Troll's Crabby Island

Troll's Crabby Island

  • Tero Hannula
  • 1 year ago
  • 5th

HTML5 bug: After first fail, game skips waves. To avoid this, Refresh page and start a new, or use Windows version. Bug is not present in Windows version and only appeared because of porting.

Press ESCAPE end game and show High Score. My personal best is 3260 (25. April 2020). Scoring is explained down below.

Hold SPACE and waves appear/happen twice as fast but it affects wave patterns. Recommended only for early waves.

One of the Trolls has went to adventure and stranded himself in a tiny island middle of nowhere. Unfortunately, it's crabby.

Points are calculated as following:

  • +100 per passed Wave
  • +10 per palm tree hit
  • -50 per hit from crab

~Art, music, code, font by myself~

Known bugs in HTML5 version:

  • After first fail, game skips waves.
  • Ending doesn't initiate properly (maybe in Win version too)
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  • Brupibo

    Awesome! Great game, great idea! Congratulations!

  • Dave
    • Level 2

    1yr ago

    I love this. It's fun and beautifully presented and I think the difficulty curve is nicely judged. The palm tree is a clever inclusion to add a bit of risk/reward. I keep going back for just one more go...

    My brain is also panicking and making me hit the wrong buttons when things get tricky but for me that is not the game's fault. Don't really have any criticisms - great stuff!

    • Tero Hannula

      Thanks for playing :) Controls could have been more intuitive, as buttons layout and visual feedback are not aligned. Palm tree was also made to shrink island bit more, it is 8 tiles only, not regular 3x3 ^^

  • havik

    Very nicely polished! Only issue I had is a personal one with the controls - they were ok to start with but as soon as I had to instinctively react I'd hit the wrong button since they don't naturally/visually line up. I got around this a bit by sort of mentally rotating myself while playing, so that mostly solved that. However if I had to suggest something to work on - it would be that!

    Art, sound, all that - great. Great entry!

    • Tero Hannula

      Thank you for playing :)

      Yeah, controls will be my doom here xD It would have been really easy fix, just add more key mappings. As game uses few keys, there could have been simultaneously many different mappings without problem.

      Now during jam my mind went on lock with controls like "I can't do it any better" (wrong). I had fixated In WASD type of layout that I didn't consider WQAS or similar.

      Original idea was slow paced game so current controls wouldn't have posed as much of a problem, but idea changed, so should have been controls.

  • baku


    Love it :D Very nice art, pretty simple but fun gameplay, cozy music. I wish the troll and the crabs had some shadows on the ground, and that there was a grid drawn in the sand, to make it more obvious where things are in 3D space.

    And of course as others have mentioned, isometric layout + orthogonal controls is a bit confusing. Personally I would've suggested QWAS for left hand or IOJK for right hand, played diagonally.

    Great game otherwise! :D

    • Tero Hannula

      Thanks for playing :) Actually I tried to make surface on top of island where I draw shadows. I didn't want shadows be drawn in water, but be only in island area, so with surface and masking I would clip water out. I had few issues with them and I was like 'game looks good without them, so why use precious time' ^^" (island is drawn just by stacking same shape in different sizes)

      Yeah, my mind was fixed on WASD or directional key layout during jam, I didn't consider other kind of layouts. It would have been easy just add other mappings working at same time. Thanks again ^^

  • fqSake

    A very fun and interesting game, I've seen a few criticism regarding character input movement, and although I understand, I didn't personaly have any struggle with them. Nice aesthetic, clean and simple in the best way possible! Cheers, good game!

    • Tero Hannula

      Thanks for playing ^^ I wanted it be clean and simple, I also restricted color palette I worked with. Troll though uses same colors as it has from very first Troll game (and crab uses Troll hair color). (: Good for you, controls feel unintuitive for some, but I could have avoided that by making other key mappings available

  • 89o
    • Level 18

    1yr ago

    I must say, I really liked the aesthetic, I haven't seen anything like it before. However, I found the controls to be quite unintuitive, maybe using something like QEAD would be a better choice. I'd also give the player some feedback for how many points they get instead of writing that in the description. Finally, I'd introduce some kind of powerups or collectibles to make the gameplay a bit more varied.

