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Hi all! I'm a long-time lurker but this is my first time posting.

For a while now, I've been tinkering with a Gomoku (Five-in-a-Row) game for PICO-8 with a basic but entertaining AI player.

I'm quite a fan of the Gomoku Narabe Renju game for Famicom (essentially the same game with slightly more complex rules), and originally, I started out to make a version of that. But as usual, it was becoming larger in scope than I was comfortable with. So to actually make progress I decided to simplify things a lot.

Ultimately, this version is a regular game of Gomoku that uses the Long Pro opening rule and requires exactly five stones in a row to win (ignoring six or more in a row). Each game consists of a tournament with a minimum of five rounds. The winning player is the one with more than two wins over their opponent.


Z: Start/Place piece
X: Surrender round
Up/Down/Left/Right: Select an intersection

I hope you enjoy the progress I've made so far. There are most certainly bugs that I haven't ironed out yet. So if you think you've come across one I'd love to know!

Cart #gomoku_1_vt-0 | 2023-03-11 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | No License

P#126953 2023-03-11 07:28 ( Edited 2023-03-11 07:44)

Great pico-ization (not an actual word) of a classic board game with a fairly challenging AI.

I would only suggest moving the surrender option to the pause menu to prevent accidental clicks (it might help to assume every Z is also sometimes an X press for mobile users).

Other things that would be nice, if space (and time) permits:

  • Option for freestyle rules, which most players would probably be familiar with.
  • An easy mode, where the AI occasionally doesn't choose the most optimal move but maybe still prioritizes open 3 or 4 threats.
  • AI never surrenders, b/c there's a good chance new players will overlook an opportunity to win, and making the 5-in-a-row feels good 😀

Great entry and gold starred!

P#126986 2023-03-11 17:07 ( Edited 2023-03-11 17:08)

Thanks a lot for the great feedback. Moving surrender to the menu is a good idea. Gives me a chance to learn that API too.

P#127008 2023-03-12 01:36

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