Ludum Dare 36 — August 26th-29th, 2016 — Theme: Ancient Technology

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Aqueducts of Solomon

by LoneSpelunker - Competition Entry

For instructions on how to play, visit:

Can you match the wisdom of Solomon and bring the life-giving waters to the desert? In "The Aqueducts of Solomon", you build ancient aqueducts and roads, temples and villages, quarries and fields, to strengthen your empire. How well can you do?

In this solitaire high-score-chasing strategy game, you play cards to build special hexes on a hex map, and then use the special abilities of the hexes to increase your capability. You have ten turns to get the highest score you can.

The game was written from scratch in Canvas/HTML5 with no third party frameworks. All art was created for the compo.

Downloads and Links


CMLSC says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 1:09am

I waited a good 3 minutes and the game didn't load. D:

dtroyt says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 1:29am

The game is very nice visually but there is no clear direction for how to play.

Baknik says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 2:16am

This game is so close to being great, it just needs a bit more direction in the gameplay. Personally I'd like a clearer goal. Great job on the graphics and animations.

Aug 29, 2016 @ 2:23am

I love card games like this and really enjoyed playing your game! I didn't have any technical difficulties while playing, though a "replay" button would be a very nice addition. While a tutorial would be nice, it would be unrealistic to expect that from a compo entry, and I found that the game explained itself after playing the first round. Good job!

franklyn says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 2:31am

I really like the concept of the game. However it would have been a lot easier to get into if you could have found the time to implement a more detailed tutorial.
Very nice entry overall though!

Aug 29, 2016 @ 2:38am

Got 15 on my first game. Not sure if that's good or not, but I felt challenged. I think this game has really great potential. I was really captivated by trying to plan my resource movements to make sure I could try to build what I wanted and when. I made a couple of misteps that I think cost me, but that's a great thing about a game like this. Always something to learn and improve on.

I felt like discarding your hand to move resources was the 'correct' way to play after you had built what you could for a round, but wasn't 100% sure if that was free of ramifications.

Honestly, spend some time after this to refine the game and I wouldn't mind having it on my tablet. Fantastic job.

scriptorum says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 5:58am

Fun game! Got 24 on my second game. Great concept, and gorgeous art. Very well done.

JK5000 says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 7:05am

The game is pretty, but I found it really hard to understand the rules.

g_o says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 10:27am

I think the rules and goal should be mentioned inside the game

spacewarp says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 11:47am

This looks really nice and promising, but also very annoying to play due to the lack of clarity.

Seizar says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 4:10pm

This has a lot of potential, I just wish there was an in-game tutorial!

jakatpemadi says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 11:12pm

Wow, this is one of the nice game... Good job... Thanks :)

steph88 says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 6:58am

Hi, nice game and congratulations ! the only card game in the jam :) Simple mechanics that still offered a decent amount of challenge.We're realizing a video with several games of the Ludum Dare #36. We made the same thing at the previous jam.

Can you add your game on ? (it's free)
So we can include also your game in the video ;)
p.s. write #LDJAM in the game's description.

LoneSpelunker says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 3:38pm

Sure, feel free to include video of the game in your compilation.

Not sure what you mean by "write #LDJAM in the game's description"...?

Aug 30, 2016 @ 5:51pm

Wow! Great polish. I read some comments wanting more explanation, but I felt the game explained itself nicely.

I love the art style, and the game play is complicated enough to make me think about placement and resource management.

wheerd says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 10:42pm

One of the best and most polished games I have played so far. Actually pretty challenging, but great fun. The graphics are very pretty and the explainations are fairly clear. I replayed it a couple of times. The RNG is pretty strong in this game and it is not too easy to understand. However, it is an interesting concept. Great job! :)

Gordun says ...
Aug 31, 2016 @ 6:17am

Nice graphics but it really needs a tutorial

Wan says ...
Aug 31, 2016 @ 9:30pm

I'm very very impressed by this entry, especially game-design wise. I'm pretty sure this can't be the first board game you're making!

Whie it took me a while to understand the rules, cards and basic tactics for the game, by the second game I started to really enjoy it. I'm not sure if it's based on an existing board game but it felt really original to me, and got my mind running to see how it could be adapted into a physical, multiplayer game (I'm pretty sure it can! I'm picturing a game with no time limit, just a modular board shared between all players).

The graphics are great, and the game theme on point, reminding me of various board games (mostly Amyitis). The UI is very polished too, and the only wishes I'd have would be to display the current year on the main screen, and maybe to add a Cancel button on Roads/Aqueducts (though for the latter, I suspect it was omitted to simplify the code).

While it would have been a pretty good Jam entry, the fact you made it all alone in 48 hours is really impressive, and shows talent in all of graphics, coding, game design & time management. Congrats!

