This week, we’re covering games made for last weekend’s Ludum Dare, an online game development competition wherein contestants have exactly 48 hours to make a video game from scratch. Ludum Dare 17′s theme was “Islands”.
Island Rescue (submitted to LD17 by fydo) is a very familiar puzzle game with a very unique twist. Essentially, it’s Tetris but with two goals that need to be met; like Tetris, you need to clear a predetermined number of lines to pass each level, but unlike Tetris, there’s a small character roaming idly around the stage who you must be careful not to smash with your Islandrescuetriminoes, all while simultaneously trying to keep his head above the quickly rising sea level. Phew!
As you might guess, this game is much, much more difficult than your typical falling-block puzzle game. As you play it, you find yourself trying to plan far in advance, which makes the speed of the slowly-dropping shapes stressful and problematic (in a good way!) for the first time since you were 10. Yeah, being a good Tetris player will help you in Island Rescue, but not as much as you might think. Luckily, it leans slightly more to the rewarding side of difficult than it does to the frustrating side.
The game has a couple of issues – the villager you’re trying to rescue will occasionally struggle with the walls appearing and vanishing around him, resulting in some wonky collision detection; it’s a little too easy to unwittingly trap yourself in unwinnable situations; and, yes, it’s just plain hard. But considering it was put together in under two days, Island Rescue is a remarkably fun, polished, and attractive-looking submission.
Is the combination of a Lemmings-style game and a highly traditional puzzle title an absolutely seamless and perfect fit? Of course not. But it’s certainly an interesting one, and thus far, Island Rescue is one of the most playable and replayable games of Ludum Dare.
What did you think of Island Rescue? Let us know in the comments!