    • Tero Hannula

      Thanks for feedback :) Yes controls are wonky, and as afterthought I should have done different mappings. Never occurred during jam I don't need follow directional or WASD layout, too late for now ^^" I wanted gameplay itself look clean, so I didn't want show any effects (like "+10" ), just end score. I think it's more important how many waves you passed ^^ But it's not clear how you get points then, so after jam I added how they are calculated, so you can try get high score. Monkey (throwing coconuts) on palm tree, which you need to hit off was one idea.

  • Veralos

    Really nice game. The concept is pretty simple but very well executed and it's fun trying to see how far you can get. I like that the movement serves a dual purpose of moving to a new spot and jumping over the crabs. The game feels very polished with very pleasing graphics and a lot of nice little details such as the crabs swimming in, and being able to bounce off the palm tree. The music and sounds are great too.

    • Tero Hannula

      Thank you for playing :) There are 19 waves, though last ones are near impossible. I haven't heard anyone else beating this game yet ^^

  • TobyMoby

    I think this is you best entry yet. It just looks and feels sooo polished! The art is so simple yet amazing and it all works just so well the the animations, the music and the gameplay. I liked that you could see the crabs in the water so you could plan ahead how you want to avoid them on the 3x3 grid. It started of fairly easy but developed into a bullet hell kinda game pretty quickly :D So far I managed to get to wave 15, but I'll try some more definately haha

    My only complaint would be that I hate isometric movement, because my brain always messes up and forgets what is up-left, up-right etc. But I think this is just a personal problem of mine :D

    • Tero Hannula

      Thanks for playing :) 15 is good, I think it takes a small break there with one crab and then madness ensues. It's really hard after for couple of waves and I think 19th should be last one. I have managed to pass all waves only twice. Isometric movement is problematic as arrows do not reflect same direction as in-game. Later I had few thoughts how I could have made it otherwise, like QWAS, or numpad 1,3,7,9, or just mouse clicking. In last Troll game I had "tank controls" which would have been too slow for this game.

  • Kyon
    • Level 23

    1yr ago

    The little details and design in your games are just so amazing to me. You really polish these little gamejams. Bumping against that palmtree just felt good. But all those small things like how the crabs have half-tempo-animation underwater and really "pop up" and stuff. Also the music and the level (wave) design. Nice job again Tero, loved it!

    As feedback, maybe some variation or something, like something to really progress towards, even if it turns night or something, just art stuff that gets added would help.

    • Tero Hannula

      Thanks for feedback and noticing those small things ^^ The source project is available for download, you can see I had some palettes and leftover things I didn't delete midst jam, as I was planning this as survival game. I planned to have night and storm.

      The code is messy, as I was planning to do other things with it first, and then turned for current game. Many just-get-it-work things ^^"

  • Nyveon

    I think I've finally realized the pattern with your games, and I really like it!

    Very satisfying art, fun music, and nice sound effects. Challenging gameplay but not to the point where it feels unfair (especially like how crabs just bump you instead of outright ending the game). Balance is something that seems hard to achieve in jam games, but this is one of the best I've seen so far.

    My main feedback would be that, despite the very flat minimalist look of everything, having some type of detail on the ground would have helped with "mentally measuring" jumps and such. Also something more of personal preference, but I think I would have preferred the controls to be on press only, not held down.

    Plain simple fun, overall really well done! Congratulations :)

    • Tero Hannula

      Thanks for feedback :)

      I made it be by holding, just because it was easier than buffering inputs, though that wouldn't have been too hard either. Without buffering pressing bit too early would not make Troll jump. Now you can keep hitting palm tree more easily ^^ I tried to make shadows in game, but didn't get them working way I wanted, therefore I scrapped them. Also I thought no shadows fit more in artistic style, as not having grid lines. But these things I might revise in post-jam version, which I'll post later.

      During jam I also made animation for Troll sinking, but it was bit too 'brutal' ^^"


    What a lovely addition to your troll series. I love your simplistic but beautiful approach to design. I especially like the color scheme and the animated text.

    I seems like after your first run, the game skips to a future wave every time you play. I see why you made this: You don't want to replay the same easy waves over and over. But this makes it's easier to get score the first time as you got more time to smash your head into the palm over and over. I found myself restarting the page before each round in order to get as high score as possible. One solution to this issue would be to make a maximum numbers of points you get from the palm tree. This could be displayed by having coconuts in it that drops each time you hit it.

    I checked whether you had reused the troll sprite from a previous game - Which I can see you haven't. I don't think I would have reported you otherwise. I was just curious.

