Hulda's world

Hulda's world

  • Mini Bunnies
  • 1 year ago
  • 8th

Try survive past the music change.

Hulda is stranded on a small garden island and besieged by flying fish! Plant tiles to help her avoid incoming fish. Stepping on coloured tiles will change Hulda's colour. When she's the same colour as a fish, she can absorb it and convert it into resources she can use to build her garden.


  • Arrow keys to move around

  • Plant tiles by dragging tiles onto the board from the bottom left

  • Stepping on coloured tiles will change Hulda's colour

  • When Hulda touches a flying fish of the same colour as her, she gains resources and takes no damage

  • Resources can be used to build more tiles

  • Hotspring tiles heal Hulda but are one use only and restore Hulda back to her neutral colour

Alternate way to play (needs 2 people)

  • One person controls the keyboard and the other person controls the mouse

Current highscore: 11086

Will continue developing post-jam -- follow our Twitter for updates:

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  • baku
    baku baku Level 52 Patron

    Cute art, nice music - wouldn't have expected it to be so damn hard though! I think my brain just isn't compatible with this... in 100 % of my attempts I always ended up getting caught off-guard when the "walls" of single-coloured fish started spawning, killing me >.<

    Oh, also, arrow keys + mouse control is pretty awkward, would've been better with WASD

    • Ivanbje Ivanbje
      Level 13

      Thanks for the feedback.

      Yeah it ended up being a bit on the harder side. It's not just you, it took me a long time to get the hang of it myself. Although one of our playtesters just breezed through it without a problem in couple attempts.

      We are working on fine tuning according to feedback and also things we wanted to do but didn't have time for. We have implemented WASD as well as slightly altered building controls. The waves always spawn on the same time, but we wanted players to be forced to build color tiles to avoid the waves (although they can be dodged with a precise dash).

  • TobyMoby
    TobyMoby TobyMoby Level 15

    First of all, the graphics were soo nice! Looked really pleasent and polished. I also liked the sound, especially the music. How it's progressing with the game is such a nice touch and really stood out. The gameplay was also very good! I had a lot of fun, tried a lot of times to beat my highscore. It gets quite difficult fast, but you always feel like you learn to manage everything better than the last time. The concept was also something I've never seen.

    A few things I didn't like: -The text after you die is pretty hard to read, especially if it's in red. A little ourline or other type of background would have done a lot for readability. -If I'm playing with the mouse in one hand, it feels unnatural for me to use the arrow keys, my hand posture feels somewhat wrong. Since you didn't need WASD for anything else, I would consider adding it as an alternative input. Also, the "R" would have been easier to press for restarting, without moving the fingers away from the movement controls. -The pop up windows were annoying. Everytime I misclicked one popped up and interrupted the game flow. This would have been better solved with just a message inside the game in maybe a little box. -Switching to fullscreen. I know a lot of people would rather enjoy their games in windowed mode, but a lot, like me, enjoy it more if it's fullscreen. I like to not be distracted, and it happened a few times I clicked outside the window. So why not just leave "Allow fullscreen toggle" on? Is there a downside to it I'm not aware of?

    Other than that great game! I didn't encounter any bugs. Nice job :)

    • Heather Heather
      Level 10

      Thanks for the detailed feedback!

      I do think our weak point is the UI. It was initially made for a turn based tower defense game but we changed our game last minute on Sunday. We are going to continue developing the game post jam and will re do the UI so a player wouldn't have to drag and drop. Instead they will just have to click to place a tile and scroll wheel and hot keys to change the tile colour. Also we already have a version with no pop up. One of the first things removed as it is super annoying. Also made it wasd. (:

      I agree with you about the text being hard to read too. We sacrificed a lot of time in polishing the UI in order to change our game quite drastically on Sunday.

      Thanks again for the detailed feedback and glad you enjoyed it!

  • Alex Fantastico

    I really liked the sound and graphics! The concept was good too. I just wish the sequence of the fish attacks was kinder, and there was more time to react to the oncoming fish. There wasn't really enough time to build much of an island, and that was what I was most looking forward to. Very cute game though, which fit the theme well, although the juxtaposition of a tangled garden and the ocean was a little strange! Maybe if it were clearing away tangled overgrowth to expand a little garden out of the jungle, and the enemies were maybe wasps or bees, it would have felt more cohesive. On the other hand, taking very different elements and putting them together makes for something more unique, which isn't a bad thing.

