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 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 Toy Box Jam.
The Toy Box Jam is a pretty unique game jam. Basically, everyone was challenged to start with the same cart in Pico-8. This cart contained a bunch of assets and these were the only assets that developers were allowed to use in their game. The Toy Box Jam also had an optional theme: A MYSTERY TO SOLVE: “The Case of the Disappearing Developer” who made these assets long ago…
Skills of Detection by Kittenm4ster
Skills of Detection is one of those games that you, at first, take seriously. But please don’t. This is seriously one of the most hilarious games I have played in a long time. You take on the role of a detective who needs to solve a murder case. You have literally no other information and instead the head of the police is just letting you go off into the town to talk to anyone you want too.
There isn’t a deep story in Skills of Detection, just a bunch of characters that keep telling you that they did not, of course, do any murders. You are able to talk, push and pull items (and people) around. The thing is, you can pull anyone and anything into the culprit cube, forcing the head of police to make up the story on the spot until the item or person gets placed in jail. On my first go, I jailed patriotism — the clear and true cause of murder.
Alfrendo’s Stupendous Surprise by Paul Nicholas
Alfrendo’s Stupendous Surprise is a Bandersnatch-inspired game where you have no actual movement or control over the main character, apart from choosing between two options at various points throughout the game. After trying to blow out the candles of a living birthday cake, you were blown far away from wherever you started.
Each of the decisions that you make in Alfendo’s Stupendous Surprise can end in death, otherwise you will live. It’s a 50/50 chance, but as you do get further, dying will just take you back to right before the last choice. It’s a really well written little game that I very much enjoyed.
Cecio of the Valley by damngoodcocoa
Cecio of the Valley is a short action-adventure game about a hero who needs to find some weapons and kill a monster in a dungeon. The weapons are easy to find, but they’re hidden away in a world full of monsters. The trick is, you can avoid these creatures instead of trying to kill them, as the only thing you really have to kill is the boss.
Once you do make your way to the Hills and start to take on the dungeon, the game feels very much inspired by Legend of Zelda. I quite enjoyed Cecio of the Valley, but it is very short and the end boss is quite challenging as your sword has a limited range. Good luck killing the beast!
Toy Box Tournament by GooGroker
Toy Box Tournament is a really challenging, infinite fighting game where you actually cannot attack back. Instead, you are a small character stuck inside a rectangle, where circles appear. These green circles need you at the center of them so that the circle closes in around you. Once it has closed in around you, the enemies at the top of the screen take some damage.
These enemies, the entire time, are attacking you. You’ll need to dodge waves of bullets and learn not to focus on seeing the next enemy to pop up. Avoiding bullets becomes your only task, but it’s really challenging, especially as you attempt to dart around and make it to these green circles. It’s really fun to play, even if you can’t survive for long.
Spaghetti Forever by MrMandolino
Spaghetti Forever is a pretty fun little game where you just are looking to grate cheese onto some spaghetti. It’s a pretty easy idea, but soon the cheese starts moving, and you need to also be in movement in order to successfully grate the cheese. This means that holding the grater in the right place, or simply clicking a key when the cheese crosses the grater’s path won’t cut it.
The levels get increasingly challenging as more absurdities start to find themselves into this spaghetti joint. Soon, you become a rocket ship shaving cheese as it goes by crowds or start seeing the ghosts of cheeses. Spaghetti Forever is silly and fun.