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

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by Mathieu Muller - Jam Entry



- Framework .Net 4.5 or better
- OpenAL (


The game requires the following packages to be installed:

- libopenal-dev
- mono-runtime

For Ubuntu/Debian based Linux systems, you can run:

sudo apt-get install libopenal-dev mono-runtime


If anybody is able to run the game on Mac, please tell me in the comments. I don't have the computer to test this!

The Story

In a far future, the Earth has been forsaken by humanity, leaving robots to their fate. For many centuries, robots performed their task, upgraded themselves in search of perfection. And then it happened. The Glitch. A small deficiency in a neural network shut down every networked robot on the planet.

The only survivor of this holocaust is a small ancient little robot named M.A.I.N. (Mobile Artificial Intelligence Navigator); it was too old to be affected by the Glitch, and now, it is the only one which will be able to save the robots!

How to play

The target of every level is to reach the EXIT cell, but the robot is pretty stupid by itself. You need to give him instructions by placing directions (the four arrows on the bottom of the screen) on the map. To do so you can drag and drop the arrows in the level. You can also drag the level around.

When your plan is set, you can click on top right the "play" button, which will tell M.A.I.N to proceed as scheduled. You won't be able to change your programmation, so plan carefully!

The four first levels are a bit like a tutorial, explaining new things and new level features. The fifth and last one start to get harder :).

Around the game

For a long time I wanted to make a game that my daughter would be able to play, that doesn't requires skills and reflexes; besides this, she loves helping me while I'm doing games from the Ludum Dare, and I wanted her to take her first grasp at programmation.

Next features planned

More levels. More specifics cells (with items to pickup in a stack and to release). There is a lot of improvements possible in this game....

Downloads and Links


steph88 says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 6:35am

Hi, nice game and congratulations ! 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.

GuiHome says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 11:57pm

Game is fun and reminds me of a laser and light bulb game, as well as my first steps in programming with LOGO language on a TO-7.
Waiting for more levels (would be nice to see the level number somewhere)

asyzruffz says ...
Sep 1, 2016 @ 7:44pm

Game is fun. Very polished with simple puzzle. At first confused where to drag the arrow into. It can be made clearer by showing some arrow already on the road. I want more levels.

g12345 says ...
Sep 2, 2016 @ 12:26pm

I can't get this game to work (on Windows). It seems to see my mouse, but it doesn't accept my mouse clicks.

I can press enter to start the game but dragging or dropping doesn't work for me.

Looks nice, though.

Four Quarters says ...
Sep 2, 2016 @ 12:38pm

Nice back story for game, and pretty fun game too.
In total game very polished!

Anti says ...
Sep 2, 2016 @ 1:38pm

Played through the entire game. Would have been nice if there was more levels because I really enjoyed it. The music was also great and I really liked the art style. Some improvements: sprite animations, maybe a more readable font, sound effects and the puzzles were pretty simple. But overall it is a very solid entry and very impressive for only 48 hours!

Sep 3, 2016 @ 8:57am

@g12345 Could you give me your windows version and your mouse model? (Just checking if this problem is known from the Monogame / OpenTK team)

local minimum says ...
Sep 3, 2016 @ 9:27am

I really enjoyed the music! And once I realized how to use the arrows it was rather easy to play through. But I did die like 5-6 times before I got the mechanic. First I though I should just click for the number of moves in each direction, which also made it unsure if up/down indicated turning or the new direction. Then I thought that maybe I had to press the buttons while on the right tile, but that was both too stressful and didn't work. This is to say, it would be nice if first level indicated the that you should drag the arrow to the right spot somehow.

While actually playing it I would have really liked the robot having a joyous animation to match the sound. And have one per direction of movement. And everything, pipes, doors and such too. The music was really great but the rest of the content should match that mood too, I think. (I get it is a lot of work for LD, but in case you plan to work more on it).

The puzzles were really a bit too easy, they didn't allow for mistaking the solution but just increased the number of steps. Again, I get this might reflect more of the time challenge of LD than your ideas for the game. However possibilities to consider if you decide to make this into a full game:

* Have the turn tiles care for the entry directions (making it 8 turn tiles in total, possibly more if you include U-turn). To not make the tiles too many you could just have 'turn left', 'turn right' 'u-turn' and let the user rotate with mouse scroll before and/or after placing. This would allow running over a turn tile without begin affected and much more complex solutions with the same number of tiles in level.

