Great Games Made in 48 Hours
Lately indie game developers seem to be creating more great free browser games than you could ever possibly play. Just last month, developers participated in a round of game making sponsored by Ludum Dare, a competition that tasks contestants with creating a full game according to a theme (this round’s theme: Escape) in under 48 hours.
That may seem like a tall order--but the result was 599 free games, many of them fantastic and playable right in your browser. We’ve rounded up our 10 favorites in this year’s competition, from unique puzzle games to rapid-fire action games. If you find yourself wanting more, head over to the Ludum Dare site.
Dinosaur Liberation Front
Dinosaur Liberation Front is an addictive game with some simple but delightful physics. You toss baby dinosaurs out of windows and doors to help them escape a truly demented testing facility.
The gameplay is a bit simple, but the tone makes the game a must-play. How can you go wrong with a game that lets you throw dinosaurs around?
It’s amazing to think that a game this good-looking was made in such a short time period. Still, the graphics aren’t the only thing to recommend Britain: 2027--the game also has some exciting stealth gameplay. Its one drawback is that it’s quite short (just three levels). Let's hope that the author will expand on the idea in the future.
To create an entertaining game in two days, you need to have a few tricks up your sleeve. Eggscape manages to serve up a game premise so simple it’s amazing nobody has thought of it before: reverse Tetris.
Instead of getting rid of lines as you do in the original Tetris, you try to build up your blocks to help a tiny explorer avoid being eaten by a giant lizard.
Huescape is a puzzle platformer with some similarities to Valve’s much-lauded Portal. The gimmick here is your ability to switch between different color settings: Each one lets you walk through the walls and platforms of that color to get to the end of the level.
Like Britain: 2027 (also in this slideshow), Huescape is a bit on the short side, but the concept holds potential for a much longer game.
It’s hard enough to complete one simple game in such a short time, so it’s doubly impressive that Planetration is effectively two games in one.
First you fend off alien attacks while digging for fuel and treasure in a 2D game that’s sort of like Dig Dug. Then you escape from the exploding planet in an old-fashioned side-scrolling shooter.
In Aphelion Incident, you play as an unarmed alien trying to sneak past a large number of armed guards. But you have a secret weapon: At any time, you can mind-control a nearby guard to play as them instead.
While this mechanism could make the game incredibly easy, each of the guards has feelings and a personality that your mental powers allow you to read. Once you get to know your enemy, you might not be so quick to wipe them out on your quest to escape.
Escape is an addictive one-button game. All you can do is jump back and forth on walls to ascend from a vast pit--but you have to time your jumps carefully to avoid areas covered in spikes.
Prelude of the Chambered
Even Minecraft creator Notch Peterson got in on the action, with a fantastic little dungeon crawler that has more than a passing resemblance to Minecraft.
Although he didn’t put the game up for official Ludum Dare voting, he did make Prelude of the Chambered in 48 hours, and the game is available to play free online just as all the others on the list are.