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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by Eshford - Compo Entry

Rhythm Rider is a quite simple rhythm game. The basic mechanics are simmilar to Taiko: Drum Master. You need to get into a rhythm, using only two buttons. If you successfully finish an event spot (orange line), you can get bonus points and extra lives. And don't forget to try both difficulty levels.


Z - First button
X - Second button

F1-3 - Change screen scale
F4 - Switch fullscreen mode
END - Quick exit
R - Quick restart

Downloads and Links




cimbaman says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 12:30am

This game is so great I can't explain it. I love the look of it I like the feel of it, there is only one thing I don't like, I suck at it big time.

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

Hard mode goes from 0-60 in the blink of an eye!

When I saw the theme, the first thing I thought was "for sure, someone's going to do a guitar-hero type thing with only two buttons". I did not imagine someone would pull that off as well as this!

Controls (such as they are) are tight! Visuals are great! Well done!

Dec 14, 2015 @ 5:14am

I LOVE this game. It's simple to play and not complicated at all. The only thing that frustrated me was that switch between the buttons at the end xD Other than that I only got 8 wrong soo, SPACE CADET. Good job! I really, really enjoyed it!

EvanEGibbs says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 7:57am

This game is great! The song is really nice, and that is of utmost importance in a game like this. It's actually really sweet. I like that you are a spaceship flying without any enemies attacking you or anything. It creates such a cool pleasant atmosphere with the music. :)
Also it was such a nice touch that the two buttons were still just the two buttons on the menu screen. Very clever and it really worked!

It took me so many tries to beat hard mode!

Awesome job on this dude!

Tensoplast01 says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 10:43am

Very nice concept! Like it :D

jcwelgemoed says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 10:56am

Great entry. Good work

tgrehawi says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 10:59am

Good music, Good looks, solid gameplay

BlackBulletIV says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 11:11am

Good concept, visuals, and execution. It's simple, but an excellent game overall.

johnnwfs says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 11:37am

Great job and I like the concept and especially when you do a good job and your plane / ship "speeds up"

Dec 14, 2015 @ 11:39am

Fav game so far. The music was simply amazing.

RikkyPikki says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 11:42am

Good fun, good controlls and very difficult. The music was nice but the sound effects kind of ruined it.

Taffaz says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 11:42am

Cool game, I saw a gif you posted during the development and was intrigued. Hard absolutely destroyed me, wasn't ready for the step up from easy.

vegapomme27 says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 11:54am

It's a nice art direction and gameplay here. Too bad there are some kind of delay between music and buttons push.

kirilllosev says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 12:38pm

that's actually quite fun :D i really enjoyed it
good graphics
nice and annoying song
controls is good too
can't say anything bad really

manabreak says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 1:29pm

Awesome! I really liked this. The only thing is that the beat goes off sync after a while, making it more difficult to actually "play in rhythm". Too bad the gorgeous graphics of the space ship are not in focus since you have to keep your eyes right on the button row. :)

anael says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 1:44pm

awesome! this game is my favorite in the compo section for now!

DarkGrisen says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 1:48pm

Probably one of the best games i've played :)

Well done!

laFunk says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 2:47pm

I would love to play a full version of this! Great job

Dec 14, 2015 @ 3:17pm

Very fun, well made game! I included it in my Ludum Dare 34 compilation video series, if you’d like to check it out :)

Eshford says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 3:40pm


Many thanks, very interesting! :)

Zetym says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 3:55pm

Really nice game!

Got into a nice rhythm after a little bit and then miss one button and it's completely ruined. Great time.

The sound effect for pressing the X button sounds like I'm failing which makes me feel like I shouldn't have done that after pressing it. Otherwise great.

Miltage says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 4:06pm

Loved the graphics, although probably not the best choice of colours for people with colour blindness.

adamwoolridge says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 4:12pm

Fun game, I suck at it though! :)

danielsann7 says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 4:13pm

this game is great! taiko with shmup awesome combination :D
insane difficult too, great job!

GhostBomb says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 4:14pm

Awesome game

Lag compensation would be great

Skywilly says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 4:25pm

I want a real long game with this idea ! :)

nunesbarbosa says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 4:48pm

Rhythm game, loved it! You could add some ships to shoot on the X button on rhythm.


danbolt says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 5:13pm

Super polished! I liked the smooth pixel art and color choices. The UI has nice details, but it doesn't get in your face. Very zen!

I'm pretty bad at rhythm games, so I crashed and burned a lot, but it was super well-done.

DragonXVI says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 7:28pm

Pretty cool and fits the theme. Could do with some hold sections to mix it up, but enjoyed it!

