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.

ALSO: has an experimental game downloader over here. You may find it useful.

Back to Browse Entries

Sickle & Sword

by MSiddeek - Compo Entry

​Two people are lost in the desert. Will they survive the wilderness?

#LD34: Growing, two-button controls

UPDATE: After some helpful feedback, I found cases where the game would get stuck. Pushed a fix for that. Both the original and the new source codes are included.

Downloads and Links




Dec 14, 2015 @ 10:36pm

Fantastic! The spare aesthetics are spot on, I loved the story moments. It's a little mechanically unclear where your resources are coming from, but that didn't bother me much. When 'The End' came, I was bummed that there wasn't more!

Robin says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 10:59pm

Very cool game. Unfortunately I didn't manage to beat the dragon :( I survived 356 weeks, explored 100 square kilometers. I loved the aesthetic and the way the game combined storytelling and gameplay.

Also, I wonder what the statue/tower option does?

siege says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 4:57am

I think I might come back to this one after judging is over.

Yword says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 10:44am

Really additive with lots of branches, will keep playing to find the good ending. Well done!

MSiddeek says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 10:50am

Errm.. If you made it to the end there's only one ending :(
Wish I had more time to do some branching XD

rzuf says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 10:55am

Superb! I love the graphics - I have a weak spot for old RPGs aesthetics (especially the first 3 Ultimas). Would be great to have some music, but I played the game while listening to atmospheric black metal and it felt kinda right. :D
Kudos for having complete and relatively complex survival game controlled with just 2 buttons.

ianh says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 11:58am

The simple building mechanics were surprisingly addictive! Great game.

Beep2Bleep says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 12:23pm

Fun game, took 3 tries but beat it and enjoyed playing the game.

recursor says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 3:25pm

Very well done story. I enjoyed having the choices pop up every so often for what they should do next. It definitely pulled me in and I was sad when my first farmer died :( I'll be coming back to this one later. Nice job!

Eingya says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 3:28pm

Nice little game, love the minimalistic controls and the resource management mechanics!

Yamzho says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 3:30pm

Very nice entry ! I am always astonished how good a game can look with just few pixels and a handful of skills ! Well done !

danbolt says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 3:37pm

Awesome! The story bits were capturing, and the gameplay kept me keen.

I was heartbroken when the newborn farmer was slain by snakes, haha.

treslapin says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 3:38pm

Makes me want to play again and again. Good job!

JD557 says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 3:45pm

Awesome game.

I think I've messed up somewhere, as I'm out of materials, but have enough farm, foods and towers to live indefinitely (I'm already past week 400 with only 2 farmers, 1 warrior and 2 towers).

I might try again later.

Zeriver says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 3:52pm

Whoaw pretty great game, i enjoy playing narrative games and this one was really fun to play (althought it is a bit too easy for my taste). Also cool graphics, nice retro vibe.

3rdChance says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 3:58pm

I really love the game idea. =)
The story is great and you have a lot to decide which makes the game interesting...

sleepYxy says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 4:22pm

Wow! What a really nice blend of narrative and the two themes.
It feels like an Age of Empires with only two buttons and simplistic graphics.

The choice between warriors and farmers really added depth to the decisions you make. If you are unlucky and the warriors are out of position during a snake or wolf attack then you can quickly lose the game.

All in all, you made a really well balanced and paced game with a lot of surprises. I wonder if you could add more elements to it and keep it going forever? Keep it up!

ajopart says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 4:50pm

5/5. deep, entertaining, clever... perfect entry. some sound would have been the cheery on the cake ! amazing work

ehgoodenough says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 5:13pm

Awesome! I love the art style!

Taffaz says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 5:44pm

Awesome game, one of the best I've played. Really simple but the story was great.

d_0o_d says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 5:53pm

Wow, what an awesome game. The best one I have played so far. I liked the story-telling a lot, reminded me about Superbrothers, Sword and Sworcery, which was one of the greatest Indie games around.

Well done. Really, really good :)

TeamDromedare says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 5:55pm

This was fantastic. I too was sorry when I reached the end after beating that Dragon. I was also a bit confused as to where some of the resources came from but that didn't bother me too much in the end. I will play it again no doubt. In fact, I want a continuation of the game. The story was captivating and the only thing that I really can complain about is the graphics but that's mainly because I am missing some animations, but understand that the focus is not with the graphics nonetheless.

Very well done. Will keep playing for sure.

