I host game jams for my community of developers, 8 Bits to Infinity, every two months. Once a year we team up with the talented game jam YouTuber Vimlark to run an extra-large jam called VimJam. In ten days, our community generates hundreds of new games, and most of them are quite good!
Since VimJam 3 features 200 entries, it can be overwhelming to sift through them all. This list can help you figure out which games to play, as a supplement to the community choice results and Vimlark’s excellent highlights video.
This list is in alphabetical order by title, not by any sort of rank. Some were winners, and some were not, but they’re all worth checking out.
By no means is this list exhaustive. With 200 entries, there are tons of other great games! See the full list of submissions here to find more gems.
Acolytes of Arachne by FallingWallGames
Play as several acolytes, letting them into the temple one at a time, to progress through to the ancient spider goddess. Along the way, you’ll face deadly traps like lava, giant spiders, and (of course) spikes.
This gives me Lost Vikings vibes, but is extra cool in that as the game progresses, you get more characters. Each has their own ending but you must navigate die-and-retry platforming plus the nefarious puzzling out who needs to advance next.
Although frustrating at times, it’s a cool concept with well-written and mercifully short dialogue to intercut the puzzle platforming.
Aliens Stole My Coins by ZuelaBR, baraujo42, and Jonhzera
Collect garbage from the ground with your vacuum to blast away alien enemies in this charming shoot-em-up. Alternatively, you can absorb enemy shots with the vacuum to create ammo, which is a great relief when all the garbage is gone.
The game features nice pixel graphics with a bit of lighting to keep things interesting. Also, there are a handful of different enemy types, and they all look great.
The game controls very well and has all the sound effects (and a charming background tune) it needs. Check it out!
Baker Bash by malek-elsady and greenexplosions
Play here: https://malek-elsady.itch.io/baker-bash
An impressive collection of mini-games very reminiscent of WarioWare. It’s hard enough to get one minigame done for a game jam, but this project has over a dozen microgames!
They’re all relatively simple and intuitive, but it’s got that time-pressure rush to keep the challenge level high. Additionally, the brisk pace keeps you invested in working toward a higher score.
If you’re looking for something short and frantic, check it out.
Conflagrated by HelperWesley
Play here: https://helperwesley.itch.io/conflagrator
The aliens are coming for you, and all you’ve got is a flamethrower. Which, to be fair, is a pretty good thing to have!
Burn down the aliens as you advance through waves, collecting fuel refills which are also your health, and further can be spent on upgrades at the end of each wave. This progression keeps the game from getting dull, and there’s even a working leaderboard to climb!
The graphics are also fairly nice, with a neat lighting system that reacts to the flamethrower.
How many aliens can you burn?
The Devil Wears Trident by Marcus Himself
This platformer puzzle game flips the basic premise of Lemmings on its head. You’re a demon equipped with three tridents, which you can use to create walls or springs, or to poke at unsuspecting humans. Guide them into the lava pits to their doom!
The platforming is solid with a juicy double jump, and poking the humans is endlessly satisfying. Although it’s a bit tricky to combo throwing, dropping, and poking at first, you quickly get used to the steps needed to scorch these deserving mortals.
It’s long enough to feel like a full experience with a reasonable challenge curve, but short enough that you can finish in one sitting. Check it out.
Office Heat by benbarsdell
Play here: https://benbarsdell.itch.io/office-heat
A very simply but effective one-screen point-and-click puzzle adventure with loads of pop culture references to gems like Office Space and The IT Crowd. This is a satisfying puzzle adventure for pixel-hunters, but also clear enough for those—like me—who struggle at these sorts of games.
Some of the logic is a bit twisted, but that’s part of the adventure game charm. The nice use of highlighting and sound effects makes it easy to cycle through all the possibilities and, eventually, reach the game’s conclusion.
Pair that with excellent writing and solid pixel art, this one’s worth a playthrough.
Ollie: The World Destroyer by M77mdsD, Kafe, AproprosRobin, and Bakobiibizo
Play here: https://m77mdsd.itch.io/vimjam-3
A neat little puzzle platformer where you play a robot with a wrench traversing a small number of short levels to activate a heater. There’s a bit of a twist when you activate the heater, as well.
The game controls well and does a good job of building up mechanics. As a game jam prototype, it’s rather short, but it’s always good to leave players wanting more!
Definitely worth a playthrough. It’ll only take you a few minutes at most.
Outlive by Sean Gilbert (GingerNingerish)
Play here: https://gingerningerish.itch.io/outlive
This creepy and atmospheric survival game is a fantastic horror experience in a small map with minimal graphics. You must survive several nights protecting your family from a zombie onslaught.
The story develops through each day as you explore more of the map to gather scarce resources. It’s easy to pick up with excellent tutorializing throughout.
Audio design is top notch here. The graphics give little to sink your teeth into, but the combination of music and sound effects makes the experience terrifying and visceral, from the creature sounds to the boom of the shotgun.
Solid writing (albeit with the occasional typo) brings it all together. Worth a playthrough, for sure.
Sol Vanguard by Jesscapade
Play here: https://jesscapade.itch.io/sol-vanguard
This resource management shoot-em-up involves destroying asteroids and alien space ships while charging up the sun. Although the number of things going on at the start can be overwhelming, it’s this complexity that gives the game its charm.
My biggest gripe with most jam shooters is you end up running circles around things to kill them. It gets repetitive very quickly. But here, the need to track resources and keep the sun charged adds an extra layer to keep the game interesting.
It’s difficult for sure, but definitely worth playing, with an excellent chiptune and pew pew sounds.
Valria by Mecha Brain, unafuentesita, AnthonyRose/ROSEHTRA, and Fer Pega
Play here: https://mechabrain.itch.io/valria
A die and retry platformer featuring the usual staples: spikes, lasers, death pits. But in an interesting twist, your laser gun shoots downward and also acts as your jumping ability.
In addition to the infinite jumping and a standard dash ability, you can also create a bubble. The bubble works both as a weapon and as a way to fall through lasers safely.
The control can be a bit finicky, but there are cool ideas here. I especially love how the level design forces a combination of jumping and dashing to navigate, with you spending more and more time in the air.
If you’re into platformers, this one’s worth a shot.
Here are five more games you might want to check out:
- Build Break Go by MightyJor and treblig-punisher has you collecting pieces from user-built levels to build your own
- A Stick I Found by MactusCactus challenges you to keep a fire burning as you survive in the forest
- Hot Crossed Guns by CornBoy features a bread gun and duck enemies
- Parry In Hell by Vulflock is parry timing boss fight game
- Sacrifight by Michael Parrish is a one-on-one card strategy combat game
What are your favorites?
Did you play some games from VimJam 3 that didn’t make this list but you thought were great? Leave a comment below to share your thoughts.
Interested in joining a game jam? We welcome people of all skill levels and talents, so if you can do music, art, programming, writing, or design, join us! We have a friendly Discord where you can chat everything game dev.