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Cart #jostitle-6 | 2019-09-20 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | License: CC4-BY-NC-SA

Jack of Spades is a game I made as a submission for GitHub's GameOff game Jam.

This is the latest version, with a lot more content than it had in the jam. I ended up making it a multicart, because I couldn't manage to keep it under the token/compression limits.

The game autosaves, you can play it on multiple sessions. It is played just with the mouse, so you can easily play on phones too.

There's an executable version here: https://bonevolt.itch.io/jackofspades

To play on your PICO-8 app download this version (put them all on your "..\pico-8\carts\" folder and open "jostitle.p8")

This is how to equip items (not explained during gameplay):

But you have to get the items first!

P#65294 2019-06-19 21:20 ( Edited 2020-07-07 12:56)


New version released. Now with new game+ and a new final boss!

This is the last version before 1.0, which will have a tutorial and a challenge mode where you play against infinite waves of enemies to see how far you can get!

P#65890 2019-07-16 17:49 ( Edited 2019-07-16 17:49)

Looks very good but cannot start it (in browser).
Keeps swiping the black screen over and over :/

multicarts are not supported on BBS - that might explain why.

P#65892 2019-07-16 20:24 ( Edited 2019-07-16 20:25)

Weird, I just tested it, and the first try it happened as you described, but the second time it worked.

I'm assuming that in my case the 2nd cart wasn't downloaded fast enough the first time, but in the second try it was already downloaded.

I'll have to find a way to make the game reliably download all carts before going forward. Thanks for the feedback!

In any case, if anyone runs into this problem and don't have a pico-8 purchased, you can download the EXE version on the itch.io page. It will run better than the browser version too.

P#65893 2019-07-16 22:06

Ok, the game was not creating a usable save file the first time, so you had to click "clear data", but it's fixed now. It will still keep swiping a black screen if it doesn't download the game fast enough, so I have to make a nicer looking "loading" screen in the next version.

P#65894 2019-07-16 22:54

The multicart certainly worked for me! So it may be a case by case issue, a loading screen could help the few times it does happen.

Outside of that, the design is wonderful, I'm having a blast exploring this cart! Congratulations on getting 6th in the jam, and thanks for adding more of your charm into the game. 1.0 will certainly be exciting! Good luck!

P#65936 2019-07-19 03:42

Thanks Peter, it means a lot! :)
The story mode is almost done, I'll just add custcenes to flesh out the characters and a piece of art in the ending, with a completion rating.

The challenge mode, teased in this version will have a buch of new stuff though!

P#65956 2019-07-20 00:39
:: dw817

A true PICO-8 Mouse turn-based RPG with playing cards. I was working on something like this with a deck of real playing cards. Yours is complete though and plays well !

As that unseen beautiful woman says in Metal Gear Solid, "Impressive !"

You get a STAR and a HEART for this very much thinking game !

P#66418 2019-08-06 17:58 ( Edited 2019-08-06 19:59)

Thanks a lot, dw817! :)

P#66427 2019-08-06 23:52

I made a game with real cards a few years ago too! The 12 kings/queens/jacks were the caracteres Ana the cards 2 to 10 were uses to count the caracteres Hp and the Aces were spell cards. I think you can guess the name of that game. Hahah :)

Designing actual card games is a lot harder that It may seem, though. It has to manage to be a lot simpler than a electronic one but at the same time retain it's depth. It would be cool to make a physical game at some point. Itch.io has jams for board/card games too. Who knows :)

P#66428 2019-08-07 01:54

Updated the game: New cutscenes, tutorial and balance changes!

Full changelog here!

P#67946 2019-09-20 17:30

Is there any chance to get multi cart download? I am not into .exe's as you can't launch them from pico. If not, I understand. I just prefer to stay inside pico when I'm in there.

P#68151 2019-09-26 03:04
:: dw817

Doing the tutorial. Found if you click in the wrong spot the tutorial continues as if you did the right thing.

In this case I was supposed to put a plant creature on a choice of tiles, I chose a different tile (to test it) and the demo skipped placing it and incorrectly continued as if it were there.

Still a marvel of a turn-based RPG and game. Didn't know how robust and fool-proof you wanted the tutorial to be.

P#68210 2019-09-28 02:04 ( Edited 2019-09-28 04:01)

@hseiken It would require some work for you to get it running offline, I put the .p8 version up there in the opening post

@dw817 I tried to leave options in as long as they didn't break sequence (you can also heal the surviving character, so the tutorial ends up taking one less turn). In the plants' case, I put the arrows on the usual optimal places (to avoid focus fire) as a way to subtly incentivize making the "correct" play.

P#68320 2019-10-01 19:16
:: pjft

@BoneVolt - great job! Any chance on getting controller support at some point?

P#72344 2020-01-28 10:44

@pjft Yes, I will add controller support in the final update. It has to be the absolute last thing I will make in this cart, because I'll have to duplicate every cart to have a mouse and a controller version. It will be too messy to change anything after that (the game uses 4 carts already), so it has to be the last thing.

