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Authoring system
PICO-8 logo.png
Link Home page
Developer Lexaloffle
Format Other
Interaction style Choice
Systems Browser, Windows, macOS, Linux, Other
System details Raspberry Pi


Latest version 0.2.5g / 28 Aug 2022
Status Stable
Uses interpreter
Multimedia support Supports color effects, graphics, music, and sound effects.
License Commercial
Notes PICO-8 packages its executables into specially formatted PNG image files. These can be run by interpreters available for the Web, MS-Windows, macOS, Linux, and specialty systems like the Raspberry Pi and C.H.I.P.
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PICO-8 calls itself a fantasy console system. That is, it acts as a virtual machine that tries to capture the accessibility and openness of the computer systems of earlier times like the Commodore 64, VIC-20, ZX Spectrum, and BBC Micro while making sensible modernizations. For an example of how it differs from those earlier physical machines, while they all started up in a BASIC programming language environment, PICO-8 uses Lua. It also provides built-in graphics and sound editors, and easy programmatic access to gamepads.

While its deliberate limitations do not make it ideal for writing interactive fiction, it has been used to create more than one title, with choice-based being the most common form. See Red//Black: Two Horror Short Stories for one such example.

PICO-8 is commercial software with free educational versions.

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