LowRezJam challenged game developers to create games in tiny playfields of 32×32 pixels or less. As the creator of 9×9 pixel RPG TinyHack, this is a microgenre dear to my heart. I played through a bunch of the entries, and here are my favorites.
Lands of Lorez is a grid-based action RPG in the style made famous by Dungeon Master. Ingeniously simplified controls, including a zero-confusion combat system and map. With stunning art that really takes advantage of the low-resolution limitations, it among all the titles felt the most complete. I'll be hitting this one over and over again.
Pocket Venture does likewise with the Japanese-style computer RPG genre. It also has great graphics and music, too–it's amazing how much detail is packed in–and look and feels like classic Final Fantasy fare. There's already a dungeon and a town to explore, with more to come. The random battles are quite a grind.
The Wish is a simple exploration RPG, but creates a strong sense of place and mystery with excellent pixel art and moody audio. Movement speed is slow, though, and tedious combat brings it to a halt. But the atmosphere makes it unmissable.
Low-Rez-Dungeon is quite similar to my game, but is far better: a more complete minimalist action-roguelike experience. The creator plans to add random dungeon generation, too.
Origin is a Monster Land-ish platformer with colorful graphics and nice simple mechanics, but needs its world filled with … something.
Cmd & Kill is perhaps the most spectacular technical achievement to emerge from the jam. An implementation of a Command and Conquer-style 90s RTS in 32×32 pixels. It's just about playable, too, with simple, effective controls and recognizable units. Good sound design helps cue player awareness and imbue it with genuine Westwood feel. 32p Tycoon is a similar demake for the Railway Tycoon genre, but I'm not smart enough to figure it out.
Samurai Assassin is a fast-paced action slice-em-up that's fun to play and stylish. It would probably be better if it had a larger playing field, though.
I couldn't figure out The Pyramid Gate, but it was trippy and creepy, so I approve. Likewise, 1024 Dread is a dark, raycasted 3D horror game that puts the player in a dark maze being pursued by a shadowy figure. It was far too scary for me.
Others that kept me engaged included Lowrez Drop, an addictive Tetris-like puzzle game, Guns, Beats and Dragons, a SmashTV-style shoot em up, and LowRez Runner, like Canabalt but slower and more forgiving.