No Free Lunch

No Free Lunch

  • Naxos
  • 1 year ago
  • 19th

Puzzle Platformer

There's no such thing as a free lunch. That's what they say, at least. And in this game, you'd better get collecting if you want to make it to the end.

Music kindly created by Meseta during the jam.


  • A - Move left
  • D - Move right
  • Spacebar - Jump
  • Left click - Fire gun
  • Right click - look around (hold)
  • F2 - Mute Music
  • R - Restart room

Current Fastest Time

Baku currently holds the fastest time of 93.77! Here's a video of his run. Don't click if you don't want spoilers!

DM me a screenshot or video on Discord to claim the fastest run and I'll put it here.

Solutions Guide

If you get stuck on a level, you can find the solution on this video solution guide.


Gamplay 1


Gamplay 2
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  • Tero Hannula

    I liked the puzzles of this game :) Here is my gameplay video:

  • Jupiter Hadley
    Jupiter Hadley Jupiter Hadley Level 12

    Interesting platformer! I included it in my GM48: Collect! compilation video series, if you’d like to take a look. :)

  • kbjwes77
    kbjwes77 kbjwes77 Level 19

    Uhh yeah I'm not beating Baku's time lol. Frustrating game to watch someone else play, but actually kind of interesting when you're the one making the decisions. The mechanics themselves were executed well, just not sure I like the game's "style".. haha great entry though!

    • Naxos Naxos
      Level 7

      Well you still beat Peter's first run! Definitely seems like it doesn't appeal to everyone... still not sure how to fix that. I really appreciate you playing despite that!

  • JesusAcHe
    JesusAcHe JesusAcHe Level 4

    I'm not an MLG pro so I probably can't beat the current WR but I think I found a faster strat for the last level. If you align your shot fast enough you can just snipe two of the jumps on the right an go straight to the exit. Great game, love the way the puzzles were set up so there's a lot of filler to mess with your head, haha.

    • Naxos Naxos
      Level 7

      You're right! It's funny the shortcuts you can miss while creating a level XD Just find a couple more of those and you might beat the WR!

      I was bit conflicted on the red herrings after watching a few people play, but I'm glad you like them!

      Thank you for playing and leaving feedback!

  • Nyveon

    Simply put, a great puzzle game. Can't think of any feedback that hasn't already been said. Really well done!

  • Kwis
    Kwis Kwis Level 60 There you go!

    Edit: about the camera, yes, i actually know what you're going through. I've had a very similar issue with mines and i find it hard to properly calibrate it so it was not "the best" but it didn't annoy me that much. Perhaps the unzoom could be a bit less brutal?

    But it was sweet to have this inspection function either way


    • Naxos Naxos
      Level 7

      Thank you for playing and making this, Kwis!

      I was aware of the weirdness with the camera zoom feature, but I was not able to iron it out before the end of the jam, unfortunately. But hey, dance party right?


  • baku
    baku baku Level 53 Patron

    As current world record holder (93.77), I approve of this game.

    (seriously, I wouldn't have spent 2 hours playing this game for a goof, if it wasn't actually fun to play!)

    • Naxos Naxos
      Level 7

      I bow before the mighty baku. Long may he reign.

      Thank you for your dedication! It was awesome watching you blast your way through the game. <3

  • Fachewachewa

    Yoooo this is such a good idea! You exploited really well the limited content that can be produced in a jam. The early game was really fun, because you dedicated each level to teach a way your mechanics interacted with each other.

    The later part still has good level design, but I do have a few relatively small issues.

