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Cart #goingastray-2 | 2023-07-29 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | License: CC4-BY-NC-SA

"For souls that have lost their way, like a cat going astray."

Going Astray

Going Astray is a platformer metroidvania-esc game about a cute small cat with the goal of saving souls. It is one of the submissions for the,'A Game By Its Cover 2023' Game Jam, where one famicase cartridge was chosen from ,'My Famicase Exhibition' to be the main inspiration / theme for the creation. The chosen cart for this game is, 'Going Astray' by PhantomZ2.

How To Play

Left Arrow / Right Arrow - Move
Up Arrow - Interact W/ items in game
Down Arrow - Respawn to last checkpoint
C / Z / N - Toggle Running
X / V / M - Jump (While Running)

Behind The Scenes

Let's see what jams are starting... What? The AGBIC Jam already started!?!?!?!??!????

I wanted to join the ABGIC jam last year, but because of the timing and the lack of my knowledge on game design, I skipped it. I really, really liked the idea of picking a cartridge and basing your game (or anything else) around it. There were many cartridges that caught my eye, and there a lot of cat themed carts as well. From all of them, I found the Going Astray Cart the most interesting because of its aesthetic and its vagueness.

Brain-storming what this game was took me 3 - 4 days. Some of my ideas were: A deck-building game about battling ghosts to go to heaven, a puzzler that included one-way movement as in The Witness, and a different puzzler that made the game redirect souls to their checkpoints. At the end, I chose the platformer metroidvania-like game idea because 1: I wanted to make a platformer, and 2: I hadn't made a metroidvania game before.

I usually put aesthetic high up in game jam games, and games in general. Even though the saying, 'Never judge a book (or I guess a game in this case) by its cover.' might be true, but let's be honest, the majority of us are attracted to, well, attractive games. After all, the jam is called, 'A Game By Its Cover Game Jam'. At the end, I think that the aesthetic of this game turned out alright.

The Sprites & Art, and the game map was the hardest to figure out what to do with. Well, you see, Pico-8 (The engine that I used) allows a 128 x 128 space for art, which is not a lot, but manageable. However, because of the constraints of the engine, you can either have a bigger space to add art on, but not be able to used half of the map, or have a smaller space for art, but use the map to its full capability. Since the game is a platformer, and needs to at least have more than 16 levels (specially for adventure games like this one), I had to limit my sprite space. The only problem was that the cat, because of being larger than the average Pico sprite, took a lot of the already small space, and I only had tiny amounts of space to draw the environment. I even thought of procedurally animating the cat's tail, however, I am not advanced enough to do that. Not only that, the code would definitely be more spaghetti than it already is.


Game - Me: d3v?
Cart Design - PhantomZ2 Link for famicase design
Dialogue System - oli414


  • Initial Release

  • Changed music (A little)
  • Changed levels to be more friendly.
  • The jump no longer requires you to run.
  • Added warning messages, if you do not have something to progress through the game.
  • Gold Fishes automatically make you jump (out of excitement!!!).
  • When you die, the game freezes a bit to give you time to process what you died to.
P#132358 2023-07-25 03:22 ( Edited 2023-07-29 04:47)

cute game by visual design honestly, i love cats and i have a cat! though, if i had to be honest i think the hitboxes and movement control, especially for jumping to me feels weird. sometimes i thought the jump button didn't work while i had pressed jump.

another thing, is that i feel the platform collisions and moving platform sometimes glitched for me. overall, i think you can improve on your games for the future, don't give up! i'm sure that you'll make more fun and interesting games!

P#132409 2023-07-26 12:57 ( Edited 2023-07-26 13:01)

how can i pass here? cat just step on spring and get spiked

also i have trouble to pass this place, gold fish sent me into void and there's too many spikes

P#132440 2023-07-27 04:24 ( Edited 2023-07-27 06:24)


  1. You can jump on the spring rather than just walk on it to lower the bounce of the spring.

  2. You are supposed to catch the umbrella mid-air, and jump on the golden fish to get an extra boost, then go down, avoiding all the spikes. Not all the golden fish are needed to complete that room.
P#132444 2023-07-27 05:06 ( Edited 2023-07-28 02:39)

@VaniaIsAnIdiot, thanks for playing my game! The reason why the jump might not have worked is because you can only jump if you are pressing the LEFT ARROW or RIGHT ARROW while sprinting.

As for the collisions, I know that the collisions are funky, and I'll try to fix them when I get the motivation to work on this game once more.

P#132445 2023-07-27 05:08

I had the same issue with the jumping. It wouldn't jump sometimes even if I was clearly running. The fact that you can only jump when running makes the game in general feel pretty unresponsive. You might want to make it so you can always jump, just maybe not as far standing as when running? Even a useless tiny hop when pressing X while standing would help as a visual que telling you the game isn't being unresponsive.
I do like the graphics and your use of color and I think this is a nice adaptation of the cover.

P#132452 2023-07-27 08:51

I used the umbrella and trampoline to give myself a big boost over the final door and win early, so I wouldn't say the collisions are all bad ;)

Love the graphics, the humor and the big yellow cat. If you're looking for more graphics space, Zep's PX9 Data Compression cart may be worth looking into:

P#132454 2023-07-27 10:31

Pretty cool game :3
I remember Going Astray was one of the Famicases I was considering making a game around. Before all, congrats on making a fully designed PICO-8 game! It's always a challenge to finish up a game, so be proud of yourself <3

What I liked

  • The variety in the level design and the sense of exploration make the game fun to play and explore ^^
  • The aesthetics really are well-polished! The dark enviroment contrasts with the brightness of the cat and souls. The danger and items are well communicated. The GFX are pretty neat, and there's even a little rain effect at the end <3
    And I love the cat animations! I can tell you put a lot of effort onto those

What you can Improve

  • Collisions are weird, I have to admit .w. Sometimes, I phased through walls, got huge jump boosts, and didn't see what was killing me. You could try making the player's collision box smaller, and review these bugs.
  • Having the cat jump is finicky and sometimes unresponsive. I dont know if you implemented it, but you could try coyote jump and jump modulation to make the player experience a bit less frustrating :p

Overall, great game! Hope to see more from you in the future~


P#132457 2023-07-27 14:12

@Verb, aah, I see. I'll fix that ASAP.

P#132480 2023-07-28 02:39

@Doriencey, I'll change the jumping mechanic. I'll make it more responsive.

P#132481 2023-07-28 02:40

@raulboo, i'll review and fix these bugs as soon as I can. Thanks for playing the game, though!

P#132482 2023-07-28 02:41

bro what kind of family issues does dad guy's family have??? also you can very easily clip into ceilings, but its a very cool game :)

P#132795 2023-08-06 15:20 ( Edited 2023-08-06 15:22)

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