Ludum Dare 31 — December 5th-8th, 2014 — Theme: Entire Game on One Screen

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by Virtually Competent - Jam Entry

UPDATE 12/9/14: Since a lot of people were bummed about the lack of functional keyboard/mouse controls, I've updated the game to support them better! In the spirit of the game jam, I won't be making any further improvements to the build hosted here, but you can always check out the game on ( for post-Jam updates. Thanks for playing!

Xbox 360 controller recommended for maximum fun! (If the "Start" button isn't working, try pressing some other face buttons first)

I present to you, after less than 72 hours of work (which included very little playtesting/balancing): PAROLEBALL!

IN THE FUTURE, robots rule the world...but they also get arrested sometimes, too. In PAROLEBALL, you're fighting for a chance at freedom...or maybe just so the guards have something to do.

Who knows? Well, maybe you will if you can get a high score in PAROLEBALL! Be sure to click the camera that appears on game over to save a screenshot of your score!


Gamepad Controls (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED):
* Start button - Spawn ball
* Right trigger - Launch ball
* Right/Left bumpers - Flippers
* Left trigger - Slow Mode (can be used for a total of 10 seconds per ball)
* Right stick - Shoot
* Left stick - Influence ball movement (more effective in Slow Mode)

Keyboard Controls:
* Spacebar - Spawn ball
* Shift - Launch ball
* Z/X - Flippers
* Hold C - Slow Mode (can be used for a total of 10 seconds per ball)
* Hold Left Click + Mouse Aim - Shoot
* Hold Right Click + Move Mouse - Influence ball movement (more effective in Slow Mode)


Programming by Eric Neuhaus (@donkeyspaceman on Twitter)
Art by Colin Greenhalgh (@CuddlyColin on Twitter)
Music by Reid Turner (@ReidRTurner on Twitter)

Created in Construct 2 (
Sound Effects created with Bfxr (

Find more of our games at!
Follow us on Twitter (@virtuacomp)!

Downloads and Links




Dec 9, 2014 @ 6:09am

Love the graphics, and pinball goes perfectly with the theme. I feel like the ball goes between the flippers more than I can hit it, but maybe I'm just bad. Good work, regardless.

6DownStudios says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 6:15am

This is awesome! Great take on the theme, well-laid out level and nifty pixelart!
I've been learning to use the nape physics engine, and this really makes me want to try to make a pixeled pinball game.
Good Onya!

Flying Jester says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 3:06pm

Pretty nice.

I found it weirdly tough to launch the ball--full(ish) power makes it just jiggle in place!

MurrayL says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 3:09pm

A really great idea, although the physics are a bit 'floaty' for a pinball game.

No gamepad here, so I couldn't really play properly, which is a shame.

udo says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 3:10pm

Very cool! I wish I had a gamepad, though. When the ball gets stuck in the middle, I bet there is a gamepad button to launch it again...

Dec 9, 2014 @ 6:48pm

Nice to see some pinball games in Ludum Dare this time around. Reminds me of the Amiga days playing Pinball Fantasies and whatnot. Pretty good stuff. Graphics and sounds are decent, ball physics are a bit slow and floaty. Cool game though!

Dec 9, 2014 @ 7:03pm

Thanks for the comments, everyone! I'm glad people are enjoying the game.

DefectiveMelon: We added those flippers in pretty late (I was using flippers from a Sonic game as placeholders up until the last hour of the jam), so it's entirely possible that the collision boundaries are a little wonky.

6DownStudios: Glad we could inspire you! :D

Flying Jester: Interesting...I've never had any issues launching the ball. I wonder if it's getting stuck on something?

MurrayL: I tried to resist the urge to fine tune the physics too much (I probably could have spent the full 72 hours doing just that...), so I may fix the "floaty"-ness, but I also think it makes it a bit easier to aim at the robots. Of course, if you don't have a gamepad, you can't shoot anyway so I suppose it doesn't matter to you. :P

udo: The center lock-in point randomly activates one of 3-4 events, one of which causes a number of flying enemies to spawn and you have to destroy them all with your laser canon! That's probably the one you're getting stuck in. Unfortunately, you can't shoot on the keyboard...I plan on getting keyboard controls at least functional in the future, but the nature of the game is much better suited to a gamepad (and that will probably always be the case).

Jaenis says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 7:53pm

Great pixel art and a pinball! I love pinball!
Great job!

friken says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 7:53pm

nice work. pinball rocks :)

Basim says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 7:54pm

Great Game! Almost makes me want to get XP again, just for the game! I love the sound effects and the graphics but I would prefer maybe more UI to show score/high score more easily etc. Good job!

puppetmaster says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 11:00pm

Lovely pixelart pinball game with atmospheric music.
Well done!

