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Cart #grave_defence-2 | 2024-03-16 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | License: CC4-BY-NC-SA

Grave Defence is tower defence game, in which you control a ghost tasked with defending the souls resting in a mausoleum from the incoming hordes of skeletons!


  • Arrow keys to move the character
  • X key to place and pickup torches
  • O key to toggle flame aura indicators


Torches must be powered by near by Power Flames. Once powered they will shoot enemies within range.
Shooting torches will consume the energy of the flames they are linked to.

Power Flames can die out if over tapped so keep an eye out for their size.
However, Flames will recharge over time unless fully extinguished.

Torches can be relocated; the mausoleum must be protected and you will need to move around the map to do so!

Different Power Flames

Power flames come in three types represented by their colors:

  • Yellow flame: basic flame, the most balanced option.
  • Blue flame: weak flame, can power more torches than yellow flames.
  • Red flame: strongest flame, will cause the most damage, but is drained faster than other flames.


I have recently been getting into game development and learning to work with pico-8.
After the mandatory Lazy Devs tutorial I decided to challenge myself to develop a complete game in two weeks, that would include functioning mechanics, art and some basic music. Grave Defence is the end result!

Nerdy notes

The actual code is a bit of a mess; there are still chunks of code for mechanics that have been scrapped because they ended up being unintuitive and a hindrance to the fun.
These include an interaction system that would display a cursor based on the last movement direction of the player as well as collision system that initially would involve most sprites in the map, but in the final version has been almost completely removed (thanks to SpaceCat and this video for the collision logic).
I might get around to cleaning it up in the future, if a feel there is something interesting I would like to add to the game.

Credits and thanks

  • Developed by Elfamir, that's me.
  • QA Tested by my lovely partner ♥

Thanks to the Pico-8 community as a hole for all the great material and inspiration.

If you read all the way to here, congrats!
I would greatly appreciate any feedback on the gaming experience as I am looking to improve my game dev skills :)



Initial release of the game.


  • Added 2 new levels
  • Added snap controls
  • Added flame aura indicator
  • Added flame low-power alert and changed sprites
  • Added level reset and level select menu items
  • Reworked enemy movement
P#141999 2024-02-26 15:50 ( Edited 2024-03-16 11:30)

Cool game! I like the look of it, and the lil ghost is cute! A minor issue: it wasn't always clear to me if I was in a position where I could pick up/place a torch or not, so I lost a bit of time repositioning myself sometimes. But other than that it's pretty nice!

P#142039 2024-02-27 08:17

Thanks for the feedback, I can probably come up with a better way to communicate where torches can be placed.
I'm glad you enjoyed it anyway!

P#142073 2024-02-27 20:51

Agree with @ghettoblaster. Maybe experiment with a less smooth motion and an indicator on the square where the torch would be pressed.

What about an indicator to show how much "power" a flame has left? I found in level 2 I ran out of power of one flame, but never had this problem on any other level.

Regardless this is a pretty-good game. I enjoyed it and hope you continue to develop it

P#142415 2024-03-04 17:47

Thank you, @phil, I am happy you enjoyed, I am looking into changing the movement to hopefully remove the guesswork when placing torches.

I experimented with some UI to represent the flame power, but I thought it made the game look a bit too noisy, so I tried to represent that with the sprite size. Maybe actually switching sprites could be more clear, I could add sets of sprites with different shapes to represent the flame power. I will look into this type of solution!

P#142458 2024-03-05 14:32

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