LittleThor says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 7:36pm

Beautiful and fun! And this music is terrific! ^^

oxysoft says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 7:46pm

very cool entry, the spaceship with the effects looked great which is a shame because you don't really have the time to look at it when playing

Zeezgames says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 8:40pm

Ahh reminds me of the dance type games and parappa the rappa :D

music was nice loved when i first heard the green button :)

i enjoyed it but couldnt master the hard mode sadly :(

Overall great game

Well Done!

timeshapers says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 8:52pm

Cool rhythm game, I really want to play more of it.

pi_pi3 says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 9:26pm

Some of the button press' were off, but it's still a nice take on Guitar Hero

Riftpoint says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 9:28pm

This is one of the best games of this ludum dare! Congratulations to the developers!

Mithreindeir says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 9:28pm

Wow! I've always been a fan of these kinds of games and this is awesome!

refreshgames says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 11:21pm

Flipping amazing! Please tell me you'll be adding more to this post-jam, it rocks :D

Eshford says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 11:24pm


Agreed! :)

d_0o_d says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 11:37pm

When I saw your post on the front page, I knew I had to play it.
Really good looking graphics and nice music. I feel like the threshold on the button clicks could wee-bit lower, but that might just be personal preference.
But one thing that bugged me, was in the controls you set button one and two. And in-game button one is actually the one on the right.

Really nice game though :)

Dec 15, 2015 @ 12:00am

Very fun, I loved the music! Hard mode kicked my ass though.

5you says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 12:44am

Cool but it didn't feel like the music was matching to the buttons in hard mode, wich is a huge problem for this type of game. Also, I understand the constraints of the two buttons limits the concept but you could still take in account button pressed, button down and button release (so 3*2 makes 6 variations instead of two).

Otherwise it has a great concept, it's fun, beautiful, has nice music and stick to the theme perfectly.

blackmagic says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 12:50am

Loved it :)

smoreley says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 2:33am

Awesome game, loved that you carried the two button theme even through the menu of the game.

Mr_Fudd says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 2:36am

Great game! I could've kept playing it for a long time. 2 minor criticisms. The 2 buttons felt too close together. It was a little bit of an awkward hand position until I got used to it. Also, the difficulty curve of the hard mode was too high. It started very simply and it felt like the hard part came out of nowhere.

Jace239 says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 4:38am

I love this game! You did an amazing job with this. Where to begin...

- I think the way you implemented the mechanics of Two Button Controls was brilliant. Sure, it's not hard to think of doing a rhythm game, but you did it right. Further, you tied in the mechanic to the spaceship's health. That was creative, and I loved the effect!

- I am slightly biased as I love rhythm games, but nonetheless I believe that this game's fun rating is off the charts! I was addicted, and if I didn't need to look at other games, I'd still be playing. I personally think this is the most important category, and you aced it. Now to answer why it was fun, well, part of it is that I was constantly engaged. The other part is I got pretty immediate feedback from succeeding or screwing up. The words denoting how well or poorly I did, the ship slowly bursting into flames and smoking from the rear, it all contributed to the fun experience.

- See Innovation. You aced this too.

- Amazing graphics! The art is cute and retro, the style is consistent and the animations are smooth and beautiful. Had I found this game somewhere on the internet and not known it was from the Ludum Dare, I'd think it was a professionally developed (albeit small) retro game. Great work!

Audio & Mood:
- In a rhythm game I consider these two to be one and the same, and I think you succeeded on both fronts. The music goes well with the art, it feels very space-ish, and it doesn't clash with the beat. Since the music fits the game, the mood is set and maintained well. It might've been nice to have had some music on the title screen, but then again the silence at the start helps you better appreciate the music when you start playing.

- There were a few subtle things I noticed that I feel deserve mentioning, and a few things that could've been improved.
- First, the subtle. I like that the score goes up gradually instead of instantly. I also like the stars that spread out after you hit a beat. They may not be a big things, but visually they have a nice effect and add to the overall experience.
- Second, what could be improved. I felt Hard mode had far too steep of a difficulty curve. There's too much difference in the rhythm and pace. As for Easy mode, it would've been nice if there were periods of calm during which there were no beats so I could get a chance to take my eyes off the top and admire the spaceship a little more. None of this was game-breaking though.
- Finally, my overall opinion? As I said earlier, I love this game. I will be playing it more in the future, and I look forward to any updates you make to it. I also freely admit that I gave it full stars in everything. Great work, RhythmRider is an EXCELLENT game!

edriavw says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 10:16am

cool game, maybe metal music will be great

Pete_H says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 10:17am

Really well executed! Tight controls, great art & great audio. A joy to play!

mitya1234 says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 10:33am

Great work, it's really good!

Dec 15, 2015 @ 11:08am

Great game, and excellent execution of the rhythm genre. I'd like to add my vote for continued post compo development :)

Leaghorn says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 1:24pm

Cool idea and execution but synchro with music could be better.

XtremePrime says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 2:03pm

Great game! Very fun and nice game! :D

Ristoretto says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 4:53pm

Well made!