    Oh sorry. I read the description, but didn't recognise the bug.

    Just Junk!

    Just Junk!

    • Tero Hannula

      Hi thank you for your feedback and thoughts :) HTML5 skipping/stacked waves is unintended effect from porting, which is not present in Windows version. I should have playtested HTML5 version longer, but I tested it only one run and was "okay it works". Never thought restarting room could cause issues like this ^^"

      Of course the Troll is new, art needs to be done in 48hours :P No reused assets from previous one. For drawing I took reference as I wanted it to be similar, bit of continuation from previous game. Though initial idea of survival game was scrapped. If you took closer look, Troll now blinks eyes and when hit looks at you worried ^^ Grid movement code is also different, but I unnecessarily made it as '3D grid ' position ^^"

      (edit. emojis work on phone, not in computer)

  • Happysquared

    Hey really think the game looks so polished and cute. The graphics are so clean! I particularly like the waves around the island and how the crabs appear underwater before splashing up. Those details looked really great. Did find the controls a little confusing but enjoyed dodging crabs. Some of the later waves reminded me a little of doing a tinikling dance. Think a point indicator might be helpful to keep track.

    • Tero Hannula

      Thanks for feedback :) If you look at Troll, he blinks eyes, and if you get hit by crab, he looks at you bit worried for short time ^^

      Controls with keyboard in isometric games are bit hard to make, but I didn't want to use mouse either. And 'tank controls' would not have worked here. Maybe using numpad (which everyone does not have) or letter (but not everyone has QWERTY) could have worked, as choosing them could be positioned more in direction of world movement. But I thought easiest solution was normal Arrow keys.

      Oh, it does feel like tinikling dance, now after I googled what it is. How I coded waves, it was easier to make walls of crabs than diagonal ones. I might redo that when I work on post-jam version, so I can make more easily different kind of patterns.

  • Megan
    • Level 11

    1yr ago

    Very cute and well-made. I like that the crabs shove you off the island instead of just damaging you and the difficulty scales up nicely. My main issue is that the controls were unintuitive with the diamond-shape (vs top-down) and the music was a bit annoying because the loops were so short.

    • Tero Hannula

      Hi thank you for feedback :) I know controls may feel unintuitive, I playtested it for non-player. The isometric + arrow keys does it. Now later I have thought, maybe using numpad or alphabet with corresponding directions could have worked. Too late it for now :p

      Music or sounds are my weak points ^^"

  • PenguinCzar

    Fits to the theme, great music, great art. Awesome job dude. However, the controls messed me up quite a bit. The game started as Avast was trying to make sure it wasn't a virus, I immediately jumped into the water and then avast closed it. Once I got it working, I loved it. Great Job!

    • Tero Hannula

      Thanks for playing and feedback :) Yes, in isometric controls are bit wonky as direction is tilted.

      Avast thing is problem with Game Maker games in general, it likes to sandbox them and restarts them but later. So in this case it's Avast ^^"

  • Mimpy
    • Level 25

    1yr ago

    Nice, very clear art that conveys what it needs to easily and in an interesting way.

    I dig the game's dedication to its mechanics, there's no confusing extra stuff slapped on, it's a very focused experience.

    • Tero Hannula

      Thanks for playing :) As for this game idea I wanted clean and simple, and having extra things during gameplay would have conflicted also with art style.

      As game rule 'Stay inside bounds' does the job, which also conveyes idea of small world. Having depleting health from crabs would have 'muddied' this, and I made aware decision against it. But some punishement was needed, so game puts you in mercy of luck, which is a risk. With good play you can avoid this, but luck can be on your side too.

      But my original jam idea was about survival game, with Troll looking around the island and finding new things in this 8 tile area.

  • serialkamikaze

    Nice game

    This games looks so good, nicely done!

    The world for this troll is really small, but atleast he/she can jump around :D I was too jumpy and ended up in the sea so easily.

    I tried to bump against the palm to see if will drop anything, but didn't seem to do the trick :D

    • Tero Hannula

      Thank you :) Indeed, small island and lot of crabs, not ideal situation to be in. Hitting the palm tree gives you extra points +10 per hit :) I wanted to add a monkey there, but I wanted polished overall game. I may have had enough time for it, but probably wouldn't have time to finish it.

  • scottgoldsmith

    Pretty fun, the waves have a good increase in difficulty. Very novel idea. well executived.