5 out 5 humps for total awesome.

Tyler says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 6:46pm

Beautiful! Great gameplay and some really great graphics as well! I beat the dragon first try, but didn't get a chance to see what statues do. Or what would happen if I climbed the tower. Definitely should replay this one!

ahmeni says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 10:31am

Fantastic entry. Solid game, cool mood.

Nattack says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 2:55pm

Ohhh It is fantastic. I really love this game :D I survived for 201 days ^^". This game is just beautiful!!

Conk says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 3:30pm

Fantastic! I would've liked the option to kill the travelers, destroyed all my food! Overall fantastic, an interesting take on gamepaly

Erlend Aakre says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 3:43pm

Really nice game, but seems to be a bug as I ended up with the following state very early after restarting the game: 1 farmer, 1 warrior. 4 fields, 5 shelters. But no children are born, no snakes show up.. at day 1900 and got 260 food.

SkullPixel says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 3:56pm

Wow. This in 48 hours? I'm amazed. I hope you win. Darn snakes though... Killed me off.

Tuism says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 4:09pm

Whoa! So good! Really enjoyed that you hit both themes so well with this, despite meh graphics that actually works pretty well. I started the jam with a somewhat similar idea (build a town through Y/N decisions), but I realised I didn't know how to implement big interesting systems quickly. Yours works out great!

I really enjoyed the narration that made it super clear what was going on all the time.

Sometimes things seem to appear before the narration, which was a bit weird (like a chest would lie there for a long time before the chest thing said anything).

Love love love :)

Tuism says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 4:11pm

Oh one more thing, waiting for a long time with nothing happening was a bit of a bummer, because you literally had nothing to do and sometimes watching your people mill around just isn't interesting anymore.

Ittai Manero says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 4:24pm

I love this little game! It is nice to just seat and watch what happens after every decision :D Cool concept and execution!

fullmontis says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 5:29pm

Nice little game, with an original use of the themes. I really enjoyed it.

Dec 16, 2015 @ 5:37pm

I loved the way you managed to do BOTH themes really well, and i like the thought that a simple decision of this or that can affect life or death of a whole town.
The lack of audio reminds me of text games like Zork and in my opinion adds to the attmosphere.
I lasted 503 days, amazing work :D

uthamon says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 7:08pm

Great game, I like the style of storytelling, You magaged to make me care for these little blue guys. 519 days.

psypol says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 9:35pm

after 53 days a message said "after surviving 36 days"
maybe a bug ?

i liked the retro aesthetics

Rocketship says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 9:41pm

This is so cool. The indirect control of the villagers and the building strategy is so interesting to me. The aesthetic is fantastic also, would be even better with some sound. One of the best games I've played this jam.

alpha_rat says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 9:49pm

Really nice entry! I ended up playing way longer than planned! Seeing the stats at the end of my first try and seeing the building and interaction possibilities definitely gave me motivation to try again until completion

MikeTsunami says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 10:09pm

Great use of both themes and I like that it can be played over and over again.

Farelle says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 10:14pm

wow, quite hardcore gameplay and amazing to have done this in such a short time :)

Krafty says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 10:30pm

This was really fun and the story was great! Everything about this was good, although maybe a very simple soundtrack would make it better =D

PowerSpark says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 10:45pm

Amazing, I spent so much time on it. Didn't beat the dragon :/

Dec 16, 2015 @ 10:53pm

A very nice little retro throwback. Gave me some vibes of old school roguelikes/RPGs and the sparse graphics and the text really gave me sort of Zork-vibe going on.

The meld between mechanics and narrative was interesting and it did make me interested in seeing what potential branching opporotunities could be found here.

Some of the situations were slightly unclear for me though on how I was supposed to manage from a mechanic standpoint (particularly the dragon), but it still made me intrigued and did make me want to replay.

Very aesthetically pleasing and nice job :).

thedashdude says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 11:32pm

I would have liked a fast forward button to skip to the choices on my subsequent runs, but a superb game all around.

IAmSpencer says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 1:23am

I really enjoyed the simplistic graphics, you made great use of the color palette. And I personally don't think the lack of audio hurts this game in anyway, great entry!

pjimmy says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 2:09pm

I love this game :D such an original concept, love the strategy component mixed with adventure, unique and awesome, well done :)

BROWNY_09 says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 9:39pm

This was great! I've played through it a few times now, my best is only 472 days though :( Excellent job man, I had a lot of fun!

