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Cart #popol_quest-7 | 2019-10-07 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | License: CC4-BY-NC-SA


Your are a brave little knight who is determined to steal the mighty dragon's treasure. But first you have to fight your way through his 6 henchmen.

Combat is inspired by Puzzle Quest and done through a match-3 game where you have to build a line or column of at least 3 gems of the same type.

How to Play

You control the curser to mark gems for swapping to form a new match. Different gem types have different abilities:

  • Green and Yellow: deals damage to enemy
  • Red: heals player
  • Blue: Player gains Mana Points (MP)
  • Pink: Enemy gains Mana Points (MP)
  • Skull: Deals damage to player

If you have enough MP you can cast spells that will help you on your quest. But be aware the enemy can gain MP an cast spells as well.

You can only swap neighboring gems and get 5 damage if your move didn't form a new match.


  • Use the arrow keys to move the curser
  • Use the Z, C key to mark a gem (O)
  • Use the X, or V key to open the spell menu (X)


Healing: costs 10 MP (15 MP for the enemy), heals 5 HP
Fireball: costs 20 MP, destroys a gem of your choice
Thunderbolt: costs 40 MP, destorys a line of your choice
Curse: (only for certain enemies) costs 15, deals 10 damage to player

For every match you get you gain XP for every destroyed gem. How much can you get?


Programming and art by Steffi Jung @Schete_Jurf
Music by Lars Jung @lars_jung

Thunderbolt and healthpotion art by Nerdy Teachers


1.0 Initial Release

1.1 Bug fixes

1.2 Cross matches now possible
When curser is over skull gem it's eyes blink red
Curser color swapped
Knight cheers when more than 3 gems are matched

1.3 Fixed a bug where one gem to much was cleared

1.4 German language support

P#68318 2019-10-01 19:00 ( Edited 2019-10-07 16:09)

Reminds me a lot of Puzzle Quest (I think that's the name?) for iOS i played a lot on my old iPod touch. Very fun, but it seems I cannot cast a spell no matter how much MP I have!

P#68319 2019-10-01 19:11

Yep, solid gameplay here, Schete. You definitely get my star.

you should also check out Puzzle Quest as mentioned earlier if you have not already.

Here is the puzzle play.

Here is the game intro and story:

P#68321 2019-10-01 19:19 ( Edited 2019-10-01 19:20)

Yes it's definitely inspired by Puzzle Quest, I spend way to many hours with that game :D
I also added it to the text so people can check it out if they like.

Oh I'm sorry. Hm it works fine for me. Maybe you press the wrong button (X for closing menu instead of O for casting spell)?

P#68325 2019-10-01 19:47

I get a message 'not enough mana' even though my mana is at 65 points? Maybe I'm not in the right condition in the game to use the spell?

P#68327 2019-10-01 19:51

Okay that sounds like a bug. There should be no other condition than having at least 15 MP. I'll try to reproduce this tomorrow. Thank you for reporting! Would you mind posting a screenshot to help me figure this out?

P#68328 2019-10-01 19:56

P#68329 2019-10-01 20:03

I know you're fond of the colored crystals, Schete. Perhaps have an option to view them instead as +'s and -'s. Skulls are fine, those are to be avoided.

Also matching 4-5 does not seem to do anything special or particular. In Bejeweled, matching 4 gets you a FLAME gem that when matched to its color erases 9x9 itself and around itself.

Matching 5-gems gets you a spinning rainbow cube, when matched with any crystal removed all of that type on the board.

Matching two FLAMES (does not need to be same type) gives you a horizontal or vertical sweep erasing all in column or row.

Matching two rainbow cubes clears the board but only in the favor of the player (as you have negative items).

Green and Yellow: deals damage to enemy

option icon: green or yellow x
or maybe yellow sword / green axe

Red: heals player

optional icon: red +
or maybe red vial

Blue: Player gains Mana Points (MP)

optional icon: blue +
or maybe blue vial

Pink: Enemy gains Mana Points (MP)

optional icon: pink -
or maybe pink scary looking vial (poison)

Skull: Deals damage to player (keep image),

maybe animate the skull if activated to show it was a bad idea and flash screen red.

You could add other crystal types or more spells:

[1] Something that shields the player from 50-75% damage for so many turns.

[2] Something that leeches hits from opponent for so many turns.

[3] reflect magic attacks (if opponent can attack magically)

[4] auto-life potion (you would need to make the enemies much more fierce for this to be desired)

[5] spell to remove all pink

[6] spell to remove all skulls

Enemies could use elemental spells, poison, fire, freeze, sickness, zombie, madness, stone, fury, silence, etc.

Between levels (opponents) do a screen-wipe and have a little bit of banter like you see in Puyo Puyo.


Just a few ideas to toss around. :)

P#68331 2019-10-01 20:26 ( Edited 2019-10-02 00:41)

How is it that such a short and repitive song can be so good? It's stuck in my head now.

::thumbs up::

P#68334 2019-10-01 23:02

Thank you so much for your help!
I think I found the bug and updated the cartridge.

Wow thank you for your detailed comment and sharing your ideas!
You are absolutely right, the player should get more rewarded for 4-5 gem matches.
I'll see what I can do there.

Maybe I could redesign the gems to display + and - in the middle so their porpuse gets more clear. I'll play around with the sprites.

I also love your idea of animated skulls, will definitly try this.

More spells sure would give the game more depth, I'll see what I can add.

P#68359 2019-10-02 07:51 ( Edited 2019-10-02 07:51)

There's one thing I noticed, too...

a 'cross' formation of a match didn't seem to clear both directions. I don't know what you intended. Luckily in ever event, if there was a 4 or 5 row, that would get counted instead of the 3.

I don't know what you feel about this mechanic, but as a player, it seems that both directions should count, but I'm not the designer, so feel free to look into it or not. :)

P#68360 2019-10-02 08:26

Possibly the most fun game of this type that I've played.

I second what hseiken said about the cross formations.

Also I think (but am unsure) there were times when I swapped two gems and after the line had been removed the second gem had changed from what it was. I noticed it when the second gem was on the bottom row. (I'm unsure because either it's possible that another two fell on top of it, which would have led to it being removed and another falling into its place, but I don't think they did, or it's possible it's intended.)

P#68364 2019-10-02 10:45

Thank you for your feedback this is really helpful!
Cross matches are now possible as I also feel this is essential in a match-3 game.
I also already changed a few other small things and will look into gameplay expansions over the next few days.

P#68376 2019-10-02 15:54

Thanks for the update. Confirmed: cross elimination works. :D

P#68675 2019-10-09 09:42

This is great. I've been hoping for a really good match-3 combat game on Pico-8.

I do have one minor request, and maybe you'll say this is missing the point (and that's fine) : I wish the pink gems were a different shape. Something to make it easier to learn/remember that they're bad.

P#69245 2019-10-25 00:35

I suggested a poisonous looking container. I could doodle one if that is what is desired.

Using your original bottle design:




Here it is in use:

Cart #yawawodana-0 | 2019-10-25 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | No License

Then again you could just use PINK SKULLS.

Cart #zubenikehe-0 | 2019-10-25 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | No License

I think you need some kind of spell to eradicate particular skulls as right when the opponent's hits are low the whole screen is filled more with both colored skulls than any other item.

P#69247 2019-10-25 01:03 ( Edited 2019-10-25 01:40)

I like your idea of the poisonous looking container. Hm would make sense to replace the blue one as well to make clear both give mana points.

I'll have a look at this.

P#69253 2019-10-25 09:22 ( Edited 2019-10-25 09:30)

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