Ludum Dare 35 — April 15th-18th, 2016 — Theme: Shapeshift

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Abyssal Dream

by esayitch - Jam Entry

You have seen a strange light. Your wife begs you to stay, but you feel like it's not up to you.

Explore a strange world while mastering your shapeshifting capabilities. Unlock a multitude of shapes and discover their strengths and weaknesses. If you are determined, master your size. Become as small as a mouse to be able to crawl through narrow passageways, or grow titanic to become invulnerable. As you encounter challenging puzzles, various foes waylay your path.

Will you learn the truth about this place? Will you become the master of your form?




Arrows to move.

X to JUMP (or fly, depends on shape).

C to ATTACK (depends on shape).


V + UP - Grow.

V + DOWN - Shrink.


There are a lot of combos. You can see them in game. Press the three specified keys in quick succession to morph into the desired shape. To morph to any shape aside from the defaults, you have to be in the default shapes first.


This game was made for Ludum Dare 35 - Shapeshifting by myself with help from a friend by the name of Amir Hayek (no LD account).

I drew inspiration from the X-Men villain Apocalypse. Game inspirations include Gameboy games and Don't Look Back by Terry Cavanagh.

Tools used:

HaxeFlixel,, sfxr, OGMO editor, Yal's Chiptune Pack 2, and CREDAN font by Jupiter Hadley.

Downloads and Links




sndr says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 1:27am

Nice entry!
The graphics look really neat and I really enjoyed the combos mechanic. I don't know why but I always like combos in games. :P

Apr 19, 2016 @ 3:28am

Great graphics! pretty good game.. :)

fullmontis says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 12:38pm

A gret game! I like the way you get different useful powers the more you progress. The controls are excellent. Changing shape this way is a little slow though, considering you need to change between them multiple times.

DivineOmega says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 2:46pm

Cool game!

The graphical style was really nice. Reminding me of Gameboy Classic graphics. I like that you gain more powers over time and use them to progress.

Apr 19, 2016 @ 3:15pm

Cool Game, great Graphics.

ginger9 says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 3:45pm

A bit difficult :(
I like the graphic more than audio

Upwily says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 4:44pm

i like how you had added tutorials drawn on levels, like for x and c.

Prudiiarca says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 4:50pm

At first I didn't got what to to do but it turned out I just wasn't paying attention enough. Great game! I really liked the retro feel of it...

kestrelgames says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 4:51pm

Great retro feel! the shapeshifting idea of using combo keys is clever, this could be quite the hit if made more accessible! (could show onscreen which combo to use for the first few instances then let the player refer to the page after that maybe).

runvs says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 5:13pm

Very nie entry! I like the shapeshifting mechanics via the controls, also the music and graphics are very well executed. The Game is kind of hard, but I like that. Also the ingame tutorial works very well for me. Nice game!

LeReveur says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 9:02pm

Fun and challenging. A little hard for players like me, but I'm sure this will please a lot of gamers here :) Good job !

Husky says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 3:57am

Nice one!

I like the idea to make the transforming in some keys patterns, it become smooth once you have all the patterns in mind.

Levels design is also full of challenge, but I have an issue of sometimes the keys acting like stuck or something, I'm not quite sure, I died several times because of this issue.

Overall, it's well done, good job :D

nextreality says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 6:50am

I really liked the graphical aesthetic of the game, and the size of it is impressive for the time limitations. Had a few issues with controls, but overall very nice :)

SantiHisteria says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 10:30am

I love the graphics and the colours! Good movements... Good work!

jdmazz says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 12:22pm

The controls and juiciness are missing. Those are pretty hard to come by, though. Overall you guys did a great job.

joemid says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 12:48pm

This is a well-made little platformer. Took me back to the gameboy for sure! Great job!

tentacode says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 3:21pm

Really nice retro graphics :) good job !

mrnannings says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 3:26pm

Good art. Very smart to use combos to change haven't seen that before. Nice job.

tentacode says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 3:51pm

Oh yeah, I forgot about this, the combo system is indeed a very good idea, way better than just flipping button and more keyboard friendly

Aurel Bílý says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 6:00pm

This is quite an enjoyable entry … The shapeshifting via combos was a nice touch, although I think there could have been more 'timing' challenges, like the ones with the disappearing platforms and the lasers … Which, by the way, were a tad bit too difficult very close to the start of the game. However, it did have a nice, almost metroidvania progression to it. I think what hurt the game the most was the lack of polish. The graphics served their purpose, but weren't too good, and the scaling down with anti-aliasing was distracting. Likewise, the story at the end seemed a bit random, cause there was no exposition, no plot in the game, just a block of text at the end which didn't seem to relate to the game much. But that's all just polish, the core mechanic was quit nice :)

rjhelms says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 2:43pm

Nice platformer. The combo idea is really cool.

I found this game really difficult, personally, but I'm crap at retro platformers in general.

ekkiiiii says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 6:18pm

Enjoyed it even though I am pretty bad at platformers. Visual style is on point and sound and music fit it well, even though the effects get mildly annoying when you don't progress. :)

Logun says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 7:31pm

Nice game, liked it !

tsedate says ...
Apr 22, 2016 @ 1:01am

This was good! The level designs were very nice - they really made you master a shape and combo by putting you through different challenges before you could move on.

bigbatardyt says ...
Apr 22, 2016 @ 3:35pm

Graphics are great !! This game's damn hard but not a bad way. difficulty curve is controlled

luquio says ...
Apr 22, 2016 @ 3:46pm

Hi there, i saw the game on twitch so I played it! It really goodlooking, the shape shift is awesome and also the gameplay. At first i had to switch between game and the buttons instruction, but once it get it i really enjoy! Cheers and great work!

peter_szegedi says ...
Apr 23, 2016 @ 11:33am

Very professional and cool! The overall quality is way above then the average game here.

