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Standard Pico-8 controls, arrow keys, x, z, enter for pause menu. *May* work fine with gamepads or on touch devices.

Welcome to TOYROGUE. Fight your way through an endless dungeon of horrors in this turn-based rogue-like.

ATTACK randomised enemies in turn-based combat

EQUIP randomised items to power-up your murder hobo

THROW bad items at the enemies to lower their stats!

EAT fortune cookies

CHOOSE to be a dragnet of death and entropy or skillfully navigate your way through the dungeon

Made in Pico-8 January 2021 for ToyBoxJam2020. ToyBoxJam is hosted by Tom Hall (of Id Software, Commander Keen, and Ion Storm fame) and gives everyone the same starting graphics and music as a Pico-8 cart. The gameplay and everything else is up to you, so I decided to have a go at making my first platformer. So of course, it had to be a platformer with no jumping*. For more info about the jam or to try out the other submissions and see how others used the assets, visit the ToyBoxJam page on Itch.

This is a Rogue-like and features very high randomisation and perma-death. Do not be surprised if you get one-shotted by a dragon on the first level or never find a decent weapon. Losing is fun!

Known issues:

There's a rare bug where the game may crash after the victory screen when starting a new game.

Version history:

1.05 - Fixed a bug where an infinite combat loop could start when running away from enemies into a wall.

1.04 - Added enemy scaling, the more game hours pass, the stronger the enemies get.

1.03 - Fixed bug where HP wasn't reset when starting a new game

1.02 - Squashed lots of text display bugs.

1.01 - Fixed a crash when trying to sell items when inventory is empty

1.0 - Initial release

Tips and Tricks:

  • Throwing is a really powerful ability. Even if a thrown item doesn't do any damage, it can change the stats of the enemy it hits. Hang onto all those otherwise-useless items with -3 to defence etc. and hurl them at the enemy. This will be the only way you can defeat the more powerful enemies.
  • If you run from a fight you will start back on the map on top of the enemy, and you can move in any direction. You can do this if an enemy you can't beat is blocking a narrow corridor.
  • You can rest as many times as you want at the tent. Each rest takes two hours. You will have a quicker one hour rest each time you leave a level.
  • To start, you might need to equip a bad item so you can at least attack.
  • You can sell items in the inventory by pressing right.
  • You can re-arrange your stats when you start, try different builds.
  • The game is highly randomised. Some play-throughs are going to be much harder than others.


This is my second submission to the jam, as the jam was extended a whole month I had enough time to rewind after my first submission, get together some ideas and knock this one out. This game was a lot of hard work, despite having given up on a turn-based combat game before because it was too hard I still somehow managed to underestimate how hard I would find this. The game also needed a lot of UI stuff, and UI stuff is hard.

The hardest part was the (extremely limited) animation in combat. I avoided adding animation until very late, and it's clear I should have had it in mind from the start.

There were a lot more features I wanted to add but ran out of time/tokens. The one I'm most bothered about is not being able to get palette-swapped enemies into the game, increasing the randomness even more.

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Level 1 char, and I ran 5 levels in a row with nothing on them treasure or monsters. Level 6 dungeon and Mob had 100's of attack and defense. I want to like this but the level of imbalance I see poping up all over the place ruins the "fun" potential after a couple of runs.

RE: I'm very familiar with "rogue-like", and getting the occasional crap run, this however seems to only be crap runs. I stand by it needs some balancing.

Extar responds:

Five levels with no items or enemies and then a very strong enemy on level 6 sounds like a bug, certainly not anything I've encountered. Enemies do get gradually stronger as you advance through the levels or rest, but it's only a few points at a time, not hundreds.

Bear in mind with the imbalance that the game is a *Rogue-like*; you're (often) going to get harsh, unwinnable seeds.

This is really well done! the only issue i have is when i run from an enemy and it glitches me back into the battle.

Extar responds:

The running away can be a little bit awkward. If you try to move into a wall once you're back on the map it will put you back into combat. It gets confusing if there are adjacent enemies too.


Extar responds:


While this isn't the first Rouge-Like it certainly is what brings the minimum to first place! Though I ran into an error. The way the "Rest" mechanic works is a little tricking and from reading other reviews I know how to use "Throw" but this gives me no reason to edit the stats and I would like to know if the stat edit was inspired by Fallout? And what things does my "Luck" stat influence? And is it possible to cut out some level wall sprites to fit a tutorial in for other players? It would be pretty easy if you can fit it in. Idea: rhythm game.

Extar responds:

Oops, missed this review when it was posted. Editing the stats just lets you focus on your preferred style of play, Throw for example can be very powerful, but it can also be absolutely useless. That stat edit was probably a little bit inspired by Fallout but the main reason for the similarities is that assigning stats and letting players nudge them up or down is a) easy to code and b) gives players who skip through it a relatively balanced build. The Luck stat is used in a few places, notably the chance of landing a lucky hit or dodging an enemy attack. Cheers for the review!

This is a really great game. Randomizing the enemies in each dungeon is an interesting feature that tests your combat skills (As well as your patience and the ability to think carefully before making your move against your enemies) and I really like it.
As for people who write negative comments (Like the person below me, for example), I will ask this. If you don't like the game, why are you here? Why are you playing it? If you don't like it, go play something else. Newgrounds has a lot of games to play and you're free to try them all out. Nobody is stopping you from doing so.
(Well, except for the absence of Flash. And maybe the amount of free time that you have to play games. There are some minor setbacks, I guess)
On the contrary of the person below, I will say that this is a good and interesting RPG. This is my opinion and I am happy to share it with whoever reads this review.
Anyway, as I mentioned above, TOYROGUE is an awesome game. Nice work!

Extar responds:

I'm glad you enjoyed the game. It seems you understood what I was going for with the game, that you need to pick your fights carefully etc. I find that many RPG's and rogue-likes don't really ask the player to make any decisions like that, you're usually just put in front of an enemy you can easily beat, and then another slightly harder one, and then you level up making it's all slightly easier again, and I just find that tremendously dull.

I was trying to go for an experience much closer to true Rogue-likes, where there's a chance combat can kick your ass if you're not paying attention.

Randomizing the enemies was meant to teach the player to actually look at the stats and pay attention to how a fight is going, rather than simply hold down attack until you win--clearly a lot of people do not want to be asked to do that.

Also, you're right, I can't understand the mentality of people who fixate on a game they're not enjoying and write a snotty review rather than just finding something else they actually enjoy.

Anyway, I'm really glad you appreciated it and could see what I was going for, thanks for the review! :D

Credits & Info

3.71 / 5.00

Mar 12, 2021
8:24 AM EST
  • PICO-8