Shoot the Cores!

How fast can you destroy the Grandmothership and all of her cores?

  • Shoot by mashing or holding the 'x' button.
  • Aim your option buddy by holding the 'z' button (pauses the game as you're aiming).
  • Destroy the big 'eye' cores to earn power-ups and get a better fighting chance against evil.
  • Wreck havoc, destroy as much as possible for extra points!
  • Watch your shields (bottom of the game window), if they get depleted it's "game over, man!"

This game was heavily influenced by the third level of R-Type. I still remember how it blew my mind when I first played it as a kid in the 80's arcades. Please enjoy and feedback is always appreciated.



  • HUGE art upgrade with help from none other than "Mathieu ' @p01' Henri". He was kind enough to spend some time with the sprites in the game and I think it looks so much better now. Thanks a lot Mathieu!
  • Faded starfield when close to the upper and lower edges of the playfield, hopefully it helps with the boundary problems some people have experienced.
  • Other small bug fixes, polish and optimizations.


  • Work on the background "starfield": added vertical parallax for depth and added a menuitem to tone-down the amount of distracting "stars"
  • Fixed issues with the upgrades menu: animates into the scene and it should be better about grabbing inputs at the right time
  • Fixed issue where if the player presses back during the initial part of the game they never reach the grandmothership
  • Initial wave of enemy ships now take one hit to kill
  • When the ship is close to zero health, it starts spewing out more smoke particles.

PlatformsWindows, macOS, Linux, HTML5
Rated 4.7 out of 5 stars
(18 total ratings)
GenreShooter, Action
Made withPICO-8
TagsArcade, Bullet Hell, PICO-8, Shoot 'Em Up


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This reminds me of R-type


That was fun!

I literally had to go in and out to destroy mothership pieces (not just for upgrades) for my safety but it was worth the trouble ;)

The final boss was unexpected. It acts differently! fortunately not something I can't handle.

I know, right? that final boss was full on bullet hell


This is absolutely gorgeous <3


Great concept, reminds me of some levels in Alpha Mission II and Cobra Command arcades which had giant motherships you could destory parts of, but allowing the player freedom to tackle it in any order. Very cool.

Finally beat it. Some tips for those like me who found it tough:

  • The big eyes which give the power ups - the first one straight ahead in the middle is a good starting point. 
  • The bigger the eye, the bigger its bullets - so sometimes "weakening" an eye even if you can't kill it yet can be helpful.
  • I maxed out multiple first (I think 3x) then 1x power, then focused on rate with the occasional power, then focused on power. I found 1x speed upgrade was enough.
  • Too much speed upgrades can potentially be more dangerous than good given the limited field of view.
  • There appears to be enough upgrades to max everything and get some extra shields.
  • My favoured route was start in the inner-middle for the first eye then the two eyes in the room, then the first part of the top, then first part of the bottom. 
  • I generally avoided the bullets by just flying away completely,  but occasionally it was better to sit still and try to weave through the bullet hell than try to fly away, as that would lead to flying blind and crashing into something.
  • The cost of an upgrade for 1x shield is probably not worth it if you take too many hits early on, in such case its better to restart. Only if I was into a decent run did I "waste" upgrades on shields.

Cool game. My only feedback is based on the final point - sacrificing one upgrade for just 1 shield feels a bit costly, especially early on. Perhaps at first "shield x 3", then next time "shield x 2" then the rest "shield x 1" as normal, would make it a better trade off and make early mistakes less dooming?


This little game is great and fun, the visual effects are amazing.
I made a little video of my walkthrough:


veeery gooood game!! just one thing. i know what this is a bullet hell game and all these things but maybe that red turrets what shoot a lot of proyectyles can atack again more slowly? i always lose my games with that things but anyways cool game!


Just wanna say that this has been massively lovely and I enjoy every minute of it.


its good gam


This game manages to achieve such an amazing epic cinematic feel into the pico8 limitations. The leveling system made me come back the minute after i died, there's always new routes and stats to improve, making it surprisingly deep.


Superb game. I love the starfield effect, and the idea of multiple routes through the game. A frantic shmup that needs you to take it slowly and methodically if you want to get anywhere. Not beaten it yet but i will, im determined to! Great game!

Thanks for the nice review!  Glad you enjoyed the game and yeah, I hope you come back and finish it!  :)


no, there are no better games on this platform.


aw, thanks for the compliment, vMazen!

(2 edits) (+1)

Just finished the game :D Took my 3 tries, and my winning run was 14:28 minutes. It's really good, thanks for making it! The only negative thing gameplay-wise is that the first time I played I didn't realize I wasn't moving forward, I kept destroying the incoming enemies thinking the game was that, until I realized I had to advance to the big ship. The visuals are amazing, although the fast moving background was a bit too intense for my eyes.

Thanks for the bug reports, albertvaka!  I uploaded a new version that addresses the issues you mentioned as well as others other people have found.  Give it a try and let me know if it works better for you (the less-intense background is in the pause menu).


eu gostei da arte, da mecânica, dos inimigos , e da nave gigante gostei de mais borrem e musica e ruim só isso que eu não gostei a dificuldade também é chata mas seu jogo e muito bom parabéns!

Thanks for your comment, Power Game!  I can't read Portuguese, but according to Google Translate it seems you enjoyed it?  In any case, cheers and thanks for playing!


yes i liked your game, you will do an update

Cool... yeah, I updated it recently and I have another update in the works coming.  Stay tuned!