Ludum Dare is a recurring game development competition in which participants are given 48 hours to make a game based around the competition’s theme. The results have been surprisingly good, with the strict time limit forcing developers to focus on a solid core design for their entries, making the competition quite popular among designers and players alike. After Ludum Dare 18, a secondary competition was added called the Jam, which allows for teams and has an extended time limit of 72 hours.
The Wager was an entry in the Ludum Dare 19 Jam, with the theme of “discovery” (see the winners here). Since then, developers Surprised Man have gone back to fix bugs and add some features, and the latest version 1.2.4 is available for free from their site. The game pits the player against the dastardly Sir Lester Marwood, with whom the player has made a wager: whoever can make the most money from their maritime explorations by the end of the year 1777, wins. The player sails north, Marwood sails south. It’s on.