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

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by GeorgeBroussard - 48 Hour Compo Entry

Alone in the ocean. How long will you last?

Press UP ARROW to swim.


* Gain Stamina a Breath above water.
* If you run out of breath you will lose stamina quickly.
* Time the waves, ride the waves.

Please post/tweet your high scores. I'm curious how people do.

Downloads and Links




AgentParsec says ...
Apr 27, 2014 @ 11:00pm

259.6 seconds.

hampa says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 4:40am


Jerick says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 5:20am

This is one of those games that is super simple, but incredibly moody It tells a story with very little words, and puts you in an emotional state that you weren't necessarily in before. I loved it.

PaperBlurt says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 7:53am

I like the sunset and the mood.

Apr 28, 2014 @ 12:14pm

Does something simple, but does it very well. I could stand a lot more LD entries to be like this! :)

zebi24 says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 12:18pm

Awesome game, very well done! :)

Seyroth says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 2:18pm

52.8 :<
I like how you rely on real-life advice about drowning for the player to understand how to play in order to survive longer. You didn't write "be careful not to drain your stamina for nothing, use the waves to avoid tiring yourself efficiently", you just explain how to _try_ to swim back up. It was great.

DesignerNap says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 7:32pm

Great work. Simple approach, nice visuals but top marks for audio. Makes the game for me :)

denali says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 8:51pm

Loved it! Simple to play, difficult to master.

Apr 28, 2014 @ 8:56pm

Fun game, I really enjoyed it!

Ekanaut says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 9:41pm

Fantastic work! I love the feeling of desperation and overall production value.

Pent says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 10:25pm

138.7 seconds! surprisingly fun

KunoNoOni says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 11:30pm

56.5 secs. Holy Cow George I think you've out done yourself. It simple, elegant and powerful. Kudos to you my friend.

Jason Lay says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 12:05am

Wow! 63 seconds of sheer terror. My god, this could be the next Flappy Bird on mobile devices. So simple, but SO fun.

Apr 29, 2014 @ 12:12am

Thanks Jason (and all above). I may well take it to phone as I was intending that with the 1 button press etc. Using LD for feedback and input :)

madjackmcmad says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 12:35am

I enjoyed this game but I don't think I'm really any good at it, I keep drowning. Will you offer life vests as IAP?

garbagetrucks says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 2:03am

Great concept and good proof that a simple mechanic can be emotionally engaging. Confirmation that I DON'T WANT TO DIE THIS WAY.

Apr 29, 2014 @ 2:24am

Nice work as usual George. I won't even post my score because I suck!

danbo says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 3:09am

Really depressing game (in a good way), interesting mechanics. One of my favourites this LD

Alucard J says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 3:39am

130s on first run, took me a while to realize 'work with the waves'. The text is a great addition, quite panic-inducing, well done.

Apr 29, 2014 @ 4:17am

Nice game, fits the theme haha. Score was: 82 seconds xD

rylgh says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 5:27am

elegantly simple and effective, A+++

Cambrian_Man says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 5:50am

Yeesh, that was grim. Looks and sounds good, but more than that, it 'feels' nice. Well, until you inevitably drown, I suppose.

orangepascal says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 9:01am

ouch, 147seconds.. nice game! very original, should turn it into a mobile game ;)

MerlijnVH says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 9:46am

Very polished and (positively) grim, I love the character sprite animation together with the water sound effects. After 5 minutes I could still keep afloat easily using the same rhythm, though. More difficulty would be cool!

edibletoaster says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 9:57am

209.something Really cool. I'd love to see it get harder later on but. Love the sound effects and visuals.

ahmeni says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 9:58am

Simple and amazing.

PapyGaragos says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 5:10pm

Haha your were right, our entries are very similar :) Did you draw your inspiration from that ad as well?

lightsoda says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 5:52pm


I gave up waiting for the inevitable, I started to get bored around ~300s, not my type of game I guess.

I felt the graphics and sounds were pretty good, the splash sounds and gurgling when reaching above the wave was a nice touch. There seemed to be a constant underwater sound, maybe you should have activated that and toned down the other sounds when going under.

