This jam is now over. It ran from 2022-02-02 22:22:22 to 2022-02-23 06:22:22. View 21 entries

UPDATE: See the MESSAGE FROM MAX in the Community section for updated sprites and a whole new spritesheet to try! (also added to the FILES directory)  PLUS ANOTHER platforming spritesheet in the FILES DIRECTORY!



In this jam, you are provided a variety of sprites, sound effects, and music, and you have to make a game with them! On February 2nd, 2022, I will release the Toy Box Jam "start carts" for Pico-8.  Your mission: code a game with JUST THOSE GRAPHIC AND SOUND ASSETS  contained within the START CARTs. What's in there?

  • THREE 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....
  • They include a full-animated character that seems familar with a certain football helmet on....

OPTIONAL: A MYSTERY TO SOLVE -- an Augmented Reality Game (ARG) from recluse 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!  NOTE: All passwords in the mystery are lower case.

USE ANY GAME ENGINE YOU WANT, though the assets are made originally for Pico-8. Extracted sprites, sfx, and music are within for folks using Unity or other engines!  (Pico-8 folks, you don't need to download all those extracted WAVs and MP3s...)


___________________________________________WE ARE LIVE! GO CHECK "THE FILES" SECTION!___________________________________________

Play previous TOY BOX JAM games if you want!

TBJ 1, 2019 games:

TBJ 2, 2020 games:

Then choose easy mode or hard mode!


  • Use the assets provided  in the STARTCARTs/mystery/asset folders to make a cool game by February 22nd. Just code away and have fun!
  • Please use the hashtags " #TOYBOXJAM " and  " #Pico8 " and "#TBJ3" when posting about your game!  Use these on and social media, especially Twitter.
  • USE ANY ENGINE YOU WANT. The below comments are more for Pico-8:
  • 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! 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 ARG 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

  • THREE WEEKS(ish): You have two and a half weeks to make a game using ONLY THOSE GRAPHIC AND SOUND ASSETS in the startcart, democart or any Pico-8 assets you find investigating the small little mystery (or asset folders if you use another engine).  Write whatever CODE you want, but just use those sprites, sounds, and music.
  • USE ANY ENGINE YOU WANT. The below comments are more for Pico-8:
  • 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.

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.   


Read the READ_ME_FIRST file! And check out the startcart3 directory for character sprites and NEW TUNES FROM GRUBER!



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 graphics or sound 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: Can I use a game engine other than Pico-8? Yes, though the assets were originally made for Pico-8.

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  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, thykka.

Font encoding by Merwok

Sound effects by Lafolie, Gruber, That Tom Hall. bikibird.

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
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macOS (6)
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Entry for Toy Box Jam 3. A classic platformer with metroidvania elements.
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Lead your soldiers to victory using musket and bayonet in this short action strategy game
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A third-person shooter made in pico-8 for Toy Box Jam 3!
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Collect the treasures and escape before getting burned!
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Short Pacman/Lolo-like?
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Retro-style detective-like game for Toyboxjam3
Help captain Neat-O find home!
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A Captain Neat-o Adventure
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retro 2d action platformer
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A Pico-8 Battle Tactics Game!
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Tower defense, but you can move stuff around with a quadcopter
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A digital board game for Toy Box Jam 3, made in Godot
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Unfinished sim where you try make a micro nation fail slower.
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a pico-8 math game
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game gravity
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Type the words to get to the coin!
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Toy Box Frazzled Fun
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