Electric Tango

You are the hand of Zeus! Go fetch him some lightning bolts while he is busy elsewhere!

This game was originally made for the 1 Hour Game Jam 173. You can play that version here.

You are the hand of Zeus. While Zeus has been off seducing the ladies, he has sent you to go collect lightning bolts for him. Dodge bombs, collect lightning bolts, and collect batteries for more energy to collect more lightning bolts. Your score is dependent on how many you can collect!

This version is in progress to be a mobile port. It has many features over the 1hgj version, but unfortunately, it has a lot of work to go before I consider a real release on mobile.


  • Voice-over report of your progress, featuring my brother on vocals!
  • Better graphics! (But not all graphics replaced. And not all are better.)
  • More awesome music!
  • Collectable bonus letters!

Progress needed:

  • I'm currently using the Unity physics engine; but it really should be rewritten to not use physics.
  • The graphics have not yet won any awards; most should be replaced.
  • All the plans for what happens when you collect those bonus letters have not yet been implemented. Currently you get a 2x score multiplier when you collect them all.
  • Memory allocation should be made much much more efficient. We are still using the game jam code! It doesn't do object pooling! What is this?
  • I should make the start of the game much easier. I see people who haven't played it yet struggle to get started.
  • The buttons are decreed "ugly" by my wife and must be changed.
  • I believe the web version refuses to access the high score board. That is available on mobile only.
  • Also, entering your name in the high score board needs to be completely fixed. And is also ugly.

How to play:

Move the mouse (or if on mobile, swipe the screen) to yourself (ie, the hand on the screen) left or right. Collect lightning bolts for score. The green bar at the bottom is a timer of how much time you have to collect bolts; collect batteries to refill the bar. When you collect a battery, your score multiplier will increase. Also, when you collect a battery, the objects drop faster.

If you would like to test beta test the mobile version, please email monopogon@polypogon.com! A sekrit code for you to install in your mobile device will be sent to you.

Comments (10)

 • 5 years ago • 

This is quite impressive for a 1hgj. As I had done some one hour jams on my own, I know that this was no easy task.

The gameplay feels very nice and controls are direct. I did not have any physics-issues. So for me as a player there is no need to exchange the physics system as it works flawlessly for this game.
I also had no issues with performance, but that might change on mobile (which I can't judge).

The music is very fitting and the graphics are awesome for a 1h project (I normally stick to boxes and circles). You also put alot of effort into small details, like the voice acting (kudos for pulling that in one hour!) or the music slowdown (nice effect).

If you want to increase the gameplay, I would recommend to add some logic to the object-spawning. I had some runs in which the batteries I really needed were overlapping with a bomb bombs, making progress literally depend on "pray to rng-gods". :)
I had the feeling that this was better after the first (slow) part, because with higher velocities of the objects, they were separated more clearly.

The biggest issue was that i constantly moved the cursor out of the window, which made it loose focus and thus it didn't react to my input anymore, but that might just be the itch.io website and the web build and it should be easily fixed by a desktop build.

All in all an awesome game, which I really enjoyed playing!

  • 5 years ago • 

This isn't the 1hgj version! This is by far the post-1hgj version. The 1hgj version has no music, no voice overs, and the graphics were emoji characters (the bombs I believe are the only leftover from that).

Thank you for your comments!

 • 5 years ago • 

I'm currently using the Unity physics engine; but it really should be rewritten to not use physics.

If you switch all the items to "triggers" instead of full colliders I think you're fine! Now on to the actual review.

The graphics and gameplay are completely not what I expected when I read the description x) How is Zeus seducing women with only one hand left? Anyway, when I first launched the game it felt like I was playing a meme or something: the art is completely inconsistent, featuring hand drawn art mixed with semi-realistic sprites, and retro music on what is not pixel art nor old-school gameplay! The voice overs and mouth-made SFX complete the picture for a dumb & funny little thing :P

The gameplay itself was quite tight and fun, especially with the idea of slowing down the scrolling & music when we start to run out of power. The fuel system was a good idea too, although the balancing for it is perfectible: right from the beginning, we usually have to be careful not to miss each power unit, because each miss comes with a good chance of causing a game over. While I think it's a thing to keep the tension up at all times, sometimes the fuel cell is stuck behind a bomb making it super tricky to reach. I'd suggest to set up some physics tricks like destroying off-screen any bomb that spawns within a radius of the fuel cell.

