get overwhelmed shortly after getting my first relic. Impressive work!

May 10, 2014 @ 8:10pm

Fantastic graphics, nice game player, well done. I included it in part 20 of my Ludum Dare compilation video series, if you'd like to take a look :)

angelk says ...
May 11, 2014 @ 9:07am

I thought the screenshots looked decent but the animation added a whole new level to the graphics, it's excellent. I think the concept is unique, having a tower defense on one level and a game like dungeon keeper on the bottom. I never got to a point where it seemed like what I was doing below affected what I was doing above ground but that would have been cool (like you can build "reinforced" units on area's you've already dug out, etc.). It seemed like the pathing of the goblins was a little strange where if I dug in a straight line, only two would dig and the others would just wander away, and sometimes when I'd go to the top they would have all wandered away from digging, and I wasn't being invaded. I'm glad to see multiple difficulties, and basic sound covered, you really accomplished a lot in the time frame. I also wanted to say thanks for the thoughtful feedback on my game; you had good suggestions and it shows you really took time to play it.

joe40001 says ...
May 13, 2014 @ 9:00am

Really cool and original game!

gmaker says ...
May 15, 2014 @ 11:34am

its HIGH FIVE!! Really good job!! I LOVED

Silii says ...
May 16, 2014 @ 9:42am

J'ai eu quelques ralentissements suivit d'un plantage complet du jeu, arrivé à ce niveau la :
Surement lié au nombre de Zombies.
Dommage, j'avais prévu de remplir la zone en entier :D

CommanderJ says ...
May 17, 2014 @ 9:29pm

very fun take on a tower defense game. Really enjoyable. Would have liked to control the camera though. Sometimes got to looking in the wrong place.

deepnight says ...
May 18, 2014 @ 7:37am

Wow. Ultra polished entry and a very absorbing gameplay :) It took me some time to figure out I could actually buy extra goblins (I thought it was just a counter, not a button) and the game froze when I used dynamite near the borders (out of bounds access on an array, probably).

The fact the sfx are synced with the BPM is very nice too. The goblins lack a feedback to explain that they are carrying back the soil. The game was pretty easy in Normal too, didn't have any kind of trouble to contain the assault.

Good job :)

stqn says ...
May 20, 2014 @ 9:27pm

Impressive amount of work and great idea! I’d love to play an extended and more balanced version (more difficult – the game is easy on hard once you understand the mecanics).

Negative points:
- the "music" was not very enjoyable
- the dynamite that explodes the tomb when you wanted to select a target instead
- too easy; once you’ve built a small spiral of towers then enemies are no longer a threat
- not obvious that the goblins are bringing gold (?) back to the tower.

You must sign in to comment.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you want to place in the final results, you NEED votes. The easiest way to get votes is by rating other games. Judging lasts for 3 weeks following the end of Ludum Dare. For best effect, rate 20 games as soon as possible. Rating more games is encouraged.


TEAMS: Teams entering the Jam should pick a single representative to submit your game, or create a team specific account you can share. We currently do not support Team Voting, but sharing an account and together playing and rating games is acceptable.

NOT LOGGED IN?: If you get a message about not being logged in, even though you are, it’s because your web browser cached the non-logged in page. You can fix this by either refreshing your cache or clearing your cache. CTRL+F5 in many browsers. Chrome is a bit more work. Press F12 to enable Developer Mode, then you can right click on the refresh button and select “Empty Cache and Hard Reload”. This option is unavailable if you are not in Developer Mode.

PORTS: Ports to other platforms can be done after the deadline. That said, the sooner you finish your port, the sooner people can play your game, improving your chances of placing in the final results. For best results, provide a Web version of your game, or a Windows version with no dependencies. Also be sure to rate about 20 games to improve your visibility.

MY GAME DOESN’T SHOW UP: If you can’t find your game, it’s usually because the URL to your downloads are missing ‘http://‘. Fix your URLs ( and you will show up.

MY GAME CRASHES, IS UNBEATABLE, OR I MADE A TYPO: We allow you to fix crash or win condition bugs after the deadline (in a sense, like “porting” to support more players). We also allow “typo” bugs. I.e. A true that should have been a false, a word that should have been a different word, very tiny changes that you would have caught if you had more sleep. We leave this open to interpretation, but generally speaking your game should be identical to the game you submitted. No new features, just things you messed up last minute. Typos.

[cache: storing page]