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

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Surface Tension

by twistedshield - 48 Hour Compo Entry

This is Surface Tension - the result of 48 hours of chaotic jamming! There's still a few bugs, but I had a lot of fun making this game, so I hope you enjoy it! :)

Avoid bullets, destroy the 'surface' of each level, and defeat your enemy! 8 levels of intense fun (well, the 8th level repeats itself if you beat it, so it's technically endless..?)

Press X to change directions (or to PLAY from the menu)
Press Z to pause/unpause

Android version available! Updates for mobile include:
- Restart from the level you died on
- Improved GUI
- Improved player feedback

Future Updates!
Here's a list of things I plan to improve in the next version of the game.
- More levels!
- Improved graphics (sorry, I'm not an artist...)
- Improved audio (including some background music)
- Start game from any level you have already reached
- Awards for losing no lives/destroying all boxes
- Minor changes to the AI to better scale difficulty level

Thanks again to everyone so far for all of the awesome feedback! Please keep it coming! :)

Downloads and Links




Apr 28, 2014 @ 2:47am

Love the circular and streamlined movement!

orangepascal says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 7:56am

Love how simple you made the gameplay with just one key, adds to the challenge . Nice! :)

DragonXVI says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 7:57am

Nice simple one-button gameplay, nifty! :D

John Drury says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 7:58am

Quite addicting.

manabreak says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 7:58am

Very nice little game! I'd love to play this on my phone, would control nicely as only a single touch would be needed. :)

Apr 28, 2014 @ 8:03am

This is great! I love the simplicity of the mechanics :)
And difficulty ramps up just right.
Really great! Well done! :D

DustyStylus says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 8:41am

Cool concept, minimal controls. Nice work!

darkflamejam says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 8:53am

Great fun game! Would prefer a continue and a life system but fun!

rorycooke says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 8:55am

I think you have got the difficulty level spot on

Apr 28, 2014 @ 10:04am

The game was funny, I would have liked to restart at the level that I died on. Great job!

NeiloGD says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 10:06am

Really awesome! Simple, easy to play, addictive, and a PITA.

fserb says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 10:17am

I really enjoyed this game. Great job.

CustomPhase says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 10:18am

Pretty interesting thing. Some music would be good.

Techblogogy says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 10:56am

Simple and cool

Apr 28, 2014 @ 11:21am

Awesome one-button idea. Like it.

adamwoolridge says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 11:46am

Simple but fun! Well executed.

Dooleus says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 12:01pm

The health bar being yellow on white makes it really difficult to see peripherally - should be yellow on black or something high-contrast like that. The sprite works is decent, and the SFX are about the same - what really kills it for me is the lack of music. Good gameplay, but weak thematic interpretation IMO.

microapple says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 12:13pm

Challenging but fun! Controls a little difficult to master.

Doubstract says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 3:57pm

I like mechanics, but it's very hard for me

PaperBlurt says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 4:05pm

Puzzle games always rate high in my opinon!

Elforama says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 4:25pm

Awesome game. I found myself trying to beat my high score.

mactinite says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 7:46pm

I really like the simplicity of the controls. A lot more to this game "beneath the surface". ;)

bombjack says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 10:09am

wow! hard and fun! great game.

jomacel says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 10:17am

Great game! Easy to play. I enjoyed it

kyyrma says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 10:28am

Cool game. Would have worked great in the one-button compo. Personally I'd like it better if the movement and shooting were given to the player. Congrats!

spotco says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 11:37am

Really fun (and a very original idea!)
Not ever a fan of repeating levels when dying though...

MintArcade says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 11:43am

Nice one. Very addicting ;)

01101101 says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 11:45am

Cool concept and pretty well made. Would work great as a mobile game ;) Nice job!

DMinsky says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 11:47am

Fun yet simple.

PapyGaragos says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 12:00pm

Cool concept. I really like the simplicity of the controls.
With more polish you might have something here

lief says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 12:16pm

Solid basic gameplay, nice addictiveness

Apr 29, 2014 @ 1:18pm

great little game.. i love the simple mechanic :)

Lyje says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 3:36pm

This is fantastic. Basically Super Hexagon with a gun and dodging bullets. Surprisingly balanced - constant struggle of choice between dodging/surviving and destroying the surface to get through. I love it!

fullmontis says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 4:47pm

Very interesting idea! Minmalistic and yet requires strategy! Graphics and sound effects are a little bare bones but that's to be expected for 2 days of work. All in all I enjoyed it.

