Unchain was released for the 2nd Pico8 JAM. After writing a Platformer Guide for the 2# Pico Fanzine I was enthusiastic to take this a bit further. Play it in your browser right now here!

Outcome is a simple platformer with all the bells and whistles – in a early 90ies kinda way.

Two types of enemies, one just moving back and forth, and the other one moving on a predefined path.

All the level design is done in the tile editor of Pico8, so is the pixel artwork and sounds.

Handling of the character is actually pretty aweful, I kinda went for the Joystick interpretation of the cursor keys – since this is how I grew up. Anyone utterly gamepad affine, will most likely struggle. Never got around to change this.


The language used for Pico8 is LUA. Which is a terrible programming language (IMHO of course).

But it does the job, lets you do some neat syntax tricks to keep your character count down. After all the whole thing needs to fit in 8k of code.

And it lead to me finding out about Love2D, someone has written a Pico8 backend to. Find more details in this Pico8 forum post. Which then lead to everything else I was doing after.

So, Thank you Pico8! Check it out, its awesome!

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