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Cart #bas-7 | 2023-11-13 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | License: CC4-BY-NC-SA

Birds and Saws

Experience a nostalgic throwback with this Pico-8 demake of my classic iOS game. Dive into the retro charm and challenge yourself as you guide a bird, skillfully avoiding menacing circular saws to rack up high scores.

Check out the project on GitHub.


Blades ascending from below prompt the player to move upward swiftly, requiring nimble maneuvers to avoid a perilous demise.

  • You can jump off mid-flight without waiting for the current jump to land.
  • The lower blades progressively increase in speed over time.
  • The saws' velocity is limited, reaching a challenging top speed that demands swift maneuvers to escape.


  • ⬅️ or [Z] to jump left
  • ➡️ or [x] to jump right

Version History


  • Adjusted initial blade speed and speed progression
  • Increased player jump speed
  • Smoother camera tracking


  • Initial release
P#137287 2023-11-11 20:50 ( Edited 2023-11-14 18:29)


Love love love this!

P#137294 2023-11-11 22:27

I hate this game.
But it absolutely deserves a star.

P#137295 2023-11-11 23:05

I liked the game, but it would be cool if the blades rose more slowly and if along the way there were checkpoints to grab that made the blades stop for a second or two. This way we can play for longer and have a greater sense of accomplishment playing the game.

edit: Now I understand... The faster we play, the slower the blades rise. Either way, my ideas might be interesting for another playing mode for the game.

P#137298 2023-11-12 01:07 ( Edited 2023-11-12 02:19)

This concept is really cool and its really fun, but I agree that its a tad hard.
My best is 40. On the good runs I end up in this... flow state? Its very weird but very cool.
I think just slightly lowering the rate at which the raising spike floor's speed increases could help a lot.

Edit: I'm not sure how but I tried literally one time after I made this message and got 114... I have no idea how I did it, it felt amazing.
Is the spike floor speed capped at some point? (maybe based on the speed the player is going up to some degree?) It seemed to be right on my tail the whole time after a certain point.

P#137300 2023-11-12 01:59 ( Edited 2023-11-12 02:02)

Amazing game, the presentation is top notch. The game is tough but I think its what makes it fun.

P#137301 2023-11-12 02:09

Hello everyone,

I've observed that some of you were not entirely satisfied with the initial speed of the blades. Upon further inspection, I realized it was indeed on the higher side at the beginning of the game. I've made some slight adjustments without compromising the game's difficulty. The post has been updated with this tweaked version.

Additionally, I have enhanced the description to provide a bit more information about the mechanics, highlighting that you can jump off mid-flight without waiting for the current jump to land.

Thank you very much for your valuable feedback. It is greatly appreciated.

P#137305 2023-11-12 06:12

good concept for the platform and very nicely done (graphics are 👌).

P#137306 2023-11-12 06:24

Super fun and stressful to the fingers 😂

P#137308 2023-11-12 08:57

is there any way to speed up the camera so that it snaps to the player faster?

P#137311 2023-11-12 12:12

Hey @Aspext1090, feel free to experiment with the camera settings.

Locate the following vars and set them to:


This should result in accurate tracking, although there might be a slight jerkiness in the movement.

P#137315 2023-11-12 15:40 ( Edited 2023-11-12 15:41)

Great stuff!

I love this game - SO addictive :-)

The use of colour, sound, everything.... spot on.

Thanks very much!

P#137338 2023-11-12 22:27

I've just realised that after playing this for a while, the vertical motion makes the whole screen appear to move downwards when you finally die, particularly if you've been going a while e.g. score > 100!

Pretty cool secondary effect :-)

P#137339 2023-11-12 22:31

Very nice game, also readable code, gonna look for it

P#137367 2023-11-13 12:27 ( Edited 2023-11-13 12:27)

So good! We have been having our own little high score challenge with this in our discord and I just surpassed the others with this run:

P#137516 2023-11-16 10:35

@NerdyTeachers, this is really cool! I wish there was a way to incorporate leaderboard functionality into Pico-8.

My best is 617.

P#137518 2023-11-16 11:13 ( Edited 2023-11-16 11:18)

LOVE THIS 10/10 so hard but unbeatably fun when you find a groove- i find singing in my head helps to het into the "flow" of the game. Gold star for you.

P#137538 2023-11-16 18:46

Leaderboard :
sounds like an easy functionality to add to pico-8, right ? While I feel for you, this is actually a good idea not to include the functionality natively in pico-8:

Truth is it's a trust based system, and you can't reasonably trust the entire internet to play nice.
When all the submitted data is your chosen pseudo and your score, It is trivially easy to wreck the leaderboard, even if you add checksums or encryption. Nothing stops players from changing the score=0 line of your code to score=100000 to take the lead. Nothing stops them to create a loop that will turn the leaderboard into an unmoderated public doodle...
On game websites like Kongregate, the leaderboards handling is a permanently a lost battle. Even when the login part is natively linked to the website account, the high scores are vandalized daily and the only nice feature remaining is the "friends only" filtered view of the table. You don't want to become the moderator of your own high score leader-board...

But if after all these warnings, you still feel like it, here's a relatively easy solution :
On the game over screen, if a new high score is reached, ask the player for his chosen name (that you can locally save with cartdata), then display a 2D bar code containing a url to the leaderboard web page, including the name and score to add to the table. What I love with this solution is that you can submit your high score with your phone even if the pico-8 device is offline.

Note that the situation is not always as bad as described : it is sometimes possible to submit a proof alongside the high score.
I've seen this on sokoban leaderboards : the actual sequence of moves played is sent with the high score, and the server side of the leader board can replay it and check is the resulting grid is solved or not.

P#137665 2023-11-20 06:58

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