JanGames says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 9:52pm

Great game, beat the dragon on the first try but it almost got me, didn't get to build any tower. Not sure how to.

SK16 Games says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 11:14pm

What a great game! Perfect implementation of both themes! I survived 510 days :)

Galvesmash says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 11:47pm

I survived 491 days. The dragon is tough!!

Great game man! I really liked!
My only problem is that the game starts right away, I didn' understand at first.
It neede some music in the background.

Great work man!

LeReveur says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 12:35am

Amazing all the rich content and gameplay with only two choices questions. Well done !

KayZ says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 2:58pm

Wow awesome game and quite a lot of content for 48h hours. Survived for 443 days and beat the dragon, but no farmers left.. I guess my village is doomed. Needs a sequel :).

GFM says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 6:34pm

I really liked the idea, it's really interesting!

However, the execution didn't live up to it, in my opinion... It's simply too random.

Days would pass and I rarely could take an action. I felt like I had no control of the game at all, which is a pretty bad thing on a survival game...

One way to make it less random would be to allow the player to circle between action targets (e.g., the shelter, the crops etc) and after X days the action would take place. Perhaps each action could have its own cooldown, which the actor would have to wait until doing something else...

So... I apologize if I worded myself in a discouraging and/or impolite way. I really liked this game's idea, so much that I really wanted to give my sincere feedback/criticism...

(I only played twice, but I already spent quite some time playing... Perhaps if I played more I'd have a different opinion. I'll try to play it again later and say if anything changes, for me :) )

Wevel says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 12:05pm

Really lovely game, didn't seem like you could defeat the dragon but the graphics and the the story are very nice.

Sir Magic says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 12:23pm

Really nice game, loved the idea and the very two touch controls suit it well.

akirassasin says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 1:17pm

The game seemed easy for me (maybe rngsus was on my side lol), I just spammed all the newborn into warriors and the dragon was slain. But I really liked the concept! Good work, hope you'll continue this :P

acotis says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 1:57pm

Fun play! Never beat the dragon, but I think I'll be coming back for more sometime...

kmakai says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 2:00pm

Wow, this is probably my favorite entry I've played so far. Really a fantastic idea, and executed very well. I get a real Black & White feeling from it, which is cool. I would love to play an expanded version, and I feel like this would be particularly suited as a mobile game as well! Fantastic job.

Nooner Bear says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 4:46pm

Great all around. I think I'd have enjoyed the game were it not so tightly bound to the two button theme though. Regardless that mechanic made it super easy to play. I'm a fan of these types of village building games.

Pusty says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 5:01pm

Nice one. I only survied 342 days but it was really fun! With sounds it would have been even better!

pparke says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 11:01pm

Killed the southern dragon with my last warrior and then he died fighting a snake :( Great game!

piper82 says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 11:04pm

so much replay value. very good job.

Rfdshir says ...
Dec 20, 2015 @ 3:01pm

Nice idea, and story. But movements of the units are too chaotic. I have the impression that the game lives its own life. Good luck ^_^

TeamEagle says ...
Dec 20, 2015 @ 3:14pm

Nicely done, however it kind of felt unfair that the rng could screw you over pretty hard sometimes :P

Allthebees says ...
Dec 20, 2015 @ 3:25pm

This game is incredible! Easily one of the best games I've played so far.

esayitch says ...
Dec 20, 2015 @ 4:03pm

Very clever entry. It kept me hooked from the start :D Needless to say, some sound would have a gone a long way to making this more atmospheric :X

Patomkin says ...
Dec 21, 2015 @ 10:58am

Amazingly done! I really like the style and the whole idea of growing a village vis simple decisions.
Too bad that all my warriors died to wolves :(

jacklehamster says ...
Dec 22, 2015 @ 12:22am

Great entry. Simple to play and still has a narrative.

hexagore says ...
Dec 22, 2015 @ 9:15pm

Outstanding. I found this to be very addictive. The simplicity of the controls made this very accessible, and realising that it was up to me to choose wisely between warrior and farmer to let the tribe keep growing added unexpected depth.

coldman says ...
Dec 22, 2015 @ 9:36pm

I love it, maybe one of the best entries I saw so far! It would have been excellent with some music ;) I'm curious to hear what kind of sound would match that game.

