Ludum Dare 37 — December 9th-11th, 2016 — Theme: One Room

Well, Mike ran in to problems getting working properly with about 12 hours left in the Compo, so this is the backup plan.

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Cockroach Reaction

by dominisz - Compo Entry

Cockroaches invaded your kitchen. You have to get rid of them using a bug spray. Place the spray on empty square or create a stack of sprays. This way they will take over the neighbouring squares and possibly initiate a chain reaction. Be careful, because the cockroaches also know this trick. Chain reactions can be long and totally change the situation. You have to conquer four kitchens of various sizes.

How to play:
- cockroaches start the game,
- place the bug spray on an empty square or on the top of another spray,
- if you stack four sprays, then they will spread out on four adjacent squares (left, right, top, bottom), any cockroaches on these squares will be converted to sprays, only two sprays are needed in the corner and three near the edge,
- spreading the sprays can initiate chain reaction :-)

Game created using:
- Java and libGDX framework,
- GIMP for graphics,
- for sounds.

The game runs in 1280x720 resolution on the desktop and 800x450 in the browser.

Download jar and run:

java -jar cockroach-reaction-1.0.jar

Update #1 (2016-12-17)

Big thanks for everyone for the feedback :-) Especially for pointing out the flaws :-) I will definitely work on them after the judging period. This will include:
- better explanation of the rules, preferably some small tutorial,
- @harark - more visible stack height, maybe add some little number (1, 2, 3, ..) in the corner?
- @Catwheel - two players mode,
- @Almax27 - limiting chain reaction units to x-1 is worth considering, this can be optional
- @BlackQuiltro, @piwicode - better sounds, option to turn them off
- @piwicode - some of the chain reactions take long time, so you are right that they can be accelerated after each step
- @piwicode - points and combos can be implemented, but i don't know how to score the points, yet ;-)
- @acotis - better indication of computer's move
- @piwicode, @acotis - right know, very weak computer's AI is the biggest limitation to the gameplay, i can't even call it AI ;-) cockroaches just play randomly :-(

Downloads and Links




harark says ...
Dec 12, 2016 @ 3:37pm

Very fun game! I'm impressed. Didn't think it would be this fun to fill a room with pesticide. ;) The chain reactions are quite fun and I like how it is possible to turn the game around by starting one. A bit hard to see at a glance how big the piles are. Not sure how to fix that.

Catwheel says ...
Dec 16, 2016 @ 10:26am

Really fun game. I lost my first time, then I got it and it was great! a versus mode would be cool

Afendar says ...
Dec 16, 2016 @ 1:03pm

Great fun game. Chain reaction is fun. good interpretation of theme to strategic game. GG guy

Almax27 says ...
Dec 16, 2016 @ 1:20pm

Quite deep for such a simple mechanic. Played for a good 10 mins :D I did find it a little unbalanced though. A few times I had a board full of sprays and there was one tile of 3 cockroaches, resulting in a chain reaction wiping the board of all my sprays. Perhaps when a chain reaction occurs it could convert into x-1 units on that tile, this would limit the chain, and prevent it form over propagating.

ben657 says ...
Dec 16, 2016 @ 1:23pm

Really good bit of fun, so satisfying getting a reaction over the whole room

Dec 16, 2016 @ 5:07pm

I was doing great, one roach left. Chain reaction turns them ALL back to roaches.

I sad.

Very fun!

murilo says ...
Dec 16, 2016 @ 6:25pm

Lost a couple of times until I got the hang it and went up to the 4th level! I usually don't like these type of games but this was actually fun! interesting mechanics. good one, man!

BlackQuiltro says ...
Dec 16, 2016 @ 6:30pm

Very fun game!
Good challenge and good use of the theme! Some epic battles against the cockroaches!
Audio could use some work, but just being picky. Good work!

piwicode says ...
Dec 16, 2016 @ 6:47pm

That is original. It is soooo good when a chain reaction happens. Maybe you could try to accelerate at every step and count the number of combo.

The sound played at every turn was a bit annoying, and maybe would could make it happen only when there is a chain reaction. Also you could play a sound on victory to `reward` the player.

A very nice game, well done!

piwicode says ...
Dec 16, 2016 @ 6:52pm

We should try to create a stronger AI for this game :) The current one does the job but I won 6 rounds easily.

acotis says ...
Dec 16, 2016 @ 8:36pm

Cool idea! I really liked the tic-tac-toe-esque gameplay here, and the fact that I'm playing against the computer makes it even cooler. Although, I wish it would pause for a second or two when it's the computer's turn: I didn't know what was going on at first, and seeing the "Cockroach's Turn" text would have helped.

Can I ask what the AI is here? Does it have a strategy or just play randomly?

Also, side note: the game window does not fit entirely on my screen as it is too tall, so I didn't see the "2 in the corner, 3 on the edge" thing at first, and I got a little confused while I was playing.

Nice game! I look forward to playing what you make next time :)

Hempuli says ...
Dec 16, 2016 @ 9:10pm

The chain reaction system felt very innovative and while it felt like the game didn't require much in terms of strategy, it was a lot of fun to pull off a long chain reaction; similarly, while it felt like I had no real control over it, seeing the cockroaches suddenly fill the board with a lucky chain-reaction was very interesting. Good work!

wrexialmt says ...
Dec 17, 2016 @ 6:00pm

One of the better games I've rated so far in this jam in terms of gameplay.

Dec 22, 2016 @ 9:24pm

Fun game. Oh and it's a compo entry too? Good job!

handoharken says ...
Jan 1, 2017 @ 9:22pm

Love it! great entry with a fun concept that fits the theme. I was getting addicted to the gameplay, I'd like to see it turned into an app :) great entry!

NoobDude29 says ...
Jan 2, 2017 @ 9:48am

A fun little game, i didnt know what was happening at first since i didnt read the description, but got the hang of it really fast.

pkenney says ...
Jan 2, 2017 @ 9:47pm

Very cool chain reactions! I was totally shocked when my first game was lost, I had a board-spanning position with lots of 3s, and instead of triggering it I turned one more 2 into a 3. Well, then the roaches took their turn, and BOOM the chain reaction was nuts and totally destroyed me and I lost.

Once I saw how quickly I could be wiped out, I got it, and I won the next time. Really fun, with cute simple graphics that are getting the job done, and a proper focus on the one core idea of setting off chain reactions.

Naturally it's hard to balance making the chains go off slowly enough that I can watch and see and understand why, but yet be quick enough that the game doesn't bog down too much. It's a tough balance but I think you picked a good spot.

Very nice, especially for a first entry.

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