Phone Tree of Despair is a game where you navigate a phone tree while trying to avoid getting stuck on a hold loop. To play this game, you literally call a phone number.

Your goal is to navigate the infuriating expertly designed, user-friendly phone tree to renew your registration! Solve some puzzles along the way, and reflect on how much we all love automated phone systems.

Warning: This game may frustrate you. It sure frustrated the heck out of me!!  😡

How to play:

US 🇺🇸: Call +1 (928) 569 9118.

AUS 🇦🇺: Call +61 2 5551 6125.

Web 🌐: Use the virtual phone above!

Estimated time to completion: 30 minutes.

(Also there is a secret ending!!)

Note: If you call one of the real numbers, this game may cost you money depending on your phone plan. Watch out for international phone call fees if you're calling from a different country.

If that's a problem, you can use the web version on, which doesn't need to you make a real call :)

The reviews are in! 🗞

Now I have to figure out what to do with my time. Like anything sounds fun now.

- My housemate, upon completing it.

Walkthrough 🐾

For those who are having trouble (or don't have the patience to figure out the full game), here's a walkthrough!

Hosting costs 💸

This game costs a small amount to host, so if you want to help cover costs, you can send a donation via the page. $1 will be more than enough. I've loaded it with enough credit to last a while but it's possible it'll go down if it goes viral or something 😅  This game is now free to run, because it runs in the browser!

Credits ✨

The programming and music were created entirely by me. Special thanks to those who did voice acting:

  • Zoe
  • Kang
  • Michael
  • Me (Jez)
  • Random person yelling on the street who you can faintly hear in the background in one part.

All recordings were obtained during the compo time period, as per the compo rules :)


Link to the Ludum Dare entry:


Post compo tweaks:

  • Fixed a typo in a URL redirect that previously gave you an error message and ended the call
  • Added an entire web calling interface!

Rated 4.2 out of 5 stars
(5 total ratings)
AuthorJez Swanson
TagsLudum Dare, Ludum Dare 47, phone
LinksLudum Dare

Development log


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uhh I tried to play it but it keeps asking me if my names is "James smith". I try to answer "yes" or "that is correct" but it keeps holding me.

Hm! What browser are you using, and did you grant the web page access to use your microphone?

If you want to help me figure out what's going on, if you pull up the browser developer console (search for browser name + "open developer console" for instructions on how to do that), then the messages there might be able to help figure out if it's recognizing the speech at all

How long do you estimate the browser version to take you? absolutely no rush, i just want to know if i should recommend this now or wait till i can play adhsijhfaiousdf

Thanks for asking! I'm planning on taking a look later in December, when I'll have more time

Great! I'll keep an eye on it nwn


(did... you do it? i've got a notif thingie in my feed but it does not work for me so i just. wanna make sure)

aha, not yet. I am working on it, and getting close!

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Without raytracing, physics, even graphics of any kind, this is the most realistic game ever.