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

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Pressure Run

by Phil Strahl - Compo Entry

Oh no! The factory caught on fire and it's your duty to help the workers reach the exit. But steam pipes and floor gaps threaten them on their way to safety, be sure to disarm those obstacles before the worker reaches the hazard. But beware: Holding a door platform or valve closed for too long will deplete your energy.

How many workers will you get to safety?


This one went quite well. After some fussing about I recalled how well those good old Game & Watch handhelds from 30 years ago played with just two buttons. I always wanted to make one of those things anyway, so I took the chance to make it a reality this weekend.

The game is a little challenging but once you got the hang of it it's quite fun. The trick is to hit and hold the platform/valve key before the worker reaches the obstacle. After the tick, you can release it. I've also made a little video if you just want to watch ;)

* A and D. Hit either to start the game.
* Esc to exit.

* Game is Windows standalone .exe
* You can resize the window to your liking
* 5 lives
* The steam pipes activate after the first round after each miss
* With each saved worker, the game gets faster
* After a couple of saved workers, your energy energy bars increase
* Also, the steam will get more intense the longer you play

Gameplay Video:

Making-Of Documentary:

Downloads and Links




Reccy says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 6:23pm

Fun little game, but a bit hard to get used to the valves. I love the retro Game&Watch aesthetic of it though.

exhidor says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 6:26pm

great job ! i really feel like if I was playing a "pysical" Game and Watch ! The graphics is really nice !

ripatti says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 6:28pm

Excellent implementation. I like graphics and the style. But the game itself is too simple to play for long time.

in3orn says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 6:31pm

Pretty hard when steam goes to 4th level but I really enjoyed it! Great work!

Dec 15, 2015 @ 7:09pm

Very cool! I loved the look of it

Dooskington says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 7:10pm

Cool little game. I love the aesthetic.

Ben Allen says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 7:11pm

I don't think I completely understand how the game works but I love the whole look and feel of it! Would be cool if the buttons physically pressed while holding the A or D keys.

Ampera says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 7:19pm

Neat but challenging game. It feels like a real game and watch.

Phil Strahl says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 7:24pm

@Ben Allen: Thanks! Maybe I'll do a mobile port of it. The trick is to hold the key down when the little guy is 1 step in front of the obstacle and release it after the following tick so you won't deplete your energy.

Taffaz says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 7:42pm

This game is great, reminds me of a turtles game I had as a kid or my Mario watch.

Dec 15, 2015 @ 8:21pm

I love the aesthetic and atmosphere. The gameplay however is a bit too harsh for me.

sorle says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 8:32pm

Well you really nailed the game&watch looks. That game gave me nostalgic feelings. Good one!

Dec 15, 2015 @ 11:05pm

Great ode to the game and watches of the past! It gets pretty hard!

GFM says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 11:13pm

Great job! Even though I've never played in a game & watch, it really captured the feeling of playing in those old, low-res handheld games (we used to call 'em "mini-game", here...)

My two cents: I think the activation of doors and valves should had been sync'ed with the game tick. It would make a lot more sense, to me...

cynicalmonkey says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 7:59pm

You have absolutely captured what it was like playing these type of games as an 80's kid, and i had about as much fun playing it as i did them then. its tough to grade it because you clearly nailed what you went for. but i can't say i enjoyed playing it :(

Bobrocket says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 8:19pm

This game is beautiful. Very awesome :D

hiki911 says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 6:54pm

after this game i have found my "elektronica" with game about wolf and eggs and spent a lot of fun time. but this game is fun too

MAnimal says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 9:57pm

interesting idea, but not so fun to play, great visual...

Knowledge says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 3:31pm

Got error "not valid win32 application"

Phil Strahl says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 5:59pm

Knowledge: What's your Windows version? Are you logged on as admin or standard user? Did the download finish? Game should be around 7 MB, so maybe just download again? Thanks for trying :)

DarkGrisen says ...
Dec 21, 2015 @ 7:52pm

It's a funny game and it would also be fun if you added more variation to the game. Maybe different maps or something.

Well done!

loxo says ...
Dec 21, 2015 @ 8:51pm

Great work, the game looks and feels like it's real, only the animation of the buttons is missing. When I played the second time, the doors stayed closed the whole time (only the graphics).

hexagore says ...
Dec 21, 2015 @ 9:14pm

Tricky game to judge because of the limitations of the game & watch things... but as a loving recreation and a new game of that type? This is awesome.

Jod says ...
Dec 21, 2015 @ 10:48pm

Great style choice, both in music and graphics!

Levi D. Smith says ...
Dec 22, 2015 @ 12:52am

Nice remake of the classic hand held games of the 80's.

Dmitrix says ...
Dec 22, 2015 @ 8:40am

Nice Documentary!

freaknarf says ...
Dec 22, 2015 @ 12:08pm

Very nice design choice :)
It reminded me memories of Bomb Sweeper...
The game becomes quite hard after level 10, especially when steam is getting higher... It's hard to go beyond level 15 for me :p
Great old school vibe !

WERT Studio says ...
Dec 22, 2015 @ 10:36pm

i want to be honest with you i don´t like the game maybe i am to stupid but i do´nt get it and this makees me cry anyway great graphics.-

Galvesmash says ...
Dec 23, 2015 @ 1:09am

Good tribute game. Interesting mechanics and a bit hard to get the right timing.
I liked your initiative to revive an old game mechanics.
Great Job!

Jan 3, 2016 @ 9:38pm

I think it glitched for me, but I like the feel of this game. I included it in my Ludum Dare 34 compilation video series, if you’d like to check it out :)

Jan 4, 2016 @ 10:12pm

On the one hand, this is a perfect recreation of a Game and Watch, with charming graphics and an obvious ton of attention to detail.

On the other hand, it's not very fun. I also wish the buttons for the inputs were A and L so that you had to use two hands like you would on an actual console, even though that would be kind of annoying.

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