The latest online game jam in the popular Ludum Dare series carries the theme "beneath the surface," and recently ended with a total of 2,497 entries, 1,493 of which were created in 48 hours for the two-day competition. One entry comes from Minecraft creator Markus "Notch" Persson, and is called Drowning in Problems.

The browser game is two parts Cookie Clicker and one part The Sims, as players click basic text links to progress through life and "solve" issues like stress, love and money. As players grow, their attention divides among the myriad of problems to solve in their lives, spending their knowledge, money, friends, loyalty and more to receive increasingly-advanced concepts like crushed dreams and broken hearts. Completing Drowning in Problems shouldn't take more than roughly 15 minutes, though it's a thoughtful little excursion.

Another attention-grabbing entry in the Ludum Dare 29 competition is The Valley Rule by Ryan Carag with music and sound provided by Bill Kiley, seen above. Created in 72 hours, the platformer gives off strong Fez and Cave Story vibes, challenging players to unlock a large door to get to the surface of the game's world, searching for keys in the area to do so. Along the way, players find abilities such as the "will to climb" that grant them access to new areas. The post-jam version of The Valley Rule is available to play at Newgrounds. Ludum Dare 29 is currently in the judging phase, which ends on Monday, May 19.
[Image: Ryan Carag]

This article was originally published on Joystiq.