The Z-Key is in the middle of my keyboard :)

Dec 10, 2014 @ 12:26am

Thank you all for the kind words! It really means a lot to us. I've patched in fixed keyboard/mouse controls so the game is now fully functional without a controller (but I do still think controller is the best way to play). I won't be making any further updates to this version, but you can keep an eye on our page ( where we'll be working on a waaaaay better post-Jam version.

Basim: There's no high scoring saving features yet, but you can save a screenshot at the end of your runs by clicking the camera icon! I'll certainly be adding something to that effect in the post-Jam version I'm planning.

puppetmaster: Sorry! Can't please everyone, I suppose. I'll keep custom mapping in mind for the non-Jam version, though. :P

SwiftIllusion says ...
Dec 10, 2014 @ 12:31am

Really cool take on the pinball concept :) was great fun to play and having the slowdown mechanics and slight maneuverability really helped the overall gameplay feel, great job :)!

LeReveur says ...
Dec 10, 2014 @ 12:38am

A little slow for me (is my computer too old, or something ?), but nice graphics, and good idea for the "monsters" you have to punch it directly to not lose life. Good job. :)

Chris Mondok says ...
Dec 10, 2014 @ 2:43am

I'm going to have to come back to this on a different computer. I really wanted to play this game. But, unless I don't understand something, I can't launch the ball. Start spawns a ball, but the triggers do nothing. On the keyboard, space does nothing. Also, as long as I have a controller plugged in, it's always making shooting noises.

I'm on Linux, and I've tried both Xbox 360 and Xbox One controllers.

Dec 10, 2014 @ 3:20am

Chris: Did you download the Linux standalone or are you playing the web version? I haven't tested the standalone builds so there could be something wrong there.

Have you tried holding shift on the keyboard to launch?

Luke Molnar says ...
Dec 10, 2014 @ 3:31am

Wow awesome job mixing two styles of games together. I think it implemented well. I found that needing to spawn the ball and then launch it with two buttons a little odd. And the combat side of it was a tad simple/easy. But Overall very solid, very fun and complete. You could ultimately upload it to an app store and start selling it. I suppose you could polish it a little more, but its basically good to go. <3 ^_^ Good job!

Dec 10, 2014 @ 3:53am

Luke: Thanks! Some of the things you mentioned don't sit well with me either, but I'll revisit them for the post-jam version. The spawn/launch differentiation was carried over from testing (can't remember why exactly) and the limited enemy types are all we had time to implement (Colin made a handful of enemy sprites, but we only got those two in).

I need to think about it some more, but I would like to work out a touch control scheme that would still feel pretty solid. The game looks great on a display that's the right orientation for it. :D

asobitech says ...
Dec 10, 2014 @ 9:29am

This is the first pinball game I've tried on Ludum Dare. Nice.

Dec 10, 2014 @ 2:04pm

Mixing pinball with top down shooter is a really cool idea, pretty sure I've not seen that before! Solid presentation too. :)

sebasRez says ...
Dec 10, 2014 @ 11:30pm

This is so great, makes me wish I was better at pinball but that is one awesome concept!

karlipoppins says ...
Dec 11, 2014 @ 3:24am

Wonderful pinball game. I loved the graphics, even though I found the palette to be a bit shallow and I thought the big black box in the middle of the screen to display the score was kind of in the way... Simple sounds but the atmostphere of an old amiga pinball just came back to me within seconds of playing this :) Cheers

freaknarf says ...
Dec 11, 2014 @ 3:33am

Haha i didn't expect a pinball game :) and concept is great it reminds me Sonic pinball and kirby's pinball that severely hurted my brain as a child. As i'm writing the ball is blocked (a bug on the lower right shroom ? ) but i here no tilt :(
Great job !

Asaratha says ...
Dec 11, 2014 @ 9:12pm

This game is really nice. Good music too

Frump says ...
Dec 12, 2014 @ 12:41am

Cool, can't go wrong with pinball! Controlling the ball to shoot and stuff is a clever spin on it. Good job.

Dec 12, 2014 @ 12:47am

Good concept, well executed, fun gameplay!

AlbertoSM says ...
Dec 14, 2014 @ 5:55pm

Ooooh a pinball game! Good execution and use of the theme.

savethejets1 says ...
Dec 19, 2014 @ 2:30am

Neat idea!

d3garcia says ...
Dec 29, 2014 @ 3:53am

Awesome game, really nice job

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