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

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2 button metroidvania

by JaJ - Compo Entry

This is an experiment to see if a metroidvania with two button controls is possible (answer, yes!)

It is more a demonstration than an actual game, as I didn't have a lot of time this weekend, and could only spend about 8 hours on it.

By the way, in true metroidvania style there IS a secret ending!

A does various things, mainly jumping
S does various things, mainly shooting

IMPORTANT: If you have a lot of trouble getting to the checkpoint with the ^^AS mark, that's because you're not supposed to get on there before you get the required powerup! ("Jumpshot")

The web version may lag as I didn't make the game with web version in mind.
To start, first click inside the window, then press any button to make the hero start walking.

Downloads and Links




TijmenTio says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 3:11pm

Found the secret ending! This was really hard...

Modoc73 says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 3:11pm

Absolutely great. Awesome implementation of two button controls. Sweet art work. Level design even made you think. Found the secret ending though. Well done man! And 8hrs, gosh blimey.

HolyBlackCat says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 3:14pm

Very nice! Good graphics and interesting music.
I like how you put everything a medroidvania needs into a such simple game.
And I found the secret ending.

PixlWalkr says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 3:17pm

Pretty good mechanics, nice pixel art also.

aamatniekss says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 3:18pm

Nice, clever controls and pretty polished overall! Good job, I enjoyed it, even if it was very hard! :D

Pete_H says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 3:19pm

Awesome entry!! The controls are brilliant, great way to work with the 2 button theme. Audio and art are grea. I did sometimes struggle to work out how to do certain moves and did eventually get stuck, but if I didn't have a tonne of games I want to try I would continue to play and figure it out. Great entry!

kernel panic says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 3:22pm

Excellent Game! Really hits that two button theme!

Dec 14, 2015 @ 3:38pm

Cool! I thought the controls would take longer to get used to but I got a hang of it pretty quickly. I like how you got so many move-sets just by using button combinations. I got the secret ending to :D.

tgrehawi says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 4:10pm

I feel like an idiot because I can't get over the ledge after the pit you get wall jumping from... otherwise nice concept!

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

Thanks everyone

@tgrehawi *SPOILER* You need to find a new skill first *SPOILER*

Kimau says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 5:59pm

Double tap controls were really difficult. Lovely graphics and nice concept.

CrownCity says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 8:56pm

Pretty difficult game. But it's nice once you get used to it. I only would have loved it better if the buttons weren't next to each other. Good job overall

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

Great game! Love that you got more than two controls on the two buttons and made a pretty complete feeling game. Congratulations on the intuitive level design (mostly) where you showed where each control went as you taught the player.

sP0CkEr2 says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 1:45am

really great use of controls - i did get stuck in one part but will try again

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

Nice gameboy look for sure and good use of 2 buttons for controls.

Drtizzle says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 4:03am

Very nice graphics and music! The use of the controls are interesting but hard to learn. Very nice job!

TheMeorch says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 4:45am

I admire the way you started with an interesting design question/problem and found ways to make it work. I almost got stuck, but I'm glad I kept going and found the secret ending. Really impressive work. Great art and music too!

movedaru says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 6:47am

This is So HARD!!!... GOD!!!... i spend 30 min trying to leave a area O-O... the music its fine, the Graphics are so nice, the Gameplay it´s Hard but it´s perfect to this game style, the two botton control is perfect to the theme, 4,5/5 :)

ChuiGum says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 6:58am

Awesome concept and great graphics, nice music too. Fun game, very cool. Well done!

Dec 15, 2015 @ 7:36am

Wow, the way you used the theme was amazing managing to pack so much functionality into 2 buttons, The level design was really well done and the game was fun play and realy made me think about all the ways to use 2 buttons.

justinooncx says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 7:45am

Holy shit, this is amazing. Wonderful graphics, nice music and sfx, interesting puzzles, all with two buttons! Also got the secret ending!

alvaromartin says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 7:50am

Great game, one of my favorites!

tanis says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 8:00am

It's a fun game! The controls are kind of hard to get used too, but it's a very creative use of the theme! Grats!

Andrew Deem says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 9:17am

Freakin' amazing work for 8 hours. Nice pixel art, good audio. The control idea for this is interesting. It's hard and frustrating, but rewarding and fun when you can get it right. Great job!