One thing I thought about when watching this on streams, was that it was hard (for me at least) to tell if the wave or the screen was moving, the gradient background gives some clue to that but maybe some horizon would have made it more clear.

lorniebear says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 7:44pm

I like the gameplay and the pixilated man.
I wish that there was a highscores board :)

vilya says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 8:09pm

152.7 seconds.

Very minimalist game, really nice aesthetic. I think possibly a bit *too* minimalist - in gameplay terms - for my tastes though.

badlydrawnrod says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 8:51pm

Agree with the previous comments that this would make a good mobile game. I liked the phrases that the man said about missing his family, is that a fin, etc.

MrLeePerry says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 9:14pm

After playing about 5 times I got to ~400 and figured I could have kept it going a long long time. But the first handful of plays I was ridiculously stressed (in a great way). LOVE the theme use, and the situation I've never really seen handled like that in a game beyond a simple "breath bar" that some games use as a side feature. Really cool. Thanks for all the tech help/advice through the weekend too!

whilefun says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 12:56am

A mere 59.5 seconds the first go, and a respectable 184.6 the second try!

Very good audio. It took me a second to realize that the wave timing was the level of the water relative to the screen/frame. Once I got that, I was able to ride them a bit and took slightly longer to die. The second go round was way better.

Consider putting this up in mobile app stores, if only for fun. High score bragging rights could be fun. It's a perfect touch screen game :)

bchan says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 5:39am

Great execution on a simple, strong idea! it feels like a complete thought, with all facets of the experience considered and given equal attention. There's a lot to learn from an LD entry like this.

SonnyBone says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 8:02am

Oh wow you really nailed the feeling of desperation and panic. I still feel a bit anxious and the game has been over for a while. I got about 80 something seconds. I was trying to be fancy thinking I could trade breath for stamina and just drop under the water and then pop up on a wave. NOPE! HAHA. Gonna try again. Good job with the the theme and mood.

dmcfarline says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 10:10am

Really like the camera effects in this, really adds to the disorientating atmosphere

Apr 30, 2014 @ 10:12am

Really great idea, I love the concept though I didn't go really far. I will go back on this definitely!

Notch says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 10:58am

And now I'm sad

gnerkus says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 11:06am

48 seconds

I haven't had time to concentrate on the game. I'll definitely post a larger highscore later today.

This is a very great game concept (and the second one about drowning I've seen on LD)

capnramses says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 1:03pm

really nice - a lot smaller scope than last LD! the first thing i connected with was the audio which really sets the atmosphere. how did you make the water sounds? the little dude reminds me of King Graham who always ended up flailing in the water! i actually like that there wasn't a lot of noise going on with fish and boats and stuff, just his imagination.

Thorig says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 6:58am

Great game! Love the mood and reaction of the guy in the water.

miwuc says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 8:49am

Nice an simple, great atmosphere and lovely graphics. I love how all the text moves with the waves.

Sheepolution says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 9:54am

Cool game. It's balanced really well, and has a good mood.

Xaychru04 says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 1:11pm

Nice game, the sound effects are really moody!

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


May 2, 2014 @ 12:46am

Wow, you did so many great things to add to the tension of this game, from the jarring motions of everything, to the sound effects. Great use of the theme.

Garris says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 12:57am

Wow, this is a great example of getting as much as possible out of a simple concept. It's impressive how much depth (haha) is here for just using one button.

javifugitivo says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 1:26am

Nice concept! Simple and clean! Really awesome and tragic.. Very nice art.. I don't know what more I can say.. Really really good. GOD. Damn! Genius! ;) Five stars.

Elforama says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 1:56am

Such a sad game, but well made too! I survived for about 50 seconds before sleeping with the fishes. Good job.

Ithildin says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 2:26am

Wow, you managed to capture the agonizing feeling of fighting to rise to the surface wonderfully. A brilliant interpretation of the theme, congratulations!

PS: 114s.

lyla says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 2:30am

I had a pretty strong emotional reaction to this; it felt a little wrong to be playing it and slowly watching my little guy die (collection of pixels that he may be). The experience is well crafted though offputting.

