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

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Matchlock Alchemy

by sockfolder - Compo Entry

Matchlock Alchemy is a matching puzzle game, where you match tiles to damage your enemy. Tiles are 'matched' if there are at least three consecutive tiles of the same color in a row or column.

Installation: Visual C++ Redistributable for 2015 required:
Run oalinst.exe (included in zip) if OpenAL32.dll is missing.

The game follows the "shapeshift" theme in two ways:
1) The primary matching mechanism involves shifting a row of shapes to the right.
2) There is a secondary "spell" system, that lets you transform ("shapeshift") one shape into another.

(Until you move a tile, it won't match, so there may be matching tiles when the game starts)

The exact mechanics are complicated, but don't be afraid to use stuff willy-nilly: it often works out well. Once you win, you can keep playing forever at harder and harder difficulties.

There are two ways to interact with the tiles:
1) Click a bouncing bullet to shift that row to the right. The far right tile is then earned as a spell tile at the bottom of the screen. You have a limited number of bullets per round.
2) Drag a spell tile to a glass bulb to cast a "Transmutation Wave" on the associated column. The color of the wave is the color of the tile.

Transmutation has the following effects when the wave hits a tile:
1) If the color matches the tile, nothing happens.
2) If the color is 2 away on the color wheel, the tile is transmuted into the color between the 2 colors and is "charged" (glowing white light).
Color wheel:

Ex: Suppose you see R O R R (red orange red red). If you send a P (purple) at the O, it will turn into a red and match.

When a "charged" tile is matched, it fires its own Transmutation Waves in all 4 directions.

3) Otherwise, the tile is accented with that color (4 triangles at the corners). This lets the tile count as that new color for matching purposes, but you still need 3 tiles in the match with the correct color.

Ex: Suppose you see R O R R. If you sent a R at the O, it will be accented with red: R <O> R R. These 4 tiles then match because there are still 3 tiles with the correct color.

The black tiles ("Chaos" tiles) are special and work in different, mysterious ways. Chaos "accents" match any color and are quite powerful.

Note: Octahedral tiles transmute other octahedral tiles, and circle tiles transmute other circle tiles. Equivalently, primary colors transmute other primaries, and secondary colors transmute other secondaries.

Downloads and Links




jbasinger says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 2:44am

Getting a couple errors trying to run this:

The program can't start because ucrtbased.dll is missing from your computer. Try reinstalling the program to fix this problem.

The program can't start because OpenAL32.dll is missing from your computer. Try reinstalling the program to fix this problem.

Penthaquill says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 8:12am


Baknik says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 6:00am

The art is nice! While I can appreciate your attempt to create a more complex rule set, there's a lot of rules thrown at the player right away.

Tsevion says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 7:23am

A confusing set of rules, but once you wrap your head around them, it's really interesting and deep. The rule interactions do make it a little hard to predict what will happen though.

Cerno_b says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 10:30am

Looks good.

I can't wrap my head around the transmutation wave mechanic though. Do I understand correctly that I need to have the color wheel memorized in order to know where the wave has an effect? Maybe some info graphic somewhere on screen in the game would help here.

RegaCaska says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 12:14am

Cool game, but difficult to get a handle on the rules. I Like most of the art.

gogo199432 says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 8:33am

An interesting game, maybe a bit more tutorial would have been nice, but whatever :)

Paulgami says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 11:47am

Really interesting mechanics once you get the hang of them. I like the limitations on how you can move the tiles as well - it plays well with the rest of the rules and forces you to think rather than just looking for three-tile patterns.

cakeknuckles says ...
Apr 25, 2016 @ 2:18am

really interesting game, although the rules are a little hard to wrap my head around. but all in all it's nice to see a shape matching game with some variety in the rules.

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