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

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by TaylorAnderson - Jam Entry

BELLOWS is a fast-paced, procedurally-generated action game about escaping the city in a rather...unconventional manner. Use your trusty bellows to avoid crows, rats, and bats on your way to the top, and collect bubbles to make sure you never run out of air.

Music by Grahm Nesbitt

Font by somepx

Downloads and Links




tayl1r says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 1:22am

This looks so nice.

Rnd says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 1:31am

looks nice, but difficult to controll it.. keep it up

Dec 15, 2015 @ 1:40am

Great game!

Fanatrick says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 1:43am

Polished and fun, a bit too hard tho

Solifuge says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 1:43am

This is absolutely a fantasy I can relate to. So cool :O

That song is gorgeous, and chock full of ennui. It does a lot to build on the "escape from a dingy city" narrative. I love the second part, when the orchestra breaks into the motiff; unfortunately, I rarely last long enough to enjoy it, since it loops. Good motivation!

I really dig the art style too; the monochrome background draws attention to the black and white objects standing out against it. The way all hazards are black with white outs makes for a great, easily-recognized visual cue. I knew to avoid rats the first time I saw them, without instruction. Good game design!

The gameplay feels great too, and the rough steering is a new challenge my brain isn't used to. I'm glad you can recover from hits too; that makes things more forgiving. Though it's subtle, I also love the ability to spam the bellows after I run out of gas, to squeeze just a bit of air out and hover fruitlessly in the air for a few moments, before plummeting down; the way the game recognizes my desperation and characterizes it that way is adorable, and feels great.

Top marks, all around. You guys did great!

TeamDromedare says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 1:43am

Wow, really enjoy the look of this game! Also, the music was freakin' sweet :)

The controllers are rather difficult though, but the game itself did become more fun once I got used to it.

yumaikas says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 1:44am

It's funny how the music for this game sets it in a very steampunk place, even though the art is rather abstract. Good Job, TaylorAnderson.

GFM says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 2:04am

I really liked this game's idea, but two points really annoyed me:

1 - Lack of quick turn: If there were a "double tap A" to switch directions, I would find this really fun and challenging. Without it, it feels like the difficult is too cheap. I'm either forced to spend a burst of air so I can be thrust vertically (which may not be an option if there are no bubbles nearby) or I may be forced into an enemy because there's not enough time to steer.

2 - Too random: Some times (3 runs out of 8, I think) I got no bubble until I was on my last "jump".

The music, however, was great and the graphics really cute! :)

ryandali says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 3:44am

Only complaint would be the spacing of the bubbles. ran into a couple spawns where there were no bubbles to collect, so ran out of air and died, or while travelling along, missed one then just as I ran out saw 4 above me just out of reach.

Great visuals, great audio, cool gameplay, impressive stuff.

logon13 says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 3:45am

I loved the difficult control scheme made for a great challenge :D

Dec 15, 2015 @ 4:11am

Fun, hard and good graphics.

Dec 15, 2015 @ 4:18am

A lot of fun. Looks and sounds great!

On one playthrough, I don't think I missed any bubbles, but I still died because it was too long between bubbles...

tweedle says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 4:22am

A lot of fun! I had to play with two hands to get a better grasp for the controls. Nice art style too. Damn rats!

Firellon says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 5:44am

Excellent graphics, nice theme interpretation, and procedural generation is assuring that every game will be unique. Still, it's a jumper, so it's not very novel mechanic.
Nicely done, anyway. Should become a pretty mobile game filler-style.

Troma says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 5:44am

Good mechanics, beautiful art and song. Well played!

Jace239 says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 5:51am

You guys did an amazing job with this! The sprites, the sound-effects and the music all fit the mood perfectly! I think the mechanic of using bellows to launch yourself upward is incredibly creative and naturally you fit the two button theme. I also find the situation, the character and the death by enemies to be funny and enjoyable.

My main gripe with the game is the spacing of the bubbles. They feel too random and near the start, too sparse. It's fine to be challenging, but death due to lack of bubbles feels unfair. By contrast, I enjoyed it when I lost due to a crow collision. Another problem is it's too difficult to control your turns, but this might be more forgivable if the bubbles were more common.

Nonetheless, I found it entertaining. Well done!

Dec 15, 2015 @ 6:26am

Excellent variation on the runner/climber genre! I particularly liked that enemies didn't one hit kill you, and that there actually was an ending!

Personally, I found the game a little easy, though I see plenty of people talking about the difficulty above me. Maybe I got a good spawn, but I found spacing my puffs helped a lot. Maybe adding faster scrolling for people who rush would even it out a bit there?

Rocketship says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 9:13am

Uu it's so hard, the controls are fun but definitely need a couple tries to get a grasp on. Also looks really pretty. I didn't get very far in the game because the difficulty was quite high.

r8berto says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 7:46pm

Really nice but I find it very hard. BTW This could be a good mobile phone game

rogberth says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 7:47pm

Great game but insanely hard.. Maybe a 3 buttons theme would have been better!

Taffaz says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 8:10pm

Really good game, the music was great.

h.attila says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 11:37pm

A bit hard but very well presented. Fun twist on the endless jumper genre.

MikeTsunami says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 12:26am

Fun game mechanics and love the music and graphics. Nice work!

Peekotus says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 12:30am

lol, i thought the bellows was a peg-leg.

ChuiGum says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 1:51am

Some awesome music, and a great concept. Liked the nice graphics too. Great job!

Dec 16, 2015 @ 1:53am

This is so cute. I had trouble not bashing into walls. Otherwise it was great! Very different.

