PICO-8 is a fantasy console for making, sharing and playing tiny games and other computer programs. When you turn it on, the machine greets you with a shell for typing in Lua commands and provides simple built-in tools for creating your own cartridges.
The harsh limitations of PICO-8 are carefully chosen to be fun to work with, encourage small but expressive designs and hopefully to give PICO-8 cartridges their own particular look and feel.
PICO-8 has tools for editing code, music, sound, sprites,maps built right into the console. Create a whole game or program in one sitting without needing to leave the cosy development environment!
PICO-8 cartridges can be saved in a special .png format and sent directly to other users, shared via an online cart player, or exported to stand-alone HTML5.
[Your PICO-8 download will come in the form of an alphanumeric key not tied to a specific email, which can be entered on Lexaloffle's site to download the software.]
"When we knew that we'd be getting the PICO-8 Zine in, we thought we'd go for broke and ask the folks at Lexaloffle whether we could include PICO-8 itself. And lo and behold, they said yes - and are donating all their proceeds to 'women in games' charity Pixelles, too. As for the software - PICO-8 puts the fun back into making cute microsized pixel-y games and experiences, and I can't recommend it more for childlike creative fun." – Simon Carless
"The total package feels both hand-crafted and carefully constrained, a homespun nod to the best features of bygone platforms. Even the interface is beholden to PICO-8's self-imposed palette and resolution restrictions, so both development and play feel of a single piece... It's fast and friendly for programming beginners."– Nathan Altice, Paste Magazine
"Pico-8 is the games console you wanted as a kid. It's a retro-games console environment for Mac (and other computers) that lets you build your own tiny games. You can play retro games made by other users, and build your own video games. You can also stop any game, at any point, and mess with the level design, music, sprites and any other content. A bit like Super Mario Maker but far more powerful. Pico-8 has a huge, and dedicated, community. This is what makes it so special."– Lucy Hattersley, MacWorld
"Of course the scene is rapidly evolving and I've barely scratched the surface. There's games, tech demos, experiments and music only carts, with new carts appearing all the time. It seems like Pico-8 is a perfect storm of simplicity and accessibility, and like a lot of the community, I've totally fallen in love with it."– Alistair Brugsch, Indie Retro News