NidzaKornjaca says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 9:47am

Smart controls, wonderful graphics, great audio!

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

Damn that was really tough but made it in the end. :)

Dec 15, 2015 @ 10:18am

Superb theme combination! It's very challenging but we've found the bonus skill!

edriavw says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 10:42am

awesome concept, graphics and sound too, but too hard to climb up

hexagore says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 1:33pm

This is very clever :) Pretty sure it woudl kill my hands playing a longer version of this so the length is just right too.

esayitch says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 2:55pm

Wonderful execution of the 2 button theme: using two buttons to do a wide array of actions! Art was pretty cool, and sound was repetitive but not annoying, very suitable as well.

Overall very solid, and the fact you made this in 8 hours is all the more amazing. Good luck, very well done!

MisterMortal says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 3:34pm

Amazing. Really well done. I loved the moments when I was like 'Ok, what combos do what?!' Ace!

Tipyx says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 5:31pm

The "taptaptap" is a little annoying, but everything else is great : best use of the theme, intelligent level design, good gameplay :)

local306 says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 6:30pm

Good job with the two button themed. Very interesting use of progression / leveling up and still only using two buttons

Goutye says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 8:46pm

I really appreciate the game until I got stuck here
I didn't understand how I had to push the button. I tried A then S, but not working. Can you explain? I will rate this entry when I will be able to retry with the solution x) Great use of the theme! Really!

JaJ says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 10:08pm

@Goutye: It's A and then S in mid-air, but you need to get a new skill first.

Dec 16, 2015 @ 1:32am

Really solid entry. Great to see a neat implementation of the two button controls. Well done. :)

pjimmy says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 1:47am

cool game, clever concept, sometimes getting the right combination was frustrating. well done

nelskj says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 2:07am

Nice exploitation of the theme !

broknecho says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 5:23am

Definitely a really cool implementation. Works really well as a sort of puzzle metroidvania.

Well done.

anael says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 10:43am

Very very good controls

Spyboy says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 11:08am

Secret ending yay! Hard to play but so much fun!

JD557 says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 1:39pm

Awesome game! I'm pretty sure this is the best compo entry I've seen.

Awesome graphics: Check!
Awesome soundtrack: Check!
Awesome gameplay: Check!

Dec 16, 2015 @ 4:26pm

Amazing! Didn't expect this complexity with just two button controls. Great entry! Congrats!
Also found the secret ending.. :) (but was stuck for roughly 5 minutes trying to figure out how to double jump without having necessary skill unlocked..:/)

SaintHeiser says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 5:06pm

Very interecting game mechanics which implemetned two themes if meas that player glowing while he is understanding game rules.On other side it's pretty weird to control character this way. Good try anyway!

SHLFStudios says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 12:14am

I think this is quite impressive for the time you say you spent on it. I will say as the controls start getting more complicated with the learned skills, it starts to become a little too unyielding, and found myself stuck due to not knowing how to make a jump... so i didn't get a secret ending :( great job!

karlipoppins says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 2:22am

8 hours only? wow this is purely amazing! Great music, superb animations, wonderful gameboy feel, super challenging.. everything is there, I can't wait to see what you come up with when you have more time! Cheers

fullmontis says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 1:11pm

A great little game! I think you were able to capture the limitation of the theme and make it into a game without feeling limited at all. I really enjoyed it.

rnlf says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 4:40pm

Those controls though!

Quite infuriating, but eventually I found both endings. Oooof.

Looks very pretty and sound and visuals fit together very nicely.

I liked it! (My left wrist hurts now).

bitslap says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 4:43pm

This was a nice and compact metroidvania!
The controls were a bit infuriating but after a while i could navigate with more ease. Though it never became intuitive.

The art did a good job supporting the minimal gameplay as well as the audio! Cool tune!

GFM says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 8:27pm

Got to the secret ending! :)

I wasn't expecting to see a two-button metroidvania game... kudos for being able to do it!

I really liked the limited and bluish color palette! The audio was also really fitting for the game.

Great job! :)

YoungHorses says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 9:54pm

I like the concept of limiting a platformer to two controls and then stretching the imagination to figure out how to fit otherwise simple actions inside of it. I was not able to get over the tall wall (just after learning wall jump) that requires some sort of wall jump/bullet turnaround combo move.

