(another PICO-8 game from me)


Menu: Z to start game.

Game: UP/DOWN to adjust nectar quota (how much nectar a bee will collect before returning to the hive)
Z (when the 'add bee' icon is visible) to add a bee at a cost of 10 nectar

Game over: Z to restart.


Bees visit flowers for nectar (but they can only find flowers within a certain radius, so they explore if they don't find one right away). Bees collect nectar until they have enough for the quota, then they bring it back to the hive. As the hive accumulates nectar it can produce more bees. Bees have limited lives, but every time a bee dies, a new flower is born somewhere in the garden. Every visit of a bee to a flower adds pollen to the flower, which helps the flower produce more nectar. You can adjust how much the nectar quota is, balancing between bees being away longer (more likely to die without returning their nectar) and bees spending too much time on journeys to the hive (not using time efficiently). You can also add new bees once there is ten or more nectar in the hive.

The game is over when the last bee has died and there is not enough nectar left to add a new one.

(I am not trying for realism in any way with this game!!!)


I started with just bees, and they would look around for flowers. Writing rules for entities and seeing how they work is great fun. This game was a slow burn but a great experience. I was flexing my systems design brain gently throughout the month, trying to ride the line between 'there's nothing to do here' and 'this game is asking too much of me'. I think it came out pretty well in that sense. The only interaction from the player (if they even want to interact) is to adjust the nectar quota and get the bees coming back more/less often, or add new bees.

Lexaloffle BBS thread: here.

#onegameamonth March 2019

Install instructions

The game should work great in the browser whether downloaded or not! Download the ZIP and put both files in the same folder, then double-click on 'bees.html'. It should open like a normal webpage.

The binaries just need to be downloaded and unzipped on the correct kind of computer - they should work from the unzipped folder with no extra messing. I'm just using the built-in PICO-8 binary export, but please let me know if something is weird with them. It is a new enough feature.

If you have PICO-8 and want to check out the game's code/etc. or just play it in the 'real thing', download either bees.p8 or bees.p8.png to your pico-8/carts directory, then load from within the game with 'load bees'.


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Nice game even though there wasn't much interaction for the player on the game, it feels oddly satisfying. Good luck.

@Stentorien Thanks for the comment! Yeah, it's not designed for the player to need to do much, just to be a chill and satisfying time. If you want to do more, try ANTS instead!