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Hi all,
This is my first PICO-8 submission and, probably, my first ever (completed) game! :)

SLACKER is a tribute to classic "stacking" game that many of us wasted lots of time (and money) playing down the arcade. However, unlike the real one, this game is NOT rigged... (but it IS hard!) ;)
I've even included four possible prizes to select from, should you reach the top!
(who's gonna be the first to "catch 'em all" - no cheating!) ;)

Hope you enjoy it - I spent WAY too long on what was supposed to be a "quick game to learn PICO-8"

Updates in v1.2:
• Now supports 60fps (thanks to @zep for adding it to PICO-8 v0.1.9)
• Also made it a tad easier (was too difficult before - not sure it was really 'beatable'!)

Cart #28457 | 2016-09-13 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | License: CC4-BY-NC-SA

Z/X - Place Block(s) / Select Prize
Arrows - (not used)

--- Release History
1.2: Now supports 60fps and also made it a tad easier (was too difficult before!)
1.1: Removed exploit that made game much easier + added screen shake when prize drops
1.0: First version

P#25853 2016-07-25 08:30 ( Edited 2018-05-20 15:42)

Cool game! I'm surprised to find that my fingers stop listening to my brain the more I play... The game looks great and is fun - I wonder if anything can be added to make it more addictive. I like it! :-)

P#25858 2016-07-25 08:41 ( Edited 2016-07-25 12:41)

Found a good strategy (exploit? bug?). Align your first piece (and every subsequent piece) with either the left or right edge of the screen. It takes an extra moment to "bounce" in the other direction, so you get a longer window of time in which to hit the stop button.

P#25871 2016-07-25 16:23 ( Edited 2016-07-25 20:23)

The question I have is: Is this an accurate enough port of the game to count as practice for the real thing, and could I win a free Wii if I practice this game and then put quarters in the one at the local movie theatre? xD

P#25877 2016-07-25 20:18 ( Edited 2016-07-26 00:18)

@Gadzooka: Thanks very much for your kind words, much appreciated! :)

@bab_B: Good spot! Might have a bug to squash. So did manage to win using the "exploit"? ;)

@Connorses: Not for me to say, really. What I can say is that I spent WAY too long analysing LOTS of YouTube videos of actual Stacker gameplay in order to be as close to an accurate representation to the gameplay as poss (even down to font,sfx,etc.)

However, like I mentioned above, the biggest difference between my version and the real arcade machine is that mine is not deliberately RIGGED! Stacker games, like many other "Prize" machines (like "The Claw", etc.) are set to only payout at specific intervals. Which means it doesn't matter how perfect you are at placing the last block at the top, if the machine's odds state that it shouldn't "pay out" yet, it will NOT let you win. Instead it'll deliberately move the block one position either side, as if you missed.

(Anyway, I doubt you were really serious, but just in case!) ;)

P#25880 2016-07-26 00:49 ( Edited 2016-07-26 04:49)

@Connorses this one is perfect to count as practice for real thing. I deliberately rigged it to 500 quarters before it will drop you the prize.

btw. Give me my Raspberry Pi! I've won it!

P#25895 2016-07-26 05:07 ( Edited 2016-07-26 09:11)

NoLongerAGame #NowASimulation

(P.S. - Perhaps the Pi got stuck in the chute? Lemme go get the keys... does a runner)

P#25898 2016-07-26 05:21 ( Edited 2016-07-26 09:22)

I have a strange addiction to Stacker. I mean I've won that machine like 5 times. One time I did it twice in a row. Thanks for letting me get my fix without spending tens of dollars at the arcade. Lol.

P#26358 2016-08-03 00:10 ( Edited 2016-08-03 04:10)

@AdamMcKibben: Ha! You're welcome? ;o)
Let me know if a Stacker "pro" such as yourself is unable to complete it, as I have a feeling that I made it a little TOO hard... :o/

P#26363 2016-08-03 02:07 ( Edited 2016-08-03 06:07)

on PocketCHIP PICO the block starts one row off the bottom, so unable to progress in the game.

Works here online though. Love it.

