There are loads of game jams happening online all of the time. Many of these jams follow a theme and a timeframe – challenging developers to make a game around the theme and during the time period. I have the honor of recording many of these games for each game jam! As I record them all, I pick out games that stand out to me, games that I love from each individual jam. That is what this article is about – it is all of the games that I love from the Low Rez Jam!
The Low Rez Jam 2017 was a game jam that challenged developers to create a game with a resolution of 64 x 64 pixels. I was able to play and record all of the games entered into this jam in my video compilation series. Below are a few of my favorites, in no particular order.
by unTied Games
Demon’s Hymn is an incredibly challenging platformer that takes you deep into a church, facing monster after monster along your path. The gameplay in Demon’s Hymn is very simple, you are able to explore the church’s dungeon, fighting lots of very strong monsters! You can simply attack monsters, but this will generally take some time to kill the enemy with. If you are good at the advanced moves, you can start to dash attack and time your attacks to create combos, killing enemies much faster.
The pixel art in Demon’s Hymn is not only polished and well presented, but it’s also full of satisfying pixelated blood when you do destroy your enemies. Hopefully, you can make it through all of these rooms filled with huge monsters and take back the basement of the church!
Life: The Game of Chance
by Tim Krief
Life: The Game of Chance is a short narrative adventure that takes you through someone’s life. You are a randomly generated person, faced with different challenges and decisions each time you play. Each person has their own story, with huge ties to the environment the person has grown up in. As you chose what happens in your life, you can see your world change and evolve.
Life: The Game of Chance is a short experience, but a powerful one, driving home how birth can cause some people to be better off than other people, right from the start. These different perspectives show extremes in the world and how they end based on simple decisions that could be realistically made in someone’s life.
Big Sky Farm
Big Sky Farm is a heartwarming farming game where you are trying to grow the ‘Big Pumpkin’ to save your nearly foreclosed farm. You and your lovely wife have been living on this farm for your entire life. It is the only home you have both known. Now, your wife has become wheelchair bound and unable to garden on the enormous farm. Without her work, your main source of income has depleted. Doctor bills have stacked up, and now you both owe quite a large debt.
Luckily, there is a ‘Big Pumpkin’ contest with a prize of exactly the amount you would need to keep your farm. You must win this contest by growing the biggest ‘Big Pumpkin’. These specific pumpkins are a special type of crop that is very expensive to plant and tricky to grow. You must grow smaller crops and get the hang of managing them before being able to purchase and take care of a bigger pumpkin. Each crop has their own preferences in soil type, PH balance, and amount of water needed. You don’t have much time to tend your crops each day, but your loving wife is there in case you need a little bit of guidance. Big Sky Farm is a really delightful game, with much more complex crop growing systems than traditional farming games.
Legend of Xenia 2
Legend of Xenia 2 is a Zelda-inspired adventure game that takes you on the second adventure of Xenia, who must go on a quest to find her long-lost father. This game is the sequel to Legend of Xenia, a game that was made for last year’s LowRezJam. Legend of Xenia 2 does work as a stand-alone game if you just want to play this version. There is a quick summary of everything that happened in the previous game in a book in your room, for a quick update on what is going on.
Your father was lost many years ago to a shipwreck deep within a cave. This cave has since become closed off and no one is sure how to open it, but recently townspeople have reported seeing someone who might be your father around there, so your mother has asked you to go investigate. You have your sword and can gain different spells to help you last on this adventure – the land is full of monsters, flying bushes, slimes, and spiked cubes. You must find the goddess statues and pray before you begin your journey to find your father. Legend of Xenia 2 is very polished, providing a brilliant adventure game where you are not only a princess but also a fierce adventurer.
Super Dead Mall
Super Dead Mall is a super tricky platformer that gives you the task of exploring a haunted shopping mall! Giant cups, ghosts, and faulty electrical wires haunt this place, causing all sorts of mayhem. Each floor of this mall starts at an elevator. This elevator is your only checkpoint, so if at any point in the level you get hit, you will respawn all the way back to the last elevator you arrived from.
You are also able to collect coins and move the camera slightly, in order to get a better view of the level. Since the screen size of this game is so small, you do not have a lot of warning when things are ahead of you, forcing you to move the camera when you can so you can see more of what’s around you. Though Super Dead Mall is very simple in its concept, the graphics and style of the game are super nice, and the challenge presented by the restriction in the game’s size makes it even more interesting to play through!
By the Campfire
By the Campfire is a short but very challenging platformer that starts with you telling a story by the campfire. You are an adventurer, looking to impress your friend by telling them about the time when you took on a multiple-headed monster. You get to choose how many heads this monster has in your story, which in turn will affect the number of heads you must face once in the game.
Once you have your story sorted, the real game begins. You must manage to move through a scrolling platformer while a giant-headed monster shoots at you! You are able to shoot back, eventually destroying the monster if you can stay alive. Your life is very limited, the monster shoots quickly, and you also need to watch out for the walls on either side of the level! If you run into them, you will automatically die. Dying will ruin your story and confuse the person that you are talking too, so be sure to try your hardest at killing off this huge monster!
Petite Ombre is an adorable button mashing game where you must attack whatever pastel monsters you come into contact with. You are able to fight these different creatures in order to grow by tapping the correct keys that show up on the screen. During an attack, you will quickly lose stamina. If you hit the correct buttons, you will start to build up damage and combos before the stamina bar is completely lost. This will continue until either your stamina runs out, or until you hit the incorrect key.
During the defense, your stamina charges up by typing. If you miss a key, your stamina will charge faster but you will lose health. This will continue until your stamina is completely charged. You must face monster after monster until you gain enough XP to evolve into a whole new monster! Petite Ombre allows you to grow your cute monster blurb up, as long as you have the fast and accurate typing skills to make it happen!
Ping Pong Jam
Ping Pong Jam is an intense take on pong, breakout, and shmups, challenging you to keep your ball from falling, avoid bullets, and try to destroy all of the evil eyes! Eyes appear in different shapes on the screen. Each section of bricks counts as one round, producing a new section once the round is over. These eyes that you are meant to hit do fight back, shooting bullets out towards your paddle. If your paddle is hit, then it will shrink, making this game much more challenging.
There are more than just bullet heavy eyes looking at you, sometimes colored dots appear where eyes normally are. These dots fall off the screen when hit by your ball. If they touch your paddle, you will suffer a movement speed decrease. Like most breakout games, there are also power-ups that drop down from time to time. Ping Pong Jam is really fast paced, forcing you to manage to hit the ball back up and being shot by bullets. See how long you last, and hopefully unlock new power-ups to help you last even longer.
There were a bunch of other fantastic games made for this jam, these are just my personal favorites out of all of the games that were entered. Low Rez Jam has a very unique concept, not providing a theme for the jam but instead affecting the style of the game created. If you’d like to check out the game jam as a whole, check out the jam page here.