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

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by Andy Gainey - 48 Hour Compo Entry

A pathogen has invaded our patient's skin! Just beneath the surface, it travels along pathways through the cells, producing itchy symptoms as it migrates. We must uncover the arrangement of this tangled mess, and apply an antigen to the skin just as the pathogen arrives.

A hastily written manual is available when you visit the page. But as the game is admittedly a still rather opaque in terms of mechanics, I have now also created a video tutorial that should hopefully explain things a little bit better. That tutorial is available here:

Downloads and Links




peterlavey says ...
Apr 27, 2014 @ 11:28pm

Interesante propuesta :)

hanoth says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 3:05pm

This is interesting and a good use of the theme. I'm really bad at it for some reason but I dig it.

petey123567 says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 4:25am

+1 for Topology!

gnerkus says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 4:27am

One of the most innovative use of the theme. This game deserves to be published.

ghostmaple says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 4:48am

Nice puzzle game. Future enhancements I'd love to have when you get to polishing and publishing (you will, won't you?): ability to take out just pieces of path instead of the whole cell, ability to see what paths I added most recently (in the last turn) so I can erase them when I guess wrong, ability to backtrack a path that I am in the middle of building. Great game though.

Nichii says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 12:05pm

Nice puzzle game, The idea was great and the puzzle is really challenging. Maybe it is just me but the tutorial is a bit difficult to understand but after trying the game out, I think i have grasped the concept >.> but not entirely. Still good game for puzzle lovers. Maybe you should continue this and add some sounds to make the victory feel more satisfying hehe XD

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

Oops forget the last line from my previous comment, my speaker wasn't switched on. What a goose I am >.>

Andy Gainey says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 5:07pm

Yeah, I regret that the game's concept is very opaque at first. I've been considering ways to make it more clear what's actually happening, without straight-up giving away the solution, but it's tricky. I realized Minesweeper solved this problem by making it so easy to lose, and so easy to then see exactly why you lost. You *can't* lose in my game, only give up, and you don't get any significant feedback until you manage to win. :-/

As for polish and publish, I'm debating on that. This genre is not really my primary interest, and I honestly know very little about the platform for which I think it would be most natural (tablet). It would also take valuable time away from my other projects. But I also know that bringing a project to completion and publishing it can be a great learning experience (not to mention possibly generating an early revenue stream and community), so I'll keep it in mind.

Jarob22 says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 7:47pm


Thanks for the awesome feedback on my game, first off!

I definitely agree with the others that it was a bit confusing to start off, but once I "got" it, it was fine :) It's a very hard game though, even on easy, or maybe it's just me :P

One thing I did notice is that even though the pathogen was facing one way, it travelled an entirely different this intended?

Thanks again!

Andy Gainey says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 9:08pm

A friend encouraged me to make a tutorial video. It's my first ever, so I apologize for any quality issues. It was also completely unscripted, but hopefully some might still find it useful. I embedded it into the game's manual, or you can go to it directly using this link:

DustyStylus says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 9:05am

Great concept! Really nice clean interface as well. Agree with views you should clean up and publish this. Would make quite a nice iPad game. Haven't quite mastered it, so checking video again. But that's a good thing!

clearlyspam23 says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 6:11pm

Very fun game. Pretty challenging, but once you get the hang of it, quite addicting.

Stuffie says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 6:26pm

It was unclear at first what to do,b but once you understand its pretty fun, definitely a great brain teaser!

May 8, 2014 @ 6:41pm

Wow, this such an ambitious game for a LD-game, I love it!

Once I understood what was going on (your original tutorial, and like 20 seconds about the symptoms in the video was enough! The video is waaaay too long... Maybe you could make a shorter one that just goes quickly through the basics?)

The jump from normal to hard is maybe a bit rough? I was guessing every normal in the first turn, but hard just seems so intimidating at first glance (the difference in pathogen speed and symptom radius is 2, and both of them are increased! O: ). But I guess that's partly what the "custom game" is for.

I want to make it clear that I'm absolutely crazy about this game. It's rare to see a puzzle game of such caliber in a LD, I'm bookmarking it and coming back to it after I am done rating 100 games. The way that you mix guessing (for lack of a better word, since it's not random guessing) and planning ahead is great.

It's true that it doesn't have the Minesweeper solution of the player losing a lot, but that doesn't bother me. It makes it feel more like a pen and paper puzzle game, like Sudoku or Kakuro.

Anyway, nice job, thanks for the game (and for the great feedback on my game, I appreciate it a lot!)

copain says ...
May 19, 2014 @ 9:06pm

Very nice puzzle game.
Hard to understand but if you play step by step (trivial, easy...), it's ok.
One problem: when you erase, you erase all the paths on one tile... Maybe an undo button will be cool...

binasa says ...
Jul 21, 2017 @ 3:57pm

Perception: A lightning paced attention game that will test your accuracy and reaction time. From M3me: Turn your iPad or iPhone into a fully secure wireless multi-touch trackpad, keyboard, remote and more for your Mac or PC.

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