Real-time 8-bit lexical puzzle game

PlatformPC (Windows, OS X, Linux, Web)
Mode1 player
YearJanuary 2018
Target audienceRetro/puzzle game enthusiasts
Play time2 minutes (4 levels)
Team1 person
Production time3 days
RoleGame design, Programming, Art, Audio


Keyboard Mouse Sprite
Start emitting letters X  emitter sprite
Toggle interactive element Click on interactive element toggable arrow right sprite
Restart level Click on top-right Restart icon  restart icon
(Debug) Previous level Left arrow
(Debug) Next level Right arrow


REORDERED is a puzzle game where the player must reorder letters moving in a 2D space by interacting with the environment, in order to form an imposed word.

A given word is decomposed in letters that are sent at regular intervals from an emitting antenna. A letter travels in straight line until it reaches an element that affects its trajectory. The player can enable and disable those elements in order to guide the letters into a certain direction.

Letters eventually arrive on a receiving antenna to compound a word again. Some trajectories being longer than others, letters are effectively reordered by the timely toggling of interactive elements, causing a new word to be created.

The game consists of 4 levels defined by:

  • a tilemap containing elements that affect the letters’ motion, some fixed and some that can be toggled
  • an initial word sent
  • a goal word that the player must recompose by reordering the letters



I made this game for the Global Game Jam 2018 on theme Transmission. As all the jam sites around me were already full, I took part in the event unofficially and the game is not registered on the GGJ website. I also wanted to start making games with PICO-8 (which uses Lua) so I thought it was a good opportunity to try the fantasy console.


  • 4 levels with a word to form
  • Mouse control
  • Debug keys
  • Simple graphics
  • Simple BGM and SFX


This is a very small project but I managed to add a few things that usually don’t make into jam code:

  • Coroutines (to send letters periodically and delay visual/audio effects)
  • Unit tests (with simple assertions on game start)


For this small project I wrote the whole code in one file (as we normally do with PICO-8), although I will use build tools like picotool for my future projects.

I also wrote a micro post-mortem on my blog:

PICO-8 game “Reordered” for GGJ 2018