This jam is now over. It ran from 2020-12-19 02:00:00 to 2021-02-01 02:00:00. View 23 entries


In this jam, you are provided a variety of sprites, sound effects, and music, and you have to make a game with them! On December 18th, 2020, I will release the Toy Box Jam "start carts" for Pico-8.  Code a game with JUST THOSE ASSETS  contained within the START CARTs. What's in there?

  • TWO full sprite sheets of various and sundry game graphics, plus optional sprite fonts -- use one or the other, or mix and match!
  • random sound effects to use
  • a set of music tracks to play FROM THE PICO-8 LEGEND GRUBER!
  • some optional support code: sprite font print function, big print function, simple collision, window drawing, and more....
  • A fully animated platforming character!

OPTIONAL: A MYSTERY TO SOLVE -- "The Case of the Unfinished Game" -- sent from mysterious recluse game developer Max Tojoby!

  • Yes, it's a ridiculous backstory to justify the concept! (It's a mystery with little bonuses for people that solve all or part of it!) Start with the _READ_ME_FIRST description, but the mystery is totally optional!


Play last year's games here:


  • Use the assets provided on December 18th in the STARTCARTs/mystery to make a cool game by January 3rd. Have fun!
  • Please use the hashtags " #TOYBOXJAM " and  " #Pico8 " when posting about your game! (And if you want, jauntily add " #TBJ2020 ") Use these on and social media, especially Twitter.
  • You may augment your cart with any code in the DEMO CART (there are a FEW well-coded routines -- stars, scroll tile, collision, printing, but most are really bad code just to show you sprite numbers or how to flip the explosion animation)! 
  • Bend the rules this time if you want -- no judging this year! Just have FUN! Just start with the given assets though!

Look at the DEMOCARTs to see how to use some of the tricker graphics (and to hear the music selections).  "The Case of the Unfinished Game" is optional.  There are little bonuses for solving the mystery that will help you have a few more options, but it is completely optional.

HARDCORE HARD MODE RULES: For the, well, you know, hardcore

  • TWO WEEKS(ish): You have two and a half weeks to make a game using ONLY THOSE ASSETS in the startcart, democart or any Pico-8 assets you find investigating the small little mystery.
  • REARRANGE: You can rearrange the sprites with RESPRITER if you want (for instance, to use some sprites, font, and map).
  • SCROLLING TILES: You CAN use the included routines to scroll the sprite data up, down, left, or right within itself in runtime. And feel free to write more efficient ones, but only to SCROLL (move and wrap the sprite data a pixel at a time up, down, left, or right) within the sprite within itself.
  • MULTIPLE COPIES / ROTATIONS OKAY: You CAN make multiple copies of the same sprite to place in the sprite sheet (say if you want, when rearranging, to treat global sprites differently). But these copies must remain the same, unmodified until draw commands and PAL commands modify them in runtime. Your copies can be 90-degree Pico-8 rotations or pixels shifts of the original sprites if you don't want to use the rotation routines/scrolling routines.
  • LIMITED SPRITE RE-COLORING: You cannot CHANGE the sprites, other than colorizing them with live PAL and changing transparency with PALT, or colorizing them in the editor as IF they were changed with PAL and PALT (you cannot essentially add detail). That includes drawing in, POKEing in them, and other techniques. (You can set flags on the sprites and of course, flip them all you want.)
  • NO OTHER ASSETS: You cannot use sprites, sound effects, and music not in the startcart and demo cart. (Or from solving any part of the mystery....)
  • JUST THE ASSETS YOU NEED: You don't, obviously, have to use ALL the assets to make your game!  It would probably be a mess if you did.
  • SOUNDS: You can change the speed and general volume of sound effects (if they are too loud), but not the data.
  • USE OF INCLUDED ROUTINES: You CAN use Pico-8 functions to render the TOY BOX FONT font sprites yourself, changing colors and transparency with PAL and PALT. You don't need to use any of the provided code at all.
  • BUILT-IN DRAWING FUNCTIONS OKAY: Feel free to use the built in drawing functions of Pico-8 (LINE, RECTFILL, CIRCFILL, PSET, etc.), but not so much as to avoid the intent of the jam (using the assets provided).  Do not make sprites with these, nor store them as string data, nor load them from another cart, or any other tricksy maneuvers -- please try to make magic with the tools and toys given. Otherwise, why not just do a different jam?
  • "HIDDEN PALETTE" OKAY: Yes, you can use all the fun new colors if you want . There is a routine for setting and keeping your new Palette.  (BTW If you need to reset the palette to edit code, type PAL() at the command line.)
  • NOTHING CONTROVERSIAL PLEASE: Please, no political or religious or inflammatory content. This is fun playground that divisive and mean stuff have no place in.  Abusive games will be removed. Let's just have FUN!
  • USE THE MAP IF YOU WANT. Just make sure the tiles you want available are in the first two sprite tabs!
  • SAFE FOR WORK: This is a PG jam. Please do not put adult content in it. There is plenty of other Internet for that, heh.
  • LINK TO LAUNCHER: EVERYONE that submits a game (that follows these rules) will be linked to a TOY BOX JAM 2020 launcher!  

