September 1, 2013 10:41 AM | Paul Hack
In a world environmentally devastated by the long extinct human race, a world now inhabited by intelligent animals who live indoors, Teddy and Hedgehog are penpals. When Hedgehog falls ill and asks Teddy to bring him some acorns for soup, Teddy shoulders his backpack, puts a fishbowl on his head, and ventures outside to help his friend. This is the premise of Penpals, by Fran Bow developers Killmonday, a Ludum Dare 27 jam game.
Teddy's fishbowl helmet only holds 10 seconds of air, so he has to keep refilling it at the oxygen pumps that dot the landscape. He also has to contend with precarious platforms, vats of toxic waste, and fires that burn forever (thanks, humans). Simply use the arrow keys to make Teddy run and jump; holding down the up arrow will give you a longer jump. Collect the acorns on each level and make it to the next safehouse, stopping at oxygen pumps along the way to fill your oxygen meter.
The platforming in Penpals is fun and efficient, but it's Natalia Figueroa's gorgeous art that steals the show. Penpals looks like a melancholy children's book come to life. Killmonday says that they'd like to expand the game and release it on multiple platforms, and I'd love to spend some more time bounding around with Teddy in his beautiful, desolate world.