January 3, 2014 5:40 PM | Lena LeRay
2014 is officially in motion everywhere, and the second annual New Year Game Jam is now over. At 21 entries, there are fewer than the first time around, but there are some that are definitely worth a try. Here are three that might tickle your fancy.
Cubes on the Moon by Elijah Leon is about collecting cubes... on the moon. Made in Unity, the game has nice cel-shading and fun lunar jumping physics. Aliens will run at you if you get close enough to them, and you have to jump on them to defeat them. It has a couple of flaws: the aliens are pretty dumb, and sometimes the camera ends up below the surface. It's entertaining, if easy, and, short as it is, it's worth checking out. The graphics are very good for colorblind folk, and nothing is communicated via sound only.
Oliver Fabre's Typer Defense deserves mention for being an interesting concept that would have been hard to pull off outside a game jam, much less in one. It's a cross between being a typing game and a tower defense game. Each enemy has a word attached to it, and typing the word defeats the enemy and gains experience points. The points can be spent to purchase towers. Each enemy has a health bar in addition to a word, and the towers attack the health, whereas typing the word is an instant kill. It was pulled off reasonably well for having been done in 48 hours, but it would need more work to really shine. Once you've typed enough enemies to death, you can just sit back and let the towers do all the hard work. Fast typists will make short work of this one. Colorblind folks shouldn't really have a problem with this game, since the fire towers have a separate shape from the grass even if their colors blend in. The game has no sound.
Last time we talked about Crabman, it was for the serious game he made for Ludum Dare 28, The Day the Laughter Stopped. For the New Year Game Jam, however, he's made a humorous point-and-click adventure with simple, colored ASCII graphics and rhyming text. The first NPC you encounter is a talking donkey who poops gold if you pet its belly, and it doesn't get less silly from there. The Pepper Prince gets bonus inclusivity points for giving players more than two gender selections. Colorblind folk can play the game because of the different symbols used, but they'll have to hover their mouse over things to find out what they can click on because they won't see the color difference. The game has no sound.
[If you'd like to see the rest of the games from the New Year Game Jam, you can head over to the NYGJ web site.]