PICO-8 is a fantasy console for making, sharing and playing tiny games and other computer programs. When you turn it on, the machine greets you with a shell for typing in Lua commands and provides simple built-in tools for creating your own cartridges
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Restrictions of tokens count "forces" to write code effectively
When you reach 8192 tokens, you're screwed. However, this limit can teach you to take a look at entire code and think how you could optimize it.
Pro Possible writing code in external editor
Since launch of 0.1.12c version of software, you can now write and include external script using the same directive just like in C / C++.
Pro Takes away the pain of having to wire things together
Because it's an all in one product, you don't have to worry about things like how to load sprites.
Pro Very simple programing language
It's lua with a few modifications.
Pro Encourages building simple games
As a beginner it's all to tempting to try to make the games you like to play, like Zelda or Call of Duty when we should probably be making pong.
Pro Perhaps one of the easiest sound editors around
Pro Share the game in a .png file with other Pico-8 users
Pro You can read the code of any game you play
Pro Lots of examples
Almost every game made for the Pico-8 is open source (if you can download the .png, you can see the source).
Also there's the fancy Pico-8 "fanzine" that has lots of code examples as well as other great tutorials in a beautiful physical or PDF form.
Pro Easy to get things going very quickly
Con Costs 15$
Unlike many of the other frameworks it's not free. However this is kind of a feature because it means it's much more likely to be supported.
Con No collision library or other common things
Pico-8 is very minimalistic and as such doesn't come with really any abstractions whatsoever which means often you end up re-inventing the wheel.
Con Code editor leaves some things to be desired
Such as code completion and automatic indentation.