    • Megan Megan
      Level 9

      Thanks for the feedback! We wanted it to be a challenging game but we should have made it easier at the beginning. We're planning on building in more worldbuilding mechanics going forward too. Thanks for playing!

      • Alex Fantastico Alex Fantastico
        Level 4

        Maybe have a difficulty setting?

        • Heather Heather
          Level 10

          Have many different ideas where we want to go post jam atm. I feel it was lack of time that led us to having the game be so difficult before the music shift happens. I think if we had had the time we would have been a bit better about handling how difficult it gets. But guess that's just how game jams go!

          • Alex Fantastico Alex Fantastico
            Level 4

            Oh, definitely. The time crunch is real, and balancing difficulty is more challenging than people give it credit for. I think it's better to err on the side of "too easy" for a jam. You don't want to frustrate people.

            I reached the music change a couple of times, but I was always out of health and my island was barely developed. Maybe having distinct enemy dodging and island building phases would be a way to go.

            • Heather Heather
              Level 10

              Funny you mention underdeveloped Islands! I definitely agree the gameplay doesn't give much incentive to develop the island. The current highscore strat is basically placing 4 tiles down and the rest of the game is healing yourself and dodging. We are definitely going to focus more on incentives for the player to develop the world gameplay wise. Such as powerups for example or other objectives besides survive. While we had discussed building phases, hopefully the revamped user controls will be enough to ensure building isn't a major pain. We want to move away from infinite waves and move towards choreographed attack patterns and want to keep the gameplay fast and intense without building phases between the flow. Stay tuned!

  • Steve Rynders

    I like the artwork, especially of the main character! The tile placing is nice.

    It felt like the pacing was a bit too fast at first. Maybe try ramping the speed up a little after the player has a better handle on what's happening?

    Maybe instead of dragging, let scrolling the mouse wheel or using different keys to switch between tiles and using the mouse button to click placing? I dunno, just a thought, mostly because I found it a bit tricky to juggle dragging a tile while also worrying about dodging fish!

    • Heather Heather
      Level 10

      Thanks for the feedback!

      Yeah after playing it we realise it was probably best to keep the difficulty pretty easy until the music shift. Especially for a game jam where people might not grind your game. We changed our game very late in the 48 hours. As it used to be a turn based tower defense with the whole map already built out, a lot of the UI and controls came from that. We didn't have time to change the controls to something that would fit the fast paced gameplay more. We are juggling a few ideas for the next version we'll release as it's a game we want to continue developing post jam!

      Thanks again for the feedback :D

  • ZedSquadron

    Really neat little game. The graphics were fitting (and cute), and the music was some of the best I've heard this jam.

    The control scheme took a little bit of time to figure out (even after reading the instructions a few times)...but once I realized what I was supposed to do, I really enjoyed it.

    Maybe a bit could be done to spruce up the pop-up menus, and I seemed to have run into a few hit-box issues during my play-through, but nothing major there.

    Nice work overall!

    • Heather Heather
      Level 10

      Thanks for the feedback!

      Happy you enjoyed yourself. Yeah the control scheme was just leftover of when the game was a turn based tower defense.

      When we decided to switch to what we have now, and that was very late into the jam, we were not able to change the controls and spruce up parts of the game. It was a really last minute switch and the code is complete spaghetti. A lot of the feedback we received mentioned the controls so we definitely feel a bit of regret that if only we came up with this game idea a little sooner and we could have added the polish we wanted to. It's my first game jam so I guess that's a normal feeling!

      Thanks again for the feedback!

  • Fachewachewa

    This game looks and sounds soooo good. But it's as hard as it's cute. And it's very cute.

    One thing I noticed is that my brain just didn't work :D Like, if I want to try and switch color to catch a specific fish, I'll do it in reverse, say from blue to red and end up trying to catch a blue fish. I think that's because I need to physically move to a tile, and by that time fishes moved too, but my brain still thinks I'm the previous color.

    Anyways, I though it was interesting. The game was extremely nice, so that's what matters.

    • Heather Heather
      Level 10

      Thanks for the feedback (: Nice watching your game on the stream too.

