A scrolling shooter. As the Dart-07 you fight on Emerald Islands, Outpost in Space, and in the interstellar Phoslar Mine

This is a PICO-8 game, which I made during Basic Shmup Showcase event organised by Lazy Devs Academy.

You can play it here and on https://www.lexaloffle.com/bbs/?tid=49480

⚠️ Please be aware this game is under development. Mission 1 is complete and ready to play, but you enter missions 2 and 3 on your own risk πŸ˜„

If you want to take a look at the codebase, please visit https://github.com/beetrootpaul/dart-07 (the code inside PICO-8 carts of this game is minified, therefore not suitable for reading).



  • press & hold x to fire
  • press c to trigger a shockwave (if available)
  • press p to open the pause menu

Virtual controller (in browser, on a mobile device):

  • press & hold βŽ to fire
  • press πŸ…ΎοΈ to trigger a shockwave (if available)
  • press βž– to open the pause menu

Physical game controllers are supposed to work as well, even in a browser. Button mapping varies between models.


Your task is to pilot Dart-07 unit in a set of secret missions of increasing difficulty:

  • first, you mess with the enemy on Emerald Islands
  • then you continue to the Outpost in Space (⚠️ under development βš οΈ)
  • in order to reach the interstellar Phoslar Mine (⚠️ under development βš οΈ) and prevent the enemy from utilizing that precious resource

Destroy enemies along the way to increase your score, grab power-ups left by them and survive a boss fight in order to complete a mission.


There are 5 types of power-ups you can grab, each of them either makes your life easier or, if cannot improve further, increases your score:

  •  +1 heart β€“ you can have max 10 hearts; you lose one whenever you take damage
  •  fast movement – increases player's movement speed; does not accumulate; lost on a damage
  •  fast shoot β€“ increases shooting speed; does not accumulate, but can be combined with the triple shoot; lost on a damage
  •  triple shoot β€“ you shoot 3 bullets instead of 1, but on a little but slower rate; does not accumulate, but can be combined with the fast shoot; lost on a damage
  •  shockwave charge β€“ allows you to trigger a destructive shockwave around you (with use of "c" / "πŸ…ΎοΈ" button); you can have max 4 shockwave charges


In your HUD you see:

  • left-top: mission progression (the higher the ship's icon is placed, the close to the boss you are)
  • right-top: your score, which you gain by destroying enemies and grabbing power-ups in case they cannot bring any improvement
  • right-middle: power-ups you gathered (excluding hearts and shockwave charges)
  • left-bottom: hearts left; you die when all hearts are gone
  • right-bottom: shockwave charges left; you can trigger a shockwave if you have at least 1 charge left
  • top-middle, during boss fight: boss' health (yes, you are supposed to bring it down to zero πŸ˜‰)

Technical Challenges Tackled In This Game

In this game I focused on learning various bits of PICO-8 API.

Some of the topics I tackled in this game are:

  • multi-cart setup: this game consists of many carts – 1 main cart for the title screen etc., and 1 cart for each mission. Each mission has its own sprites and music, as well as a code responsible for available enemy types, including their attack and movement patterns. Common SFXs and sprites are copied from the main cart to missions carts with use of MEMCPY and a user data memory area (0x4300-0x55ff), preserved across loaded carts). Moreover, I implemented this in a way which allows me to use same codebase to load both locally developed carts as well as those published to Lexaloffle BBS.
  • missions defined as a map – level shape and enemy pattern are defined as sprites in a PICO-8 map, but in a
    simplified form (in order to fit all needed data there). Dedicated piece of code is responsible for translating sprites from map into a mission gameplay, including proper placement of edge land/structure tiles.
  • circular clipping: during shockwave a ring of inverted colors propagates from the player. To achieve that I had to learn how to implement circular clipping masks in a CPU-performant way.
  • dithered fade-in/out transition: basically a set of rectangles filled with FILLP patterns, moving over screen.
  • high score: usage of PICO-8's API to read and store data persisted on a host machine
  • code minification: with my code style (full of spaces and long names), I found it easy to hit PICO-8's characters' count limit. Therefore I forked and modified luamin tool and incorporated it into this game's build flow, resulting with characters' count reduced by around 50%.


I implemented this game on my own, as well as drew all sprites and composed all SFXs and music. But there are some resources I found super useful and used some of them I used in the codebase as well. With huge thanks, here are those:

Version History


  • new powerup type: fast movement
  • fixed diagonal speed of a player's ship by dividing it by 1.41
  • fast movement, fast shoot, and triple shoot have their status visible in a HUD
  • more health for mission 1 boss and mission 1 big enemy
  • shake camera on a shockwave trigger
  • lower volume of player shooting
  • show a win screen after first mission (the completed one)
  • print version number on a title screen


  • complete game mechanics
  • complete mission 1
  • complete screens outside missions (but without music for a win screen after mission 3)
  • implemented persisted high score

StatusIn development
PlatformsWindows, macOS, Linux, HTML5
Rated 5.0 out of 5 stars
(2 total ratings)
AuthorBeetroot Paul
Made withAseprite, PICO-8
Tags2D, PICO-8, scrolling-shooter, Shoot 'Em Up
Code licenseMIT License
Average sessionA few minutes
InputsKeyboard, Gamepad (any), Smartphone
LinksSource code


dart-07_windows.zip 1,022 kB
dart-07_linux.zip 782 kB


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really nice work, loved the music too=)

thanks! πŸ˜„

Wow I love it! Great work so far! It brings back some good childhood memories to Tyrian or Raptor :D That's the type of game I really want to make. Thanks for sharing your code. I hope to learn from it. :)

I’m glad you liked it! πŸ™‚

Lovely sprite work.  Nice music.

thx! πŸ™‚