I'd also like it if we had more unexpected dumb powerups, like something letting us shoot lasers from our index for a limited time to explode bombs into bonus score etc.

Also I have mixed feelings about the static starfield, on one hand it contributes to the humor of the game, on the other it's not very impressive. Your call!

The web version had working high scores for me, but it doesn't seem like they're online high scores as I could only see my own best.

Where can I try the 1HGJ version for comparison? I'm curious now ^^

  • 5 years ago • 

1HGJ version -> https://laaph.itch.io/elektrik

I didn't think to use Triggers! However, the granularity at which things drop is done via the gravity system, which when it is going fast is fine, but for the early levels going slow, gives a difficult granulity.

The art was mostly replacing original emoji. My usual artist is not fond of the game and hasn't made it beautiful.

I love the idea of more powerups, temporary abillity to shoot, magentism (lighting veers towards you), and temporary shields all could be powerups.

I'm definitely thinking of ways to animate the background. Unfortunately, scrolling the current background will probably involve zooming enough that it won't look good. I'll probably replace it with a scrolling autogenerated background.

 • 5 years ago • 

I'm a dynamo!

I like the voice overs, very retro. The speedup is balanced and doesn't go up too fast. Music fits well and adds to the feel of the game. Also the back story about Zeus is spot on.

As for the learning curve, I think it's fine. It took me a couple of plays just to get the hang on it, and I think that's a fine way to learn.

Random suggestions: maybe hard-code something so that there is always a battery spawned so that the game is technically potentially endless? I ran out of juice a couple of times just because there was no battery to collect, which is frustrating.

I like the idea of letters, and some powerup (2x or whatever) is cool. Or maybe extend the "max" of your battery?

And of course, an online leaderboard would be awesome (just so I can beat @voxel )

  • 5 years ago • 

The batteries both have random spawning and hard coded spawning! When you have 90 ticks left worth of battery, it will spawn a battery. In the early stages this can be pretty close to zero battery (perhaps I should do another at 45 for levels less than five) but the game should be potentially endless.

There is a leaderboard which unfortunately does not seem to work in the web version, but works in the mobile version! I include a screenshot to show how low all your scores are. :p

Edit: If you want the android version on your phone, send me an email at laaph@laaph.com and I will add you the beta testers list. If you want it on your iOS phone, send me an email anyway and I'll figure out how to make a beta testers list. (Last time I did that it was hard, but it was five years ago, so I think it's much easier now.)

  • 5 years ago • 

I've made Windows and Mac desktop versions. These are connected to the global high score board. Please don't hack my high score server. :) Good luck beating my score (which admittedly was achieved while playing in the Unity editor; hence the name "Ed the Editor").

 • 5 years ago • 

It's a neat concept, more ties between the story and gameplay would be fun. If there are random events based on what Zeus is up to that would create those ties and also add a gameplay element. Something like showing Zeus in the background or to the side doing Zeus-y stuff, like turning into a swan to seduce a mortal. Then for a little while instead of lightning bolts you're collecting feathers.

Although the lightning bolts are the focus of the narrative they don't feel very impactful on the remaining energy meter, slightly slowing it down if anything, not really charging it up. A little more than +1 per bolt would help with that.

Also as other have mentioned power ups would be a very welcome addition. I'd also suggest trying to not spawn bombs and batteries on top of eachother.

 • 5 years ago • 

Art: For a 1HGJ, very snazzy. it has that "garbage assets piled together" feel that makes stuff look actually neat, like Getting Over It. The level of polish is astounding, though I guess some of the polish is post 1HGJ, especially the effect with the music, the voicelines, the visual effects…

Music: I'd take the whole hour to make that music lol. Well done.

Gameplay: It reminded very hard of a neopets game about dodging icecream that I was obsessed with as a kid. Works quite well, the hitboxes and the physics need some refinement probably.

Final thoughts: Very hard to get insightful comments for this. I think the core loop is real nice, but it would need a do-over and an interesting theme to make it tinto a less 1HGJy game.

 • 5 years ago • 

Hehe the 1h game is not bad either.

I picked up the Windows version and made my way into the top 8. Not for long probably, but I've got a screenshot to keep it marked down in history

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