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Cart #casey_zaag-0 | 2022-11-19 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | License: CC4-BY-NC-SA

Zaag is pretending to be a lost 1980s vector arcade game. Blast the zoids and cleanse the Tau.

How to play

As an arcade game, Zaag of course asks you to dodge and blast enemies. Classic arcade difficulty.


Your blaster has an initial charge up time, so focus on staying alive at the start of each Tau. Look at the tail of each zoid to get an idea of their speed and direction. Your tele is ready immediately, but has a long cooldown.

If using a game controller, use the D-pad instead of the joystick. You don't want to hit tele or flip by accident.

Two player mode

Zaag supports two-player co-op. Enable two-player mode at the title screen by pressing any key on controller 2. Look out for friendly fire!

Death replays

Zaag uses the built-in gif recorder to save instant replays of your deaths (in the pause menu). The Pico-8's gif-maker is amazing—I'm surprised every game isn't using it.


This is my first Pico-8 title! It was inspired by Omega Zone by @kometbomb, Asteroids, and other brutal vector arcade games. It's indebted to @slainte for this explanation of _env in Lua

P#121013 2022-11-19 21:07

Loving it!

P#121016 2022-11-19 21:40

Because the ship can rotate, @shastabolicious, I'm kind of wanting an option to accelerate by pushing UP ⬆️. Maybe allow total configuration for, engines fire warp and invert position.

Nonetheless an interesting if frustrating game for someone who is poor at action games. Nice and polished, gold star work.

P#121030 2022-11-20 00:36

Funny that I was thinking about Omega Zone yesterday! I was also a bit stuck with not being able to thrust with UP, having to hold both buttons down to shoot which makes you also go forward is a bit confusing to me.

The control scheme seems interesting though overall with the button combo "special moves" and all.

P#121049 2022-11-20 06:22

Hey @shastabolicious thnx for it, but there was no need ;) I wrote that article so I could share some things I use and ppl seemed to struggle with.

The game looks and plays great, congratz!

P#121098 2022-11-21 07:27

This one's a lot of fun and a nice abstract shooter. Took a lot of dying before I got a good grasp of controls but eventually got there. The growing border on the gun/warp was a little too subtle for me at first but after some swearing I finally caught on...but I'll blame that on my old eyes ;P

P#121105 2022-11-21 14:49

Thanks to everyone who commented. Maybe I'll try to find a way to make Tau 0 more of a sandbox, so people can get comfortable with the control scheme and UI without a deadly laser sweeping toward them.

P#121189 2022-11-22 18:45

If you live in NYC, you can catch this game at Wonderville: https://twitter.com/DBAArcade/status/1597300170743418880

They have a blank arcade cabinet devoted to a rotating selection of Pico-8 games!

P#121623 2022-11-30 15:25

Just want to say that I really love this game. It has a lot of depth to it and it feels like you're always on your toes making split second decisions.

I think a lot of the design choices are really clever and make for very dynamic gameplay. The different radii of the enemies, the tradeoff of it being safer to fire from far away but more effective close up. The growing enemies being less of a threat at the beginning but getting out of control if you leave them too long. The possibilities opened up by the teleport ability. It's cool that your "spares" refresh each Tau, because it removes that temptation to restart if you're doing badly, or the feeling that you're falling behind, and it balances the game without starting you off with a bunch of lives or having a score system for 1-ups.

Oh and the pilot notes are great too :)

I've been playing for a few days on and off, and it constantly feels like I'm getting better and continues to be fun all along the way. I'm at the point now where I can sometimes make it to the final Tau on the easiest difficulty but have yet to finish it. Thanks for this fantastic game!

P#122301 2022-12-13 04:50

@ericb Thank you! I love Into Ruins!

P#122820 2022-12-22 18:45

This game is awesome. I'm always amazed by games that make you build skills. I crashed so much at first but after a few plays I could see myself getting better at navigating the space and dealing with situations. Great sound, great action, great visuals, great variety. Love the logo and fonts, and the little slices of comedy.

P#126921 2023-03-10 18:26 ( Edited 2023-03-10 18:27)

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