      Yeah it really would have been more practical to at least keep the difficulty easier until the waves came along! Glad you were able to hear the music change too. The multi tasking does take some getting used to but hoping our controls revamp will make it easier. Rather people struggle with the game than with the controls!

      We came up with the concept pretty late but found it interesting enough to switch gears knowing our UI/UX would suffer from it.

      Thanks again for the feedback!

  • 89o
    89o 89o Level 20

    This was a cute and charming game. I don't see any reason to place more than 1 type of each block, though. The whole 'worldbuilding' aspect isn't very enforced by the gameplay. What I would suggest is to add rewards for exploring outwards, so the player will be incentivized to place more blocks.

    • Heather Heather
      Level 10

      Yeah it didn't originally have tile placing. The last minute changes made it so we couldn't add things in like power ups to encourage players to move around more. If we had time to add vertical enemies I think it would have encouraged more tile placing too. Other things we wanted to do was also additional structures and other enemy types.

      Thanks for the feedback!

  • Des
    Des Des Level 1

    I love the music and the art! Would love to see more sprinkles of the art around the game. I kept playing and made it into the 4000s enough to last through the music change. I definitely could see a bullet hell/crafting vibe from this project.

    The dual controls of using a mouse and keyboard did take some getting used to. At first glance I was under the impression it would be keyboard only and am curious how this could map to a controller. Controls and movement felt right with the character. Having the popup happen during a misplaced tile is a momentum stopper for now and look forward to whatever the workaround is. Accessibility and onboarding wise, i'm wondering if the speed could match the music, with a buildup in speed to with the tempo change.

    At its core I do like gameplay of puzzle building mechanics while avoiding objects. Based on the current UI, keeping my eye on the tileset and the playfield, I started to wonder if my eyetracking started to mimic the eye tracking from an FPS!

    Would love to see where this goes if you all continue development. Great job!

  • Sandro Magliozzi

    I had fun with this! I got hooked enough to try to get my score as high as possible. I managed about a 4.1k (a little past the music change).

    I can't say for 100% certain if it was an original concept but I don't recall playing anything similar, and I enjoyed figuring out little strategies to optimize my play. Trying different things is neat.

    I'd like if the controls were WASD instead, as it requires you to use the mouse, which can get a bit cramped.

    The controls were as responsive as I could ask for

    There is a little bit of a bug (?) that happens with the colour switching when moving from one coloured tile to another; you can sometimes get hit in the brief window before your colour actually changes, or (depending on the colour of the enemy) you can sometimes get a gram and get hit simultaneously by the same enemy, but it's hard to reproduce. I tried a few different ways to exploit colour swapping and couldn't perform anything consistently so I'd say it's not a huge issue. I don't know if the game checks for collision every frame, but the enemies could disappear if they hit you or something?

    Overall I really like the game, it's a neat idea in a cute world. I would definitely play more.

  • Tero Hannula

    I liked the art and music, game itself was bit on difficult side if playing alone. The game had similiar idea with mine, but brought more elements there, as in resource handling . Pop up messages were off, didn't with overall game unfortunately. When picking up some 'blop' sound and letting go in wrong place somekind of error sound, could have worked instead. Something that tells you need to hold it, not just click. I don't think this games needs 'juice' as Eric stated, as this was visually pleasent already. Maybe more animation for Hulda, but it doesn't need screenshake, and with particles need to be careful to not clash with overall art. Now about the Hulda, is he/she looking down on ground and it's his/her front hair, or is it beard and eyes are hidden under the hat? :D

    My high score was something over 4000 points.

    • Heather Heather
      Level 10

      Yeah I feel it would be have been more prudent of us to start off a lot gentler before ramping up the difficulty from the first wave. Especially so people can get a grip of the game and be able to experience the full music track. But we didn't have enough time to playtest before submission.

      Our game started off as a tower defense. But for a time it was a dodging fish on a 5x5 island game. So that would have been really similar to yours! Islands... sea creatures... But we changed it quite last minute to include the resource management and tile building. Which is a big reason for the messed up UI. No time to polish up the pop ups/remove them and change the controls of tile placement. Drag and drop really made way more sense when it was a turn based tower defense.