P#26876 2016-08-13 18:48 ( Edited 2016-08-13 22:48)

@clotted: Hmmm... that's weird?! So, you're saying the screen looks correct (e.g. nothing being chopped off), but that the blocks start moving from the second line, so when you place a block, you lose?
Have you seen any other PICO-8 games behave differently on the PocketCHIP? :o/

P#26907 2016-08-14 13:51 ( Edited 2016-08-14 17:51)

Here's what it looks like on pocket chip

P#26958 2016-08-15 16:20 ( Edited 2016-08-15 20:20)

Thanks fozzyrock1986, that's what I thought - tho I still have no idea why it's behaving diff when it runs fine on Windows, Mac and Online (in both cases). I might try asking zep if there's a known bug in the PocketCHIP build...? :o/

P.S. - It's kinda cool seeing my game running an a PocketCHIP, even if it is showing a bug! Gonna have to get one someday, but will wait for backorders to clear first. ;o)

Thanks all for the kind words and for the feedback - much appreciated!

P#26974 2016-08-16 00:53 ( Edited 2016-08-16 04:53)

As you mentioned, Liquid, there's a game just like this down at the arcade.
Just as difficult and challenging to play. :)

If you have space (and steam) you might consider giving out a prize for a good run. Perhaps doodle a bunch of 8x8 or 16x16 colored and pixeled gift pictures and give one out based on how well they did.

Teddy Bear, Watch, Ring, Bracelet, Necklace, Whistle, Compass, Plastic Army Man, etc.

Updated ... I really do like this game. I have never won but it sure is fun to play. Gold star since I didn't give it earlier.

P#28459 2016-09-13 12:47 ( Edited 2022-01-26 06:16)

@dw817 Great idea, thanks! PS. Love that "Ring" pixel art! :D

Yeah, I was originally planning on having a "Minor Prize" when you get to that part (with a choice of whether or collect or continue), but in the end I thought it'd be too complicated (as most people in arcade skip it anyway). But your right, rewarding you with something for your efforts when you lose would be a nice touch.

If I get time, I may add this as a new feature, but TBH I'm already thinking/looking to the "next" project (whatever THAT will be...) ;)

Thanks again for the great suggestion, much appreciated.

P#28465 2016-09-13 14:44 ( Edited 2016-09-13 18:44)

Aww yeah, just one more ! WINNER !

Got me a PSP 3000.

Glad to help out, Liquid. I'm not very good at platformers myself but reaction puzzles like these can be a lot of fun and exciting !

With all the projects I plan to write, in the future I wanted to program a golf game that used a method similar to this to ensure an accurate swing of hitting the ball.

Modern golf games today require you to take your finger and 'flick' forward in an accurate stroke. Yeah I don't like that very much.

Here is how Mario Golf did it for the NES. Notice the hitting of the button between two points - similar to aligning hitting the button for your puzzle.


If you're curious, there are a little over 18,000 games for the original 8-bit NES. If you ever run out of ideas, you can always look to them for inspiration. :)

P#28476 2016-09-13 18:50 ( Edited 2016-09-14 00:20)

This is a dream come true. I spent so much time at the movie theater wasting my money before I was 100% sure it was rigged. Now I get to play it for real!

P#39768 2017-04-18 23:56 ( Edited 2017-04-19 03:56)

Now to make this more authentic, it has to be unwinnable and force your piece to move just one more when you click on the last one if you were going to win.

Of course you can beat this by getting there with 2.

P#52880 2018-05-20 11:42 ( Edited 2018-05-20 15:42)

Haha. This thing is so awesome.

Love the Wii, iPod and PSP visible and the fact that everyone else is reminiscing about how many coins they wasted.

The graphics are really well done and pretty much arcade perfect. Even the cool animations I forgot about were there and it sent shivers down my spine.

I remember watching Tweeterman287's vids on how to beat it XD

P#61209 2019-01-25 19:35

Just rediscovered this game. Like everyone else, I remember how many coins I splurged on this, much to the dismay of my wallet. Thanks for this. Finally won, though (ratio of ~0)

P#67096 2019-09-01 12:23

"gamers only want one thing and it's disgusting"

P#81452 2020-09-02 20:38


Great game!

P#81803 2020-09-14 15:24 ( Edited 2020-09-14 15:24)

I got a smart watch from a stacker machine. Wasn’t even worth it

P#83408 2020-10-27 18:32

Victory booyeah

P#105539 2022-01-26 06:09

I won a wii, where's my wii

P#106850 2022-02-13 19:02

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