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Cart #xhive-2 | 2024-06-04 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | No License

Xhive is a single stage retro Shoot 'em up. You control a spaceship across a procedurally generated scrolling level and try to destroy various enemies to get the highest score.


The origin of the hostile aliens has been found. Your job is to fly into the xeno hive with one of the best combat spaceship and kill everything.


  • If you shoot, you move slower.
  • Colliding with the hive, aliens or their projectiles will damage your ship.
  • After you leave the hive, an NG+ starts.
  • Every run, the hive is procedurally generated.


  • Move: Arrow Keys
  • Shoot: X
  • Pause: Enter

Release History


  • ADD: Intro sequence
  • CHG: Highscore will now only be displayed in the Main Menu if it is above zero.
  • CHG: Visual adjustments in the GameOver Menu.
  • CHG: When having zero hearts, the UI will blink red.
  • CHG: Renamed the Cart Image file with the game's version number.
  • FIX: Bug where the new highscore message was not being displayed.
  • FIX: Stars closer to the player now appear in front of distant stars in the background.
  • FIX: New Highscore Message will only appear if the highscore is above zero.


  • ADD: Implemented message system: Displays messages upon game start and when a new high score is achieved.
  • ADD: Added sound effect when boss enemy spawns additional enemies.
  • ADD: Enemies projectiles now leave particles upon impact.
  • CHG: Increased boss enemy's health.
  • CHG: If a new high score is achieved and the player navigates from the pause menu to the main menu, the new high score will be saved.
  • CHG: Changed the color of enemy explosions.
  • CHG: Adjusted level layout.
  • CHG: Adjusted cartridge layout.
  • FIX: Player is now centered at the beginning of the game.


  • Initial version.
P#148002 2024-05-06 15:20 ( Edited 2024-06-04 08:06)

Can you make it so we can move up and down on the screen?

P#148008 2024-05-06 16:13

Purely theoretically yes. But the scroll mechanic of the level is not designed for this.

P#148012 2024-05-06 16:30

Nice. Great sounds and music. The timing of the power-ups is really well judged.

P#148047 2024-05-07 07:56

Thanks for your feedback

P#148049 2024-05-07 08:32

I like how you move slow when you’re shooting, but I think it’s a little too slow.
You should also make it so you can move up and down.
I also don’t like how the game just restarts when you win. I think you should change those things and then I would really like it. But other than those things, it’s really good. Good job on this!

P#148052 2024-05-07 10:54

Thanks for your feedback. Being able to move up and down is often desired. I think I would implement it with Xhive 2. The restart was intended as a simple solution to make the game "endless", but it's not optimal. The sweet spot for the ship movement is difficult to hit, my idea behind the speed was that when you shoot you can hardly dodge and so you have to decide whether to shoot or dodge. Higher speeds did not have this effect.

P#148056 2024-05-07 12:41

I´ve just played for a short time, but I can say it's a great Pico game. Very well done. The concept is strong, the art is cool and it feels great to play. I like that it is very demanding (you get hit a lot) but items are very abundant. So the gameplay is very fun. I think you did a great job. I hope more people play it. Congratulations!

P#148074 2024-05-07 18:43

I beat the bosses 4 times and quit with 255700 points. It'd be neat if it got harder each loop or something like that. I enjoyed it; fun game!

P#148090 2024-05-07 21:46

Lovely cart which I had lots of fun playing. I actually like the fact you can't move up and down. I think that would make it too easy. Up and down movement would make evading the horizontal missiles too easy. Currently it forces you to make a fast choice about which enemies to kill and then react to those that are left alive.

However I'll also echo what @pancelor said. Once you get into the rhythm of the game, its easy to get to a state where the game goes on forever with seemingly no difficulty increase. Not necessarily a bad thing, as different players have different abilities, but I'd also like to see the challenge increase, every time you loop round.

P#149428 2024-06-04 16:07

I'm glad you like the game and thank you for the feedback. I also thought about increasing the difficulty with each playthrough but didn't come to a good solution. If, for example, the enemies can take more damage, the player should also be given the opportunity to upgrade, but the game is not designed for that. It will be in the next game :)

P#149801 2024-06-11 11:03

@gmsndfxn, liked the game, also agreed about the difficulty.
Here’s a few ideas for this game or for a new one in the same spirit :
Each turn, reduce the probability of extra lives and increase the probability of bonus points.
Add a new bad speed item that gives points but temporarily doubles scrolling speed. Probability of getting it increases each turn.
Bad item that temporarily rotates the screen. That’s just a single poke if you don’t mind mis- oriented text.
Hiding the hud when rotated can solve most of the display problems.(except the poins from killed ennemies)
Bad item that temporarily reverses controls.
Good item that temporarily stops time, you get to move and shoot , and when time resumes a couple second later , you have a line of aligned bullets that sweeps a part of the screen.
New harder game sections that only spawns after a certain number of turns. If there’s no map room to add it, maybe add monster markers to the existing map that have ID indicating at what wave they start to spawn, with palette changes, new game+ style.

P#149808 2024-06-11 13:01

@RealShadowCaster Thank you very much for the many cool ideas. I will implement some of them. I think changing the probability of items depending on the turn and introducing new enemies is a great idea. Introducing negative items also brings new challenges. Stay tuned!

P#149926 2024-06-14 09:07

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