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Cart #49853 | 2018-03-02 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | No License

Run-Gun-Bot is on a top-secret mission and nobody can stop him. He'll rampage through a maze-like world filled with bad guys and hazards. Uncover the mysteries of his mission as you collect gun power-ups and coins.


  • z = shoot active weapon, hold to stand your ground and shoot in-place
  • x = jump
  • duck + left/right = switch to the previous/next weapon (can also switch through the pause menu)

Weapon-specific Instructions:

  • Green: bouncy grenades, destroys dirty blocks, useful for shooting from above
  • Brown: machine gun, not very strong, shoots super fast, hold forward as you release the z button for a fast dash forward. Used to get across large chasms by jumping and dashing forward in mid-air.
  • Red: rocket gun, slow rate, strong power, destroys breakable stone blocks, shoot in mid-air to act as a double jump
  • Orange: flame thrower, short distance, high rate, strong power, destroys bramble blocks, hold the z button in mid-air to trigger stalled descent
  • Blue: ice gun, regular rate, gravity curved shooting, cools off lava blocks
  • Pink: bubblegum gun, slowest rate, big and powerful, absorbs enemy bullets, player touching bullets causes player to get launched upward
  • ???

This game is a tribute to some of my favorite NES classics including (among others): Mega Man, Contra, Blaster Master & Metroid.

Update 1.01:

  • Fixed some level layouts that were causing slight confusion on some playthroughs.
  • Fixed other minor bugs.
  • Added a "reset game+!?" to the main menu: restarts the game in a mirrored version of the game map, including a different ending. Post a screenshot once you get it. :)
P#49526 2018-02-23 01:20 ( Edited 2018-11-06 20:22)

Amazing stuff, very fun and polished. The gameplay and maps are top-notch.

Great work!.

P#49539 2018-02-23 06:14 ( Edited 2018-02-23 11:14)

I haven't played very far, but this is fantastic.

Anyone else reading this: stop reading this and try the game. You're wasting time reading this. Stop! STOP! JUST PLAY THE GAME!

P#49540 2018-02-23 06:20 ( Edited 2018-02-23 11:20)

This is amazing.

Great music, well thought out level designs, weapon/capabilities and tasty pixels.

You can feel the NES heritage in this.

I'd love to know what you are doing next...


P#49545 2018-02-23 09:02 ( Edited 2018-02-23 14:02)

I haven't played a lot of the game, mebbe like 10 collected yellow orbs but I do want to say, I love the 'Boss Rooms' or whatever you want to call them. Where you get locked in with the red border and then in all its 64x64 glory defeat every thing in the room. That's so far my 'love it' moment. Wow Bob Wow.

P#49557 2018-02-23 14:37 ( Edited 2018-02-23 19:37)

Awesome stuff, the music is killer!

P#49559 2018-02-23 14:48 ( Edited 2018-02-23 19:48)

I didn't realize PICO-8 was capable of such deep gameplay mechanics. Well done.

P#49560 2018-02-23 14:51 ( Edited 2018-02-23 19:51)

Excellent game! Challenging and fun. Well done!

P#49575 2018-02-23 18:22 ( Edited 2018-02-23 23:22)


PICO-8 is but the medium. The capability lies in the dev, especially this one. :)

P#49587 2018-02-23 22:12 ( Edited 2018-02-24 03:12)

Thanks a lot for all the nice feedback, everyone! So glad you're enjoying the game as much as I enjoyed working on it.

A metroidvania was the first thing I wanted to make when I first found pico8, but it was a bit too ambitious as a first project. 10 games and a lot of tweetcarts and experiments later, here we are. :)

P#49602 2018-02-24 13:29 ( Edited 2018-02-24 18:29)


Not that it actually matters, given that you've executed it so well, but I'm curious why you went with 64x64 mode.

P#49625 2018-02-24 21:57 ( Edited 2018-02-25 02:57)

Early on I had it at 128x128 but it occurred to me that having it at 64x64 would give you a closer view of the tiny guy's animations, closer to the action, and made the map feel larger than it really is (standard pico-8 map size). I tried it, liked it, and never looked back.

Also, I almost didn't have to worry too much about performance as a nice side effect of only drawing 1/4 of the pixels. ;)

This was my first tweet about it (at 128x128):

P#49639 2018-02-25 00:30 ( Edited 2018-02-25 05:30)


I feel like an idiot having only just realized, from your original tweet, that you can shoot vertically and diagonally.

P#49646 2018-02-25 04:25 ( Edited 2018-02-25 09:25)

This is a brilliant game Jose, congrats.