May 2, 2014 @ 4:35am

Good job dude. You should definitely put this on Android.

ChuiGum says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 5:01am

Like the graphics, very original too

benmcnelly says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 5:10am

I love it, simple gameplay and good animations.

Diptoman says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 5:22am

Pretty simple, the game's very efficient at what it does. It was a lot of fun once I figured out that the camera movements corresponded to the wave motions. The audio was epic.

GertJohnny says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 6:00am

I started to play through a second time, but realized that no matter how well my dude did, he was still going to have the same fate. I let him down gently.

mcapraro says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 6:46am

a little creepy to be honest, but brilliantly executed as well ;)

Tuism says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 7:43am

Great game! I especially liked that there's really a lot of hidden depth with multiple vectors of interaction even with just one button, which makes it simple but very skill-oriented. Very well done on that design.

Lots of little touches make it play very well - the "internal dialogue" and the juice. But ultimately a little more variety in gameplay or progression would have been awesome - and still can be :)

So many entries inspired by that le mer... Something ad. We know who reads Kotaku now, then :P

Lars Faust says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 7:56am

Definitely something perfect for mobile, really liked the overall mood.
Couldnt get past the 60s mark, i felt like i didnt quite figure out how to ride the waves properly.

iambored2006 says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 9:03am

I read your name as gorgeous bastard. It fits the game, I suppose. Those sounds, though. Haunting me even after I closed the game. Would you mind making a standalone build?

SteveSalmond says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 10:44am

Crikey, I still feel a bit like I'm choking. This game gets you right in the feels!

xdegtyarev says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 11:58am

Quite a grim game. I managed to survive for 59.1 secs.
This game brought up some unpleasant memories from my childhood but the game is interesting. Nice work!

deathray says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 2:41pm

My highest was 99.6sec. Simplest controls possible but still challenging and fun. Great game!

gwa says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 7:37pm

Its amazing and hit me somehow. Cool Game.

May 2, 2014 @ 8:20pm

Super strong entry! Can I say it feels really good? I can really feel the desperateness of drowning. Sound effects are spot on. I did not understand the mechanic of the waves, however.

May 2, 2014 @ 8:29pm


great work! looking forward to your next game. Thx for the postmortem

May 2, 2014 @ 9:56pm

Well that was morbid. Cool game, mechanics about as simple as you can get, but its still quite a gripping game. Good use of sound effects too.

jomomomo says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 1:29am

91s. Best in show. Great job my friend.

AutumnGuy says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 4:32am

Didn't take me long to realize how to play, and the message is effective. Great execution!

tacograveyard says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 4:38am

simple but effective. thank you

May 3, 2014 @ 10:25am

Wow. My heart sunk every time I died.

hadesfury says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 11:11am

Great game ! 59.4

recursor says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 11:21am

Man that was tough. I managed a bit over 30 seconds. Nice job.

Make A Game says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 2:15pm

Took me some time to understand the the "waves" happen when the water goes up and down, since it's all a straight line.
Pretty fun for a game about drowning!

daredevildave says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 2:40pm

Made it for over a minute... Nice game.

Kimau says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 6:45pm

Hauntingly well executed on a tight concept

BuriTeam says ...
May 4, 2014 @ 12:35am

Sensational! The little things like the messages just add to a incredibly grim experience. It would be cooler if the waves were clearer. GG

zkenshin says ...
May 4, 2014 @ 2:58am

Solid game play. Good entry. :)

shadow64 says ...
May 4, 2014 @ 8:54am

The game is well thought out. I think the controls could be explained a little better. I though I would have to KEEP pressing up, but instead it was more about pressing it at the right time - I guess I should've read the tips first.

The splashing, the timing gameplay, and really everything. Once I got the hang of it, it made sense. Nicely done. :)

May 4, 2014 @ 9:29am

Very moody game. Great job!

Myyyvothrr says ...
May 4, 2014 @ 10:49am

Simple but great, liked it!