I found a bug: you can press both buttons at the same time and still get a hit.

local306 says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 5:40pm

Cool spin on the rhythm genre!

Dec 15, 2015 @ 5:56pm

Awesome huge fan of pixel art and rhythm based games :) Great work

Meta-link says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 6:39pm

Really cool game !
Making a rhythm game was a good idea, and it's a success ! The music is fun and the graphics are realy cool, good job !

Eshford says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 9:27pm

Many thanks for your comments and feedback guys!

You're awesome!

redzero says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 10:01pm

Nice game!

Nicolaigd says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 10:26pm

Nice job on the game! It's fun when you get into a good streak.

MintArcade says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 1:00am

SO hard, but SOOO cooooool. Just love it!

pjimmy says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 1:21am

awesome! cool rhythm game, reminds me of an early version of guitar hero. great graphics, also great sound, well done :D

Dec 16, 2015 @ 2:06am

Nice and simple, I liked the incorporation of the theme into the menu, too. Nice job!

Dec 16, 2015 @ 3:19am

I love rhythm games. It's impressive you could put such a fun one together in only 48 hours. I thoroughly enjoyed it!

alvarop says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 4:42am

Superb presentation. Great gameplay. I would keep prasing it, but I'm still frustrated over my lack of skill.


Peekotus says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 4:47am

Such a good game but I am terrible at it.

Os_Reboot says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 5:15am

Fun take on Taiko! I wish there were at least a couple more songs/difficulties, the game gets a little repetitive after a few tries. The graphics mesh nicely with the sound and the aesthetic, this is a very well put together entry. Overall incredible job. +Kudos

ToloaGames says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 3:31pm

Good Job! But sadly I can't see my score on the Game Over Screen :(

bloomingbuds says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 5:12pm

Great arcade feeling behind this. Very original for a jam, really funny to play and so polished!

fullmontis says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 5:19pm

Nice rhythm game, simple but effective and aesthetically pleasing.

Gamepopper says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 8:46pm

That was really fun, hard mode was challenging but I really enjoyed the game. Nice rocket and smoke effects too!

KunoNoOni says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 1:45am

There are so many LD games I'll be playing again after the voting is up and yours will totally be one of them! This is a well polished visually stimulating game. Well Done!

Justin Mullin says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 2:43am

This is great! Love the presentation and the music is awesome. It did feel like the timing was ever so slightly off, such that if I tapped in time with the music I always got "good" rather than "excellent." It's possible I'm just bad, but I *think* I have a pretty good sense of rhythm...anyway, reading from the visual indicator I was able to play just fine, but it was a little jarring.

That's not to distract from the fact that this is an awesome entry with some great polish. Nicely done.

Krafty says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 3:58am

This game was super fun! Hard mode killed me lol, this is really great! You should add more songs and make this into a full game! Graphics and music were really excellent, and I liked the spaceship visualization, it made it so that the simplicity didn't seem like a lack of content.

logon13 says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 4:29am

Very well polished

Dec 17, 2015 @ 6:37am

Pretty awesome! Very simple but still challenging.

yahooda says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 9:08am

I'm not normally a big fan of rhythm games, but this is really great.

Strike says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 8:13pm

Simply very good. Great game.

Dec 17, 2015 @ 8:34pm

It get very hard very fast :)
But very cool music!

Herzucco says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 9:00pm

I wouldn't say it's innovative but it's really great :

Dec 18, 2015 @ 5:12am

Really a gem here :) special love for rhythm based titles, love love love

oz2mura says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 5:57am

Can't stop trying to beat hard mode. I WILL BEAT IT! Great music, cute art, overall pretty amazing entry.

OnionBlaze says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 5:37am

I feel like the inputs are a tad bit off (or maybe that's just me?), but other than that, I really love this! I'm a sucker for rhythm games, and playing this one was really fun. Hope you expand this more. :D

Jace239 says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 6:40am

Thanks for leaving rating and commenting on my game! I included your game in the first episode of my Let's Play Ludum Dare series as thanks!

Here's a link to the post with details:

Jwatt says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 10:54am

This is fundamentally a very fun game. Hard to give it anything other than 5 stars for Audio, as it's very listenable but also used effectively for gameplay (I mean, duh).

No major gripes about this, it's a game that knows what it wants to be and delivers just that.

Nega Drive says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 6:28pm

Nice simple rhythm game. Very well executed and nice presentation. Music is great too. Would love to see more different stages with different music tracks!

Dec 19, 2015 @ 9:54pm

Really good look, nice music, and fun.

I'd suggest making the red/green buttons different shapes (arrows) or on different tracks. It can be a bit hard to keep track of which color is which button without other visual cues, especially on the hard difficulty since you don't really have time to look at the key.