Grahhhhh says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 1:55am

Wow! The gameplay was smooth and the music was nice, but damn it was hard. Would love to see some stats to see how I'm doing and what the goal is. Feel like I never got better at the game, only less worse haha

elliottd says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 2:14am

wow, this is great. normally I don't like the asymmetric control (one button switches, the other is an action), but I think you've hit a sweet spot with the speed of turning and the range to cover. I love how gentle the puff sound is.

gkxd says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 2:19am

I thought this game was really fun.

The controls were a bit frustrating at times. I think a press left/right to turn and press both to use bellows would be a more intuitive control scheme.

The RNG has also killed me multiple times in the early game by not giving me enough bubbles. (Though whenever I got past the early game, there would be enough bubbles.)

Enchae says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 2:28am

Wonderful! I absolutely adore the sound choices, the graphics were nice (Although I think I a sepia color palette would've added more to the atmosphere), and it's challenging.

Although I do think this game would benefit from three button controls, overall I gotta give this a some nice ratings.

Good job!

nodens says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 2:49am

The aesthetic is fantastic. I could listen to this music all day. Really wanted to reach the end, but I'm just not good enough :P

OnlySlightly says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 2:53am

AMAZING GAME! Loved so many things about this game. The music and graphics were beautiful. And I kept on playing wanting to hear more and more of the song. i loved how floaty and precarious everything felt. It made me really feel for the little guy. It was adorable. Thank you so much for making this game. We had so much fun playing this!

lawendt says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 3:08am

Nice game! Just think you need to work a little bit more on the generation. There were a few time that at the beginning I run out of air before I even see a bubble.

lawendt says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 3:09am

Nice music and sound btw!

sP0CkEr2 says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 3:38am

that was really a fantastic game - great feel - interesting but solid controls - well done

Acorn says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 3:40am

This game looks and feels fantastic. Would love to see this expanded post-jam! I think it would make a great mobile game (perhaps having the bellows moving at all times and then tapping to blow). Do you have a twitter?

Dec 16, 2015 @ 3:49am

hello! yes i do, at @ttl_anderson.

Dec 16, 2015 @ 4:16am


Seriously, though - really fun, strangely addictive game. I could have played for hours.

danielsann7 says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 4:29am

beatiful game, graphics and mechanics works perfectly and the music is awesome too, good work!

Dec 16, 2015 @ 5:06am

This was a very clever game. I liked the idea, and I loved the art. But I felt like I wasn't in control of my character though. It made me feel like how well I did was totally random.

Dec 16, 2015 @ 5:14am

it takes a little practice, but you can get the hang of it eventually!

Dec 16, 2015 @ 6:23am

pretty cool idea! kinda hard at first try, but I can manage to understand the mechanics. well done!

Dec 16, 2015 @ 6:45am

Really nice!

esayitch says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 6:49am

Wonderful music, great visuals. Very cool idea and usage of the theme as well, but controlling the bellows is pretty tough xD Guess it needs some getting used to. Cool, stylish entry. Good luck!

felilix says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 9:29am

Wow, beautiful and fun!

VideoDog says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 9:39am

Nice looking game!

pjimmy says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 3:03pm

Awesome! Creative gameplay, great fun to play, nice visuals, very challenging, well done :)

Jesse Freeman says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 4:54pm

The game is great. My only issue was that using one button to realign the bellow make it way too hard. I'd suggest using left right for direction and maybe having the player auto fire to move up so it's more about timing and anticipating where you want to go. Great job!

Sir Magic says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 5:53pm

Nice work, it's pretty hard but looks and sounds nice.

x92rwzb says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 7:57pm

Cool idea for a game. I liked your graphics. The gameplay was also pretty cool. Nice job!

Reccy says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 12:55am

Cool little game, had fun with it!

publicidadeba says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 1:32am

If you balance the difficulty...this can me a hit on mobile! Awesome work guys

Krafty says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 1:50am

Fun and I like the graphics and the game mechanic, but it's a little bit too hard, and hard to control. Great job though! The atmosphere is really good :)

nunesbarbosa says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 2:32am

Nice game! Loved the music and the art style. The game controlare are pretty hardcore

CremaGames says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 8:09am

One of the best games I've played, nice little game here. Loving the music and the art style.

mitya1234 says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 12:34pm

I think that your game should have not 1:1 display fromat, because it is very simle to get out of screen to the top. But your game is very good. It has very good controls.

francoisvn says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 12:29am

Great little game, but a bit too hard

Husky says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 2:27pm

Nice one! the smooth animation feels really good, and it's also challenging to me, good job! :D

LukeZaz says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 4:13am

Decently fun, but quite difficult. The animals moving down made them hard to dodge and I'd frequently get hit twice in a row and be unable to recover in time. Additionally, the controls were a bit difficult to use and as such made getting where I wanted to go problematic.

On the plus side, the graphics & audio were enjoyable and fitting and the instructions were nice and clear.

kepons says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 9:23pm

That was pretty great. I loved the gentle sounds and the color scheme of the game. Also an interesting use of two button controls, if a little difficult to get used to.

crucknuk says ...
Dec 26, 2015 @ 10:20pm

Excellent entry! I love everything about it! I juste wish there is a score to it. Excellent job !

Jeasonfire says ...
Dec 30, 2015 @ 6:50pm

The idea is great, but I would've found the controls a lot better if the bellows rotated between only 2 angles, for example, -45 and 45 degrees (if 0 would be pointing straight down). That way you could kinda toggle the direction and it would require less looking at the bellows' direction and more looking at the (beautiful) game.

That said, the graphics are quite good, music is great and the gameplay is very fun (minus the point made in the first paragraph). A clever idea with a pretty good implementation.

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