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

Simple, but fun. and really cool concept.

gingerbeast says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 5:12pm

A really nice simple game! Love the one button control, well done!

Logun says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 6:21pm

Simple and nice ! :)

ninjacharlie says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 6:39pm

Awesome! This is my favorite minimal game made this LD. I wish the loading time between levels was less ('cause I die a lot). The AI is super smart though. Can't beat it :P

Good job :)

theengineers says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 7:35pm

Awesome. Best controls ever.

MSaul says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 8:08pm

Minimalist and fun. I really appreciate that game.

Apr 29, 2014 @ 8:59pm

Perfect example of a simple game mechanic that works really well. Such a polished game, super congrats to you sir / miss !

IAmSpencer says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 9:38pm

pretty hard but great fun. Would love to see this on mobile, nice job! :)

Apr 29, 2014 @ 9:48pm

Super addictive! The simplest mechanic for a great game, really well done!

Roman Kornev says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 10:38pm

Awesome game for such simple concept! The AI is definitely a plus!
The sound effects could have been a little bit better though.

Lucio says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 10:55pm

This is genius game design. And it only uses 1 button! The simplicity of the mechanics is brilhant. Well done, sir!

pansapiens says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 3:14am

I enjoyed chilling out any playing this - a simple premise that works well. I'd probably have played for longer if there was a life or checkpoint system, since repeating the earlier levels got old after a while - but I guess this would be more of an issue if there were more levels. Would work great on mobile, being a single tap control scheme .. great stuff.

danidre14 says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 3:57am

Not a bad game, but difficult to control.

Thorig says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 8:44am

A simple but great game! Improve the graphics and release it for mobile. I would buy it.

wdebowicz says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 12:09pm

Love the simplicity!

SoupWithBits says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 3:19pm

Quite hard :( I couldn't get passed level 3. I liked the simplicity. Wanted to see more levels. Practice, practice, practice, I guess. Otherwise loved the gameplay. Could go on a phone *hint hint*

SaintHeiser says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 5:27am

Not bad. Fresh bullet hell idea =)
But it's bad to pull down player to the end after death.

gikdew says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 8:51am

Nice and fun game! very polished!

Miltage says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 12:30pm

Pretty cool, and a unique concept. Don't think I've seen something quite like this before.

I would have liked to have been able to retry the level, instead of starting over from scratch. After a dozen attempts or so I managed to get to Level 5.

tomvert says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 1:21pm

I love one-button games ! Quite hard, I wish you'd add more lives, or a checkpoint system (it was boring to start from the beggining each time). Otherwise I love it :D

Rad Star says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 8:55pm

Nice and original game, good job :)

hyouko says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 2:08am

Simple, hard, fun.

Pixlexia says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 2:33am

The gameplay is really simple and fun! The controls were hard to master at first but I got the hang of it after 2-3 levels. I'd love to see more content added and please do make a mobile version! Good job, keep it up.

May 2, 2014 @ 11:40am

This is a great one button game idea! Nice work. The difficulty curve feels just right for me.

Caridorc says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 12:19pm

This game is simple but fun. BUT The Permadeath (you must restart every time you lose is very annoying).

May 3, 2014 @ 8:49am

Solid game! I had a lot of fun with it. Only got to level 6. The mechanics were fun once you got into it. Would play 50 levels of this but would want the game to save per level :)

GamerTaters says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 9:09am

Really interesting concept. Super simple to pick up, hard to master. Nicely done!

Catman says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 11:40am

Cool game with a nice, simple mechanic, reminds me of super hexagon. Smooth design, good job!

petey123567 says ...
May 4, 2014 @ 10:15pm

Just needs some juice like flashes and camera shakes to pump the gas -- solid design!! :)

ahmeni says ...
May 5, 2014 @ 9:56am

Very nicely done!

May 9, 2014 @ 11:06am

Challenging but fun game. I included it in part 16 of my Ludum Dare compilation video series, if you'd like to take a look :)

ActionRemix says ...
May 9, 2014 @ 8:01pm

I made it to level 6 - wow this is hard.

MaesK says ...
May 11, 2014 @ 7:19pm

Awesome game! With a single button, you have been able to create a fully working game mechanic, and it is fun!

Audio is great, graphics are good, and it may lack only one thing: explosions :D

udo says ...
May 13, 2014 @ 1:58pm

The Flappy Bird of breakout games: everything with just a single button/action, I love it!

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