MiniBobbo says ...
Apr 23, 2016 @ 11:36am

This worked well. Some of the jumping/transform/speed through sections were really tricky but satisfying when I finally got it.

Apr 23, 2016 @ 5:13pm

Have to say, I really liked the simple graphics, though the antialiasing on the size changes was a touch disappointing. The ideas were good, and the levels well designed.

I have to ask though, why did you choose to go with combo inputs for the shapechanges, when that whole hand is free for pressing shapechange buttons?

esayitch says ...
Apr 23, 2016 @ 7:03pm

@fullmontis: Agreed, I needed to make combinations that only used UP and DOWN as pressing LEFT to use combo while you are going RIGHT makes you stop :(
@ginger9: It is challenging, I can't deny it, but I hope not in an unfair way!
@Prudiiarca: I actually think the transformation instructions are not clear enough, but I didn't have time to improve them :/
@kestrelgames: 100% agree on onscreen prompts, just couldn't get around to it on time :(
@Husky: Pretty weird issue! Can you tell me what browser/OS you are using? Maybe I can check it out and try to reproduce it :)
@nextreality: I agree that the controls could have been more streamlined... and I am sorry I couldn't add another area to the game to use the final 2 forms :(
@jdmazz: What is juiciness O.o?
@Aurel Bílý: I pretty much agree with all of your points xD I hate the anti-aliasing because I was going for a GB look and that alpha is anything but... I tried to find out how to remove it but didn't manage to find out how to do it on time :/ Regarding story, we wanted to put it a few cutscenes to show stuff that happened in the past, which would play after every memory was unlocked... but my partner was swamped with work and didn't manage to complete that on time xD
@rjhelms: It's not just you, the second area in particular is a spike in difficulty, I agree!
@ekkiiiii: Agreed about SFX, after playing it so many times myself they grate on me too xD Maybe in the future I will make the volume of the effects dynamic (the closer they are to the player, the higher, and if they are farther than a certain distance you can't hear them at all)
@RockhopperGames: I agree about the anti-aliasing :( couldn't figure out how to remove it on time. Reason for the combos is because I was going for gameboy aesthetic/limitations... the resolution and colors are similar to a Gameboy (except the text + the character sprite AA), and the two buttons (Jump and Attack) are similar to the two buttons of the gameboy... in that way all other functions had to make use of the D-Pad + those two buttons! Hence the combos. Not to say I hadn't considered adding 2 more buttons to transform each bodypart, but the only difference that would have made is to make transforming easier and requiring more challenging obstacles xD ++ there is a degree of satisfaction when you master the combos, so I went with that option :)

Apr 24, 2016 @ 6:09pm

Ahh, that explains a lot! I'd just assumed Flixel had non-anti aliasing as an option because of how many games I'd seen in it using large pixel styles >_< And gameboy-esque controls explains the transformation choices! I appreciate it when people go for limitations like that!

GodsBoss says ...
Apr 30, 2016 @ 6:01pm

Great game, especially after memorizing the shapeshifting combos.

Can't rate the audio, is this intentionally? I liked both music and effects.

esayitch says ...
Apr 30, 2016 @ 8:38pm

Glad you liked it! About the audio, yes it's intentional because I didn't create the music, it was bought from another developer... the sfx I made with sfxr, but they are minor compared to the music, so I thought it only fair to opt out of the audio category altogether.

rnlf says ...
Apr 30, 2016 @ 10:01pm

Oooof. This is extremely hard. The one place where you (seamingly, maybe I didn't discover the right way) jump, then transform midair into the skater kind and, land on breaking blocks and then speed through lasers was too much for me. Maybe I took a completely wrong way, but it was the only obvious one for me :-(

That being said I like the artstyle and audio. The gameplay felt solid, even with the difficulty problem. I will try it again later and then hopefully get through it.

Rock Eaters says ...
May 1, 2016 @ 5:09am

Graphic style is really nice and level design is good. i has pleasur to play it

neontropics says ...
May 1, 2016 @ 11:51pm

Fun lo-fi game with a bit of a Metroid feeling, great graphics and satisfying gameplay!

csanyk says ...
May 3, 2016 @ 3:38am

I went into a cave, a little figure appeared and floated to me, and killed me. Next time, I tried to hit him, but he still killed me.

esayitch says ...
May 3, 2016 @ 6:42am

@rnlf: That actually is the right way, but I agree that the game is difficult xD if you don't feel like trying again, you can check out the playthrough :)
@neontropics: Glad you enjoyed it!
@csanyk: Then try going/exploring elsewhere first?

pixelpotions says ...
May 6, 2016 @ 2:26pm

Awesome game, loved the mechanics a lot! Good job.

May 7, 2016 @ 3:36pm

Liked the morphing mechanic and how you could combine the different body parts. Did have issues at times trying to morph where it didn't seem to be registering my key presses but besides that I enjoyed the structured level design and how different areas had unique looks. Was a nice touch.

ashdnazg says ...
May 9, 2016 @ 2:59pm

As mentioned before this was a tad bit hard :D
I really liked the graphics - the little movements of the main character (breathing, the legs swinging during jump) made a black blob feel very much alive!

Behatzlaha to you too! :)

BSODDevTeam says ...
May 9, 2016 @ 5:59pm

Nice game. I like GameBoy graphics a lot.

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