GMTK Game Jam 2020 – staff picks

Image of Lee Reilly

The fourth annual GMTK Game Jam has broken it’s previous year’s record! GMTK Game Jam is a 48-hour game-making competition focused on design, mechanics, and clever ideas. The competition has just ended, and had a record-breaking 5.4k submissions and 18.3k participants on itch.io.

Screenshot showing top game jams on itch.io

This year’s theme was Out of Control and the quality of entries matched the quantity. Here are a few of my favorite open source games (or with source code available) in no particular order.

ProTip: Be sure to read the controls for each game very carefully as there may be a few surprises!

A Key(s) Path

► Play (Web, Windows, macOS, Linux) · Source (Godot, GDScript)

A Key(s) Path is a fantastically fun puzzle and platformer game with a rather unique game mechanic. @geegaz gives you three movement keys    , the ability to drag them into the game world, and use them as platforms. The key to success here is to think about the movement options that you don’t need.

Shield Bearer

Screenshot of Shield Bearer

► Play (Web, Windows, macOS) · Source (Godot, GDScript)

Shield Bearer by @Geminimax has you playing the helicopter parent protecting your would-be adventurer son as he explores dungeons. A very creative approach to the theme and very polished.

KEYHOARD JOTTEL

Screenshot of KEYHOARD JOTTEL

► Play (Windows) · Source (Game Maker)

I like anything with 8-bit graphics, chiptunes, scanlines, faux CRT effects, or anything remotely 80s. TandyRum1024‘s metroidvania-style game, KEYHOARD JOTTEL, checks all those boxes and more. You play as a robot special agent trying to repair and recharge your spaceship. Again, pay close attention to those controls!

Lost Signal

Animation showing Lost Signal gameplay

► Play (Web) · Source (Godot, GDScript)

Your mission is simple. The controls are anything but. @Red-Teapot‘s little robot needs some guidance, and you’re all they’ve got. You’ll need your wits and some well-timed key presses to help this little robot to freedom.

ProTips: “When you press a key, it stays pressed forever. You can press multiple keys to move diagonally (e.g. right and up). Opposite keys cancel each other (e.g. if both left and right are pressed, the robot won’t move horizontally). Some levels have timing-based parts.

Five Steps Ahead

Play (Web, Windows, macOS, Linux) · Source (Unity, C#)

Procedurally-generated levels, plus the very nature of this game make this one of the most challenging of the games featured here. Predict the order of the falling blocks to proceed to the next level. Simple, right? 🤔

Boomcrunk

Screenshot of Boomcrunk

► Play (Web, Windows) · Source (Unity, C#)

Boomcrunk is an atmospheric and stylistic match-3 puzzle game. Match three tiles to clear them, and match golden tiles to win.

Super Corgi Drifter

Screenshots of Super Corgi Drifter

► Play (Web) · Source (PICO-8, Lua)

My nomination for best name goes to @AlecTroemels‘s Super Corgi Drifter. You thought riding a shark in Fortnite was fun? Wait until you try and energetic Corgi!

This is a perfect little showcase for PICO-8 where you’re following your little pup around the park. It’s great. I really meme it!

That Day My Dog Flew a Spaceship

Screenshots of The Day My Dog Flew A Spaceship

► Play (Web, Windows, macOS, Linux) · Source (PICO-8, Lua)

@cpiod‘s PICO-8 game boasts advanced AI that you train with socks-based code and beautiful pixel art. It does not disappoint.

Avoid asteroids, put out fires, fight space pirates, and do all that you can to avoid a ruff landing. I just wish there was a paws button.

Last Meow Standing

Last Meow Standing

► Play (Web, Windows, macOS, Linux) · Source (Unity, C#)

Not to be outdone by two canines in a row, this one features cats. Bet you couldn’t tell from the title.

This is a fun and very satisfying game from @Twinf0x@FuchsFa, and @MarkusZoppelt, where you play as as a intergalactic cat taking on waves of space rodents. Take care not to get hit! You’ll see what I mean…

Push the Button

► Play (Web, Windows) · Source (Unity, C#)

As the company’s newest employee, you have one job: keep your desk clear and press all the buttons that need pressing. (Editor’s note: funnily enough, this is actually Lee’s job IRL). This delightful and quirky game from @abr-designs had me really entertained for a few minutes, but it captured my toddler’s attention for what felt like ages! Delightful 👏🏻


That’s just ten of over five thousand games that were submitted. View them all here. If you’re interested in game design, be sure to subscribe to the GMTK Game Jam author’s YouTube channel. I promise you’ll learn a thing or two about a thing or two and be entertained along the way.


PS: If you liked this post you might be interested in several others featuring open source games from game jams like Ludum Dare, JS13K, Global Game Jam, Game Off, and more.