Dec 22, 2015 @ 10:26pm

I found the mechanics of this game very interesting. I got used to the idea of the game very quickly, which is to me probably one of the most important aspects of a game. Didn't have much time to play, but I thoroughly enjoyed the game for the time that I had to play it and will definitely come back to it at some point after the judging has finished. Well Done :D

Hybrog says ...
Dec 22, 2015 @ 11:04pm

Stellar game, love the simplicity of decision making, while still having a surprising amount of depth. The narration was spot-on too, had a nice storybook feel to it. Love this game! :)
Just a heads up though, there's one typo that I saw: at one point 'Sotuhern' is used instead of 'Southern,' specifically after the big battle. Doesn't detract the from the experience, but thought you might want to know about it.

publicidadeba says ...
Dec 23, 2015 @ 12:31am

Wow, The asthetics is unique as is the gameplay. Never seem nothing like this before. This will hit TOP20 for sure, if not higher. Well done guys.

psychonull says ...
Dec 23, 2015 @ 3:20am

I couldn't see the graphics and also only one option all the time, I'm not sure if that is a bug or I just didn't understand it. I'm not rating yet and will come back later. keep on! :D

cameronpenner says ...
Dec 23, 2015 @ 3:22am

Well done! I really enjoyed the story and the automaticness of the villagers. I'm going to play it again now.

Herzucco says ...
Dec 23, 2015 @ 7:34pm

I love how you make this simple gameplay so theatrical.

Drauthius says ...
Dec 23, 2015 @ 10:12pm

The shame was that the village stopped growing after a while, and the only decisions left were whether to raise a farmer or a warrior. I like how the story is told though.

Jezzamon says ...
Dec 28, 2015 @ 3:50am

This is really quite a fun game! I beat it the first time, and then the second time I played again just to see what happened if I chose almost entirely farmers and chose to build shelters most of the time... turns out you win!

Nice job! Probably the most fun I've had with a Ludum Dare game this time round, which is interesting as I usually like platformers or other games with immediate feedback.

Jezzamon says ...
Dec 28, 2015 @ 3:56am

Sound effects would have made a big difference in this game, even simple ones made is sfxr

dx0ne says ...
Dec 28, 2015 @ 11:13am

So much content and depth. Great entry. Would love to see it grow.

vortex says ...
Dec 28, 2015 @ 7:11pm

I really liked your game. The artstyle is really nice.
One thing I didn't like, is that my village died of venom suddenly, without me even expecting it, or being able to do anything about it...

Trasevol_Dog says ...
Dec 31, 2015 @ 2:54pm

This is great!! You totally nailed the two button controls, the game looks super good, it feels polished... Congrats!

avocadojoe says ...
Jan 2, 2016 @ 1:44pm


Jan 2, 2016 @ 3:45pm

Very nice,
Just missing a good music to be very very nice ! :)

Nice Theme combo btw. ;)

local minimum says ...
Jan 2, 2016 @ 4:03pm

Very nice graphics! The narrative worked nicely as the game progressed. I didn't get very far though. Something about having only 2 people thus why they would require more than one hut and when the snakes came everyone died. That part felt a bit too sudden. The first encounter should basically be safe I think, and if huts produce offspring independent of population size, then that kind of needs to be explained I think. Great entry though.

torcado194 says ...
Jan 2, 2016 @ 8:34pm

wow this was absolutely amazing. it felt like a whole story i was living through, and it really felt like my decisions mattered! Super impressive for 48 hours, one of my favorites so far

ChuiGum says ...
Jan 2, 2016 @ 10:55pm

Really loved the mood! Great aesthetics, and nice concept. Kept me playing for a while!

JoseArias says ...
Jan 3, 2016 @ 6:00pm

I loved it.

Jan 3, 2016 @ 9:16pm

Very neat Concept I lasted 64 days! I liked the choices you had to make!

amras0000 says ...
Jan 4, 2016 @ 1:26am

Very well done, this is the best approach to the two-options-at-a-time mechanic I've seen so far (most other games just restrict your options at random, you've ensured that any one choice only has two options). The writing's really nice and atmospheric.

Main complaint I'd have is that it seemed like foraging the trees gave me enough food to cover all my needs until the end of the game. I did build farms and farmers, but having 10 food at regular intervals from the 2 trees in my village would've covered what was consumed by far.

The game could use a fair bit of balancing in general. I pretty much never saw a use for my [non-food] resources except for rock carving, and neither the statue nor the tower seemed to do anything.
You did make up a lot of the balancing issue with the rust and the fact the game ends after the dragon's killed, though. Good job on those.

