The optional theme of the jam was cats and dogs, and that’s shown in a lot of the submissions in a bunch of creative ways. Corgi Collects Mittens is a simple one button platformer in which your adorable dog avatar must jump through the snow to collect up all the lost gloves. It’s quite addictive despite being simple to pick up, using the age old trick of showing your score at the end to encourage you to try just once more to beat it. The developer, ii3, also intends to add sound to the game now that the jam’s tight deadline is up.
Angels and Tigers
A deeply unsettling walking simulator that feels more like a ghost story told late at night. Blue lights flicker until you approach, then go out to leave little but ill defined shapes and angry red lettering protruding from the darkness. Extremely evocative, but best avoided if creepy games aren’t your thing.
Donut Witch is a wonderfully silly game about chasing teens off your lawn. There are three steps to this. First, perform a dance in order to summon a donut - these can be of a wide variety of flavours and toppings! Secondly, catch the falling donuts in your mouth in order to gain their powers – but avoid the shoes and broccoli, which must be unfortunate side effects of the summoning dance. Finally, chase down those teens and banish them with your donut fuelled magic.
Each step is goofy and fun, creating a game full of levity.
Shodo is an exceptionally calm game inspired by the art of calligraphy. In it, you must guide a tiny character across platforms and through danger by gently brushing lines that will prevent them from falling or block enemies from reaching them. It’s short but beautiful from the watercolour-like backgrounds to the tranquil music.
In a word, Rise to the Top, Cinnaroll! is adorable. Cinnaroll was in training for the Holy Moly Marathon at the Bakeoff Olympics, but with just two weeks to go, her coach has gone on sabbatical! It’s up to you to step in and help out. Some extremely jazzy music will cheer you and Cinnaroll along as you instruct her in her training. The game also stresses the importance of self care – Cinnaroll will need to take days to mediate and restore her vitality in order to be at peak performance. Finally, the day of the race will come around and you’ll be able to see the pay off of yours and Cinnaroll’s hard work!
My First Game Jam: Winter 2017 received 92 total submissions, so it’s worth heading over to the itch.io page to take a look at some of the others not described here – there’s bound to be something that takes your fancy.
Also, I write about games like this every day on @365tinygames!