* Have limited number of tiles so that you have to reuse, and actively manage tiles while the robot is running. This line of thinking also introduces time as potential challenge, that a level might have to be completed within a certain amount of time. This can be managed by starting to run the robot before the path has been fully laid out. It would also be possible to introduce a 'speed up' tile that boosts the speed of the robot for a couple of tiles.

I could see me playing many many levels of this game once taken to the next level of completion! In other words, great start, now go finish it ^^

g12345 says ...
Sep 4, 2016 @ 1:29pm

@Mathieu Muller: I use an HP mouse, and Windows 7.

I must say I haven't played many Mono games before, so I don't actually know if this is just your game or I have this problem with every Mono game.

Thanks for the reply, too. :)

Strike says ...
Sep 5, 2016 @ 10:51am

First, I'm going to say that I couldn't wait to play and ran the game without reading the instructions. Then I saw g12345 comments about not registering mouse clicks and I thought I had the same issue. Until I actually read the instructions and realised I was not supposed to click on the arrows but drag and drop them on the level. It looks a bit that I was in the same case as local minimum XD

Putting my stupidity aside, this is a really cool game. Very good mechanics, interesting puzzles. I'd love to see more levels, but I totally understand that part. In such a short time it's pretty hard to make a lot of content. Is there a way to reset a level ? I made one mistake before pressing play and I was forced to run the level to die so I could restart. Trying to drag the arrows out of the levels pans the view so there is not much I can do. The music is really nice. I wish your daughter is having fun with this game, because it is a really good one. Great job !

Sep 6, 2016 @ 12:28pm

@Strike I'm currently working on an improved version that includes also resetting the arrows already placed and a better "Stuck" detection algorithm so you won't have to rely on the low battery to reset the level.

This improved version will also feature new game mechanics, and new levels.

Strike says ...
Sep 7, 2016 @ 12:06pm

Thanks for your reply. If you publish this new version soon and announce it here, please mention my name as you did just before so I can see it in my notifications on the Feedback Friends website and play it.

MrMordem says ...
Sep 8, 2016 @ 6:39pm

Your game is really fun :) the concept is simple, but its done well, the graphics and music were awesome.

If i had to just point out one tiny negative thing, the fact that you can't erase an arrow you misplaced so you have to play the puzzle and wait for the restart to try again, but really it's noting much.

With more levels and a few more features to diversify the puzzles it can become a great full game,

so congrats to you it's a solid entry all the way :)

WERT Studio says ...
Sep 9, 2016 @ 4:18pm

well done dosen´t look ugly (the repeating tiles look not that wonderful) The levels are well made and the mechanic is neat- thanks

BMacIntosh says ...
Sep 10, 2016 @ 6:05pm

Great music and pixel art! Would have loved more levels :). A nice feature would be shortcut keys for placing the arrows like in SpaceChem - holding W, A, S, or D and clicking a tile places down an arrow in the appropriate direction.

csanyk says ...
Sep 11, 2016 @ 6:01am

Well executed puzzle game.

I didn't like that I had to install OpenAL; that would be best to package in with the game rather than to have to install it separately.

I liked the puzzles, and more levels of increasing complexity would be great.

I would have liked to be able to enlarge the window, so I could see more without having to scroll.

It would have been good if the little robot guy's graphic would turn when he makes a turn.

Overall good job.

Sep 12, 2016 @ 1:34pm

@csanyk My first test version tried to include the OpenAL DLL directly with the game, but for some reason, some computers didn't like that at all (the game was crashing without a reason).

scorched says ...
Sep 14, 2016 @ 11:10am

Nice one, reminds of Chip's Challenge a bit!
Wish I could write funny music too during the mad LD days :-)

Sep 14, 2016 @ 3:22pm

The levels aren't hard, knowing how to play is! I know what you need: A TUTORIAL!

Steven Miller says ...
Sep 15, 2016 @ 4:56am

I personally had no issues finding out how to play. Good game, I would love to see more difficult levels. I think a way to delete or replace arrows would be beneficial, as well as a way to manually restart levels. I accidently placed a tile incorrectly on the second to last level (I was still getting used to the camera, which actually worked quite well once I got the hang of it) and ended up creating an infinite loop, and the only solution seemed to be closing the game and restarting from the beginning. That being said, I really liked the game (especially the last level) and I would love to see this expanded.

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