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Cart #buzzkill-0 | 2019-03-04 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | License: CC4-BY-NC-SA

BuzzKill is a classic arcade style shooter. Stop the onslaught of killer bees using your smoke and fireballs.


  • 10 levels of tough, bee-killing action
  • High score saving
  • Unlockable endless mode


  • Arrows move left/right
  • Z shoots fireballs
  • X blows smoke

You must clear all bees, hives and honeycombs to advance levels.

Attacking uses power. The more power you have, the faster your shots. Stop firing to regenerate power. Keep an eye on your power meter.

Blow smoke to freeze honeycombs, slow bees and block shots. You can only shoot honeycombs when they're frozen.

An extra life is awarded when you reach 200 bee kills.

Complete challenge mode to unlock endless mode and see how long you can last.

Thanks to Robby Duguay for making the music and making it available. BuzzKill features 3 tracks from his Pico-8 Jukebox.

Super thanks to the Pico-8 community. BuzzKill was built on top of many code snippets found on the forums, and without those it wouldn't have gotten this far.

And while you're at it, check out my other game carts including Invader Overload and Bullet Cave.

v1.4 - Enemy shots clear when player is hit. Cleaned up some text content along the way.

v1.3 - Enemy shots now at variable speed. Boss now awards points. Few extra sounds. Menu options. Added boot credits.

P#25586 2016-07-19 23:02 ( Edited 2021-10-17 00:50)

Very nice. Cool retro aesthetics.

P#25587 2016-07-19 23:23 ( Edited 2016-07-20 03:23)

Really nice idea, and looks lovely too. Great work!

P#25599 2016-07-20 04:53 ( Edited 2016-07-20 08:53)

This is a super cool shmup morningtoast!!! I love everything about it!

P#25604 2016-07-20 07:01 ( Edited 2016-07-20 11:01)

Quite fun, like the smoke feature.

P#25621 2016-07-20 11:04 ( Edited 2016-07-20 15:04)

This seemed to wear down my trigger finger in no time flat with the first game, but then I realized you just hold down the fire key and that works :) Been playing it quite a bit since!

So what's up with unlocking the endless mode? Do you just have infinite lives until you decide to quit playing?

P#25624 2016-07-20 13:19 ( Edited 2016-07-20 17:19)

This is a great take on a classic arcade formula. The smoke mechanic makes it for me. You need to use it to finish levels, but if you use it too much it will obscure your view. Awesome!

The only thing I would love to see added is the flight of the bumblebee as an alternative soundtrack.

P#25631 2016-07-20 14:52 ( Edited 2016-07-20 18:52)

Thanks for the feedback everyone, and thanks for playing. Glad it's been fun to play.

@vectoryguy - Endless mode is still 3 lives but there's no boss or end level...you just keep going, getting random boards (with increasing difficulty) until you die. There's separate high score for endless mode, it's based on levels passed rather than score per kill.

@Level27Geek - If you can find me a Pico-8 version of "Flight" then I'll add it for sure. I did a Twitter shout out for music and got several responses but the lack of music importing is a killer because nobody makes music in Pico-8 (yet).

P#25645 2016-07-20 21:45 ( Edited 2016-07-21 01:45)

Thanks for the info! That helped me finish up a wiki page for it:


Do look it over and make any changes that you see fit; the wiki should be open to everyone, and not just people with a Wikia account in order to edit. That, or you can just let me know here and I'll change it up. I don't know if anything has any proper terms to it or not (I don't know if what you have is a "blaster", "bug blaster", whatever. Are the large bees just that, or maybe yellowjackets?, etc.). I figured that rather than go back and forth on here, it would be better just to do this once and then once things look ok to you I can then dump the article onto two more wikis.

P#25692 2016-07-21 18:28 ( Edited 2016-07-21 22:30)

Ask and ye shall receive! "Flight of the Bumblebee" is not the title screen music track. Thanks for @guerragames for transposing the music into Pico-8 so it can be used.

P#25761 2016-07-22 21:33 ( Edited 2016-07-23 01:33)

Just wanted to say a big thanks and well done for this game, it's awesome; inspired mechanics with the smoke and shot-meter and great fun to play.

Can't wait for your next hit (no pressure :))

P#25765 2016-07-22 23:11 ( Edited 2016-07-23 03:11)

wow this is a really nicely done arcade shooter! I like the smoke mechanic and the thematic integration!

I think this is my 2nd favorite arcade shooter about shooting insects that I've ever played (the 1st being Galaga of course :)

nice job!

P#25785 2016-07-23 17:04 ( Edited 2016-07-23 21:04)

super fun

P#25943 2016-07-26 19:22 ( Edited 2016-07-26 23:22)

@kittenm4ster: you know 'apidya'? also a nice insect shooter! :D


anyway... BuzzKill rocks! what a neat game!

P#25944 2016-07-26 19:43 ( Edited 2016-07-26 23:43)

I like this game!
graphics and sound is cool.
smoke is good idea!!

P#26138 2016-07-30 11:58 ( Edited 2016-07-30 15:58)

What a fun game! Great difficulty balance. I've been playing for a few days now and keep coming back to it. It reminds me a lot of Donkey Kong 3, but this is actually much more fun.

