There are a ton of game jams happening online at any point during the year. Many of these jams follow a theme and a timeframe, giving developers the challenge of creating a game within a specific jam’s restrictions. I am able to record loads of these games for each and almost every game jam. As I record them all, I pick out games that stand out to me and games I love from each individual jam. This article contains the games I love from the 25th GM48.
The GM48 is a quarterly game jam which challenges developers to make a game in forty-eight hours using the GameMaker engine. The theme for this version was ‘One Tool, Many Uses’. The GameMaker community around this jam takes part in a number of ways, from voting on themes and creating games to voting on the games entered and leaving feedback. I’ve played through each of the submitted games in my compilation video series and below are a few of my favorites, in a random order.
The Chicken Game by Aaron
The Chicken Game is a very strange puzzle platformer where you listen to a narrator tell you what to do!
At first, they tell you not to touch the chicken and that there is no way to win the game, but once you get past those lies, you will really get into the game. The narrator becomes your friend, guiding you along through the weird world that you seem to be inside. They have created this world — and they are annoyed that you don’t have to go through the process of making a game — but they still want you to play around with the chicken.
More items appear as you figure things out — allowing you to use this chicken in ways you probably never thought to be possible. Quickly the world becomes bizarre — lighting chickens on fire, mushroom chickens, garbage juice, random bits of science — there might even be a way to win the game, as long as the narrator lets you.
Wonderbox by Seltzy
Wonderbox gives you the power of a magic box, able to change based on whatever code that you type in.
This block can do helpful things like move on rollers, getting into small spaces or becoming a rocket to hit buttons on the wall. It can also do not so helpful things like make you cool and light fires! You will need to make the most of these various skills to complete each and every level and collect blueprints of blocks along the way.
You do have a guide of all of the codes and abilities your box may have to help you along the way. Each level will change you in completely new ways, as you play around with your abilities or simply walk around with sunglasses on, looking cool. Pushing buttons and making it through walls which lower as a result will be the majority of the game, reaching a door at the end.
If you can play Wonderbox without dying, you have a chance to get the perfect score at the end!
PokeyPoke by ShaunJS, Inkedsplat, & Rologfos
PokeyPoke is a challenging platformer where you rely on your spear to get around each level and collect loads of stars! Your spear does far more than just break boxes — you can use it to wall jump by impaling it into the walls or using it to super jump if you fling yourself off of it once it is in a wall. Getting the hang of this spear is the learning curve in PokeyPoke — you really need to start to master, and rely on, it.
There are various checkpoints around the level, so if you get stuck or fall onto spikes then you will be brought to a safe place nearby — however, this doesn’t always help when it comes to getting more of the stars which are dotted around. The level is huge, with loads to explore — boxes to break, secret areas higher up for you to scale the map to… You’ll need to search far and low using your spear for everything but killing enemies.
I got the chance to take on an updated version of PokeyPoke earlier this year, and wrote about that demo separately!
Tape Escape by SamStallion, Royal Soup, & Cileth
Tape Escape allows you to explore a construction site, using your industrial tape measure to get around.
Much like a grappling hook, you can use your tape to fling yourself around the work site, with hopes of making it to the top. After spending all day working, you forgot your lunch at the top of the site. Instead of taking the long route or not eating at all, it makes the most sense to rush to the top!
You are able to extend your tape measure quite a bit, but it may not reach everything. Once it is extended to an edge or a hook to grab, you can then pull it back, flinging yourself in that direction. Your hope is to land on something solid before you start to move forward again. This tape measure isn’t only good for moving quickly up construction sites; you can also push buttons and move cones around the site. Much like the spear in the previous game, you must really learn to master your measuring tape to make it to the top. Along the way, there are also cans of soda hidden around, if you’d like to take on the extra challenge.
Yoyo Master: Cheung Wai Keung by Bernice Wong & Olivier Perrault
Yoyo Master: Cheung Wai Keung sees you becoming a retired Yoyo champion, just looking to help out various individuals in your town. You have spent your entire life honing your yoyo skills, and now you want to make a real difference with this toy. Everyone has a problem that needs a quick solution and it seems like you can always do it with your yoyo.
From smashing potatoes in a pot by quickly clicking, to entertaining a crowd by following the moves on the screen at the right time, the yoyo’s abilities are limitless. You can even rescue kites from trees or take down robbers, hitting them with the toy. As long as you move quickly, you should be able to help the town, however ,they will expect you to go faster and faster as time goes on.
If you are unable to do three tasks before the time runs out, you will lose all of your lives and have to retire for good.
Ghost Snap by Lunate, Filiperama, & Carvalho
Ghost Snap takes you into a dungeon where the only weapon you have is your cell phone camera.
As it turns out, ghouls floating around in dungeons are very light sensitive. Flashing your camera light at them a few times will force them to disappear, joining the void where they cannot hurt you. You do have a very limited charge on your phone — which results in a limited number of flash pictures taken. You will need to recharge at mysterious totems within the dungeon.
Once you have enough charge to take pictures, you can quickly change to camera mode — locking you in place within the dungeon, unable to run away. This makes you a target for ghosts, but taking the picture will stun them for a few moments — if not make them disappear completely. If you get rid of all of the ghosts in the level, the door will open, and you can venture forward looking for more to defeat.
Spearmint Mountain by Baku
Spearmint Mountain is a stunning platformer where you take on the character of a tiny spearmint, looking for fragments of the same candy to collect.
The Secret Spearmint was struck by lightning, exploding all over the land. You are looking to collect the fragments, however, they are scattered everywhere. You can grab small sticks from the ground, using them to poke enemies to death or as extra platformers in the wall — using them to get up to higher areas. You can even aim and shoot enemies with your pointy stick, slashing them in their tracks.
Some of these fragments are in areas that are hard to reach while others can be simply found if you keep your eyes out. The world in Spearmint Mountain is a really lovely one — all of the graphics glow as you move around, exploring enemies and moving platforms.
It’s a pretty interesting story as well — definitely not a game to be missed from this jam.
Interested in reading about more game jam highlights? Why not check out our archive?