    • I'm not a fan of the timer, even with the setup phase, I think it's a little superfluous since there's already limited ressources
    • Some of the levels rely too much on precision, either from plateforming or aiming, which could be fine in itself, but in addition of the timer I think it's a little much. The puzzling element is strong enough that you can rely on it IMO.
    • I'm not a fan of puzzles with "clutter", as in, it gets harder because there's so much different elements, worse when some of those are red herring. It's okay when you use the jump to go around the door in the level with the bottom full of spikes, but on the last level it's... a lot.
    • That last level was a LOT of trial an error, and shots that barely missed and forced me to restart. What's interesting though is that I solved it differently than in your video, not sure if it's intended or if it's an accident :D (tough my way of solving it felt a little hacky)

    Anyways, this is a really interesting game, and I think you should definitely try to make a more polished version,.

    • Naxos Naxos
      Level 7

      This is great feedback! I think you make a lot of salient points.

      The earlier levels were definitely easier to design. I really wanted to teach the player without an explicit tutorial, because I was told on my previous jam game that I used too much text to explain stuff! It was good advice I think. I'm sort of surprised that you found the tutorial levels fun, but I guess learning is fun, so that makes sense. I was afraid they were too boring or straight forward.

      Once I ran out of teaching material, I think it got a little more difficult and required more thought to find interesting puzzles. I sort of regret adding the red herring items, but I was worried that the puzzle was 'too obvious' otherwise. But I guess everything is obvious to the puzzle maker!

      I can see what you mean about the time mechanic creating a pressure to be precise. It was never my intention to pressure the player in that sense. It was intended to add another dimension to the puzzle, another layer to the potential choices. In practice, however, I think you are right that in certain levels it just kind of adds a 'precision skill check'.

      I think I've personally seen other players find 3 alternate solutions to the last level. I thought that was kind of cool, but maybe it just means the puzzle is messy, haha.

      Anyway, thank you for playing and taking the time to give in-depth feedback!

  • Atomic
    Atomic Atomic Level 16

    Now I've seen a few people play this on stream already, so I knew what I was getting into. Even still after watching 2 whole playthroughs I still found the levels to be refreshing. I think a big part of the game boils down to the level design, as it is a puzzle game to some extent, and in the majority of the level design, I found it very coherent. There were a few examples of the opposite, where the possibilities seemed endless. This was partly because of the loose parameters and rules in the game. Where you're standing is arbitrary from run to run so solutions may or may not work depending on what pixel you're on and where you're shooting. I still think the game is nicely down from a gameplay perspective, even if the art falls far behind! Lastly, the music was pleasant, and not annoying. It was a little short, but the layered instruments and simple beat with breaks in between makes for replayability.

    • Naxos Naxos
      Level 7

      Thanks for the thoughtful feedback AD. I think I understand what you're saying about the loose parameters, in particular with using barrel jumps. I'm not sure how I'd go about fixing that at the moment, but it's definitely something to think about. Puzzle games lose a lot of their value after seeing them solved, so I really appreciate you diving in, even after having seen it twice already! Thank you

  • ZedSquadron

    Ok, this game was super good. The way you built upon each level, introducing new mechanics was really clever. I think if you worked on the few issues noted by others below (visibility, and sprucing up the art a bit), you could have something here. I had a really good time playing through it!

    Nice work :D

    • Naxos Naxos
      Level 7

      Hey zed! Thank you for playing the game! I'm really happy that you enjoyed it, and I very much appreciate the feedback!

  • Gelidity
    Gelidity Gelidity Level 13

    A satisfying length that was well paced with a steady introduction of new mechanics in a way that never felt confusing. Good work!

    • Naxos Naxos
      Level 7

      Thank you for the kind feedback Gelidity. Hope you enjoyed it and thanks for playing!

  • Honk5000
    Honk5000 Honk5000 Level 3

    I really liked the gameplay of this game. And it had a really intuitive way of presenting new gameplay mechanics. The later levels where quite hard too, but I pulled it trough :D The graphics where a bit minimalistic, but not bad and it somehow fitted the gameplay. The music track is great too.

    • Naxos Naxos
      Level 7

      I really appreciate you trying the game! Hope the later bits weren't too frustrating. All credit to Meseta for the music, he did an awesome job! Thank you for taking the time to give feedback.

