Last weekend’s Global Game Jam tasked several thousand people across the world with making an entirely new game from start to finish in forty eight hours. This year’s theme was simply a picture of Ouroboros, the snake eating its own tail. From that, the participants managed to make incredibly different and interesting games that all showed off their skills as artists, programmers, designers and teams.
Mushroom 11, made by Itay Keren and Julia Keren-Detar added a perfectly thematic twist to the all too familiar platformer. The player controls a ball of stuff but does not have direct control over its movement. Instead, you simply guide it using physics; at first you must destroy part of the ball to make it tip into rolling, but as it rolls, the destroyed parts randomly regenerate back on to it, a feature which may impede movement or be crucial to passing obstacles.
The mechanic immediately inspires awe—it’s so simple and clever, perfectly embodying the idea of destruction and renewal but also lending itself to so many puzzles challenges. As a 48 hour project, Mushroom 11 is incredible and makes me anxious to see what Itay Keren will produce next.
- Adnan Agha