ESFLC (Entertainment Software for Lonely Children) is a game made for Ludum Dare 31 about playing two-player Pong by yourself.

Well, not necessarily you, but certainly its developer Folmer Kelly of the two-man studio Sets and Settings.

He used to be a bit of a lonely kid, and so two-player games would require that he try to command two controllers at once.

This is the challenge at the heart of ESFLC. You must try to reach as high a score as possible by performing a rally with the two paddles, playing Player 1 and Player 2.

This is deliberately made awkward - as it was for the young Kelly - through the game's controls.

Tapping the screen on one side moves one paddle up and the other down. While touching the other side screen inverts that movement.

ESFLC

Every time you miss the ball with the paddle the 2D court turns into a child's face. Sometimes it's happy, other times sad, or confused, or looks bored.

When that face appears, a message unravels along the bottom of the screen. According to Kelly, these messages are all things he wishes he could tell his younger, lonely self.

"Remember that most people are too worried about themselves to worry about your appearance or mistakes," reads one of these messages.

You get a sense of the social anxiety that the younger Kelly went through as a child. Presumably, it was this that led him to playing two-player games by himself in the first place, so it's all interconnected.

ESFLC is both a challenging high score chase and a more sombre exercise in nostalgia. There's plenty of the former on iOS but not much of the latter, making it an interesting game.

You can purchase ESFLC for 69p / 99c on the App Store.