A downloadable game for Windows, macOS, and Linux

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Play Stem !

Stem is a single player minimalistic slow-paced arcade game where you control a plant that needs water, light and minerals to grow. You will have to collect these resources and avoid dangers such as bugs, flames, clouds, tornadoes, lawnmowers, etc... Get the highest score and complete achievements !

The game is still in development (at a very slow pace, I'll admit). I am adding new features regularly, fixing bugs when I see some, improving the game experience. I'll eventually release a 1.0 version ! ;)

Follow me on Twitter (@yamzho) for all updates !

Version 0.3.1 is available
(0.4.0 expected end of August 2020)


-- v0.3.1 -- (The mysterious update) --
* Added the Mystery mode! Mystery mode appears randomly (about 3% of the time) once the hard mode has been unlocked.
* Added some achievements.
   - Mysterious : Find and play the new Mystery mode!
   - Draught : Cumulate 100m (10.000cm) in desertic zones.
   - Blizzard : Cumulate 100m (10.000cm) in arctic zones.
   - Tropics : Cumulate 100m (10.000cm) in tropical zones.
   - Earth, wind and fire : Collect a mineral resource, a fire and a tornado cloud within 15 seconds.
   - Hands free : Reach 150cm doing nothing!
* Hard mode is now available only when the player has reached 500cm in normal difficulty.
* Added some more statistics.
* Huge performance improvements, code cleaning and refactoring (boring stuff).

-- v0.3.0 -- (The great update) --
* Added achievements!
   - It takes courage : Start a game in hard mode.
   - Know your basics : Complete the tutorial.
   - A yard long : Reach one yard (91cm).
   - A harder yard : Reach one yard (91cm) in hard mode.
   - Twenty feet : Reach twenty feet (610 cm).
   - Twenty feet harder : Reach twenty feet (610 cm) in hard mode.
   - The bare minimum : Reach 200cm collecting only water, light and mineral resources only.
   - The bare minimum expert : Reach 500cm collecting only water, light and mineral resources only.
   - Stay hydrated : Collect 50 water resources in a single run.
   - Enjoy the sun : Collect 50 light resources in a single run.
   - Well fed : Collect 50 mineral resources in a single run.
   - All you need : Collect 50 of each resource (water, light, mineral) in a single run.
   - Die hard : Die 100 times in hard mode.
   - Twister : Die because of a tornado.
   - Tornado hunter : Collect 200 tornado clouds in a single run.
   - Let them on fire : Collect water whilst a nearby insect is on fire.
   - Arachnophilia : Release 1000 spiders from spider nests in a single run.
   - Hot topic : Survive being on fire for at least 10 seconds.
   - Hot 'n' cold : Be on fire and frozen at the same time.
   - The more you know : Read the credits until the end.
* Added statistics! About 25 things that you can now track in game (such as how many times you died, how many spiders you released, etc).
* Added localization! Stem is now bilingual! English and French! More languages to come in the future.
* Added color profile! You can now change the colors of the menu interface.
* Added a splash screen and a credit screen!
* Added a best score (and saves it !)!
* Changed the way resources are displayed! We're done with the tubes, everything is now much easier to read.
* Added status icon! This will give a clear feedback on statuses, especially when two or more are overlapping.
* Added visual feedback for biomes! There was no way to anticipate when you arrive into a new biome, this is now fixed!
* Changed the way the menu works. Up and Down keys to choose the option, Enter key to select.
* Removed the weather UI.
* You can now press the Escape key the get back to the main menu (and quit the game if you're already there, of course).
* Added smoke particles for lawn mower. Which leads us to...
* Added the lawn mower! Dangerous but predictable, spawns in groups in hard mode.
* Improved the tutorial.
* Several performance improvements.
* Several little gameplay tweaks.
* Several little visual tweaks.
* Several little bug fixes.

