I'm not very good with time limits. Pressed for choice or under the gun, I tend to panic even when the choice or solution is fairly obvious. ("Quick, what's your name?" "I DON'T KNOW!") But ten seconds was the theme for this most recent Ludum Dare competition, and developers were given just a few days to make a game that incorporated that theme however they wish. Some went the literal route. Others chose a more abstract approach. But for games under a time limit themselves, they're all pretty awesome, and here are just a few of my personal favourites.
- The Only One - JaJ's puzzle adventure tells the story of a brilliant scientist and inventor who becomes reclusive and bitter after the passing of his wife. When he accidentally activates a ring designed to bring him to her side, he finds himself trapped in a cemetary over and over as the ring tries and fails every ten seconds to reunite them. Though a bit rough around the edges with some typos, and of course everyone has their own concepts of grieving, it's a clever use of the theme with a great presentation.
- Taquito Tower - Sometimes it feels like you and a developer could really be besties, and with a name like Taquito Tower, I sort of feel that way about MegaDev right about now. It's a survival game about lasting as long as you can in a tower filled with enemies, and every ten seconds the floor collapses, dropping you to the next stage. It's weird. It's funky. And KFaraday's soundtrack is glorious and I'll fight anyone who says otherwise.
- Stay Alive - Wow, apparently being a dude is pretty hardcore. I had no idea! In Julian Reid's fast-paced survival simulation, each day you're given ten seconds to find what you need to keep living... which is, apparently, a daily struggle for men, and probably moreso when you tackle it naked. Don't worry, there's nothing naughty, and in fact it's all pretty cute and silly. How long can you last by completing objectives and keeping an eye on your hunger and thirst?
- Whodunit - Every ten seconds, someone dies in this quirky game by members of MTStudio, so it's up to you to question folk and search for clues if you don't want to be left alone with a murderer. Getting into the swing of things takes a few (fatal) seconds, but with a whole plethora of potential killers and a lot of clues to find, it's a surprisingly engaging little fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants murder mystery I'd love to see expanded on.