Brutal Pico Race is a fast and raw futurist racing game on Pico8 by yourykiki (The lurking engine)

Choose one ship out of three class, choose a track and try to finish first ! You can also challenge a friend, alone or with AI, in split-screen mode !

Brutal Pico Race features :

  • Single player or two players in splitscreen
  • 3 class of ships -heavy -normal -light with different speed curve
  • 6 tracks
  • 3 AI levels or free ride

Controls - keyboard or gamepad :


Use arrows to choose your ship / track / AI level
Z/C/N to start

When 2 players is selected, the second player can choose his own ship directly with S/F


  • Player 1 
    • steering : arrow LEFT, arrow RIGHT
    • accelerate Z/C/N, break V/X/M
    • boost arrow UP
  • Player 2
    • steering : S, F
    • accelerate TAB/Z, brake Q
    • boost E
  • After race
    • up/down the chase other ships



  • Be careful with boost activation, before entering a turn is not always a good idea
  • Health affect how often boost  can be activated
  • You can gain some speed by using riding on the half pipe in the turns
  • Collision affect health and speed, so be careful you can't repair your ship in race and try not to touch other ship to maximize your speed
  • You can try a get a boost by staying one second behind on opponent


Great thanks to the pico 8 community (Zep, @p01, @FSouchu, @Felice_Enellen, Morgan...), all the followers who help me on the project ! And many thanks to my wife and children for the playtests and ships/tracks contribution !

If you like this game, don't hesitate to support it ! This will help me doing more ;)


1.0.4 : (with pico8 0.2.1)

  • @fsouchu subpixel polygon filling
  • slightly better drawing distance in 2 players mode, 12 road blocks instead of 9
  • drafting, stay long enough behind an opponent and get a boost
  • Satisfying HUD design :
    • formatting lap time correctly
    • reduce health, boost and speed bar to center the pilot face :)

1.0.3 :

  • We can finally die !
  • Fix live rank
  • Fix a bug where boost had not influence on centrifugal force, so now be carefull with boost spamming !
  • Add chronometer and timeboard (best race time per track and per AI skill)
  • Add 3 tracks
  • Add a 2 channels music for single player race
  • Add controls helps
  • Adaptive difficulty on boost, AI use less often boost when you're last or 3rd
  • Change ship names

1.0.2 :

  • Increase difficulty
  • 3 kinds of bots
  • Better end screen
  • Changing camera after race
  • Other ship progress on left
  • Cooldown for ships collision damage
  • Changing track loader, room for 3 new tracks
  • Better boost visual fx
  • Fix boost sound fx in splitscreen
  • Change morgan3d heapsort with triplefox's shellsort

1.0.1 :

  • first public
  • Changed rasterizer for @p01

1.0 :

  • Initial version

PlatformsWindows, macOS, Linux, HTML5
Rated 4.6 out of 5 stars
(32 total ratings)
Made withPICO-8
TagsLocal multiplayer, PICO-8, Retro
Average sessionA few minutes
InputsKeyboard, Gamepad (any)
MultiplayerLocal multiplayer
Player count1 - 2


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Click download now to get access to the following files: 1 MB 3 MB 669 kB

Development log


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so where are the tournaments? my storm goes crazy ;)

That would be a great feature to had ! But I'm out of space on pico8 cartridge. If I even manage to win enough space I'll add it !

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Brutal? Super. So darned brutal that our boys back in science said it was too brutal to even research! And the music? BRUTALER! Now, our boys back in science, they tell me that brutaler isnt a word. BUT WHAT THE HECK DO THOSE JUICERS KNOW?! I can feel the chiptune music chipping tunes into my earholes with their little Chipaxes! And I love it! Brutal Gameplay + Brutal Music? I punch those numbers into my calculator and it makes a happy face. 

-DriftWare, we're done here.

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Ahah, lovely brutal comment ! I wish I could have made this game more brutal


You were good son. Real good. Maybe even the best.

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Awesome game! I made something really similar to this as well!

It looks fun ! I had to try it !


Now this is podracing!


I loved more friend, fantastic! I've done a gameplay of your game, I hope you like :D

Thanks ! I hope you had some fun doing it !


I had so much fun doing it bro :D

Ícone "Verificada pela comunidade"

Nicely made, but far too easy. There's no real punishment for boosting over and over again (avoiding hitting corner edges is pretty easy - and when you do hit the edges you can make up the speed loss very quickly) so I won every race super easily.


i loved this so much


very fun game. it's impressive in its presentation and how much there is packed into the game: ai, second player, multiple ships/tracks. really enjoyed the music as well. a pico-8 classic!


