Fungal Growth

A fungal matching game that is everything but sporing

Step in to the dark and moist caverns of Fungal Growth..

A matching game where your goal is to use fungal spores to create chain reactions and rack up points!
Different fungi have different spore-patterns.

Press X to activate fungi.

Unfortunately, I ran out of time and could not provide you with some chill pico-8 tunes :(
Also, if it wasn't for the limited time, I would have created a lot more levels like the ones in the tutorial, which are more puzzle-y. But as it is - I'm quite happy with the result! :)

Have fun!

Edit: Fixed a bug in the Game Over screen and lowered the needed score for the score sprint

Voting results

Overall
3rd
12%
7.778
Graphics
4th
18%
7.611
Gameplay
4th
18%
7.111
Originality
2nd
6%
8.278
Theme
3rd
12%
8.389

This game entered in the Solo competition (17 entries).

Comments (23)

Jooseem
 • 7 months ago • 

Nice!!

heyheyhey
 • 7 months ago • 

I usually like this kind of game but I fear this one's too cerebral for me, even after the tutorial. But it's probably me and not the game; I have a dull head these days, and am slow with this kind of thing anyway.

With that being said, it's a very interesting concept. There are shooters, side-crawlers, pods — all sorts of things. It was fun knocking things out. The tutorial is especially well-designed, and it gives people the opportunity to see how big patterns play a role in this game. I just didn't see any in the actual game — but again, I'm probably to blame for this. I imagine you'll get more positive reviews from the brainier folks here.

Cuddl3s
  • 7 months ago • 

@heyheyhey that's totally fair! Unfortunately the "actual" game is just random patterns (with a little bit of weight behind the randomness), so it can totally be that it's hard to align them. If I only had like one more day… :D
Thanks for playing and your feedback!

netervati
 • 6 months ago • 

This game is interesting and fun once you get the hang of it. However, I still don't understand how the clover shaped and "spade" plant works. Would be nice to have a data book where each fungi's spore patterns are explained briefly. Of course, that can only be added after the event by this point. Overall, this is a cool game!

Cuddl3s
  • 6 months ago • 

Thanks for playing netervati! I agree, it's a tight balancing act because I wanted players to figure out how the fungi work themselves without telling them, but especially with the "clover" one, I don't think I did a great job.

Flipsy
 • 6 months ago • 

Excellent work, nice sprites and cool idea. As you've mentioned about it just needs some more time on the levels which is hard in a jam. With some tightly constructed levels which graudally introduced different elements this could be fantastic. It's just a little overwhelming at the moment starting with so many elements and misses that sense that you are in control of what's happening and solving a puzzle. The first level of the tutorial is a perfect Level 1 in that sense, there is a clear puzzle to solve and it teaches you what a single peice does. It all just comes down to having time to design levels.

euske
 • 6 months ago • 

I think the design is solid and overall pretty well done. I'm kinda grad that I didn't have to solve puzzle levels though, because the levels could be very hellish!

Synchronleuchter
 • 6 months ago • 

The style and gameplay hooked me for long enough to get down to 8 moves, but for a game that goes after high score hunting, I think it's a little RNG-heavy. I liked this game a lot!

Cuddl3s
  • 6 months ago • 

Totally agree with all of your suggestions, thanks a lot for the feedback :)

automatonvx
 • 6 months ago • 

Really interesting concept with a lot of potential, a lot of scope for complex puzzles to come out of the pieces you have. I agree with what others have said that with more hand designed levels it could really shine. Its a nice feature of the mechanic that you could design puzzles with e.g. like a minimum to progress is clear it in 6 moves for one but there is actually a more tricky solution with like 3, so you can have a kind of built in difficulty. Although designing these puzzles could be kind of tricky, but maybe with some design tools that work through all possible combinations for you it could work out. It also took me quite a while to figure out what all the pieces do and I'm still not 100% sure I understood it all. anyway Nice entry and bonus points for the Pico-8 stylings :)

dorkulon
 • 6 months ago • 

This was a super clever idea and lends itself especially well to the tutorial puzzles you created early on. I could easily see this being expanded with further mechanics and obstacles, etc. The main gameplay is a bit too random and after having tutorials with clear goals I felt like I had no idea what I was trying to achieve in the main game until I re-read the game description. Still, this is a super solid jam game and proof of concept, with a great execution in the time given. Great work!

Cuddl3s
  • 6 months ago • 

Thanks @automatonvx and @dorkulon for the useful feedback!
Yes, the score-run was definitely an after-thought to add a bit more replayability. I hope I will have time to polish the game soon!

Laguna
 • 6 months ago • 

What a great entry! The gameplay is nice and intuitive (although I always wanted to press space instead of x, but I think that is a pico-8 thing?). The visuals are great. I could imagine this one being housed on an arcade machine and would definitely spend some coins in it.