Very nice game.

denmanlp says ...
Jan 4, 2016 @ 4:37am

When I got the tower and chose "lookout" and the map zoomed out, that was a great moment. Well done.

caryoscelus says ...
Jan 4, 2016 @ 8:32am

Very solid & fun, but at some point it gets a bit boring when all you have to do is watch & wait.

tanis says ...
Jan 4, 2016 @ 10:17am

Beautifully scripted. I liked the story and the game mechanic. The gameplay completely hides away the spare graphics. Loved it and managed to defeat the dragon :)

Bacontree says ...
Jan 4, 2016 @ 10:48am

This is one of the best two button games I've ever played.

RadMcCool says ...
Jan 4, 2016 @ 12:44pm

Really neat game, would be fun on mobile for the odd wee game.

Waynetron says ...
Jan 4, 2016 @ 2:15pm

The zoom-in effect was tiring and I don't think it added anything.
Very engrossing game.

gallerdude says ...
Jan 4, 2016 @ 4:55pm

Very awesome! Wish I could keep building! I beat the dragon too.

Jan 4, 2016 @ 9:41pm

Great little entry. A little bit of audio would have helped, but it's was still really enjoyable.

Solifuge says ...
Jan 5, 2016 @ 1:17am

I pity the poor villagers who live on/inside an onion pile, however famous said onions may be.

Brilliant 2-button hands-off city manager. I loved the look, the tone, and the gameplay. Well done!

MSiddeek says ...
Jan 5, 2016 @ 7:04am

Note to future me: I got 154 votes on this entry.

Jan 16, 2016 @ 3:39pm

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

You must sign in to comment.

Mini Submission FAQ

TEAMS: Teams entering the Jam should pick a single representative to submit your game, or create a team specific account you can share. We currently do not support Team Voting, but sharing an account and together playing and rating games is acceptable.

CAN I ENTER BOTH EVENTS?: You should pick 1 event, whichever you think it’ll do better in. If the idea is strong, and everything plays well enough, you can go Compo. If you’re a perfectionist, and would prefer people to play a more polished game, do the Jam. Historically, more games are entered in the Compo, but with more people and more time, Jam games have the potential to be better (that doesn’t mean they are). Many solo participants do enter the Jam.

If you made 2 games, unfortunately, the website doesn’t support multiple submissions per user. To submit your 2nd game, you will have to make a 2nd account. Only do this if you made 2 games. Alternatively, if one game is better than the other, then consider just entering the better game.

CAN I KEEP WORKING UNTIL THE DEADLINE?: Yes! Immediately after the 48 or 72 hours, we do something called Submission Hour. As the name suggests, it’s an extra hour for you to package, upload, and submit your games. If there were catastrophic issues trying submitting your game, or you misunderstood how submissions work, that’s okay. It happens. We’re flexible. If you need advice, check with the folks on IRC. If you need an admin, get in touch.

CAN I KEEP WORKING ON MY GAME?: Oh definitely! You should! But for the sake of judging, keep the Compo or Jam version around. You can include a link to the Post-Compo/Post-Jam version of your game on your games page, but sure your main links are the original version.

PORTS: Ports to other platforms can be done after the deadline. That said, the sooner you finish your port, the sooner people can play your game, improving your chances of placing in the final results. For best results, provide a Web version of your game, or a Windows version with no dependencies. Also be sure to rate at least 20 games to improve your visibility (Coolness).

MY GAME CRASHES, IS UNBEATABLE, OR I MADE A TYPO: We allow you to fix crashes, win condition, or tiny bugs after the deadline. In a sense, this is like “porting” to support more players. We leave this open to interpretation, but generally speaking your game should be identical to the game you submitted. No new features, just fixing mistakes you should have caught had you been better rested.

MY GAME DOESN’T SHOW UP: If you can’t find your game, it’s usually because the URL to your downloads are missing ‘http://‘. Fix your URLs ( and you will show up. Alternatively, if you just posted it, wait a minute. The cache may not have refreshed yet.

NOT LOGGED IN?: If you get a message about not being logged in, even though you are, it’s because your web browser cached the non-logged in page. You can fix this by either refreshing your cache or clearing your cache. CTRL+F5 in many browsers. Chrome is a bit more work. Press F12 to enable Developer Mode, then you can right click on the refresh button and select “Empty Cache and Hard Reload”. This option is unavailable if you are not in Developer Mode.

[cache: storing page]