LoneSpelunker says ...
Aug 31, 2016 @ 10:01pm

@Wan - Yes, it's based on an existing board game: one I created the first night of the compo! I came up with the idea and made a paper prototype that first night, and then I did the art and coding on Saturday and Sunday. Glad you enjoyed the game, and thanks for playing.

Sep 1, 2016 @ 2:31am

Awesome game, really good idea, interesting design :D. Good job.

Wan says ...
Sep 1, 2016 @ 4:05pm

My current record: 19

Almost got to build a temple on year 7 but I lacked a Stone :(

g12345 says ...
Sep 3, 2016 @ 1:16am

27 on my second attempt. This is a very well designed board game!

I guess the hardest part is actually know what kind of cards are in the original deck itself. Because that information is not really known.

My trick is, of course, try to aim for a temple. I had it on turn 8 but I only really needed it on the final turn. To do that, you need a 2-village asap. And to do that you need to gather resources at your 1-village.

Also, half of the strategy is to discard and destroy cards. For example, use discard cards to move water uphill, or to the village. And destroy cards you don't need, like 3-grains (because it's easier to move them up.)

If I'm only talking about strategy here, it's because the game is really well made. This is probably one of the better/best games I've played for this LD.

(Of course some of the interfaces could be better, and I think one of the cards the text of the resources didn't see to match the picture, but that's all.)

Well done! :)

Danae123 says ...
Sep 3, 2016 @ 8:51pm

Cool game! Polished graphics. Rather addicitve, will play some more now, a measly 20 points won't do!

BloodJohn says ...
Sep 4, 2016 @ 6:30am

The picture is so nice that I want to understand how to play this. It would help me a flowchart or a video. I love the strategy. :)

LoneSpelunker says ...
Sep 5, 2016 @ 8:18am

@BloodJohn - Sadly, I didn't have time to get a proper tutorial in there in the 48 hours, but there's a full explanation of how to play "Aqueducts of Solomon" at the URL listed just below the game ( It's actually pretty simple, mechanically, but it does help to quickly read how the game works.

local minimum says ...
Sep 5, 2016 @ 7:44pm

I got 15 on my first game. In the beginning it was quite confusing interaction. Something with not being able to drag the markers when not clicking a tile. Maybe this could have been helped by having them lay still until one clicks on a hex and then only circle those that can be interacted with. Or ideally potentially the other way around: I click to drag a water marker and this zooms me in on an aqueduct tile that is close enough. It felt a bit evil too that the importer was positioned so that I could only place one conveyor hex in proximity to it unless I'm mistaken. Since the importer is useless before one has played such a tile anyhow I would suggest moving its position to the top tile of the middle column of '1' hexes. Once I got past the confusion though it was a nice challenge and I could see it extended to a nice mobile game. I really liked having the option and possibly the need to destroy cards. When the game ended I wanted to retry it and not waste some of the initial rounds on not understanding the game, but the game just ended with the brown background. So I hope you do a bit of post-judgement fixing and it's seriously impressive to have done this in pure html from scratch. Maverick, but impressive.

ragnta says ...
Sep 6, 2016 @ 7:34pm

Hi, I don't understand this game, but I like your graphics, and I think this game mechanic is very complex, so Congratulations :)

xesenix says ...
Sep 7, 2016 @ 12:08am

Really nice game it has nce graphics and interesting game play.
Maybe i didnt noticed something but why block roads and aqueducts after one use? I have problem with this because sometimes i clicked aqueduct/ road only to realize that i forgot to use resource hex in this turn and i would like to cancel moving but moving out of transport hex makes it disabled i dont think making them disabled is necessary at all but i would give players at least ability to cancel moving before anything was moved (something like cancel in village).

BMacIntosh says ...
Sep 7, 2016 @ 8:00pm

This is a great game. Very well polished. I thought the game was tutorialized very well and had a lot of helpful text in the game. The only thing I wasn't clear on was whether resources needed to be at the village in order to build. I would tone down the scale-up when hovering over hexes, it felt intrusive to me. I also had the same thought as @xesenix.

ZYXer says ...
Sep 9, 2016 @ 1:52am

Hmm it took quite some time for me to get the game, and I still suck... my record is 12, I think I'm not good at these kind of games.

Anyway, awesome graphics! Love the drawings on the cards. Great gameplay idea, well implemented. Very well done!

Would it make sense to increase the number of years? I have the impression that with only 10 years the game is a bit too luck-based.

csanyk says ...
Sep 11, 2016 @ 6:38am

This is very well done, but I feel like I need someone who understands the rules to explain it to me, and answer questions. The game is complicated enough that the on-screen instructions might not be enough for a lot of players.

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