I'm working on other stuff right now, not sure exactly when I will finish Jack of Spades, but it will happen :)

P#72358 2020-01-28 19:21
:: pjft

Oh my, of course - no hurry there. Will be rooting for this on the sidelines :)

Thanks for the answer!

P#72360 2020-01-28 20:20

This is amazing! 999/10.
i had tons of fun playing.

P#72449 2020-01-29 23:36

Wow :)
You put a smile on my face
Thank you very much!

P#72467 2020-01-30 17:39
:: andyz

Great game, but how do you win the hard final battle?!

P#79119 2020-07-10 10:20
:: noppa

(Credit screen)

Brilliant game! A huge amount of beautiful and polished content, all very player friendly. (Edit2: With player friendly I meant great UX and all that stuff)
The difficulty was good to my taste. Not Dark Souls, but made you think your moves through.
Nice world building and dialogue too :)

Oo there's a hard mode! Gotta try it out at some point.

By the way, is this info outdated?
>To play on your PICO-8 app download this version (put them all on your "..\pico-8\carts\" folder and open "jostitle.p8")

Seemed to work fine from SPLORE.

P#79121 2020-07-10 16:47 ( Edited 2020-07-14 16:49)

Can't seem to defeat one of the bosses

P#79319 2020-07-14 16:30 ( Edited 2020-07-14 16:32)

@andyz Thank you! :)

Someone asked the same question on itch io a few days ago :)
I'm gonna paste my answer here:


Put heroes with high HP on the sides and low hp, high attack heroes (Spades and Clubs) on the back. The black king can be in any position since he has high HP and attack, but he's probably best on the center.

For the first few turns, try to keep most allies alive while using the most cards possible, and try kill a few enemies so you have more units than them (area attacks won't help you much here, since you will lower their HP, but not decrease their numbers). Focus on the minions first. The queen alone is no problem.

Some cards that are particularly good in this battle:

Defense for all (♠10, ♦10, ♣7) - Increase defense in early turns;

Heals (♥A, ♥3) - Use heals to revive allies later on;

Summons (♥2, ♥5, ♥10, ♥J, ♣4) - Keep them far apart, as white queen's attacks hit neighboring enemies;

Stone form+Taunt (♦4+♦7) - Can negate an entire turn of damage (use both on King of Diamonds preferably);

Confusion (♦8) - Use it on the queen, so she can attack other enemies, or even heal your allies!

Anti-magic wind (♣5) - You can use it to either remove Rook's +4 defense or to remove Knight's attack aura (-1 attack for all);

Invisibility (♣10) - If you're left with only 1 hero, use invisibility. You'll be invulnerable for 2 turns! With some heals and summons you can turn the tides!

Wind blast (♣Q) - You can use it early on to push the pawns out of the field!

Blizzard (♣K) - Freeze 'em all!

And remember that most of the time, it's better to use 3 average cards than 1 good card, because it will cycle more new cards to your hand.

Good luck :)

@noppa Thank you very much! It works in splore, but you have to have connection to the internet, since it will load a BBS cart.

@CrazyNyanCat Not sure what's the relation between the image you posted and the boss...? You have a lot of battles in this map before reaching the boss :p The strategy for the first boss is the same as the final boss mentioned above in the spoiler tag, you just don't have to worry about Rooks and Knights. Also the white king reduces your allies damage when he hits them. Avoid that by placing a summoned unit in front or freezing him, and be sure to use the most cards you can each turn. Since your characters likely aren't at max level at that point, pick the ones that have the highest level (hover the mouse over them on the character selection box).

As a last resort you can:

As a last resort you can activate Blitz Mode in the title screen. Press uppercase B (SHIFT+B or CAPS LOCK>B) in the title screen to activate it (but you have to do it after the tutorial). An icon in the top right corner of the title screen will confirm it worked. All characters, enemies and allies will have 1 HP so you can win with a card that hits multiple enemies easily. Please only use it if you're really stuck. You can deactivate the code by going back to the title screen.

P#79356 2020-07-15 19:15 ( Edited 2020-07-15 21:12)

I played it, was completely blown away! Are you sure you didn't trick me into a fever dream to get better ratings?
regaurdless I have no idea how multi cart works on the BBS. I thought you had to fit everything into the one cart, can you load other carts? and if so how did you keep my levels and items etc, like WTF? anyways it's super impresive and you get a good job from me!

P#79796 2020-07-23 06:56

Hahah! Thank you very much :)

Multicarts work on the BBS pretty much the same way as outside of the BBS. You LOAD("cart"), but instead of using "cart.p8" you use "#cart" (the name of the cart is under the game screen).

You can save progress the same way as you would in a single cart, with cartdata(), dget() and dset(). The only difference is that there are multiple carts reading and writing the same save file. In this case I use cartdata("bonevolt_jack_of_spades") in all carts so they all reference the same save file.

P#79822 2020-07-23 23:32

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