Sound effects are basic but functional and some music would have improved it alot, but I understand that there is only so much time left in the jam.

It was not clear to me whether geting higher combos or hitting shrooms further up would give me more points. Other than the already mentioned rng-dependence it is a great game and I had a reall fun time playing it. Job well done!

oOBloodyOrangeOo
(@xXBloodyOrange) • 6 months ago • 

Today I played your game in my stream. During the stream I did not quite understand how it worked as I mistook the arrow directions. I thought ">" means going right like this way --> and .. yeah well..
With this confusion in mind i was bound to fail…

But Laguna explained it to me again after the stream. so after I finally understood how it worked, I also achieved a nice score :D

https://www.twitch.tv/videos/1418525711?t=0h12m42s here is the video, with the time stamp where your game starts. :D

Ah, one thing which i did not mention in the stream, but came to my mind afterwards:
Even though I like the subtleness of the colors of the game, I noticed that colorblind people might have difficulties playing this game. Maybe it is possible to implement a color switch, which changes the colors in case it would be nessesary?

All in all, awesome game :D

Cuddl3s
  • 6 months ago • 

So cool @xXBloodyOrange ! That was a lot of fun seeing you play the game, and it's super valuable to have that first-hand feedback, so thanks a lot!

The accessibility part also came to my mind, unfortunately I have to admit that I know too little about it to know which colors would work better. I should probably shy away from red and green, right?
The "problem" with pico-8 (which I used to develop the game in) is, that you only have 16 different colors to choose from, so there's not that much choice. Pico-8 btw also includes the whole (controls) menu, so I didn't create that ;)

Again, thanks a lot for playing and for your feedback!

And HOLY COW - 4 Moves?!?!

voxel
 • 6 months ago • 

Ohhhh the patterns on the mushrooms mean something. Initially I thought they were purely decorative. Once I understood that their behaviour wasn't completely random I had a good time! I'm always impressed when a jam entry manages some novel (to me at least?) puzzle mechanics, very cool. Also my 6 year old son is a big fan of the little ant guys and wants me to give you 10/10 for those alone.

Cuddl3s
  • 6 months ago • 

Aww that's so nice @voxel ! Tell your son that I was very flattered and I will totally include more ant-levels in the post-jam version ;)
Thanks for your feedback!

thomastc
 • 6 months ago • 

It took me way too long to notice the white patterns on the mushrooms. Once I understood those, the game became a bit more predictable. The tutorial should address this somehow, because I was left with the impression that the game simply did a flood fill. Maybe some clearer animations would have helped…?

On the topic of animations: instead of shrinking/regrowing, consider actually sliding the shrooms downwards. It's a common match-3 idiom, but right now it's hard to discover that that's what's going on.

It's still not clear to me when the game ends. (Edit: "2022 points sprint" makes it obvious in retrospect!)

I love the mind-controlled ants, which honestly is one of the creepiest things nature has produced.

Cuddl3s
  • 6 months ago • 

@thomastc Thanks for the feedback!
I agree in hindsight that it is weird that some mushrooms have patterns while some don't, which in turn makes it harder to actually understand the patterns on some.
And on the topic of sliding down the mushrooms … totally. I have to admit that this was probably done more for juicing it up, than for actual legibility. I might fix this in the post-jam version (which will come).

thomastc
 • 6 months ago • 

Could have a juicy, squishy squashy slide down :)

oOBloodyOrangeOo
(@xXBloodyOrange) • 6 months ago • 

you're welcome and thank you for watching my stream!

I somewhere read that blue/orange or blue/yellow might work for people who have difficulties with colours.
But I also have to learn a lot more about this issue. And I also have never worked with a pico-8 pallet before, maybe, the next jam has a nice opportunity.

I'm also not sure how I managed to beat the game in 4 moves. o_o

Papaver
 • 6 months ago • 

That was fun! I was very confused at the start what was happening when I selected a mushroom (I somehow missed the tutorial) but since I did read "Different fungi have different spore-patterns", I started slowly to figure out what the different fungi and symbols meant. Then it all started to make sense. It wasn't clear at first that I had to complete the level in as few moves as possible, but when I got that, I played quite a few times!
Then I found the tutorial, which proves that this game can also be a nice puzzle game.
Very cool concept, and nicely executed!

M2tias
 • 6 months ago • 

I spent way too much on this :D
I think it has a lot of good things going for it but it has some issues with the mechanics. The tutorial is nicely done and maybe developing that further to a puzzle game would work very well. The score attack is really hard. It's completely random, so you have to grind a lot to get a good score. Maybe that would matter less if the point was to get bigger compos and survive. For example getting only 1-X moves would lose lives or create some other negative things that would eventually cause the end.
Anyway, always nice to see pico-8 games. This was great, well done!

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Cuddl3s

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