Having it at 1/4 res makes the game HUGE - and it plays really well, due to the great sprite work you've done.
Having all these "secret" areas dotted around makes it very addictive - gotta get all dem diamonds :D

Love the music too - the title music kinda reminds me of Doom E1M1, which is all good in my books! :D

I think I've got quite far, but I'm a bit stuck now. I'm sure I'm just missing something obvious, so I'll try again later.

I do wonder whether it would help having a map (perhaps one you can switch to via pause menu) - as I sometimes struggle to remember where I am in the world, and whether I've missed an area. But it's not essential, just a thought.

Overall - really great stuff, as always! :D

P#49647 2018-02-25 04:38 ( Edited 2018-02-25 09:38)

Thanks for the great feedback, Paul!

I did notice the influence on the Doom tune as I was working on it but I left it as a subtle tribute, funny you caught it.

Getting stuck is an effect of the fine line between the exploration/metroidvania feel and letting you progress as if it was a linear game, hopefully there are enough clues to make progress. Having said that, there are a few sections where I've seen people getting stuck in unintended places so I might update the layout a little bit soon to try to make things less confusing.

I did think about a map screen early on, but just imagining how many tokens that would take dissuaded me from even trying it. :D

Thanks again for playing bro!

P#49680 2018-02-25 18:03 ( Edited 2018-02-26 01:36)

This thing's great! I love the quarter-res, it makes everything seem simultaneously expansive and claustrophobic.

Really nice!

P#49756 2018-02-27 15:18 ( Edited 2018-02-27 20:18)

Really impressive cart with well thought out rooms and a good challenge level. Love how cute everything looks at quarter size. This should go on the featured carts list for sure! When does that get updated?

P#49778 2018-02-28 09:31 ( Edited 2018-02-28 14:31)


After finishing, this is probably one of the more enjoyable playthroughs recently regardless of platform.

Do any weapons not have a second ability? (trying not be too revealing here)

Again, thanks for making this.

[email protected]

P#49865 2018-03-02 10:35 ( Edited 2018-03-02 15:35)

Thanks for the nice feedback, everyone!

@Parlor: I definitely was aiming for that feeling of making the world feel larger than it is (true for a lot of NES games including my all-time favorites Zelda and Metroid).

@chowyunbrent: I think the featured list is really just the games with the more stars on top.

@PoweredByWill: That's quite the compliment, thank you! And yeah, that weapon is just sheer power, nothing else. :)

Thanks for playing y'all!

P#49885 2018-03-02 19:54 ( Edited 2018-03-03 00:54)

Deserves feature IMO

P#50226 2018-03-11 03:48 ( Edited 2018-03-11 07:48)

I enjoyed this...very much, it was fun.

I do have some critiques:
1) The guns also give you extra powers which aren't exactly obvious all of the time. For instance, I was stuck for about 15 minutes trying to figure out what to do with the brown gun since it didn't destroy anything and I had no idea it worked sort of like a horizontal teleporter that required very specific inputs to work. Simple screens that just say 'NOW YOU CAN TELEPORT WITH </>+X!' or 'NOW YOU CAN DOUBLE JUMP!' would have made the confusion a little more bearable. It felt too obtuse in this way. Most of the guns were obvious in what they allowed you to do, but the brown one was so bizarre.

2.) Allow dying. Balance the game up so that there's actual sense of fear and something at stake. The only thing getting hurt does is piss you off because you just want to go forward, but the stupid enemies (usually bosses you have to kill) won't let you progress. You'd have to majorly rebalance quite a lot, but I think it would be worth it because the end results would be a legitimately lengthy game that requires the player to actually get good at the game. I think mixing combat + fez-you-can't-die type elements just doesn't make sense, but I'm old so what do I know, right?

3.) I cleared the game, but didn't get mirror-mode. The only reason I knew it exists is because I peeked at the source code and was like, 'oh that's hawt! gonna get on that!'. So if there's some way to automagically go into mirror mode after first completion, that'd be cool...unless I missed it since I didn't get all the diamonds...?

Anyway, I thought I wasn't going to like this because it was in low res mode, but in actuality, it didn't bother me at all and I really enjoyed this game. I'm looking forward to your future projects in Pico if they're even half as good as this one.

P#58746 2018-11-03 20:09 ( Edited 2018-11-04 00:09)

Thanks for such detailed feedback, hseiken.

I agree with most of your points, some of the decisions I made where partly for saving tokens, others for experimental reasons (the not-dying part was both).

I added the mirror mode after I published it so the easiest way for me to add it was by allowing you to just go into the menu and select a "reset and start mirror mode". So, you don't have to finish the game to go and try it.

I look forward to hearing what you think about my other published games.

