Indie Game Alert: Armadillo Run

Al brought this up in the PC demo's thread but this game deserves more. I ask myself, what will be the '06 Game of the Year? I'm torn between Oblivion and Armadillo Run. One took dozens of people half a decade to produce. The other took one guy nine months. The similiar fun factor is telling.


The goal is always to get the Armadillo, essentially a basketball, into the blue teleportation for about five straight seconds, under budget. To get it there you have many materials at your disposal: metal and rubber plates, metal rods, cloth, rockets, rope and elastic bands. Each level presents obstacles made of the same materials, gravity, and distance. Some levels have a likely solution meant to be used, but the beauty of this game is the infinite possible solutions that are just as valid. For instance:


I have no idea how to get the Armadillo up to the path with enough momentum to ride the spiral. Some type of pully system? A cantilever? Perhaps a slingshot and rebound contraption? Very likely all of those mechanisms could be created to successfully send the ball up the ramp. Instead I went for a more violent design.

The budget is merely a goal to progress to the next level so you can build way over the budget, you just won't progress. Seemingly impossible obstacles can be overcome with enough money. Once you've spared no expense then you can trim the fat here and there to bring it back down to Earth. Rope instead of metal here, extra support removed there, etc. The end result may fall apart in the process, but if it gets the job done first, right?

For $20 you get 11 tutorial levels, 50 normal levels, 10 bonus levels unlocked for every thousand dollars underbudget. You can edit new levels from scratch and share them with other players on the main site, with filesized in the kilobytes. Already there's a high quality sets that put the total over 100.

Gamasutra has an Indie Postmortem up.

Eurogamer has a challenge running where every two days a new level is released and players submit their solutions, cheapest design wins.

You owe it to yourself and every gaming writer that ever penned an article about how Indie Game Developers are a lost cause to try the demo.

There's also a bunch of videos on YouTube where people are showing off their creations. This one shows off what the game can do without spoiling puzzle solutions too much.

I've been playing this and it's alot of fun but damn if it isn't hard. I've resorted to the online level solutions way too many times

I picked this up yesterday after finishing the demo. Wow! What a fun game. I'm completely hooked.

I find myself torn between trying to build the simplest economical solution vs. a huge intricate design that blows all my money - but is fun to watch in action.

Compressed Rubber is your friend.

I gave the demo a shot and grabbed the full version right after. It almost has the feel of the old Lemmings games.

Damn the cost of rockets

Count me in. Unbelievably addictive. My wife was yelling at me from the couch during the demo... "no you need to move the link to the left!!!"

Sounds familiar. Eventually I just got immune to Chiggie saying, "What this map needs, see, is a metric sh*t ton of rockets."

This is the sort of game that really appeals to my engineering side. I had to buy it after the demo.

I loved Pontifex (now called Bridge Construction Set), which is another great indie game in the same genre.

"What this _______ needs, see, is a metric sh*t ton of rockets."

I think this statement applies to most things in life.

downloading dem now.

Downloaded the demo last night and really enjoyed it. Like bennard, the engineer in me was rubbing his hands together trying to come up with cheap and creative solutions to some of the levels. I will probably pick up the full game.

There's an "Indie Postmortem" up at Gamasutra here

Pyro wrote:

There's an "Indie Postmortem" up at Gamasutra here


I've got a set of three maps put together but my webspace is being schizzy and the main site upload process takes awhile for the levels to be scrutinized. A torrent file would be about as large as levels.

Anybody else working with the level editor?

That reminds of me of The Incredible Machine - I'll have to check it out. Good find!

JimmDogg wrote:
Pyro wrote:

There's an "Indie Postmortem" up at Gamasutra here


I read it ... but then forgot

I bought it as well. What lvl are you guys up to?

I've beat all the normal levels, but only managed to unlock five or six of the extra levels. Also completed Werzeg, Countdown, and the Alphabet series that are downloadable. Now I'm working with the editor to see what else is possible, and you guys should, too, so that I can have more levels to play.

EDIT: I suggest downloading this crazy level. It took me like two hours to solve. Towards the end there was so much going on the game was slowing down to half speed. Also the new set of levels, Up, is pretty neat.

I bought this and have been playing all weekend. This game is ... fantastic, heh. Some of the solutions are outrageous - I've gotten close a few times but nothing above what's posted on the site. Simply ingenious. There is, apparently, a technique called the Rod Of Doom for destroying structures - not sure how that works, but sounds fun. The Eurogamers are looking down on it though.

Nine months, one guy with a little help and some testers. Wake up EA!

You can abuse the physics sometimes by putting a node in a rod. Some of the pieces shatter and some come out with a lot of force. It's looked down upon because it an unintended abuse of the physics simulation. Others look down upon any destruction of elements provided in a level by any means, but that seems odd to me so long as you use traditional forces to do the breaking. Momentum from a falling or swinging object, rockets, expanding rubber, and the pull of gravity all seem like valid destructive options to me.

What a great game. If I didn't have Titan Quest coming in today, I'd be downloading the full version right now. Physics are phantastic!

My son and I are enjoying this, definitely. He loves it when my carefully crafted solution does the exact opposite of what was intended and shatters into pieces in the process. Well, actually, I do too. It's a fun, fun game.

If you make the set-pieces somehow sacrosanct, I think I'd fail half of the more advanced levels.

Insert another rave review here. As soon as I started the demo I knew I was going to buy it.

I purchased the game a few days ago and am up to level 23 I think. So far I haven't needed to download any of the solutions but there are a couple of levels I have had to work on for an hour or so before solving. I'm downloading some of the solutions from the web page (after I solve the level myself) for the most difficult levels and its interesting to see the ingenious solutions some people come up with.

I picked it up as well... d/l it at about 9:00 pm last Friday, I was up till 2:30 in the morning... This game absorbs time in a similar vein to Rome:TW.

I am on level 47 and I got stuck... I am so tempted to look up the answer online...

Worst level so far for me was the damn Ferris Wheel.

Oh, that Ferris wheel took me about 10 minutes. It's the ones where you have to fling things about that get me. The "Trigger" level kicked my butt for quite a while.

I finally got the last bonus level unlocked. Took some crazy penny pinching, but I at least haven't had to look up any answers.

Anyone try the second restricted materials bonus stage yet? The one where you can only use rubber and rockets? I think that one's going to be kicking my butt for a while

LupusUmbrus wrote:

I finally got the last bonus level unlocked. Took some crazy penny pinching, but I at least haven't had to look up any answers.

Anyone try the second restricted materials bonus stage yet? The one where you can only use rubber and rockets? I think that one's going to be kicking my butt for a while :D

I've tore that level up already but I don't see how you unlocked all the bonus levels. I've already made multiple passes through each level trying to scrimp but with no major source of funds in sight. I just don't see where the money would come from. Perhaps some sort of death clock...

I've been making a habit of looking at the scores, but not looking at the levels. Knowing what *can* be done is a great help towards tweaking and trimming your own solutions.