Ludum Dare 34 — December 11th-14th, 2015 — Theme Tied: Two Button Controls, Growing

NOTE: Because of the Theme tie, we allowed everyone to pick either Theme. Using both was optional. To keep things simple, there will still only be one Theme category. Every category in Ludum Dare voting is an opinion, so you’re welcome to rate them as you see fit. But we encourage you to be fair in your scores to people that chose only one Theme, and not both.

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Squishy the Turtle

by cppchriscpp - Compo Entry

Squishy the Turtle is a puzzle game written for the Nintendo Game Boy. You play as a turtle, who must collect his eggs while avoiding the spiders and crabs covering the landscape.

Squishy has a special power - he is able to grow and shrink at will. Some places will only be accessible by Squishy in either form.

The rivers are infested with piranhas, so squishy must be big when crossing them to avoid piranha bites. Likewise, there are tiny spaces (like portals) that the big, slow form of Squishy cannot fit through. Spiders are also afraid of the big squishy, but crabs seek after him for food. Can you collect all of the eggs and get to safety?

- Z (Console A): Grow/Shrink
- Enter (Console Start): Pause
- Arrow Keys (Console DPad): Move

IMPORTANT: If the laggy sound is bothering you, download the ROM, and an emulator such as VisualBoyAdvance. This is an issue with the Flash emulator, not with the game itself!

- Yes, this runs on real hardware. Tested using a GB USB 64M from kitsch-bent.
- Font is from OpenGameArt, licensed as public domain:

Downloads and Links




FuzzyWuzzie says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 3:43am

Really cute! I love the gameboy style. It took me long enough to remember not to try to cross the road when tiny -_- Great use of the theme!

trykondev says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 4:28am

I really like the sounds in this game. Really nice, simple art -- the enemy spider thing animations are really nice. Overall a great entry, good work

siObyte says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 4:46am

Haha, this one is far better then my Gameboy game attempt! Nice going with the art, really turned out good.

MCRewind says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 5:07am

I love the style, really fun also!

Move127 says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 5:09am

I loved this game. I wish I had had this game when I was first playing gameboy.

ProgramGamer says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 5:11am

cool game, but the lack of music was regrettable.

However, the fact that this is programmed for the Game Boy redeems any negative aspect of the game. Definitely awesome of you to pull this off!

bushmango says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 5:12am

Cute gameboy style.

gironC says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 7:05am

i love the gameboy style, so cute, also amazing game!

refreshgames says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 4:20pm

Yay! Another Gameboy Game! Thanks for playing mine on the system, My Flash Cart died this week so I was gutted not to be able to test mine on an actual system.

I have the exact same Cart as you also, crazy eh?

So, yes, the game, cool interpretation of the growing theme at play, it's pretty integral to the game mechanics, there's a decent number of levels and it's pretty good fun!

Nice job on the sound registers to get some good SFX out of them, one of the many things that makes gameboy programming that much more rewarding :)

rogual says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 5:14pm

If Coolness was a votable category, you'd get full Coolness for writing a Gameboy game.

mlepage says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 12:42am

Sweet! I liked it. My only comment is that there were places where I got hit instantly when changing screens. (Like immediately hit a river, or a crab.) It seemed unfair.

drludos says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 12:49am

Excellent, I'm impressed you actually managed to create a gameboy game in 48h. Kudos!

Besides the incredible technical achievement, the game is nice to play too. The core idea is simple but fun, and the difficulty ramps up nicely! I will definitively try this game on my GBC using an everdrive cart!

By-the-way, what tool/framework did you use for GameBoy developement? Everything is coded in assembly? Or is it possible to use some C-based framework?

I'd love to see an expanded version of the game, and its post-mortem!


cppchriscpp says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 1:03am

drludos: I used a C-based framework named GBDK. No assembly code for this entry. I've done plenty of assembly for the NES 6502... not so much for the gameboy's variant of z80, however.

Source code is on github above if you're curious.

Thanks for the feedback!

mlepage: Yeah, I know about the collisions during screen change thing. It stinks - I just didn't have the time to sort it out properly. I tried to move enemies around to minimize it, but some were definitely missed. Likewise, thanks for the feedback!

Thanks to those who are giving feedback without anything to answer as well. It's always appreciated.

Kakureta says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 3:05am

Omg! I actually managed to run this on my old gameboy, it was awesome :D

dalbinblue says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 4:52am

Wow, that's really impressive to make a gameboy game in two days! Did you write this in C or straight up assembler?

Now on to the game. It's very cute and fun. The only criticisms I have, is that there are a few places where walking from one room to the next is an instant, blind hit on an obstacle, usually water.

Makes me wish that my old bung carts still worked. I haven't done anything on the gameboy since highschool...

justinooncx says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 4:08pm

Wow, this can really run on a Game Boy? I'm curious as to how difficult making a game for the Game Boy would be...

rzuf says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 11:35am

Woah, a gameboy game! Had fun going through this couple of levels that are in game. Some enemies are placed near the borders of the screen so wneh moving from one screen to another it's easy to lose a life.
Fun game and great work making a genuine GB game in just 2 days! Kudos!

Webravenz says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 10:42am

Beautiful little game :)

Xgor says ...
Dec 20, 2015 @ 12:41pm

I always get blown away when people make games for old consoles for Ludum dare, it's really cool.

Blobo says ...
Jan 4, 2016 @ 9:23pm

Really neat! i love the growing/shrinking mechanic. some 8bit retro music would be nice, but i think you did a really nice work, especially fora gameboy ROM

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