P#58817 2018-11-06 13:45 ( Edited 2018-11-06 18:45)

I played 2 more of yours, I'll find the threads and leave my comments on them there. :)

P#58818 2018-11-06 15:22 ( Edited 2018-11-06 20:22)

Yes! I love pico-8 platformers! AND it's a metroidvania?! also saving! thank you for this awesome game!
The way you switch weapons is cool with how time stops while you're doing it, the way you don't actually die, but just lose access to your gun temporally, which removes the frustration of having to replay sections after you die, but still gives an incentive to dodge enemy shots.
I particularly like the stop and shoot system, it
solves a problem many games like this have, where you have no reason not to always hold down the shoot button. It also allows for more precise shots because you can shoot in a diagonal without walking foreward.

P#61732 2019-02-10 18:06

I just finished the game collecting all the coins and saving the slime in the beginning, it took 1:25:07 to finish it. It is a good game but a little confused by the lack of a map.

P#74319 2020-03-29 23:46

Out of all the PICO-8 games I've played, this one is probably my favorite of the bunch. The constricted viewpoint does a lot to make the game world feel a lot bigger than it actually is, which is nice when you have such limited memory. While I think that having an in-game map would have been nice, it wasn't too hard to stitch one together using screenshots of the map editor, and even without that, the game world is just small enough that you can commit it to memory without getting totally lost. I also like how some sequence breaking is possible, like how you can get into the Alien Lair as soon as you get the Rocket Gun. I guess my only real complaint is that some of the bosses are kind of obnoxious to fight, especially when they fill the screen with bullets that hare hard to dodge, but at least The Invincible Run-Gun-Bot lives up to his name. Or, at least I'm assuming that Run-Gun-Bot is a he, for all we know Run-Gun-Bot could be a girl, or not have a gender at all. Also, for anyone who's struggling, here's the map that I created. Feel free to use it. Hope everyone enjoys the game!

P#81519 2020-09-05 16:20

music at the beginning sounds a lot like the doom theme, I'm not very far but I can tell I'm gonna love it

P#82567 2020-10-04 20:30

Hello there skull dude!

Also am i supposed to have the bubblegum before I find that?

P#87391 2021-02-08 16:19

Great game.
If Treasure made Sega Genesis "Gunstar Heroes" using PICO-8...
...this would be it!


P#87402 2021-02-09 00:21

@guerragames can you maybe share the code for your first tweet, I'm interested in the physics and there's just too much stuff in the final version.

P#94600 2021-07-08 19:23

A Metroid-like game, I like it!

P#105005 2022-01-13 17:34
P#105215 [hidden by admin]

Excuse me @DenzelFurlow that's very rude behaviour, please delete it.

P#105311 2022-01-18 09:27

My best time is 6 minutes and 42 seconds I have set up speedrun.com page for it could you check it out@

P#108344 2022-03-09 19:32

I've also found the skip (I think it's a skip anyway) that lets you skip to the castle directly. As someone else pointed out the bosses are a bit finicky but you only need to fight 9 bosses and get 3 guns.

P#108345 2022-03-09 20:39 ( Edited 2022-03-10 13:03)

The game update looks really good.


P#112171 2022-05-23 07:47

Is anyone interested in speed running this?

P#112749 2022-06-05 15:00

im walking on the air... is there invisible blocks or its a glitch ?

P#128372 2023-04-09 21:11 ( Edited 2023-04-09 21:12)

just 100% the game as my first playthrough, excellent game, sub 2h:30 and sub 900 hits! would play again, probably not speedrun but great game overall! I just would recommend a small indicator of where to go (~1 to 1.5 hours were spent wandering) but that was mostly just me being a completionist (aka all star thingys). kind of reminded me of hollow knight in some ways (the wandering and upgrades).

TL;DR: good game, wandering for upgrades and coins(?), 9.5/10.

P#130130 2023-05-24 23:29

100% coins + enemies run done!

*Mirror mode beaten! ↓

P#132876 2023-08-08 18:00 ( Edited 2023-08-10 19:32)

I like running, I like gunning, I like bots...what's not to love?

Games like this are the reason I keep coming back to PICO8. Just beat it for the first time in 1:26:49, all 128 gems, 220-something hits. Well done.

P#133322 2023-08-20 21:57

Also meant to say, it's amazing that you managed to fit solid platforming, 8-way aiming, and 8 distinct guns with special abilities on a D-pad and 2 buttons, let alone also having a huge map with 8 distinct worlds.

P#133323 2023-08-20 22:14

Doh! I kept getting stuck and resetting the game before I realised I could shoot in all directions, not just left and right.

Fantastic game. Amazing what a lively world you've created in just 64x64 pixels.

P#133460 2023-08-24 10:10

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