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Introducing Line Wobbler: A one-dimensional dungeon crawler

Spring fling.

Line Wobbler is a one-dimensional dungeon crawler played on a strip of LED lights.

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Line Wobbler was initially developed for the Exile game jam in Denmark.

That's pretty novel on its own, but what really makes Line Wobbler endlessly addictive is its amazing control scheme. Using the spring and knob from a shoe tree, you manage a lever that controls a green dot moving through an LED light strip. You'll sometimes come upon enemies represented as red dots, and you'll have to combat these by wobbling the spring lever, which results in your avatar turning yellow and bouncing around a few inches in a dash attack.

There are other hazards as well. Some sections of the map will flash orange and green before becoming solidifying into lava. Get out of there before that happens! There are also conveyer belts that carry your noble green dot along a particular current.

Amusingly, developer Robin Baumgarten said his inspiration for Line Wobbler came from a cat sticking their paw under a door to fling the doorstopping spring on the other end. "I wanted to be as happy as this cat," he said in his experimental gameplay workshop presentation at GDC, attended by Eurogamer.

"I think Oculus really went in the wrong direction. It should be 1D instead of 3D," he joked, resulting in arguably the largest applause of the event.

Baumgarten later told me that Line Wobbler currently consists of nine stages, though he may expand it later. When asked if he might make a coin-op version of it for arcades, he said it's an idea he's recently began toying with after arcade publishers expressed interest in it at GDC.

"I want to add more modes as well. It would be nice as a multiplayer race where you race another player with two strips up," Baumgarten said. He also noted that he'd like to add a harder difficulty level for practiced players.

European folks can get in on the Line Wobbler action this weekend, as it will be playable in London at EGX Rezzed, Gamer Network's indie game festival running from 12-14th March.

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Tim Schafer tries Line Wobbler at GDC. A handsome journalist looks on.

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