  • Jason Newman
    Jason Newman Jason Newman Level 7

    This was fun. Very clever idea for a game, kind of an action puzzler!

    • Naxos Naxos
      Level 7

      Thank you for trying it out and leaving feedback!

  • Edocsil
    Edocsil Edocsil Level 11

    Full disclosure: If I had had the weekend free, I would have been the one doing the art for this game. That said:

    My time was 558.42! I really enjoyed it! Your level design is great and with more time this could be a good full-fledged puzzle game! The controls were a little too tight movement-wise but once I got used to it I was fine. I'm going to have to watch the solutions video to see if I did any levels differently than you envisioned. Anyway, solid little game! Great job!

    • Naxos Naxos
      Level 7

      Thanks Edoc! <3

      I've definitely seen a lot of solutions I didn't anticipate, especially in the later levels that weren't meant to be tutorial-ish, so you most likely solved at least one in an unintended way. That said, I actually enjoy seeing people find alternate solutions I didn't think of!

  • Allison James

    Really impressive and commendable level variety and number of mechanics that were largely intuitive (only in a video game world could you shoot a bullet to collect it 😄).

    That alone made this a fascinating game to play, with a lot of puzzle concepts seemingly unique to it, such as having to collect health to be able to damage boost or simply having to collect the right to walk for longer. The levels were well paced too.

    Main downsides, which didn't detract too much from the game, were that it could have been presented better (not just graphical improvements, I'd also say the "zoom out to see everything" idea could be mitigated by spacing out rooms carefully), and I do wish W mirred Space to jump. Hand was a little cramped up from stretching with my left hand to press A, D and Space.

    Great work overall.

    • Naxos Naxos
      Level 7

      I really appreciate you giving it a go!

      I do wish the zoom mechanic was a little more polished or even made unnecessary like you said. It was somewhat tacked onto the design to solve the poor visibility problem.

      I really wanted to have key remapping but it didn't happen due to time constraints! Next time I make a platformer I'll definitely map jumping to W and spacebar.

      Thank you for the detailed feedback Allison!

  • g0ldent0y
    g0ldent0y g0ldent0y Level 5

    Impressive amount of levels for a GM game. I know others will probably give you a hard time for the graphics, but i dont think thats the worst thing ever. I found them endearing and practical. A change in later levels would have been nice to fight the monotony though.

    • Naxos Naxos
      Level 7

      Thank you for the kind words. I wish I had thought to change things, even just a little, like change the wall colors or something, but it didn't even occur to me XD Maybe next jam.

      Thank you for playing and leaving feedback!

  • NukGames
    NukGames NukGames Level 4

    I really liked the collect actions idea! The overall design of the game are neat (couldn't pass the shoot barrel to jump stage). Good job!

    • Naxos Naxos
      Level 7

      Thank you for giving it a try Paulo!

      I just added a short solutions guide for each level of the game in the gm48 description if you want to see the other levels (that barrel level is probably the second hardest in the game)

      Thanks again!

  • Mimpy
    Mimpy Mimpy Level 17

    Really stellar level design that makes full use of the mechanics in the game. The range of options you have with the collecting gun makes for multiple solutions to some puzzles.

    And you've really taken the theme to heart, this is Collect's logical conclusion- collecting your basic controls!

    • Naxos Naxos
      Level 7

      Hey Minty! Thank you for the very kind feedback! I really appreciate it.

      And thank you for again for your help during the jam!

  • Tydecon Games

    I love the unique concept of having to collect the pieces that create a platform game in order to complete a level. It was a little tricky, at least I found, to get the barrel to propel me instead of just kill me. But I like what you've done, idea wise! A little work on the graphics and polish and this could go far! :)

    • Naxos Naxos
      Level 7

      Thank you for playing and the feedback!

      The barrel physics are definitely a bit more trial and error than I would have liked, and the graphics could definitely use some work haha!

      Thanks again :)