P#26257 2016-08-01 08:24 ( Edited 2016-08-01 12:24)

^Oh, God yes! I never liked DK 3 that much. I played it again for the first time in years at a gaming expo a few years back in case I was missing anything. I wasn't. Still not that great a game :P

P#26258 2016-08-01 08:34 ( Edited 2016-08-01 12:34)

Thanks for all the great feedback, I'm so happy people are having fun playing BuzzKill. I caught myself playing last night for a while, which is rare that I go back and spend time with my own games (which is horrible, I know).

It's on my list to hook up some online high scores for BuzzKill for both challenge and endless mode. I think it'd be cool to have some random high score "tournaments" or something.

P#26261 2016-08-01 09:51 ( Edited 2016-08-01 13:51)

Wrote a quick article about the BuzzKill development and the process...pretty high level but it was fun looking back at the old tweets to see how things changed. Really showed me how fast/fun development is with Pico-8.


P#26382 2016-08-03 12:35 ( Edited 2016-08-03 16:35)

Very fun game, one of my favorite carts so far! I found out its much better to keep tapping the smoke button than to hold it.

P#29137 2016-09-23 03:07 ( Edited 2016-09-23 07:07)

Wow ! A real busy topview shooter. And yes, Xanthus is absolutely right. Just keep that smoke blowing and don't forget !

I first played this without using the smoke and it's hard to close up those beehives.

Great gameplay, slick controls, smooth animation, this game is a winner !

P#29155 2016-09-23 10:03 ( Edited 2016-09-23 14:03)

Thanks for playing, I'm glad it's fun (and continues to be)...using the smoke is necessary and key to getting through any level. You can stutter step your smoke so as to not drain your meter too quickly but still get benefits.

Another tip is that the hives won't spawn a bee if they're shaking after getting hit, so you can just do a single shot or two to stop those big guys from showing up.

P#29218 2016-09-23 22:55 ( Edited 2016-09-24 02:55)

Just did a minor-ish update to knock out a few things that were on my list from way back when. Not entirely sure if this will work on Pico-8 0.1.7 and thus non-updated PocketCHIPs. I already updated mine so I can't verify.

Anyway, updates in 1.3 include:

  • Killing the boss bee now awards points
  • Enemy shots now fall at variable speeds
  • Few new sounds
  • System menu options and boot credits
P#33511 2016-12-14 23:15 ( Edited 2016-12-15 04:15)

This game is awesome! I've been playing it a lot since I found it a few months back. Your games are always great - keep up the good work!

P#33520 2016-12-15 09:54 ( Edited 2016-12-15 14:54)

Excellent. One of my top picks for sure, too.

P#33521 2016-12-15 09:55 ( Edited 2016-12-15 14:55)

I've just discover this game.
Great job !
I play it again and again

P#33602 2016-12-17 14:27 ( Edited 2016-12-17 19:27)

I don't usually return to completed projects, especially ones this old, but I've been playing this a lot lately and I've found very frustrating that the bee shots don't clear the screen when you're hit...so I fixed that with v1.4

I wouldn't say this makes the game any easier, but maybe a little bit more fair. Enjoy!

P#62499 2019-03-04 03:02 ( Edited 2019-03-04 03:03)

A somewhat shameless plug to promote the 5th anniversary of BuzzKill...one of the first games I released not long after I discovered PICO-8.

I think BuzzKill still holds up pretty well despite it not sporting any "fancy" graphics or engines. It's just a good, solid gallery shooter with a few unique mechanics thrown in.

Please give this cart a go if you haven't played it before...and if you have, well, why not revisit the fun?

P#98764 2021-10-17 00:54

Wow. I posted my first comment 5 years ago. You should know that I still come back to this game from time to time, and it's still my favorite Pico-8 game!

There's something I noticed, though. The side to side movement seems to occasionally freeze for no reason for a few seconds. I can still shoot bullets and smoke, though. A bug? (pun intended)

P#100786 2021-11-25 04:24

Thanks for the kind words :) I'm glad you can still enjoy it and even seek it out after 5 years and after hundreds of other great P8 carts have been released.

As for the bug...I don't doubt the cart is full of them! LOL, if I ever dive back into these things, I'll try to check it out and see what I can find. Although at that point, I should probably think about BuzzKill 2!

Thanks again to everyone that has played and continues to discover the fun. Cheers!

P#100924 2021-11-28 02:00 ( Edited 2021-11-28 02:01)

Just re-discovered this game - its really good!

One tweak I would make is that when you die, your energy bar should be restored.

P#103320 2021-12-22 10:43

This is wonderful-- straight out of the '80s arcade glory days but original and quite fun :)

P#103409 2021-12-23 15:13

Thanks for playing and the feedback. There are quite a few things I'd like to change looking back at it, but overall I'm still very happy with how it turned out and I still find it challenging after all these years.

P#103450 2021-12-24 03:19

Whatcha need? And hey man, bumping old threads is great! Just because a game is older doesn't mean it's any less fun. :)

P#110741 2022-04-23 13:30

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