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PICO-8 posts an Advent calendar of browser mini-games all month

Click a date and take a break

Lexaloffle Games
Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

PICO-8, the browser gaming platform that gave birth to Celeste, is celebrating the holiday season with an Advent calendar revealing a new bite-size video game every day for the rest of December.

These Advent calendar games are playable within your browser. Today’s reveal is Holiday Pachi-Photo by Enargy, a pachinko game that tosses up low-res cartoons with each level completed. Yesterday saw Alpine Alpaca by Johan Peitz, a creative turn-based skiing game that’s more like a card puzzle.

Alpine Alpaca
Johan Peitz/Lexaloffle Games

The other games on the calendar, in order beginning with Dec. 1, are:

  • St. Nick’s: Dash Away All! by Matt Hughson
  • Happy Challah Days by Mboffin
  • Winter Golf by 2D Array
  • Merry X-Match by Kometbomb & Ilkke
  • Gim’a’Gift by Eiyeron
  • Trails by Matthias
  • Not a Creature Was Stirring by Kittenmyster
  • Milt by Egordorichev
  • Santa Panic by Dodaann & Timsuast
  • Pieces of Cake by Kratzeg
  • Super Snow Shoveler by Sean S. Leblanc
  • Light Climber by Burning_Out
  • Deco-Rama by Qristy & Lia

What’s PICO-8? Created by Lexaloffle Games, it’s a virtual video game console whose users can create very primitive but very stylish games. Everything is limited to 16 colors and a 128-by-128 pixel display. It’s supported by an enthusiastic community of users and developers who share games as well as tools and tutorials.

Working within these constraints, users create virtual cartridges, which are easily shared (and an online collection of them may be browsed from within the application). Programmers use it on Linux, Mac and Windows PC or Raspberry Pi. “Turn your old unused netbooks or microcomputers into PICO-8s,” the creators say.