-- v0.2.3 -- (The harder update) --
* Added a hard mode. It is... well, harder.
   - Resources levels are lowering faster.
   - Fire spreads faster.
   - All bugs are chasing the player. They also go a bit faster.
   - Spores spawn more mushrooms.
   - Mushrooms do affect all resources.
   - Clouds have a chance to convert to rain clouds.
   - Rain clouds have a chance to convert to storm clouds.
   - Some snow flakes do not disappear and leave a trail behind a snow cloud.
   - Electricity does not improve the light level anymore and is affecting a bit more the water level.
   - Tornadoes are wider.
* Rain clouds do not drop rain in desert environments.
* Storm clouds drop rain in tropical environments.
* Background now changes color when hit by an enemy.
* Fire does not spread anymore during the tutorial.
* Background color is now changing when a new difficulty setting or mode is chosen.
* Leaves are not all the same size (just because leaves are not all the same size in real life).
* Added a sound when the player selects a new game difficulty or resets the game (because I can !).
* Added a sound to warn the player if one of his/her resource is lacking.
* Bugs are more resistant to damages (from fire / spiders).
* Improved the way snow flakes behave in hard mode.
* Improved the way bugs behave when the player loses.
* Fixed a bug where mushrooms were supposed to lower resources only in hard mode but were doing so in every modes.
* The game can now choose the best resolution for your screen ratio. There are 6 available ratios from 5:4 to 16:10.

-- v0.2.2 -- (The faster update) --
* Added mushrooms. Mushrooms are enemies that will create dizziness when collected. Mushrooms grow until they explode and create a spore cloud.
* General speed of the game has been tuned up. It is now a third faster. In details, the game went up from 60 tick per seconds to 80 ticks per second.
* Temperature and humidity are now relative to the environment you're in and the nearby environments.
* There is a higher chance to get caught on fire when collecting flames in a desert environment.
* Fire can now spread in some conditions.
* Bugs can get caught on fire. When one is caught on fire, it will seek for the nearest water drop. If the player is hit by a bug which is on fire, he/she will get caught on fire too.
* Tornadoes are now a bit smaller.
* Optimized the entity pool management for better performance.
* Removed branches (temporary).
* Fixed a bug where the player could just press left or just right during the first phase of the tutorial.

-- v0.2.1 -- (The one year gap update) --
* Spawning mechanics have changed. Entities (such as resources, enemies, etc...), instead of spawning around the player at a defined distance, now spawn in spawning areas which are generated when the player is about to enter it. Some of these areas have specific environment. For instance, in the desert environment, the player will lose water faster but will almost have no light issue. In arctic areas, speed will be slower. There are other environments to discover ! To help the player knowing he/she's in a specific environment, the background color will change.
* Boost mechanics have changed. The player now fill his/her boost gauge with energy (from collecting certain resources). When the gauge is full, the player can hit space to start the boost. The gauge will then start to empty and the boost will continue as long there's energy in the gauge. The player loses less resources when the boost is in use and is not affected by the freezing effect.
* Added the Garden, which is an entity spawning only in urban environment. Gardens are quite rare, but will give you a lot of resources and will refill your boost gauge, as well as a temporary protection against bugs.
* Added particles when the player is frozen, burning, electrified, when the boost is in use or the player has a protection against bugs.
* Fires and flames do now less damage, but fires will set the player on fire and flames have a 20% chance to set the player on fire. When on fire, the water level drops quickly.
* Collecting fire or flame will immediately cancel a freezing effect.
* Collecting water drop or rain drops will immediately cancel a burning effect.
* The mineral penalty for bugs has been lowered, but bugs now have a chance to chase the player when being too close (except in few cases). Chasing bugs have a different color, are smaller, and go faster when chasing.
* Bugs come eating the stem when the player has lost.
* Added a visual effect that makes the camera 'swing' around the burgeon, which makes the game feeling more 'organic'.
* The camera moves depending on the player's direction (further right when the player goes right, and further left when the player goes left). It also moves backwards when the player uses the boost to let him anticipate what will happen.
* The interface shakes when the player is hit.
* A bug where the player was going super fast when resetting after a game overcrowded with entities should have now been fixed.
* Selecting the arcade / tutorial modes is now done using the up and down arrows. Arcade mode is now the default mode.
* Wind speed is now shown in scale instead of per hour. Shown humidity and temperature are currently useless as they are being revamped for next next update.
* Added some few sounds and music tracks.
* Apparently had a lot of code cleaning to do... still.

