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Cart #spirit_solstice-9 | 2022-01-29 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | No License

You can also play it on itch.io here!

Arrows: Move
X: Toggle Lantern
Z/X: Advance Text

You can also skip dialogue from the pause menu.

It's the Winter Solstice and you've been tasked with inviting the local nature spirits to join the celebration. Use your lantern to navigate three different areas of the forest in this mini seasonal adventure!

This was made over November and December 2021 for the 2021 PICO-8 Advent Calendar. This ended up being my first time really exploring the extended PICO-8 color palette.

This version of the game is expanded from the original one released through the Advent Calendar on December 21, 2021 with a whole third area and some extra bits of polish.

And if you'd like to follow my work, check out my Twitter: @Jusiv_

UPDATE 1/1/2021: More Polish & Quality of Life Tweaks!

  • Hints now display if you're struggling in the Deer section.
  • The lantern can now be aimed regardless of whether you can move.
  • Re-tuning in the Wolf section.
  • Extra visual flair in the Deer and Wolf area endings.
  • Minor punctuation fixes.

UPDATE 1/2/2021: Better Hints & Nicer Wolves!

Some folks are still struggling with the Deer section, so I've improved the hint system!
There are now more, smaller hints given more often and they can be repeated from the pause menu at any time in the area.
The Wolf section was also a bit needlessly difficult so I've retuned it further.

UPDATE 1/29/2021: tiny bugfix

Fixed an issue where you could walk out of bounds in the Eagle's room.
This is belated but since no other issues have come up I'm just pushing this now.

P#103282 2021-12-31 21:30 ( Edited 2022-01-29 15:36)


Seriously amazing! The graphics, dialogue, music, everything! I really hope this gets featured; more people need to see this.

P#103998 2022-01-01 06:20

I adore the atmosphere of this. Amazing use of colour in support of it, especially the fire and the ending.

I managed to puzzle out the rules for these two...

But even after finding the deer, I don't understand how I did.

I found symbols like this with the lantern off. I think this one was telling me to do a "U-turn" and leave the scene going north.

But at this one I also think I needed to leave the scene to the north. On some of these switching the lantern on showed patterns in the ground, and I needed to go in the direction where the ground was bare... or something?

Probably I over-thought this, and the rules are simpler than I think. I did enjoy the game, in the end. But if you have any tokens to spare, could the character detect if they're stumbling into the same room repeatedly without making progress, and provide some hints? Maybe think aloud about whether the lantern is most useful on or off in a given scene?

P#104005 2022-01-01 09:08 ( Edited 2022-01-01 09:17)

@Scrubz Aww, thank you so much!
@Cowirrie Why thank you! And that's a fair point on the Deer section being a bit obtuse without hints. As such...

I've just pushed an update!

  • Hints now display if you're struggling in the Deer section.
  • The lantern can now be aimed regardless of whether you can move.
  • Re-tuning in the Wolf section.
  • Extra visual flair in the Deer and Wolf area endings.
  • Minor punctuation fixes.

While I didn't give hints on a per-room basis, hopefully the ones I've added should clarify how that area works for folks who are feeling confused.

P#104021 2022-01-01 16:52

@Jusiv: Thank you for the update. Yes, the deer section makes sense now, at least to me.

I really like the wolf mechanics too, both as originally implemented and the subtle changes with the update, especially the lantern aiming.

P#104056 2022-01-01 23:47

Thanks for talking me through the stag bit, it really helped! I also managed to not get killed by the wolves this time and saved the solstice :). Really beautiful art as always. I am a huge fan of well done 64x64 games like this.

P#104155 2022-01-03 03:29

This was lovely :)
Stunning visuals and sound! And the mechanics were cool - def felt like I was lost in a forest hehe

P#104364 2022-01-05 21:39

tiny inconsequential bug but you can walk back off the screen when you get here:

P#104365 2022-01-05 21:44

Excellent, thanks a lot for this great new game :)

P#104402 2022-01-06 13:57

I'm very belated replying to these but hey

@2bitchuck Great to hear, and thanks so much for the kind words!

@peco Thanks so much! And heh whoops, right you are - I'd swapped the x and y coords of that exit's region by accident. I've finally gotten around to pushing a fix now tho!

@darknior Aww, thank you for playing!

P#105905 2022-01-29 15:32

For such a simple mechanic I was hooked. Music and art was excellent.You have done something simply amazing here with your 62 KB

P#109940 2022-04-08 23:37
P#129827 2023-05-17 00:43

Great atmosphere with so few resources! Congrats!

P#150681 2024-07-01 16:29

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