Another Ludum Dare competition is about to end, and the resulting slew of games are, as usual, numerous, creative, and wacky. The three day event encourages solo game creators to dream up and craft a game in just 48 hours. The only other constraint is that entries must adhere to the chosen theme, which was pretty unusual this time around: It's Dangerous to go Alone! Take this! See the full release list of all 352 Ludum Dare 20 games, then vote on your picks on the Ludum Dare website. And then, check out some of our favorites below!
SINGLEHANDEDLY (Windows, 3.3MB, free) - One part Mega Man, one part Contra, one part OH MY STARS THIS GAME MAKES MY FACE HURT. You're armed with a laser gun that can get rid of enemies or be used to get a small boost while in mid-air. You can also perform small rocketjump-type hovering maneuvers in mid-air, allowing you to cross large gaps that are usually filled with lava. Your ammo and health are limited but can be replenished over time or by nabbing pick-ups by defeating enemies. And speaking of enemies, these guys are aggressive. You won't have an easy time navigating these highly-pixellated corridors, but the difficulty is just one of the game's many charms.
Myrktorch (Windows, 3.44MB, free) - A great-looking, simple, and short platform game by Gustav Kilman that uses torch lights as a central mechanic in the game. Your only real moves are walking left and right and jumping, but the enemies seem to have a different plan for you. Grab a torch from the old man near the beginning and watch your foes sizzle in the light. Each ghost you kill cuts the light's power a bit, but you can refill it by finding burning torches throughout the game. The controls are somewhat tight and unresponsive, and the gameplay itself is missing some of the bells and whistles some players may be accustomed to, but this artistic platform game is still a good one to run through.
Have You Considered the Benefits of Life Insurance (Windows, 1.2MB, free) - Well, have you? Because if you haven't, maybe you should. This simple-looking game is high on strategy and puts you in the shoes of a life insurance salesman purchasing gifts for your trophy wife. Earn money at regular intervals by clicking on the hapless little humans. The more you "sign up", the more cash you get, meaning the more things you can buy from the bottom of the screen. Holes open at random in the ground, however, and if one of these people falls down, you lose a huge chunk of change. You can close the holes for a fee, but otherwise it's a game of managing your own impatience and greed. And it's crazy amounts of fun for doing so!
Note: All games have been confirmed to run under Windows 7 and are virus-free. Mac users should try Boot Camp, Parallels, or CrossOver Games to play Windows titles, Linux users can use Wine. If you know of a great game we should feature, use the Submit link above to send it in!