Pico 8 really is a gift.
I’ll confess I amused myself earlier reading over one of those terribly cringeworthy developer profiles people used to write around a decade ago that positioned Lexaloffle’s other virtual videogame console, Voxatron, as The Future, especially when combined with Also The Future Kinect. Well. That was certainly one future that never happened, bless.
Whilst Voxatron ticks along nicely enough in a post Kinect world, it was its lowkey alternative Pico-8 that videogames embraced wholesale. Turns out developers kinda like easy-ish ways to write games, fixed specifications to aim for, pretty colours and letting people play the end result without too much trouble. Who knew!
Over the past seven or eight years since Pico 8 got thrown out into the world there’s been just so much stuff made, it’s been truly fab to watch. Whether it’s something like Celeste or some of the stuff demosceners wrench out of it, it’s all kinda lovely.
It’s also been a lovely little corner for a bunch of people to go and remake old games in. There’s plenty to be found out there but a whole bunch of recent favourites come courtesy of chum of Punching Robots and all round remaking legend, Minion.
I’m not even going to pretend I’m unbiased here! For the past twenty years I’ve admired the stuff Min’s been quietly putting out there, a bunch of their old Dark Basic (one for the old people here) remakes were best in class by a few leagues and then some. It helps, also, that they’re an absolutely lovely human being.
Min’s Pico 8 remakes seem to have flown under the radar a little bit despite there being a bunch of corkers in there (I’m super fond of Manic Miner, been playing that a bit the past few days but Scramble is the all timer for me) so really, this is just a post to remedy that somewhat because here’s a fabulous bunch of remakes that deserve to be played.
So, erm, go and do that and you can thank me later.