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Cart #ludo_2bc-2 | 2024-06-24 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | License: CC4-BY-NC-SA
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Ludo is a single player PICO-8 version of the classic board game. You may also know it by a number of other names and variations, like Sorry! or Parcheesi, and it may have led to a family fight or two way back when. Ah, memories!

The goal of the game is to get all 4 of your tokens around the board and safely into your home row before someone else beats you to it. There's danger around every corner though! If another player lands on one of your tokens, it gets sent back to the start circle. But you can also send your opponents back to their start circles by landing on their tokens. How rude! The player who gets all of their tokens into the last 4 slots of their home row is the winner.

Rules

There are a lot of variations of Ludo rules around when a piece can leave the start circle or move, so here are the rules this version plays by:

  • The starting player is chosen randomly.
  • During the first turn, a piece from each player's start circle is automatically moved onto their starting square.
  • If a player has either no pieces out or one or more pieces out that are all in their final positions in the home row, on their next turn, a piece from their start circle is automatically moved onto their starting square.
  • If a player has any pieces out that are not in their final positions in the home row and rolls a 6, the player may choose to move a piece from the start circle onto their starting square instead of moving a token 6 squares, provided none of their other pieces is already in the starting square.
  • If a player rolls a 6, they get an extra turn, even if unable to move any piece 6 squares or move a piece from the start circle to their starting square.
  • If a player rolls other than a 6 and cannot move any piece that many squares, their turn ends.

Controls

Title Screen

Press cross or circle to go to the settings once my name stops moving :).

Settings

Use the up/down arrows to select the CPU difficulty:

  • Easy: the CPU won't attack anyone or send a token out from the start circle unless no other moves are available.
  • Normal: the CPU will attack or send a token out if possible about half the time, but won't go out of its way to do those things.
  • Hard: the CPU hates you and the other CPU players and plays aggressively. It will always attack if it can. If not, it will always send a piece out from the start circle if it can. If it can't do either of those, it takes an available move at random.
  • Random: Each CPU opponent can be any of of the 3 versions above, and you won't know which. Chaos ensues!

Use the left/right arrows to select the color you want to play.

Press cross or circle to save your settings and start the game.

Game

The current player will be indicated by a flashing highlight around their start circle. CPU players will roll and move automatically. When it's your turn, press cross or circle to stop the rolling die.

  • If you only have one move available, the moveable token will move automatically.
  • If you have more than one available move, the moveable squares will be highlighted. Use the left and right arrows to highlight the move you want to make and press cross or circle to choose that move.
  • If you roll a 6 and are able to move a piece out of your start circle, the starting square will be highlighted rather than a piece.
  • If you have no moves available, you'll hear a buzzer and your turn will end.

Game Over

When a player wins the game, you can either start a new game with the same settings by pressing the cross button, or start over at the title screen by pressing the circle button.

Quality Disclaimer

The code is not optimized in any way! I definitely recommend studying the code from the games of better programmers instead of this - you will learn bad habits here :). There may be bugs. There were bugs up until about 30 minutes ago, but I think I caught them all. If you encounter a crash or game breaking bug, please let me know, and if you were about to win when that happened, I'm sorry! All code, sprites and sound effects are solely my fault.

Changelog

v1.2 2024-06-23: Fixed an infinite move bug reported on Itch.

P#150162 2024-06-20 21:43 ( Edited 2024-06-24 01:15)

This is variation of an old classic, with some rules that fix some of the most problematic flaws, namely spending half of the game stuck at the start waiting for a 6 to let you start playing. Nevertheless, the amount of significant decision making time vs roll the die and do as told time is still pretty bad.
I used to play the game with my grandparents with the worst rule sets (6 needed to start and no jumping over other players) and when I turned 8, some friends from Germany offered us the board game Malefiz, or Baricade in English. That game takes everything that's good from Ludo, and gets rid of all the rest.
You have 5 pawns but win by reaching the exit with just one, can exit from the start with any roll,can move backwards and go another path if too much stones are blocking your way, and the stones that you can't jump over have to be strategically replaced once reached. Alliances and treason are frequent, it's just Ludo, but awesome.
I'm itching to mod this game into a Malefiz one. Too many projects at once...

P#150191 2024-06-21 08:52

> There were bugs up until about 30 minutes ago

I know that feeling! :,) Thanks for sharing! This gave me flashbacks to the many times I've fought with siblings about this.

P#150193 2024-06-21 09:23

@RealShadowCaster Yeah, this is one of those games where the luck to strategy ratio is like 90%-10% at best. The rolling a 6 to leave start is an egregious violation of all that is good and decent. I actually remember playing this once as a kid and us quitting after about seven or eight rounds of no one rolling a 6. I modeled the rules for this on the version in Clubhouse Games for the Switch, which gives you more options (roll a 6, roll anything, come out automatically). It does also let you play with the blocking turned on, but that also slows the game down a lot, so I always turn that off and just didn't include it here.

Malefiz does sound a lot quicker & more player friendly! If you do want to mod this, I think I had nearly 4000 tokens left without optimizing anything, so there's plenty of room to make changes :).

P#150195 2024-06-21 10:37

@pdog I'm convinced this game was designed by someone who hated their siblings, hahaha. Thanks for checking it out!

P#150196 2024-06-21 10:38

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