Stuck on an idea? You can use Game Idea Guru!

Or try out RNDGAME for random game names!

Wanna see how changing the palette will affect a sprite? Use A Strange Fool's Repaletter!


Go here and READ the _READ_ME_FIRST file. Just start with the STARTCARTs and have fun.

(Note: One Font fixed by Professor Action, and he provided a color-text printing routine! If you use it, PLEASE get it again!)

Read the READ_ME_FIRST file! Then  go where Max tells you! (And let me know if there are any problems with the files or the special mystery activity...)


To get IN the launcher, submit your cart to on Your cart should be on Lexaloffle with the tags "toyboxjam" and "tbj2020", and please provide:

  • Cart  Full Name
  • Alias on it was submitted under
  • Cart Name on Lexaloffle

The Launcher:

A) lists the carts and launch them

B) provides a pause menu entry to go "Back to Launcher"

I would also recommend making your submission playable on by exporting to HTML, changing gamename.html to index.html, then zipping the two files for upload. You have to check the box that says HTML - playable in browser.  If I don't see your cart, comment on your Submission to the Jam, and that messages me.


I'm thinking this year it can just be for fun! We've all had enough stress this year!


Are you here and have no idea what Pico-8 is? It is a "fantasy console". Imagine that someone made an emulator for a console similar to the NES... but it never existed!  You code in Lua (a scripting language that is easy to learn), and ALL THE TOOLS ARE BUILT IN -- code editor, sprite editor, map editor, sound effects editor, and music editor! It makes it really, really easy to make a game! I've made a tiny one in less than an hour!  It costs $15 and is available from here:  Totally worth it for hundreds of hours of enjoyment! CHEAPEST CONSOLE / DEV ENVIRONMENT EVER!

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q: Where the heck are the files?  Well, if you checked this early, good job: they are here! Read the _READ_ME file first!


Q: I've never made a game before, can I enter?  A: Yes.
Q: I'm not very good at making games, should I enter? A: Yeah, why not?
Q: Can I reuse my own code from prior projects? A: Yes. Just no assets from them.
Q: What time zone determines the start and end dates?  A: Pacific Standard Time (PST, GMT - 8).
Q: Can I join the jam after it has already started?  A: Yes, you can join at any time. You just have to submit a game before the deadline. 
Q: Can I work with a team?  A: Yes.
Q: Can I be a member of more than one team?  A: Yes.
Q: Is there a limit to the number of people that can be on the same team?  A: No.
Q: Can I submit more than one game? A: Yes.
Q: What happens if I don't submit my game in time?  A: It won't be listed on the Jam page, I think?  But by all means, finish your game! (I still wanna see it!)
Q: Can I update my game after the end of the jam?  A: Yes, why not?

Q: Am I super-disqualified if I bend the rules a little? A: Nah, probably not except the safe for work one. But TRY to follow 'em!

Q: Can I participate without joining A: Yesssss.... I guess.... but it's SO much easier if ya do. :D

Q: I have a problem with one of the files! What do I do?  A: Let me know! I will fix it if I can!

Thanks to LCD Jam for the FAQ Idea and most of the questions!

I can't wait to see what you all come up with! Let's have a fun TOY BOX JAM Holiday together!


Pico-Lib Code by That Tom Hall and the Pico-8 Community (credits in "start cart")

Sprite Ideas by That Tom Hall, Lafolie, Liquidream

Art / Animation by Lafolie, Toby Hefflin, That Tom Hall, Smelly Fishsticks, Alice Stenger.

Sound effects by Lafolie, Gruber, That Tom Hall

Incredible Music by Gruber (and one lame one by That Tom Hall)

Jam Advice by Matthias Scherba

Idea of Having a Backstory by Fwip

Interesting Content Discussion by Lafolie


A Strange Fool for REPALETTER

Professor Action for fixing the One Font and providing a printing routine!

And of course, thanks to Zep for Pico-8!


All submissions
Browser playable (20)
Windows (9)
macOS (9)
Linux (9)

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Help Ninjoe escape the Dragon's Lair!
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Hunt down radioactive chickens stuck in pipes in this short retro platformer.
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A short rogue-like dungeon-crawler made for ToyBoxJam 2020. Fight and throw your way to victory!
Role Playing
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An overly ambitious mess/strategy rpg.
Role Playing
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My first jam game - a simple and short 2D platformer.
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For ToyBox game 2020
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Gather resources, build rails, drive the train, earn coins and unlock new areas!
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It's chaos golf, but we already told you that.
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PICO-8 reimagining of Atari 2600 Haunted House
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PICO-8 Snood clone submission for #ToyBoxJam2
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A PICO-8 Katamari-like for Toy Box Jam 2
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it 's fusion between candycrush and tetris
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beat-matching creative dj game
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A simple puzzle game to play during Christmas!
Merry Christmas 2020
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The contractor to the gods has a job to do after Thor's latest wild night
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Bad game for TBJ2020
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yet another harvest moon like
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