Playing the Ludum Dare 22 Winners, #1 – Frostbite

Um…yeah, my bad. I kind of forgot that this was a mini-challenge I put upon myself back in March 2012 right after the winners for Ludum Dare 22 were announced. I played through the top nine entries fairly fast and meant to get to the overall crowd-pleaser right after, but other stuff came up and then that was that. It was gone from my mind, gone from existence. That is until I was scanning my long–well, relatively, I guess–list of games on Steam over the weekend and saw the title Frostbite, a flood of reminders hitting me all at once. Oh yeeaaaah. Oh riiiiiight. Remember thaaaaaat. Also, considering that the Ludum Date 24 contest is happening right around now, I should wrap all of this up.

Frostbite comes from a user named saint11. Here’s what he says of his creation:

A post apocalyptic soldier in a watchtower going mad on a nuclear winter, seeing things and with some serious memory problems.
A simple platformer, maybe a little too serious and pretentious 😀

The main deal about Frostbite is this: two meters to pay constant attention to. One is for your health/hunger, and the other is for how long you can survive the harsh cold. They deplete at an alarming rate, and can only be refilled by eating found rations and hovering near a burning trash can. You are you, a nameless soldier, armed with a gun and the ability to jump, as well as the power to see ghosts. Unfortunately, your wife went out into the cold some time ago, never to return, and you’re off to find her/make it to the city.

It’s very good. I played three times, each instance getting a wee bit farther. The first time, I died from hypothermia. The second time, a sentry bot shot me dead. The third time, I ran out of bullets and accidently fell into some frigid water. However, that was it. There’s no checkpoint system from what I can tell, and so even though each time I made it closer to the city, I still had to start back at the beginning, which isn’t ideal. You fall into a zombie-like patten that way, moving in a manner that is unnatural and free of fun. The platforming is fine, and the idea of a limited number of bullets, which you need to shoot walls open and stop enemy ghosts and bots, gives the game some bonus stress. Mainly, that hunger/cold mechanic is solid, and I could see this evolving into something much more.

All right. There’s your winner for Ludum Dare 22. Should I try to find the winners from 23 and give them some coverage or just skip on ahead to the newly finished 24 contest?

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