  • Fachewachewa

    Lovely game as always! Really fun too, but surprisingly difficult.

    But even when failing, it still fun to get juggled by crabs :'D It took me a while to realize I needed to stop holding space after the 5th wave though, or else two lines of crabs will spawn too close to each other. After that I made it to 10+ waves but only scored below 2k. I'll need to try this again!



    • Tero Hannula

      Thanks for playing :) Sometimes you get lucky and survive, which is relief. Yeah, you shouldn't hold SPACE all the time, it was really just for debugging purposes, and good only for first waves, which are slow. Keep hitting that palm tree to get some extra point ;)

  • Kultisti

    The cute graphics and minimalist audio works well together and the main gameplay-loop is enjoyable too, won't get boring after couple of runs! And the graphics, liian söpöä. Good job!

    • Tero Hannula

      Kiitos ^^ I am no musician or other way audio orienteted, therefore I mostly go with simple melody and try record few sound effects. For splash effect I threw water from glass to larger pint, managed to wet my mat in the process :P Crab effect is just my using Fiskars in quick manner and then speeding it up.

  • Sindre Hauge Larsen

    Well polished entry, cute little game! I got to level 14 before I lost track of what was up and what was sideways. Will give it another go once I'm done reviewing other entries!

    • Tero Hannula

      Thank you :) In isometric game it can be hard to control character, sorry about that ^^ It was graphical choice, I thought it looked nicer than plain bird view. For retry, hold SPACE for first few waves to speed them up. Also hitting palm tree gives extra points ;)

  • The Great Gatsby

    cute and fun, but the movement is difficult to figure out

    • Tero Hannula

      Thanks :)

      In previous game I had "tank controls", which people didn't like ^^" I don't know any other ways than these two ways for controlling grid basement movement. If one could move freely though, then of course normal updown-leftright would be better

  • ZedSquadron

    Really liked the artwork and the menu/screen transitions. You did a great job with that. I played the HTML5 version and ran into similar issues as the post below, though. Pretty cool game idea, and the theme was spot on. Nice work!



  • dosto
    • Level 15

    1yr ago

    The game started to get pretty nice and challenging after the ~8th wave. I would have liked to reach for high scores but going through the easy waves in the beginning started to feel too slow my spoiled, constantly stimulus seeking mind.

    The crabs looked very sweet and I hope they have nice time marching around the island.

    Edit/response: Nice! I'll try it again then.

    • Tero Hannula

      Hi, thanks for playing :) You can speed up waves by holding Space (I'll update info), and Waves appear twice as fast. Though using all the time also causes crabs being closer to each other, so it's good only for beginning.

      You get more points by hitting palm tree, the beginning rounds are good for getting extra points from it.

  • Allison James

    Very cute, and with great graphics - the style kept the game endearing even though the concept was fairly basic. Also a nice mechanical callback to your old GM48 entry about building a stairway to the sky!

    I did have a major issue though (browser version): waves started triggering simultaneously after my first run, and this got worse the further I got in subsequent runs. At first, Wave 2 and 3 triggered at the same time, then 2+3+4, and by the time I was reaching the low 10s, runs were just... haywire! It actually was kind of fine though because it meant the experience changed up between runs, and it still never became impossible 😄

    • Tero Hannula

      Hi, thank you for playing and remembering my previous take :) I wanted to go with storytelling, but time wasn't on my aide, therefore more simplistic game. You can see in source some leftovers of it, like palette for night and storm. Game has ending screen, if you can't get past 19 waves, just open up the source :D (edit. okay, ending might not initiate, just checked. Oh no I made last minute changes, might broke it :s)

      The bug is HTML5 only, which I noticed after upload. In Windows version I made throughout tests it works well. I tested one run in HTML5 port and thought it works. Didn't consider restarting room could cause issues. You should never trust HTML5 export :'D

  • Tydecon Games

    A brilliant concept, simple but effective artwork and smooth as hell! Brilliant!

  • Wahoo
    • Level 16

    1yr ago

    Very charming, and extremely well done. This has so much polish, I'd imagine with a bit of tweaking, this could be a nice mobile game.



    • Tero Hannula

      Thank you :) I wanted polished looking game, which then caused gameplay idea change radically as time went by. You can see leftovers in source code that I had ideas of night and storm, survival idea. Well I would have made Android port also, but Peter had removed submission for mobile ports. Maybe because none uses them in GM48