Jwatt says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 8:10am

Now this is quite an interesting experience, and a creative take on the theme(s). Goes to show there's a lot to do with two buttons. I mostly enjoyed playing to the end, and this is one of the more memorable entries altogether.

To help you work on this more, maybe, here's my two main gripes regarding the gameplay:

1) The reaction times required are occasionally a bit overwhelming. It sorta feels like playing a debug fast-forward mode that you got used to during development, and which you never slowed back down for the poor players who are just taking their first look.

2) The skills aren't really explored to their fullest extent. I guess this is one of those things that feel "off" to me about many modern Metroidvanias. You only get skills to reach the next area - as a new key to a lock - not as a new degree of freedom that allows your character to explore more. This can sort of be excused considering it's made in a weekend, but I'd like to see you play around with non-linearity more after the compo.

Also, the audio does get on your nerves after a bit. Actually it seems out-of-place right from the start, mood-wise. It's just there doing its thing but not really complementing the gameplay.

YinYin says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 4:17pm

My thoughts on the ^^AS checkpoint: please kill me.

Both before and after finally reaching it.

My verdict: it does absolutely not work.

JaJ says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 6:33pm

YinYin: Did you actually manage to get up there without finding the required powerup? Wow...

YinYin says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 7:08pm

There is a required power up ...?

I only used a wall jump and turning mid air.

And because it seemed like I had to somewhat time my descent into the enemy pits following, I had to double tap turn a lot afterwards. And whenever I once again died down there I re spawned but was still turning half of the time thus falling off to the left again ... (and seemingly no way to kill myself to quickly re spawn up top)

Now that I think about it I should have probably gone back with the wall jump, but at the time it felt like there was only going forward.

I may give this another try, but even till that point it wasn't very fun with a double tap turn. I'd much prefer button hold/release combinations, but maybe these are taken for upgrades further down the road.

Really with those button restrictions and auto movement it's more like a tangled up runner than a Metroidvania. Doesn't work for me.

YinYin says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 7:53pm

Okay then, it does work much better once you have the jump shot as it suddenly opens up traversal by several magnitudes. Reached the "secret ending". It kind of ends there at a point where it's only starting to get a little fun.

By the way, is the rapid fire S+A intentional? I cannot remember getting an upgrade for that (without the jump shot I kind of thought I need this to get through the enemy crowded pits by using my amazing ability to "fall" in at the right moment).

PIXEL^3 says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 11:14pm

Nice little Metroidvania.

The level design wasn't horrible except for that second enemy pit after getting autofire. I died 4 times before I even killed a single enemy. It also needs better indication that you need to explore at the ^^AS mark. Maybe just removing the mark altogether would do.

The Secret ending was cool, though if you had more time I feel like this is where you would've put a more difficult challenge.

JaJ says ...
Dec 20, 2015 @ 12:17am

S+A was intentional, I needed to find a way to shoot multiple shots without turning. You get the upgrade at the long part where it says S+A on the floor.

Personally, I'm not that happy with level design from the first checkpoint onwards at all. There are so many cool things I could have done, but that's where the lack of time became an issue. I don't hate what it is now (I really think it's just a demonstration of possibilities), but it could have been really good, I think.

On the turning. I'm aware it's not the most intuitive solution, but level design itself was never supposed to revolve around it much. It was always intended as a recovery mechanic when you mess up. The true "turning" mechanic was always supposed to be walljumps.

lekochen says ...
Dec 20, 2015 @ 3:03pm

The controls are brilliant!

Dec 20, 2015 @ 6:02pm

Top marks for theme, very clever and a great entry. Some pretty great game design here!

YinYin says ...
Dec 21, 2015 @ 11:09am

Aha! Then you introduced wall jumps too late ;p

Truly it would've been a lot better if you spend more time on level design. For example I really thought the pit you learn falling in was too wide to use the wall jump - if it had some visual cues on the walls matching the pit you get the wall jump in that may have reminded me to back track with it instead of pushing onwards.

jdoughty says ...
Dec 23, 2015 @ 5:00pm

8 Hours? Very nice work in that span! Very polished game play!

Weeping Rupee says ...
Dec 23, 2015 @ 5:12pm

This was damn hard but rewarding. The part you had to specify in the description-- where you need the bullet jump thing... I think the reason I got stuck there was that I did not realize that with my wall jump holding down A would extend the jump/let me wall jump further. I knew I had to get back up to the top part to get that power up I saw right at the top but it took me 5 minutes or so before I figured out how to use the wall jumps right.

