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Hey all! New poster here! I wanted to see how far I could compress giant word lists onto a tiny PICO-8 cart, and that experiment turned into a small wordle-alike!


  • Survive six rounds WITHOUT guessing the cat's word!
  • Each time you get a clue, you must use it, so be careful!
  • Each guessed letter costs a life, so be sneaky about which words you try!

This game uses the keyboard and attempts to disable the pause menu so you can use the "P" key, so be aware of that when playing in SPLORE. If anyone has suggestions on how to be better-behaved on your console, do let me know!

Cart #five_lives-2 | 2022-02-14 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | License: CC4-BY-NC-SA

P#106664 2022-02-10 18:16 ( Edited 2022-02-14 22:03)

:: dw817

Good game, @ghostynewt. I would add an option in the beginning for WORDLE or ANTI-WORDLE. Maybe add a little C&W background music if possible and a gunshot cutting the music short when you lose.

For first Gold star of many to follow, well done !

P#106670 2022-02-10 19:43 ( Edited 2022-02-10 20:29)

Ooo, interesting and a little tricky! Won one game, lost the second.

Re: SPLORE: I think if instead of

function _update()
   if(btnp() == 64)then

...you have

       if stat(30) then
           if c == 'p' or c == 'P' then poke(0x5f30,1) end

it should allow for ESC to access the pause menu? I haven't tested this but I remember other people have run into that issue with disabling pause in keyboard-using games.

Edit: Yeah, did a quick test and that works. Enter does pause in this case, though - I don't know if you want to remove that as well.

P#106674 2022-02-10 20:45 ( Edited 2022-02-10 20:51)
:: quewon

great game. partner and i are having a blast trying to beat the cowboy. cowcat. catboy. ? ?

P#106698 2022-02-11 09:10
:: dredds

Great game!

P#106711 2022-02-11 16:53

oh brilliant, @packbat! thank you! i used your trick (hope it's ok to credit you in the source code) and the game is now better-behaved on the pause menu

P#106713 2022-02-11 17:55

@ghostynewt no problem - glad to be of service! thanks for the game!

P#106716 2022-02-11 18:32

A most ingenious design. I've both won and lost games, and the sinking feeling of seeing yellow letters come up and trying to avoid putting them in the "right" place is great.

But I feel like a bad sport here.

P#106740 2022-02-12 00:04

this is fantastic! I'm 3-2 now; this was probably my best game:

(the covered words are "argan" and "drags"; I wish the ending screenshot showed all 6 words!)

I keep trying to input with Enter instead of Space. if you're still updating this, could you add support for that? I edited the cart locally to test it; these changes should do it:

           if c == ' ' or c=='\r' then try_input_word() end
           if c == 'p' or c == '𝘱' or c=='\r' then poke(0x5f30,1) end
           if c == ' ' then _init() end
           if c=='\r' then poke(0x5f30,1) _init() end

really great work! I can tell I'm going to have a lot of fun playing this

P#106746 2022-02-12 01:06

i love it!!

P#106757 2022-02-12 03:20

This felt good to do, since each play I knew I was minimising the information given up. Although I should have played ROOST before FROST.

Poor cowcat.

Sometimes I just can't think of any word, and I want to find out what it's thinking of. I wrote myself a separate program to tell me what the possibilities are, so I now have to resist the temptation to use it in regular play. One that I couldn't get was DUTCH. Could we have an option to give up and have it tell us the word, maybe in the menu? Even better would be if it told us both the chosen word and any other valid plays from the current position.

Talking of the chosen word, is it rigged to there will always be one green letter out of the first guess? I've never managed to get less than that, even with a lot of uses of "MAMMA" (chosen because it only has 2 letters) or "MUMMY" (chosen because it has no common vowels). Looking at the source code, it looks like you're choosing the word before the first guess is made, so I'm not sure why I'm seeing this.

P#106767 2022-02-12 04:31

@pancelor thanks! the Enter/Return key now also submits words, thanks for the change!!

@Cowirrie it is in fact rigged to pick a new word until we reach a green letter. This happens in try_input_word(); search for hard_mode to see. :)

P#106922 2022-02-14 22:05

I WON!!!!!! his word was SLICK.
Pretty good game i like it

P#112086 2022-05-20 20:15

I tried it and it was pretty hard :p
(Is that evil bob?)

P#112089 2022-05-20 21:37

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