-- v0.2.0 -- (The gigantic update) --
* Added tutorial.
* Added spiderzzzzzzz !... (and spider webs and nests)
* Added tornados ! Woooooosh !
* Added sounds !!! (and amazing musics from Jukedeck.com)
* Added branches which will pick up resources for you ! Appears only when all your resources are at 80% or above.
* The player can now be webbed, slowing him/her down.
* Added weather that will have big influence on how entities spawn or react (will probably be tweaked in a near future).
* Added credits on the game over screen.
* Changed tubes assets (they look amazing now !).
* Changed rain drop assets.
* Memory usage reduced by approximately 5% ! Woohoo !
* Cleaned the source code a lot (but you don't care, do you ?).

-- v0.1.6 -- (The unexpected update) --
* Added rain clouds and rain drops. Rain clouds will drastically lower your light level, but rain drops will significantly increase your water level.
* Changed snow flakes for snow clouds which drop snow flakes.
* Now shows the score during the game.
* Now shows the wind direction and strength.
* Background color changes when the burgeon is electrified.
* Using the boost (space bar) consumes 20% less resources.
* Wind can now be a bit stronger than before.
* Flames are now affected by wind and spread accordingly.
* Changed the fertilizer/mineral icons.
* The reset button has changed and is now the [enter] key.
* Fixed bug with bugs that were moving insanely fast after a while.
* Performance improved a little bit, again.

-- v0.1.5 -- (The tiny update) --
* Added some informations on opening screen.
* Fixed bug with score screen where score was not appearing correctly when the fertilizer level was at zero.

-- v0.1.4 -- (The electric update) --
* Added Thunderstorms.
* Added Electricity.
* Background color changes when the burgeon is frozen.
* Wind can now change in strength as well as direction. That means clouds and storms change in speed.
* Performances have been improved a lot again.
* Fixed bug with wind which was changing faster than expected.

-- v0.1.3 -- (The "4 months later" update) --
* Performances have been improved a lot (using entity pool).
* Bonuses and maluses cannot appear on top of each other anymore.
* Bugs now spin for about a second before changing direction.
* Bugs now move faster.
* Clouds are now slowly affected by changing winds.
* Fire now spreads flames that inflicts damages.
* Screen now shakes when a malus is picked up (not applied to flames).
* Burgeon's speed has been rescaled.
* Burgeon can boost its speed by pressing the space bar with the cost of more resources. The boost cannot be used if the burgeon is frozen.
* Intro screen is a bit faster.
* Final score calculation has changed.

-- v0.1.2 -- (Post compo release 2) --
* Tweaking difficulty.
* Game is now automatically launched in fullscreen when supported.

-- v0.1.1 -- (Post compo release) --
* Difficulty has been balanced (making it a bit harder).
* Steering is now determined by the level of water.
* Maximum growth angle is now determined by the level of light.
* Speed is now determined by the level of fertilizer.
* The game is now in 1280*720 (up from 800*600).

-- v0.1.0 -- (Ludum Dare release) --
* Water, sunlight and fertilizer bonuses have been added.
* Fire, cloud, bugs and snow maluses have been added.

What has been already developped for 1.0.0?
* New graphic assets for most elements of the game.
* Added some juicy effects.
* Added a menu to change the graphics quality.
* Branches are back, with a new gameplay behaviour.
* Graphics, language and color profile preferences are now saved automatically and loaded at start.
* Back to 60 fps! (Because performances have improved)
* Fixed an issue where the leaves were still growing and waving when the player was dead.
* Fixed an issue where insects were flipping direction when eating the dead stems / thorns / leaves.

StatusIn development
PlatformsWindows, macOS, Linux
Release date Jan 31, 2021
Rated 4.0 out of 5 stars
(1 total ratings)
TagsAbstract, Arcade, Casual, Ludum Dare 34, Minimalist, nature, plant
Average sessionA few minutes


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Stem 0.3.1 120 MB

Development log

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