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Cart #pico3s_0a-0 | 2023-11-13 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | License: CC4-BY-NC-SA

A Pico-8 remake of Sirvo's classic puzzle game, Threes


By Disco Rectangle

Based on Three's by Servo


Move ⬆️⬇️⬅️➡️

Select 🅾️ / z


For this project, I wanted to jump into a single screen game with a more complex game loop than I'd previously worked on. While the game is functional save for one known, game breaking bug (see below) and the art style is largely in place, I found that I quickly ran out of enthusiasm for the project, largely because it didn't 'feel' to me like what it was originally based on.

Having now read some about the development of Three's, I can see why. Those developers made the prototype in 1 night but spent 14 months testing, refining and tuning their game. When originally deciding to remake it, I had thought that it would be a simple process because the game is mechanically simple. I just hadn't considered how much balancing would also needed to make it feel just right!

That said, I'm very pleased with how much quicker and easier it was to get up and running with this project. Being able to reuse things such as player input, menus, etc, speeds up the process so much!

Were I to continue working on this, I would look to include the following:


  • Current version includes a game breaking bug, where if there are no empty tiles but there are still moves available, the player can try to move the board in a direction that won't work but will crash the app.


  • I implemented very, very basic randomisation of generated cards and where they should be placed on the board when I realised that calculus is not really my thing! This makes the game feel just not quite right, though I would struggle to articulate how it would be improved at the moment.


  • Plans to include score tracking, player name input and a high scores table.
  • More polish, with particle effects (to be used in conjunction with high scores), animations, music, sfx and screen transitions.
  • Tutorial mode.
  • Options with dark mode, music on / off and tutorial on / off.
  • Save data.

Closing Thoughts

Though this project hasn't worked out how I originally imagined, it has really worthwhile experience as I've taken away some valuable lessons from it. In particular, mechanics don't count for much until they're balanced correctly.

P#137369 2023-11-13 14:51 ( Edited 2023-11-13 15:03)

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Cart #discorectangle_oxo_v1b-0 | 2023-10-29 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | License: CC4-BY-NC-SA


Simple version of the classic pen and paper game, Naughts and Crosses / Tic Tac Toe


By Disco Rectangle

'Winter Song' by The Head and the Heart (adapted by Disco Rectangle)


Move ⬆️⬇️⬅️➡️
Select ❎ / z


Created to familiarise myself with Pico-8 development, including:

  • Working in Lua
  • Complete app loop
  • Basic game logic
  • State machines
  • Save data for player options
  • Creation of sprites, basic animations, sound effects and music
  • Particle effects and transitions

Potential improvements, include:

  • Current version has very basic opponent logic which selects a random empty square to play. This could probably be expanded without much difficulty to include an actually play algorithm, such as Minimax.
  • Save function has been implemented but doesn't work with the HTML version of game so has been switch off for this version. Cart with save functionality activated can be found on Itch.io.
  • Game breaking bug if trying to play on an occupied square.

Closing Thoughts

I've had a lot of fun and success working with Pico 8, definitely more than my experiments with other engines. Being forced to severely limit the scope of the project both in terms of gameplay and art design has resulted in my first ever completed MVP.

P#136576 2023-10-29 08:47 ( Edited 2023-10-29 08:49)