CMaster says ...
May 4, 2014 @ 11:50am


Great use of ambient sound.

randoman says ...
May 4, 2014 @ 2:23pm

60.8 seconds. Very simple game but extremely well executed. I love the balance you created between breath and stamina. Congrats!

NicoM says ...
May 6, 2014 @ 2:25am

Great balance, fun mechanic, great job:)

mustaine says ...
May 6, 2014 @ 2:13pm

This actually made me feel extreme tension as my stamina approached zero. Love the overall mood and all the elements that contribute to the experience. The character monologues, the audio, the swaying camera, all great touches.

nesis says ...
May 7, 2014 @ 5:21am

A well-polished game with a simple yet challenging mechanic driving it.

May 8, 2014 @ 11:13pm

Very nice! Simple but tricky

zeh says ...
May 9, 2014 @ 7:24pm

Awesome work as always. One of LD's highlights for me.

frogcheese says ...
May 9, 2014 @ 9:32pm

124 seconds. Difficult. :/ It's a really simple game, but still effective, and an interesting take on the theme. And really polished too! Good job!

alvivar says ...
May 10, 2014 @ 9:33am

Great! Love the mood and details. The camera, the sounds. Very polish. +Overall

No feedback for you, i love it as it is. Is the kind of game you want to play again to see if you can do better :D

Bruno Massa says ...
May 10, 2014 @ 5:22pm

simple but effective. Quite the opposite of my entry Vaults Inc, which is complex but I could not refine it.

thaaks says ...
May 10, 2014 @ 5:41pm

Great mood and very polished presentation (easing stamina and air when dying and for the controls information).
I sucked a lot at it - seems the waves were too tiny for me to understand when and how to ride them ;-)
Graphics and audio support the mood very well.

Teesquared says ...
May 10, 2014 @ 6:24pm

Very complete and polished. Simple mechanic but effective. Really felt like I was gasping for air. Good job.

elefantopia says ...
May 10, 2014 @ 6:33pm

Very cool game and nice game mechanics.

Robinerd says ...
May 10, 2014 @ 7:44pm

simplistic and elegant! A simple concept executed really well, I like it :)

May 10, 2014 @ 8:31pm

Cool concept and I like him speaking when he's above the water. Nice job.

jorgemoag says ...
May 10, 2014 @ 10:05pm

This game is awesome! hahahaha very hard to survive

May 10, 2014 @ 11:09pm

Simple but great game! I included it in part 21 of my Ludum Dare compilation video series, if you'd like to take a look :)

BlazeCell says ...
May 11, 2014 @ 3:07am

Seems a bit odd how quickly you begin to sink without any thing to hamper you, like waves or a weight on your foot. Definitely feels like a struggle though, which I believe is what you were going for. Good sounds and atmosphere.

Scam says ...
May 11, 2014 @ 11:34am

Awesome. Simple controls, but hard to master.

joe40001 says ...
May 12, 2014 @ 9:21am

81.5s Can't believe some of you got so much higher, also can't believe GeorgeBroussard made the game unwinnable. :(

Poor cold guy.

DrPrettyPatty says ...
May 13, 2014 @ 1:29am

60.2 seconds! This was simple but incredibly well executed, especially on the GUI and the sound. Fantastic job!

radmars says ...
May 14, 2014 @ 12:39am

Damn this is dark. I like simple mechanics like this but it seemed hard to get the hang of the timing. Great simple & effective graphics & audio too. Nice job!

iambored2006 says ...
May 19, 2014 @ 5:01am

Hey! I mentioned your game in this post- , along with some feedback. I'd love to hear what you have to say!

davidc02 says ...
May 19, 2014 @ 4:17pm

Hah this is so cruel. Great job George

Gamepopper says ...
May 19, 2014 @ 8:39pm

50.2 seconds. Really good.

wschorn says ...
May 19, 2014 @ 10:13pm

traumatizing. gold star!

mt7 says ...
Aug 29, 2014 @ 2:08pm

Amazing game, loved it. Keep it up. I am new to unity, how should i run the source. its says its not a unity project, i.e it is not a project build. So how should i run it.

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