Other than that, this is excellent!

hexagore says ...
Dec 20, 2015 @ 10:53am

I love rhythm games but I'm afraid for me the only way I could play this was by muting the audio because there was a huge lag between pressing a button and the sound playing which totally scrambled my brain and made it impossible to hit things on time.

Still, on mute, just going off the visuals, I was able to play :)

Tselmek says ...
Dec 20, 2015 @ 11:33am

I love the art style, very polished entry.

Tapehead says ...
Dec 20, 2015 @ 1:03pm

this game is pretty hard but i like it! it makes overall a lot of fun! very well done!

crazya02 says ...
Dec 21, 2015 @ 1:54am

I love the atmosphere and this one! Though it could use some hold sections to spice things up.

Ivan Volkov says ...
Dec 21, 2015 @ 10:48am

Really liked your visual style and how it is connected to music
One of the most interesting entries.

Patomkin says ...
Dec 21, 2015 @ 12:44pm

The idea of a RhythmRider is there, but the implementation is off. Yeah, it starts really good, but then the beat is completely lost. The brain gets really confused while trying to follow the rhythm AND buttons on the screen only to see that they do not match.
The visuals are quite good, except you're looking at buttons on the top line, not at the ship or the text at the right. I tried to read it once and immediately missed a beat.
Despite that, a very impressive entry! I liked it :)

Weeping Rupee says ...
Dec 21, 2015 @ 4:34pm

Haha very cool. I've seen alot of rhythm games attempted in LD34 and this one was the most well executed I've come across. Also I like the retro aft style with a beat game rather than the PS era graphics I see in alot of them.

It was intuitive- but the only time I was left scratching my head was when I was holding down one key and had to presumably let go and start holding again during those streaks. I need it to be slightly more apparent when I'm doing well on the hold-it-down parts.

Anyway, excellent excellent work.

lurils says ...
Dec 21, 2015 @ 8:34pm

nice entry, rhythm games are hard to get right and I think you did pretty well, also really like the art

Dec 21, 2015 @ 9:42pm

I see you've taken inspiration from Taiko no Tatsujin and Guitar Hero.

Ithildin says ...
Dec 22, 2015 @ 12:41am

Very solid entry, it feels polished and it looks and sounds awesome.

I beat it at easy but got completely owned as soon as I started hard T_T Still, congrats!!

Diel Mormac says ...
Dec 23, 2015 @ 2:33am

Simple, Fun and Beautiful...

That's the kind of game o love to see in Ludum Dare!

Congratulations for the excellent work!

euske says ...
Dec 23, 2015 @ 2:21pm

To me, there was increasing lag between the music and gameplay.

Smirnov48 says ...
Dec 24, 2015 @ 1:05am

Interesting game. Good job! One of the best in this LD.

the-arrival says ...
Dec 26, 2015 @ 10:51am

the buttonsounds could have been better, since they don´t fit the music

Dec 27, 2015 @ 10:35pm

Really good! especially for a compo entry! this is one of my favs so far.

Aurel Bílý says ...
Dec 28, 2015 @ 6:24pm

Pretty cool, quite well polished. I wished there was more, though, like levels, more 'moves' (double press, hold, rapid pressing), and the space ship could be fighting enemies based on how well you do, avoiding stuff, etc. Also I though the sound effects for when you press the buttons are too loud, making the music too quiet. But other than that very well done :)

radmars says ...
Dec 28, 2015 @ 9:31pm

Nice! Always love to see rhythm games in ludum dare. The music is great. Pretty fun, though the notes seemed to lag behind the music for me (and it seemed to get worse as the song went on). Nice work though, would love to see more!

yuigoto says ...
Dec 30, 2015 @ 1:52am

I love Taiko no Tatsujin and you made a good job with the game mechanics! The graphics are also beautiful!

At first I thought you could mix some Shmup into the ship's part of the screen, but after playing, it totally looks great the way you made! :)

Nice work on the music too! Amazing work on it! :)

torcado194 says ...
Dec 31, 2015 @ 8:01am

really nice!! i love the music and the art

NirabazGAMES says ...
Jan 3, 2016 @ 7:06pm

Very nice looking game

Guard13007 says ...
Jan 4, 2016 @ 6:43pm

I see great potential here, but I HATE most of it. The beginning is very nice, the sound the red makes fits, it's a nice beat. The moment a green comes along, it's ruined. The tempo you have to hit doesn't feel like it matches with the song anymore and the sound the greens make when you hit them is just grating.

Jan 4, 2016 @ 7:17pm

Great look and great execution. I initially wanted to do a rhythm game for my entry. Unfortunately, lacking a music background, it did not seem a good fit. You had no problem pulling it off though.
I noticed you don't seem to check for the wrong key, just whether or not the correct key was pressed. I found you could press both keys to the timing and not be penalized. Great entry though.

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