Nice racing game. Nice Retro feeling :)

Thanks, you seem to have cool stuff in your bag too !


Nice game with a nice music, I liked the movement!

Thanks !

Deleted post

Hi there, I just came here to post a review in spanish about this awesome game on my blog.

Thank you for the review. I hope you had as much fun playing Brutal Pico Race as I had developing it 😊. 


Sure, I followed your advices and found an amazingly fun game. 


Just got to play on my lunch break actually! I figured out the charge boost. That's really unique dude. I haven't played another game that did that. If you could add something in between the beginning and the end besides the other racers, maybe boost pads on the ground you could hit, or some more geometry, like store fronts, mountains, futuristic highways that break apart so that you have to go from track to track. I think it could be even better than it is with that stuff. Of course those are just my suggestions. It was really fun for what it was dude :)

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Thanks for your suggestions ! The game is written on Pico8 fantasy console. If it is possible to write a game relatively fast it's because it comes with a lot of constraints, such as limited resolution 128x128px, 16 colors, 4 channels sound and 8192 "bytes" for the code. I already have touch this limit multiple times and I can't figure out how to optimize more to free some bytes.

As an alternative to boost pad, you can gain some speed by driving on the half pipe. ;)


Oh wow! I didn't know that about the half pipe. Nice dude :D

As for Pico8, I almost started using that. That's some major limitations. I hope that gets changed, or is optional in the future.


Wow dude! This looks great! I'm also in the GDWC with my game Rutabaga (that's how I found you). I'm definitely going to have to check this out when I get off work. Followed! :)


This game is AWESOME!!! I love it at first time, the graphics are pretty cool and reminds the F-ZERO saga. The difficulty is pretty high even in easy mode, but I think this makes this game more fun because it's a real challenge. 

Thanks, at first it was too easy, so I level up AI. If I can give you some tricks, the boost is the key :)


I figure it out in the fourth race haha


The game is so fun!! I'm really impressed by this complexity on a pico game. Félicitations et merci pour ce merveilleux jeu!

Merci beaucoup :)
I'm glad you had fun


It's nearly impossible to catch up to the enemies, at least for me.

Even with the boost (up key) ? Or sliding on the half-pipe ? Avoid collision or take the 2 lasts ships to maximize acceleration

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hey nice work! impressive pico game!

Thanks :)


Made a video

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Ahah, great video ! I confirm that you can not die in this version, the "HP" only affect the boost frequency. The idea of going faster when you are close to 0 HP is cool, I should have think about it !


Not a bad 15-20 minute

Since enemies steer differently it would be nice to see if they drop hazards onto the tracks

Hello, that's a good idea but I have no more token left and I can't add such a feature on pico8. If I plan to port the game on a real platform, I surely bring that feature to the port :)



Oh in order to add features to PICO8 one has to install additional $$$ implements?

No no, the game is made with Pico8 virtual console. This system has a lot a restriction, 128x128 pixels, 4 audio channels, 16 colours... and 8192 "Tokens" to simulate program memory. One of the challenge when programming on this system is to make a maximum of feature fit in those 8192 tokens. When hitting the limit, the only way to add feature is to optimize the ones that already exists. At a moment optimization also hit a limit and you have the best that pico8 can offer :)

The other way to go further is to port the game on a real platform where there is no such limit, such as unity or anything else. But that is another story


Oh very interesting the constraints. In that sense it's like a NES of some sorts. Is Pico-8 written in Lua?

pico8 expose LUA so it is very accessible. You have a kind of NES or SNES, with a little studio for sprite,map,sound fix and music. One big advantage is that you focus directly on the game and you don't lose time in details 😃 


I love this game! Great work!

Thanks a lot, I prepare a new release in the week-end, a bit more difficult, opponents with different behaviour, a kind of "minimap", end race screen more interesting with possibility to see where are the bots. Stay tune !


Played your game on my series, Indie Game Roundup. Very promising so far!

Cool video, thanks :)



Thanks for the video :)


Hey! Played a buncha of this on my channel. I was no good, but I did have fun. :P

Thanks ! I'm happy you had fun 😊


Really enjoyable game to play! I was impressed by the number of options available in player count, difficulty, and different courses and ships. With the hardest difficulty, the game gives a tough challenge. The graphics are really good work too - the overall look is very low-resolution retro, but for the precise gameplay, the tracks seems to be made with polygons, if I saw right. Only thing I really miss is music during the race, not that it's a big problem, you can play your own.

We'd love to see this game in our contest ,the Game Development World Championship!

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Thanks a lot !

For the contest, if I didn't make a mistake, it is done !

A new release is coming in the week, with some improvements :)


Alright, that sounds great then!