I investigated so many times last years to find a good PICO-8 mobile hardware. On this BBS there are many posts talking about that but they are often involving complex solutions (I already had a Raspberry PI and did not want to spend the time again to setup and configure one) or are outdated, so I was giving up.
But I recently found that nowadays there are a ton of simple handheld devices able to run PICO-8 very easily. So I'm adding a new post to the collection, hoping it will help someone. You can find some of those devices in this guide but there are much more: if you dive into the channel of the guy who wrote this guide, you will find a bunch.
Personally I decided to buy a RG351m. PICO-8 runs beautifully on it and setup was super simple. The first time I tried a PICO-8 game I thought the screen was a bit too small but I got used to it very quickly. It's so fun to spend a couple of hours creating a game and then having it running on a real handheld game console right after! Discovering and playing games with Splore in the bed in also a great experience!
(nb: I made myself above's splash screen, for my own personal usage, from a picture I found on internet)
My latest small project running on it.
If someone is reading this review and is willing to buy such device, I would still recommend to buy one with a slightly larger screen, such as the Powkiddy RGB10 Max.
Why another snake?
This cart's main purpose is to be easily editable by kids:
They can draw new snakes in the sprite sheet, run the cart and immediately play with their creation, no code to change. All they need to do is to draw after existing ones and to know the order of the sprites: the tail, rotated body, body and finally head. Since you're a good parent you will help them ;) :
They can also draw new food. As for snakes, just draw them after existing ones and run the game:
There are multiple options to be sure the kids are enjoying the game:
- There's a kids mode on start menu, with a relatively low speed and no acceleration.
- In system menu you can activate "don't spawn food near walls in kids mode".
- In system menu you can slow down kids mode speed even more.
And finally, to be sure parents are enjoying the game too...
just try the normal or frenetic mode...
The other reason why I made this cart was to see how fast I could wrap up a simple game like this. Initial version was finished in seven hours. I needed a couple more (did not count after) to simplify the process of adding new sprites, improving the start menu and adding help page.