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 with the restrictions around a specific jam. 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 that I love from each individual jam. This article contains the games that I love from ‘Js13kGames!’
Battle Surge is a little space game where you must take control of sectors faster than your enemies do. You command a bunch of green ships which can take control of white or red circled sectors. Each sector has a few bars in them; white will just have a green bar showing how much you’ve taken over, while red sectors will have both a red and green bar. The red bar must be depleted completely and the green bar must be filled before you can take over the area. Your ships must go to these sectors and gradually take over all of the ones on the screen.
The challenge in Battle Surge is with the number of ships you start out with. This is equal to the number of enemy ships — and you do not gain more. No matter how many sectors you have, you do not spawn more ships. You need to really watch your interaction with enemy ships as they can easily overpower and destroy you. The AI in Battle Surge, most of the time, is really good at the game (though occasionally they stray to the sides of the screen on their own). It’s an extremely well polished strategy game, especially for its size, and the AI provides a challenging experience.
City of the Lost Drones
by Igor Khotin
City of the Lost Drones is a challenging shooter which has you both converting lost drones, and destroying all of the ones which aren’t the same color as you! You control the Chosen One, the leader of the lost drones which wander space awaiting their destiny. You quest? To make sure they join your team — the only faction that matters, Green. You can do this by charging into white drones at speed, turning them into other green drones. Once they become green, they will join your faction and start hunting other colors.
You can shoot other colored drones and pick up the powerups that they sometimes drop. These powerups will help not only you, but all drones of your color. They can do a variety of things like give you more energy, make your drones faster, or let you fire more. Your goal is to be the largest faction once all of the lost drones are found. Much like the previous game, the AI in City of the Lost Drones are quite well designed and the massive area you can explore demands you really search for those who are lost!
Loud Maze, a visual and audio maze game, forces you to rely on what you hear and see to make your way around a maze. You cannot see the walls of this maze, but instead can see the four sides of a cube. You then use the arrow keys to move around within the maze. If you hit a wall, a different noise will play and the side of the cube you see will flash dark instead of flashing light. You must use these clues to find your way through the maze and make it to the end.
Once you are at the end, Loud Maze shows you the overview of the maze you have just been trapped within. Some of these mazes are quite small, making their solution look very easy once you see the full picture. This game also contains a bit of a strange story — each level is accompanied with a few lines from the character as they are walking around the maze. These are interesting to read as the character is unsure what is really going on with this strange, noisy maze.
AMAZ3D is a physics-based, puzzle cube game where you need to rotate a maze around, aiming to get the water blob to the end of the puzzle! This water blob cannot be directly moved, instead you must rotate the cube around, sliding the water around the pipes, as to make it to the end. You need to really twist and turn the cube around to find the path, and then carefully move it as to not let the blob get caught in too many dead ends. AMAZ3D is a very polished and well made little puzzle game with some juice graphics to play around with!
Where is Winston
Where is Winston, an adorable adventure game which sees you trying to find your missing cats in outer space! You are Jeff, the pilot of the Bobcat-13 freighter. As you are a pilot, you travel all around the galaxy shipping goods between planets and moons. Your cats keep you company on your missions, however, sometimes they make their way out of the ship and onto whatever moon or planet you are trading on.
When these cats get left behind, you can’t just leave them wherever they have wandered to! Instead you must listen to the clues given to you to find your lost cat. Sometimes these clues are incorrect, as Jeff forgets from time to time, but at first these clues are nearly perfect. You can then use your limited resources to find these cats! You have some short jump fuel, some long jump fuel, and some rocket fuel. Each one will allow you to travel for limited amounts of time, so you will need to make each move matter. No one wants to leave their cats behind!
by El Gregos
Instructions Lost is a beautiful puzzle game which shows you various, visually stunning patterns and allows you to shine a light over them. This light is quite small at first, but as you find imperfections you will gain more light. You see, each pattern has a few pieces that are not correct; either the shape, size or color isn’t the same as the others, or the movement is slower or different. Some of them don’t look correct without the light, while others look correct until you shine the light onto them.
There are a set number of these patterned shapes that need to be corrected, as displayed at the bottom of the screen, however, after 30 seconds you can move onto the next level if you’re not a fan of this pattern. These patterns get more complex as you get further into the game — more dimensions and colors and patterns to follow. Instructions Lost sucks you in, showing you pretty pictures that just need a small bit of correction to be perfect. You can surely spend ages correcting and just bringing the light over these moving patterns!
Just go Straight
Just Go Straight is a short, pixel adventure game which has you looking for treasure on a small island! The map doesn’t read well after such a long voyage, but your partner tells you to just go straight. This is a very simple command, however, moving forward in the game seems too obvious. There are so many other tempting paths, some with signs and arrows, telling you to go a different way. You can follow these other paths, leaving a trail of footprints behind, and see where you end up!
Or you can ‘just go straight’ and see if the map is correct. Either way, Just go Straight has multiple endings for you to discover, as well as a ton of paths to take. You might even find something else deep on the island — or maybe you won’t find the treasure at all. It’s truly up to you and the paths you choose to take.
The Js13kGames has a ton of little, browser based games. Some of them are even VR-based games, if you have one of those (or a cardboard version)! If you’d like to keep an eye out for the next edition of this fantastic game jam, follow @Js13kGames on Twitter!