A downloadable game for Windows, macOS, and Linux

You have been hired to steal information out of an ancient library. Sounds easy, except that:

  • You didn't prepare. You didn't study the language of the library, and the book contents are completely unreadable for you
  • You REALLY didn't prepare. The only equipment you thought to bring was your packed lunch (4 strawberries)
  • there are vicious giant owls guarding the library

==How to Play=
- You will be given
-- a book title
-- a page excerpt with a missing glyph
- Look for the matching book (stand near a book to view its title)
- Open the book and look for the matching text
- Once you know what the missing glyph is, head to the shrine and submit the matching glyph.

A controller is recommended.

Move left and right: dpad / thumbstick
Drop from shelf: dpad / thumbstick
Jump / Accept: A
Attack / Cancel: B or X
Open and Close Book / Open and Close Shrine: Y
Pause: Start

Move left and right: LEFT and RIGHT arrow keys
Drop from shelf: DOWN arrow key
Jump / Accept: Z
Attack / Cancel: X
Open and Close Book / Open and Close Shrine : C
Pause: Escape

==Strategy / Tips==

  • Be careful that you don't leave any of your strawberries behind!
  • Owls move around from time to time, but can also be disturbed by throwing a strawberry at them
  • An owl will back off if it's chasing you when it gets hit by a strawberry
  • If an owl is about to try to target the player, there is a warning cry and pause before it starts to move
  • The FIND area is colour coded - if the top text is red, look for a red book. If the bottom text is white, look for white text in the book
  • Owls won't damage you when sitting idly on a shelf


Hi, thanks for checking out my game! I created it over 11 days for the GDN Book Jam.

Some of the fun things about the project:

  • Lighting system - the flickering candle lighting is a Texture2D which gets its data set pixel-by-pixel every render frame. At least the effect is nice ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • Tight and simple physics for player movement and strawberry collisions
  • Learning about bézier curves and using them for owl swooping behaviour
  • The glyphs floating around the shrine was satisfying to get working
  • Creating the 32 glyphs and creating a font rendering system to create sentences
  • Bookshelf random generation - just supply no. books, how many are readable, and no. candles. Then store a seed when a level looks good
  • Making the levels was one of the last things to happen, and it ended up being a very painless and enjoyable experience because of a bunch of code design decisions made along the way. So that was neat
  • The randomly generated levels, with a lot of subtle things to make them look good as often as possible (e.g. shrine won't appear behind a ladder if on the ground, shelves will guess their width to avoid collisions...)

Things to do when there's more time:

  • Proper end of game - probably just a splash and you get an award on the screen
  • Make the books look a bit nicer

Install instructions

  • Download the .zip
  • Extract anywhere
  • Run OwlThiefStrawberries.exe


OwlThiefStrawberries-v4.zip 18 MB

Development log


Log in with itch.io to leave a comment.


Somehow this isn't improving my literacy level. :D

  • The lighting effect does look nice.
  • Might be nice to have a hint about using strawberries to push ladders (as it's not very intuitive, haha).
  • I think the owls should pause while you're reading a book or the shrine. They're especially bad when hidden by the book.

Good point about the ladders, will look into making it a bit more obvious / easier to discover.

Originally I was thinking that the owls should disturb you while reading the books to add to the challenge, but I agree that it's pretty frustrating. I reckon if the owls' behaviour is updated to make it harder to actually get to the books, but they pause while you're actually reading, it could keep the difficulty level up while reducing how frustrating / unfair the game feels. Will play around with it

Thanks for playing and for the feedback!