      As for Hulda, she just has an absolute mess of hair. :D

      4000 is pretty good (: Think that's a wall a lot of people get stuck on if not sooner.

      Thanks for the feedback!

      • Tero Hannula Tero Hannula

        Ah, so it was all hair :D Of course ideas change during jam, I had to discard 'survival' idea. I'll try later with someone as second player placing tiles, maybe then it's bit easier ^^

  • Slow M
    Slow M Slow M Level 1

    I really like the art direction in the game with the soft color palette. Text is also appropriately colored for the game while at the same time contrasted enough so you can read quickly what's going on. Base gameplay mechanics are great with a really fun gameplay loop. Still trying to get a good high score lol. Music is also fantastic.

    A few things I'd improve on are the UI components. The mouse to drag to build the tiles is a little clunky and needs some looking at. It's difficult clicking and dragging while you're busy dodging so many fish.

    I'm also not liking that huge pop up message when there's not enough resources. It really interrupts the flow of the game. Maybe have this be an ingame message instead that doesn't stop the game? I see that this was a leftover from when it was a TD game but just figured I'd chime in here also.

    Difficulty is quite challenging at the start as the fish just start flying at you and had a hard time getting my bearings even after a few playthroughs. Not a good or bad thing but just an observation.

    Much potential to be had here, great job in only two days!

    Current score is 4528! I'll beat 10238 yet...

    • Heather Heather
      Level 10

      Thanks for your feedback!

      Yeah a lot of the clunky UI and pop ups come from when it was initially a turn based tower defense. We really changed the game super last minute, haha. We want to continue development and a rework of the controls is something we are definitely gonna do.

      As for the difficulty... Probably would have been more prudent of us to tone the difficulty down in the calm phase so more people could experience the music shift and the larger waves...

      Good luck beating the high score and thanks for taking the time to play!

  • dosto
    dosto dosto Level 10

    I think your game has motivated me the most to reach for high scores. The idea is very nice and I like how the tempo is already fast in the beginning.

    There are some usability issues related to UI components: the amount of the material is hard to see it being so light. It's also located in a hard spot since your eye focus is so busy with the actual action. Maybe observing it would be easier if it was located next to the tile store? The "not enough material" pop up also made me always feel like the game had crashed.

    If you end up developing this more I definitely want to play the next versions: like said, the actual gameplay excites me a LOT.

    Edit: Oh I forgot to mention that the music was dope!

    • Heather Heather
      Level 10

      Thanks for the feedback!

      The UI is definitely an issue we want to work on. It was leftover from when our game was originally meant to be a turn based tower defense. So the tile store being easy access during battle phases wasn't an original concern. We changed our game drastically with only a few hours left in the jam so had to keep the bad UI in exchange for changing the game mechanics. The pop up was remnant of that too.

      We are planning on developing this more for sure! Adding more building types as well as possible power ups that spawn around the map... New enemies... Lots of ideas we are currently discussing.

      Also nice to see you liked the fast pace in the beginning. We were worried lots of people would miss the music changing if they died early on.

      Thanks again for the feedback!

      Our current highscore is 10238 if you wanna try to beat that ;)

  • Steve
    Steve Steve Level 1

    A fun and well thought out game. It is entertaining, easy to learn, yet has an appropriate amount of difficulty keep you playing and wanting to beat your previous score. I enjoyed the clean layout and the integration of planning/strategy by moving tiles of specific colours to specific locations. I also really enjoyed the fun music, and that it progressed as the game intensified. Overall, it was an engaging and joyful experience!

  • PizzaBandit

    The music was awesome and fitting for the game. The pop up messages were a little jarring but it's good that they were there for guidance.

    • Heather Heather
      Level 10

      Thanks for the feedback! If we had the time, the pop up messages wouldn't be there. The game started off as a turn based tower defense hence no need to worry about disrupting the flow of the game. We made a major shift in the game late on Sunday and were stuck with the old pop up design.

      Glad you got to hear the music. It makes a major shift when the waves get heavy around a minute in we were worried people would miss if they died early on.

      Thanks again for playing and reviewing!

  • Nyveon

    Love the style of this game!

    It's definitely very challenging. The highest score I could get was 4062, but once I've reviewed all the other games I'll surely come back and try to beat my own score! I still haven't gotten enough resource to build a hot spring, I'm curious what it does.

    My main feedback would be that it could use more juice. Things like screenshake, particles, variations on the sound effects. When you have a game that will be played repeatedly that kind of stuff adds a great touch. Also, not being able to fullscreen it (as far as I know) made the game kinda hard to see for me, but no big deal.

    Art and music was great, especially love when the music becomes all intense and the full line waves started appearing to match.

    Overall very good! Congratulations :)

    • Heather Heather
      Level 10

      Thanks so much for the thoughtful feedback!

      Nice score! Glad you were able to hear the music shift. It was too late for us to scale difficulty on the earlier waves a little so was worried people wouldn't be able to hear more of the music especially since it was timed with the more intense periods.

      The current highscore on our side is 10238

      Hot springs heal Hulda. We wanted to add more structures and powerups to help her out but we changed our game very last minute. It started off as a turn based tower defense so you can see a lot has changed. We still have art assets we didn't end up using since we re-did the gameplay too.

      Thanks again!

  • Veralos
    Veralos Veralos Level 35

    Pretty neat game. I really like the art. All the leaves and grass and stuff gives the game a nice soothing sort of style. The music helps to give the same vibe.

    The controls are a bit awkward with requiring use of both the mouse and the keyboard. At the very least WASD should be able to be used for movement. I also dislike the pop up messages for when you don't have enough material - they're very jarring.

    That said, the gameplay is pretty unique and interesting. I like how you have to plan out where the different colours will be placed to give yourself the best chance of having access to them when you need it.

    • Ivanbje Ivanbje
      Level 13

      Thanks for the feedback.

      Our original idea was a turn based game and the building system was implemented with that in mind, which was why we just went with a simple pop-up, then due to time constraints when we moved away from that idea we weren't able to switch over to something better. It can be abused to freeze the game and plan a movement route and we will have to fix that.

      Glad you liked it :)

  • geneface
    geneface geneface Level 1

    Really nice light bullet-hell/tower-defense game. The music + art elements really adds a nice aesthetic and I think its needed for easing players into the game.

    I think the controls need a work-through; the arrow keys + drag and drop is slightly counter-intuitive. Would love to see more control options such as mouse 1 + mouse 2 for movement and tile creation or settings keys on the keyboard for tile selection/placement.

    I think this game has a lot of potential to bloom once its given some more time to sprout. Great work considering this was done in such short time.

    • Ivanbje Ivanbje
      Level 13

      Thank you for your feedback. Yeah, I guess we need to rework the movement a bit and make the tile placement more fluid.

  • Alex
    Alex Alex Level 1

    Quite fun for a time. It's like Frogger with some unique building mechanics. The art style and sound direction is endearing, and fits the playful tone of the game. The core gameplay is nice and simple, so it could get pretty addictive.

    Main criticism: after you get your tiles set up, you basically just dodge and place heals. I definitely suggest going nuts and experiment with building mechanics, power ups, game modes, etc, although I'm sure you guys already have a bunch of ideas.

    Other suggestions:

    • Add a tiny input buffer to provide some leniency to a player mistiming rapid consecutive inputs.
    • Having to click on the tiles is a bit disorienting. You could implement a radial menu, right-click to cycle, or keyboard inputs. This way you could instantly place some clutch tiles to save you.
    • I don't know if it was intended or a bug, but if you time your movement correctly, you can move past a fish. I just picked blue, filled the entire stage with white tiles and just dodged the vertical waves. =)
    • I noticed that the music changes as the game progresses, so it's a shame that players who lose early won't experience all the content you've created. One way I've seen this handled is you get to continue, but your high score stays. Or you could sit at the game over screen to hear the entire track :)
    • It'd be pretty cool to visually telegraph the big spawns like the vertical waves. It'll be impactful and give the player a brief window to avoid getting overwhelmed by multiple colors.
    • Is it just me or do the blue fishes spawn more?

    Very interesting stuff, keep it up!

    • Ivanbje Ivanbje
      Level 13

      Thanks for the feedback.

      The dodge fish trick was not intended but we're discussing leaving it in. We didn't notice it until after we submitted. I think if we do leave it in, we might want to accompany it with some visual and auditory effects perhaps. The only argument against it is that you can just pick one color and stick with it.

