Ludum Dare 32 — April 17th-20th, 2015 — Theme: An Unconventional Weapon

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The Ties That Bind

by mantisda - Jam Entry

You've wandered into a dark shop in the open air market and, after some searching, discovered a mysterious artifact that attracts the curiosity of you and your traveling companion. Alas, you should never have touched it as you and your grumpy companion are now stuck together. Nothing you've tried has been able to separate your hand from the hand of your dear friend.

Unfortunately, things are only getting worse as you have managed to anger the shopkeeper during your frantic attempt to get unstuck. He has called up on his other shopkeeper friends to keep you from escaping. Now, every shopkeeper in town is looking to give you a good thrashing.

The only weapon you have is each other!

Use your friendly companion as your weapon as you swing him about to take out the angry shopkeepers. Each of the companions have a different trait that makes them better suited for taking out or avoiding the angry horde of shopkeepers. Can you find a friend or family member to help you figure out how to remove yourself from the Chinese Finger Trap and explain to the shopkeepers how it was just a big misunderstanding?

Press on the Controls button from the main screen to see the controls for walking, jumping, switching main characters, and attacking.

Created by Mantis Digital Arts -
Sound Effects Retrieved from on April 18th and April 19th (created by various sound designers: namg, andyt, gr8sfx, mckinneysound, soundranger, flowfx, and hwisterman)
Music Retrieved from on April 18th (created by Snak -

Downloads and Links




noxuma says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 1:32am

Very interesting concept.

Apr 21, 2015 @ 1:33am

Wow this really feels like a drawing that has come to life. Its pretty fun and it controls well. There are a lot of little polish things I noticed like the loading screen and the way the character flips when you switch directions. Super neat. The multi-scrolling background is pretty sweet. Good show!

fixitteam says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 8:45pm

Really nice concept and art

mantisda says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 8:50pm

Thanks everyone for the kind comments.

chromebookbob says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 9:02pm

Really nice paper art style, I like the idea too!

Raiyumi says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 9:31pm

I like the paper style! It would be quite amazing if you added some knockback and impact effects. Overall, nice job!

Backlund says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 9:32pm

I liked the idea, nice and simple artwork.

gruhn says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 9:35pm

Simple, with some small problems of collision and feedback, but nothing that makes the idea less fun.

HotBoxGames says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 9:41pm

Liked the animation and style, also good link to the theme!

Lady Beardo says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 11:24pm

Love this-- the animation for the characters (in particular the character swap) is really well done. I like the difference in fighting styles, and advantage vs foes, depending on who is in charge. Clever!

Apr 22, 2015 @ 1:15am

Response as I played:

Wow, that loading screen... nice start.

(looked at controls)
(looked at story)
(play game)

My first impression was that I really liked the "flipping" animation when you switched directions. I also liked the sounds used for running and jumping, also maybe the attack. They have a nice feel to them. The pot breaking sound though I wasn't a fan of, and it feels like the balance between certain sounds needs to be tweaked. (the attacking sound is a tad loud, and the pot break sound is far too loud)

Some background ambiance would have been nice, as an example:
could give it a little extra something.

I like the swapping around idea, it took me a while to actually remember to do it though. Playing as the tall one attacking with the shorter guy seems more effective in general (I think it does more damage with just a marginally slower speed).

Sometimes you can get flipped around for some reason while attacking. Might have something to do with colliding with enemies. It feels sort of odd and kind of like a bug.

Beat the game after a couple tries! You know, the funny thing was for some reason I didn't understand the whole game was about the Chinese finger trap thing. I thought it was some sort of no same gender hand-holding thing from the story outline. And just thought the chinese theme was more of a political thing about gay rights. Kind of funny looking back at it and realizing what it actually was about haha.

mantisda says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 2:53pm

Thanks for all of the great comments. We're quite happy with the feedback on the art style and animation!

I agree on the some of the sound choices. We can definitely improve there. For the background audio, there is a "Play Music" button at the bottom that will turn on some music. We left it off by default so as not to annoy people.

lochmann-apps says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 3:16pm

Nice weapon! Love to play it. Smooth controlls! Good job!

Apr 22, 2015 @ 3:19pm

This is the funniest use of the theme I've come across so far this Dare, and the graphics and gameplay are pretty solid too! The UI could be a little easier to understand though, it took me a long time to figure out what damage actually was doing to my hearts.

rogueNoodle says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 10:53pm

Very original take on the theme, and a really interesting art style too.

HapaxStudios says ...
Apr 23, 2015 @ 12:18am

Loved that you use another person as a weapon. really innovative. :)

CScribes says ...
Apr 23, 2015 @ 5:02am

Great concept and smooth controls!

mantisda says ...
Apr 23, 2015 @ 4:37pm

Good point on the damage. We also need to track how close you are to cutting yourself free from the finger trap. This happens after collecting 10 scissors I believe.

Foxarya says ...
Apr 25, 2015 @ 6:59pm

I wish i could draw like that... And at least i find a game than fits the theme!

mantisda says ...
Apr 26, 2015 @ 10:25pm

Thanks Foxarya!

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