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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Don't Clog the Arteries

by Jakob37 - Jam Entry

Themes: Two button controls and Growing!

You play as a cell, trapped in its host. It is time for revenge. It is time to clog the host's Heart.
But, first you must avoid getting caught on the way. Don't clog the arteries.

Avoid bacteria and red blood cells on your way to the Heart. If you collide with them, they become absorbed and you grow,
and you get closer to getting stuck to early. You can emit some of your mass though, preventing them from reaching you.

- Space to navigate up/down
- Control button to emit mass to shrink and slow down enemies


Game design: Jakob Willforss & Daniel Alm Grundström
Coding: Jakob Willforss & Daniel Alm Grundström
Sound: Jakob Willforss
Art & Level design: Daniel Alm Grundström

Made by LinkPact Games ( for Ludum Dare 34.

Source code and assets:

Weapons of choice:
- Coding in TypeScript, in IntelliJ
- Coding libraries: PIXI.js, howler.js, our work-in-progress TypeScript-game-library
- Music in FL Studio 12 (electric guitar, EVM bassline VST and drum samples)
- Sound effects in BFXR
- Pixel art in GIMP
- Level design in Tiled

Downloads and Links




WolvesOfOdin says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 7:31pm

One of the best games I've played from Ludum Dare 34 so far. Nice work!

Dooskington says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 7:34pm

Cool game concept. The controls took a little bit of getting used to, however.

freddyw9 says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 8:21pm

I love the concept, tough to get the controls but I like that too.

nonetheless says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 8:58pm

Couldn't beat it, but love the idea. Don't clog the artery, go for the heart :D

Dec 16, 2015 @ 1:48am

Great job! Ithe last level took a little too long since the white blood cells were simply unavoidable when you got too big. But otherwise very solid idea.

x92rwzb says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 7:46pm

Nice game. Enjoyed this even though blood disgusts me.

loxo says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 8:27pm

I like the game mechanics and atmosphere generated by the fitting music. But I have to say I don't like the goal of the game.

sP0CkEr2 says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 1:05am

this was a interesting idea and very good use of the theme - nice job

The Vall says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 9:58pm

Nice use of the themes. The controls made for some pretty unique gameplay.

local minimum says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 2:41pm

Really tricky controls to get the hang of even if they were simple. I liked the game though. Fun and all. The heart section kind of needs tuning though as when you grow bigger it is actually impossible to avoid the white blood cells most of the time. Music really great.

Jakob37 says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 7:26am

Thanks for the comments everyone! It is really appreciated.

We agree with your comments LastResortGames and local minimum about the size of the heart in the end - It could probably be balanced in a more interesting way. It would also be interesting to think about the controls, to decide if they are challenging in an interesting way or in an annoying way.

Blobo says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 7:27pm

Pretty cool game! i found it hard to clog the heart when lots of white blood cells appear in a row.

Dmitrix says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 8:06pm

Honestly when I saw the thumbnail as "Don't clog the..." I thought this would be a toilet humor game. It's interesting though. Controls that invert direction every time is something I was originally going to try.

BroCade says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 8:12pm

Nice idea, good mechanics to, could realy use an onscreen indication when you can "shoot" again

jofra says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 8:32pm

very original concept ideia!
the controls are hard to use though :S

Jakob37 says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 8:45pm

@BroCade - Thanks for your comment! The cell should be tinted green when you are ready to shoot. Does the tinting not work for you?

Gyfis says ...
Dec 20, 2015 @ 2:35pm

Nice concept - the controls were refreshing. The only thing I didn't like was the 'hit' sound - very annoying for me.

Hot Box Games says ...
Dec 20, 2015 @ 2:39pm

Really solid entry, good music and graphics and the controls were unique to!
I had fun good job!

scorched says ...
Dec 22, 2015 @ 4:42pm

Wow, this is a great idea and controls! Liked the twist in the end! ;-)

Solifuge says ...
Dec 28, 2015 @ 11:01pm

Took me a bit to understand the shooting mechanic, but that was a failure to read on my part. I liked how you combined shooting with recovery, and used a single button movement scheme. Very nice!

I can't say how, but I feel like the game's fail-state (getting too big) ought to be redesigned somehow; colliding and getting bigger made future collisions more likely, thus making it less and less easy to dodge, and making skillful play impossible; your run is as good as done once you're over 1/2 size, unless you're lucky with timing. Same goes for the finale; once you're too big to dodge, it becomes a waiting game, where you hope to be lucky enough to get no white blood cells for long enough to win. That said, it's a tough line to walk, between randomness that makes the game more exciting, and randomness that takes away meaningful choices (skillful play/dodging/etc) from players, or makes them wait on the game to flip a coin to let them lose or win.

I had a good time with this one, and thought it was a clever use of both themes, with a nice presentation! Thanks for putting this together.

Muel says ...
Dec 29, 2015 @ 12:14am

The music gives the "special agent mission" feel to the game.
The cell is infiltrating, using ability and strenght to kill the heart.

Just one thing I didn't like was the controls. Each space tap change directions. So, there's times you must go a little on the wrong way to go in the right. It's kinda confusing.

Nice job overall =)

Zanzlanz says ...
Jan 3, 2016 @ 7:58pm

Nice game!! The gameplay and story really fit together perfectly.

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