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The 30th Ludum Dare game jam is here, and with it zillions of free games to try. The theme this time is Connected Worlds. Here are five to get you started and more can be found on the Ludum Dare site.

Bond by Chris Klassen
Windows | 48-hour Compo

bond.pngAs someone who is not that great at platformers to start with, I sometimes found this game very frustrating. There are places where the player can't see dangers ahead of time, which means they'll die and have to start from the latest checkpoint (blessedly many and well-placed) unless they have really good reflexes. But the connection to the theme is well captured in the narrative in combination with a character switching mechanic, which made it worth fighting through the more frustrating parts. For all that there were things I disliked about Bond, overall it's very good, especially for the limited time in which it was put together.

NECLiD by 0x0961h
Browser (Non-Unity), Windows, Mac, Linux | 48-hour Compo | Accessible

neclid2.pngNECLiD is a sokoban puzzle game that incorporates the Connected Worlds theme by having the puzzle boards have two states. Pink tiles with rounded square highlights represent Earth and can be traversed by the starting human character; blue tiles with concave-cornered highlights show up in the alternate board state, along with a Neclid character who can use tiles from either plane of existence. In addition to being colorblind-friendly, the game has reconfigurable keyboard controls and a dyslexia-friendly font for text.

On the Edge of Earth: 5000 by Hypnohustla
Web (Unity) | 48-hour Compo

oteoe.pngThis one is keyboard controled, but has the heart and soul of a point and click adventure game. The player is the sole crew member on a beat up spaceship equipped with terraforming missiles. The goal is to terraform the planet in the background, but there are a lot of fun things to play with throughout the ship. Pro tip: hold the down button to run.

Through the Mirror by Cleiton Oliveira
Browser (HTML5) | 48-hour Compo

throughthemirror.pngEvery level in this platformer is divided in half. The player controls the circle with the arrow keys; the square moves in mirror image, going left to the circle's right in a level like the one above and up to the circle's down in levels which are divided horizontally. Since the two shapes move in tandem, the player must be constantly aware of platforms and dangers on both sides simultaneously. It's a pleasant brain-bender, simple in concept but requiring concentration to navigate.

What Could Possibly Go Wrong? by Andrew Shouldice
Browser (Unity) | 48-hour Compo

wcpgw.png"Scientists have discovered an ancient inter-dimensional portal that can connect our world to other ones. I wonder what other worlds are out there! I wonder who lives there! They're powering it up right now! What could possibly go wrong?" This top-down shooter lampshades the danger of things like Stargates by having the player defeat wave after wave of enemies. It's cool, we'll just try opening another portal since you were able to take out all the monsters that spilled out of the last one.