Drauthius says ...
Dec 23, 2015 @ 11:23pm

That finish line was hard to reach. I can't really say I enjoyed playing the game with two buttons. Most of the time the wrong thing would happen, which I understand is my own fault, but it was quite annoying. Still, it was a worthy challenge and quite rewarding once I managed to get the hang of it a bit. The sound when the bullets hit the wall was a bit too sharp.

Tuism says ...
Dec 24, 2015 @ 1:38pm

The idea is good, the execution pretty great, but the actual outcome wasn't... fun. It's very tedious. I think this is one of those to file under cool idea but ultimately not the best thing to do with two buttons.

If you ever played King of Thieves, this has that kind of feel to it, except I can time KOT with one touch, and this is a sequence of button hits... When I fail I feel like I'm unlucky rather than unskillful.

Cool exercise though :)

adrian09_01 says ...
Dec 25, 2015 @ 1:52pm

Cool. Is there something to do after getting Endless Jumpshot?

adrian09_01 says ...
Dec 25, 2015 @ 1:58pm

Cool. Found the secret ending! Make it longer! Bosses maybe? I will buy it on Steam.

KaiseanGames says ...
Dec 27, 2015 @ 5:16pm

Cool. I liked the theme application. It's a bit hard for me, but very good nonetheless.

punkto says ...
Dec 29, 2015 @ 3:39pm

Neat design and controls. Well done!

LeReveur says ...
Jan 2, 2016 @ 12:40am

Hard, but the concept is really fun. And learn abilities one after the other is great too. Well done !

rzuf says ...
Jan 3, 2016 @ 12:12pm

Secret ending, woohoo! Would like to see some story in the game, as it's already pretty good in the mood department. :3 I like the music, it reminds me of Land of Illusion on Sega.
And wow, 8 hours, a mighty good job for such amount of time!

Diel Mormac says ...
Jan 3, 2016 @ 2:13pm

I did all endings!

Peekotus says ...
Jan 3, 2016 @ 3:50pm

A very unique way of making a metroidvania!

Jan 3, 2016 @ 5:26pm

You've made a demo that's better than any of my full games. The graphics are lovely, though the main character sprite might need some work, and the shake effect gets a bit too much. I love the background music; reminds me of "La-Mulana"'s soundtrack. However, the sound effects are a bit too loud.

The world design is pretty great. Unfortunately, the controls made it too hard for me. Still, very good-looking game with a cool concept.

radmars says ...
Jan 4, 2016 @ 5:30am

Awesome! Really clever use of the theme here and quite fun too. The only issue I could find is that the amount of enemies in some of the areas is a bit excessive, but it's not too bad since they don't respawn. Nice job on the graphics & audio too!

Haokarlos says ...
Jan 4, 2016 @ 3:32pm

I enjoyed playing this game. The graphics and the music really cool. Good job!

rojo says ...
Jan 4, 2016 @ 4:54pm

For awhile it was pretty tough to drill the button combos into my brain. Still, the game was pretty fun and I liked the aesthetic. Good job!

pixelpotions says ...
Jan 4, 2016 @ 6:09pm

Impressive! Awesome work, liked it a lot!
Really hard to master the controls.

Jan 4, 2016 @ 6:49pm

Love the way you used the two button limitation...and that's on top of excellent graphics and audio. Really fun!

Jan 4, 2016 @ 7:09pm

You were featured on Ludum Dare to Believe! Check it out! -

Mach60KAS says ...
Jan 4, 2016 @ 8:29pm

Very interesting application of the theme! I love your use of the 4-colour palette throughout the game, and I think you've done a great job with the music. This is incredible for just 8 hours, I'm extremely impressed. Keep up the great work!

Jan 4, 2016 @ 8:46pm

[Lazarus-omin from Creative Sectors]:
Jesus Christ, this is awesome! And it only took you about 8 hours to make?! That's just some mad science!

Controls are very slick, the worked exceptionally well with the given theme. The graphics and music just set the mood right, so if you plan to polish this further, a perfect base is given.

Finished the normal way, and found the secret ending too.

I'm speechless mate, nice job! Hope to see more of your magic!

P.s.: I haven't experienced lag, or any other anomalies.

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