      Yeah, we need to figure something out for making the tile placement more user friendly, perhaps a radial menu would be a good implementation of that.

      A buffer will definitely be in the next version, I've died so many times tonight due to misfires. It wasn't a problem at first but when you start going for the high risk plays and try to get higher scores they become problematic.

      Regarding the blue fish, it seems to be that way in the beginning. Most of the pattern was created with a random function with a set seed, and then tweaked for the waves and such. There doesn't seem to be as much imbalance in the color spawns later on, but it's still something we might have to address.

      And yeah we have a few ideas for future versions. Thanks :D

  • Brian
    Brian Brian Level 1

    The art is vivid and simple, which is accompanied by the right kind of music that changes as the game progresses. The game mechanics remind me of classic 2-D arcade games and kept me engaged, trying to get a higher score each time I played. The only thing I would like to see in the future is volume control, as the music was just a bit louder than I would have liked. Although it is not necessary, perhaps some people would like to see a visual of the key binds.

    • Ivanbje Ivanbje
      Level 13

      Thanks for the feedback.

      We did forgot to mention in in the instructions/description that you could mute the music with M.

      But yeah, if we take this project further we'll be sure to add volume sliders for both music and SFX, that's a good idea.

      Visual of the key binds would also be great for the instructions page thanks.

  • illdie
    illdie illdie Level 7

    Very cool game, I really like the background music as well. The art is cute (I especially like the vegetation) and the concept is very unique and compelling in its implementation! I'm not very good at it though... lol.

    • Ivanbje Ivanbje
      Level 13

      Thank you for the feedback, glad to see you liked it.

      I am not too good at it either. I had been playing and debugging the game for a while and when we got a friend to play test, he immediately got farther into the game than I could.

  • chunnyd
    chunnyd chunnyd Level 1

    Fantastic, fun little game. Very addicting - like the games from the original flash era. Mechanics are simple, but trying to figure out the best strategy can easily suck you in for hours. Excellent background music!

    A few suggestions:

    • Insert a pause button (with a countdown resume) so that players can place tiles, especially after things become hectic!
    • Allow lives to be given greater than the starting number of lives - ie, getting a hot springs when you are at three hats brings you up to four hats
    • More different fish attack patterns!
    • Heather Heather
      Level 10

      Thank you for your feedback! Yeah, Megan did a really good job on the background music. Beginning of the game was harder than we intended so hopefully people stick through it to hear all the phases she composed.

      We made a last minute pivot in the game direction and weren't able to include all the ideas we had.

      Some future features that might help address your suggestions we'd love to add:

      1) Planning on having phases so Hulda would have a "build" phase. Additional buildings such as farms would help gain resources and others like resources would help destroy fish. These buildings would be powered by resources allocated during build phases.

      2) Hoping to have power ups spawn within the map to encourage building more tiles and greater player movement. Some of those powerups might be extra hats. Though it didn't make it in, we also discussed having each colour of Hilda have its own "three lives". So switching colours would also be about life management.

      3) Really wish we had time to do this! Other enemies we'd love to try out would be tile destroying enemies or tentacles from the water that would smash through rows vertically.

      Thanks again for playing!

  • Lee
    Lee Lee Level 8

    A wonderful and addicting game. There is a nice learning curve which challenges you to improve on your approach. I've enjoyed coming up with new strategies to improve my score. The art style is beautiful and clean which greatly adds to the experience allowing you to clearly see and plan your next move. I really like how the music ramps up as the game difficulty scales and you can use the music cues to assist you in remembering the patterns in the game play. Managing resources to build the island while simultaneously dodging is a nice twist on the genre that makes it very fast paced and exciting. Overall, a very fun experience!

    • Heather Heather
      Level 10

      Thanks for the feedback!

      We had more art assets available. Coloured tiles were originally going to be their own unique coloured foliage though time constraints meant we were only able to colour the tile. Hopefully be able to include those in the future! We also had other buildings not seen in the game such as farms and watchtowers.

      Music definitely synced up well to the attack patterns which I'm pleased about but feel people might miss because the music only picks up past the 48 second mark. We should have made the game a little easier until then so people could hear the full music score.

      Wish we had more time to add more resource managing elements but we scrapped a big part of the original game on Sunday and rebuilt a lot of stuff.