Games by Neil Thapen

Venus Patrol

Download from

(Edit the file settings.txt to change resolution and switch to fullscreen)

Fly Meteors and Vampires above the sulphur clouds of Venus

Control fully physically modelled aircraft using only the mouse

Develop your dogfighting skills to hold back the communists

Videos: Meteors vs Sukhois, Convoy raid

- "... a remarkable hybrid of simplicity and complexity, a challenging and technical plane game hidden behind accessible controls and dreamy visuals." - Alec Meer, Rock, Paper, Shotgun

- An inspiration for Brandon Boyer's Venus Patrol

Tools used: D, Code::Blocks, Open Dynamics Engine, SDL, OpenGL, OpenAL, GLSL, Wings 3D, GIMP, Audacity


Download from

Three years ago, in 1986, an explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant scattered deadly radiation across Europe. 100000 people were hastily evacuated and a Zone of Alienation created around Chernobyl.

Soon stories began to leak out of the Zone - of mutated animals and men, of the earth and sky twisting into weird shapes, and of alien objects with wonderful powers that would drop out of thin air. For these, people would pay well. So scavengers were drawn to the Zone. Men drifted there from across the USSR, to make a living gathering what they could from this lonely, hostile new world. These men became known as "Stackers".


- "’s a quiet joy to see how all these mechanics of a more traditional shooter are worked into Tetris ... pretty funny and terribly well executed" - Kieron Gillen, Rock, Paper, Shotgun

- Interview on 1UP

Made for the TIGSource Bootleg Demakes Competition, 2008
Tools used: Game Maker, GraphicsGale, Audacity, Windows sound recorder

Pink Trombone

Play online (best on a multitouch device)

Interactive articulatory speech synthesis. Talk or sing with your fingers.

- "The 'QWOP' of speaking." - Digg

- "As far as gaining a basic understanding of speech and phonetics, and specifically how speech organs actually work, this is the best “hands-on” education you’re likely to get." - DigitalTrends


A Painted Ocean

Download from

(development on hold - devlog)

Command a Napoleonic-era man-of-war. Sail the oceans of the world. Featuring

This is an unfinished project. What is done is the simulation of the ship, the control system, the world, basic weather and combat.

Tools used: Unity, Wings3D, GIMP, NCEP-DOE Reanalysis 2 weather model


Play online (flash)

A freehand fractal doodling program.

- highly recommended -

- "...delightful and intuitive" - Boing Boing

Tools used: AS3, FlashDevelop, Pixel Bender

The Clatter of the Keys


"Boston, Nov. 1928 — IDEA — to use Dr Freud's method of free-association to explore what lurks in my unconscious mind. Surely this must be a lucrative source of material for stories of the weird and strange. I will allow myself until midnight."


- "...Typing of the Dead was one of the silliest but most addicting games on the Dreamcast. Tasked with eliminating zombies as they approach, you have to type out the word or phrase above their head to shoot them. What happens when you take that concept and mix it with Space Invaders and Lovecraft?" - James Murff, Big Download

- One of 1UP's 101 Free Games for 2009

Made for the TIGSource Commonplace Book Competition, 2008
Tools used: Game Maker, GraphicsGale, GIMP, Audacity

Swift Swurd

Download from

Unco lichts aboot the auld castle. Stories in toun of reivers and treisur.
Wi yer swurd and pistols, ye gang tae hae a leuk.

A small roguelike in Scots with a simple fencing mechanic. Collect three pieces of treasure to complete it. My writeup on the game is here.

Made for the 7 Day Roguelike Challenge, 2013 (joint 13th out of 153)
Tools used: Python, libtcod

Storm over the Desert

Made with unsilentwill (art) and Javet (music).

Download Play Online (takes a while to load)

Guide your squadron of tanks to defeat the evil armies of Satan Hosain (uses the cursor keys, X and C). A remake of a game from the Action 52 collection for the NES.

- Freeware Game Pick,

Made for the Action 52 Owns project, 2010
Tools used: AS3, Flixel, FlashDevelop, GraphicsGale, Audacity

Current projects

Kerosene Thunder

Download prototype

1960s jet combat roguelike, in development. Six seconds a turn, 500 yards a tile, burn a thousand pounds of ASCII a minute and punch through Mach 2.

Two Phantoms climbing out in afterburner

Tools used: Python, libtcod


Theatrum Orbis Terrarum


A graphics mod for Paradox Interactive's grand strategy game Europa Universalis III.

- "... a great improvement over the original map because in a game that is so dependent on an historical feel, the Paradox designed map seemed a little out of place." - Troy Goodfellow, Flash of Steel

Tools used: HLSL, GIMP

Pieces of games

Venus Patrol


A prototype for a third person, mouse-controlled flight sim.

It's 1960, and a squadron of the Royal Interplanetary Air Force has been stationed at New Adelaide in the Venus mandate, to show the flag, keep an eye on the natives and protect refinery workers from the oversized wildlife.

No women, shameful food — but amazing opportunities for a spot of shikar!

Made for the TIGSource Cockpit Competition, 2009
Tools used: Python, NetBeans, pyglet, NumPy, Open Dynamics Engine, OpenGL, Wings 3D, GIMP, Audacity


Play online (graphics may be squashed)

A tiny thing in Flash about mixing. The remains of an idea for a game about making bread.

Made for the TIGSource Adult/Educational Competition, 2009
Tools used: Actionscript 3, FlashDevelop, GraphicsGale

Jam games

(Typically made in three hours; sometimes finished later.)

The Baron's Volcano Party

Dance the conga and avoid furniture. Made with Terry Cavanagh, increpare and Kekskiller, on the themes “centipede”, “voodoo”, “herrensuppe” and “speed.”

Play online

BIGJAM, July 2009

The White Game

Stack up coloured blocks. Disjoint colours overlap. Overlap red, green and blue to make a white block, clearing the line. For the theme "game inspired by an album cover".

Play online

BIGJAM, August 2011


A version of missile command, made with Stormcloud, for the theme "Sega Dreamcast VMU specs". That is, 48 x 32 resolution, with two colours. Cursor keys move, space fires.

Play online

TIGJam UK, June 2010


Try to avoid the depressing rain. For the theme "Delicious Suicide".

Play online (press space to start)

BIGJAM, August 2011

Chaos Pendulum

Two player, made with increpare.

On increpare's site

BIGJAM, July 2009

Fast Noodle

Not a finished game, but the mechanic could be interesting. Press down to suck up noodles, left and right to move, and use the mouse to rotate noodles with the chopsticks. Made for the theme “Chinese fast food.”


BIGJAM, July 2009

Sound sound

Clap in rythm to destroy the approaching shapes. Made with increpare, on the theme “audio only”.

On increpare's site

TIGJam UK, January 2010


Press space to turn the light on and off, to lure the moths out of the window. Made for the theme “lightbulb”.


TIGJam UK, January 2010

My work website: