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A jam submission

SwarmView game page

Control swarms of bees to defend your flowers!
Submitted by greysonp — 1 day, 15 hours before the deadline

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Swarm's page


CriteriaRankScore*Raw Score
64x64 Authenticity (was it truly lowrez?)#194.8574.857
Game Feel (playability and control)#303.8573.857
Overall Enjoyment#483.6673.667
Aesthetic (sound and visual)#753.8573.857

Ranked from 21 ratings. Score is adjusted from raw score by the median number of ratings per game in the jam.

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I think this is hurt by the 64x64 limitation; it feels like I'm frantically moving my tiny letterbox around the map searching for a flower under attack as pointed to by the indicators. Of course, that's part of the game, but it's probably a bit far over the frustrating-vs-fun line for me. I also spent almost the whole first playthrough thinking that the little darker green "grass" things were flowers and failing to understand why nothing worked :) The swarming effect is really nice!


@Jupiter_Hadley Thanks for including me in your series! It is very much appreciated :)

@mapedorr Thanks for for playing! I do have the arrow indicators telling you what state your flowers are in (normal, attacked but not taking damage, and attacked and taking damage), so I hoped those would be sufficient. The proximity sound isn't a terrible idea either. Thanks!

Very cute, little game! I included it in my compilation video series of the Low Rez Jam games, if you would like to take a look :)

I like the aesthetic, but the gameplay at the beginning is confusing. As the game doesn't have a map, it would be helpful to give sound clues to the player to let it know if it is near a fox.


Thanks for the new comments! It seems difficulty is a common theme. Unfortunately, implementing the enemy spawn rates was something that happened right at the end of the jam, and I didn't have much time to balance. So it'll definitely need some tweaking in that regard :) I plan on making a lot of changes after the jam based on all of this helpful feedback (like adding different bee types, @Delca!).


Graphics and sounds were fitting, and the gameplay was very interesting (although it gets hard really quick with the tougher foxes). I would love seeing differen types of bee with different stats/effects. Thanks for making that game!


This is really cool, I enjoyed playing it a lot. It was a good resource management game, trying to split your bees evenly amongst all the threats. It would be nice if it was a little bit easier to start with I guess


neat game! gets hard fast


@BrazMogu Thanks! I actually was considering changing the core game flow and have it be even more RTS-y after the jam. Adding in a resource-gathering element and possibly even different types of bees.

@Absurd-O-Matic Thanks! I was thinking the same thing. I did implement some difficulty scaling in the game to make it more difficult the more bees you had, but I didn't want to go too crazy and punish people for doing well. It's definitely a problem I'll have to spend some time thinking about!

@Sparrowspell Thanks! I agree, the game does get hectic, and that's totally the feeling I was going for. I was thinking about a mini-map, but it's so hard with such a low resolution. That's why I added the arrow system. I was considering upscaling the game to 128x128 after the jam (pico's native resoluation), so maybe I could use the extra pixels for that!


Awesome! I always love me a good Pico-8 game. Controls worked fine, graphics are good and sound is intuitive. Eventually I got swarmed because I lost track of things, a minimap might make things clearer?


This is awesome! Love the rts/tower defense concept and the graphics/sound work together so well. It feels really good to play. As for the performance roof, maybe trying to think of a new gameplay element that curbs how many bees you can use (that slows the game down) might be an interesting brain exercise? Either way, great game.


I really like that this is an RTS made in 64x64 :V

Getting the controls was simple, and after that the gameplay is pretty intuitive, or at least I think it'd be for strategy players. Unfortunately I can't say keyboard-based RTS controls are the best, but the game is fun nonetheless.

I think what I wish was to somehow expand the garden and maybe affect bee production in some way, but this is a very good and fun prototype nonetheless. :)


@Amorphous I agree, sometimes telling which bees are where can be difficult, especially when there's overlapping swarms. I have the counter in the top right to help you see how many bees you are currently carrying, but there's no indicator for each flower. Which limited pixels, I opted not to have per-flower counters. Changing bee tint or transparency would normally be a good approach, but I'm using PICO-8, which as a limited 16 color palette, so alas, no luck there :/

I also agree it can be difficult to tell what the foxes are attacking. I wanted to have two distinct attack animations, but time got the better of me :)

Thank you for your thoughts!


Nice work. I wasn't very good at the game.

Graphics and sounds worked well together, and gameplay was intuitive and simple. The graphics themselves were not quite as intuitive; it was difficult to tell how many bees you had with you, whether the bees were on your person or protecting the flowers, and aside from the arrows, whether the foxes were attacking the flowers or getting stung by bees. This might be because the bees are 1 pixel large, but maybe some visual distinction might be helpful?


Nice original concept!


@jernej Congrats on scoring that high! I always die by the mid 200's :p Performance is a known issue, unfortunately. You start to feel the restrictions of the PICO-8 once you get above 50-60 bees. I tried pulling a lot of tricks to speed up the calculations, but it's still something I'd need to continue looking into if I want to flesh this out into a full game.

Thanks for playing!


I enjoyed playing the game. I liked the resource splitting/management aspect. The foxes are cute :)

Technical: at 180+ points the game started to lag a lot bringing the frame rate so low that it was hard to properly move. Eventually I had to give up at 300+ points.


Really fun! Might be satisfying to mash buttons to sting enemies faster...