If you experience audio lag with the web version above, please try the standalone version.

The 8 Pico Emeralds have been scattered! Sonic arrives on Pico Island, ready to collect them all!

pico sonic is a partial demake of Sonic the Hedgehog 3 made with PICO-8. It features a simplified version of Angel Island Act 1 with some tweaks. Various classic Sonic games were used as reference, including the 8-bit games (Game Gear and Master System) which have sprites closer to what PICO-8's resolution and color palette, and the GBA titles which have more clear-cut graphics.

The project was started as a personal challenge and was meant to be a fully-fledged fan game, but I eventually dropped many features to focus on Sonic's main movements and the exploration of the stage. Consider it a technical demo with some exploration challenge.

Disclaimer: the game runs on a patched version of PICO-8 that doesn't have the original token count limitation. However, I do respect the (compressed) characters limit for each cartridge.

pico sonic is a fan game distributed for free and is not endorsed by Sega. Sega Games Co., Ltd owns the Sonic the Hedgehog trademark and copyrights on the original assets.

Code repository (GitHub)


Version: 5.1+

Sonic has all basic movements from Sonic 1 but lacks crouch, spin dash, look up and double-jump powers (there are no item boxes for shields anyway).

There is also no timer (sorry speedrunners!).

More info on the repository page.


There is a single demo stage which covers the first part of Angel Island Act 1. Scale is close to 1:1, but Sonic is slightly smaller (relatively to the environment) than in the original game.

The game uses a custom map "streaming" system to allow a bigger map than PICO-8's standard tilemap. There are no enemies, hazards, rings nor item boxes. Rocks are not destructible.

Some enemies have been replaced by static obstacles, and most importantly some items have been replaced by emeralds that can be collected to make the stage more interesting.

Stage gimmicks:

  • Spring
  • Loop
  • Launch ramp


You can play with keyboard or gamepad with those inputs:

Left/right arrows

Keyboard Gamepad Action
Left/right arrows D-pad left/right Move
Down arrow D-pad down Roll (during run)
Z/C/N Face button up/down Jump
X/V/M Face button left/right Cancel (menu)
Enter Start Open pause menu

If you gamepad mapping is not correct, you can customize it with SDL2 Gamepad Tool and copy-paste the configuration line into sdl_controllers.txt in PICO-8's configuration directory. For instance, the Logicool Gamepad F310 had Open PICO-8 menu mapped to Right Trigger, so I remapped it to Start instead.

Pause menu

In the pause menu (toggled with Enter/Start), if you are in-game, you can select the following options:

  • Warp to start: restart stage from beginning keeping collected emeralds
  • Retry from zero: restart stage losing emeralds collected so far
  • Back to title: go back to title menu

Known technical issues

  • The player cannot control the character until the stage intro is over
  • The game slows down in some areas, reaching 30 FPS instead of 60 FPS
  • The game pauses to switch to another cartridge, esp. at the end of the stage intro (only memory reload has been patched on PICO-8 to be instant)
  • Web version: high-pitched sounds in BGM do not convey the same as in desktop/cartridge versions

Known design issues

  • The stage feels a bit empty and too big due to the lack of items, enemies and hazards
  • Scaling is slightly inconsistent as the tilemap is 1:1, but the Sonic sprites are slightly smaller than they should be (rocks in particular look very big)
  • Some ugly sprite / sprite transitions and SFX too far from the original sounds


You can download the latest release below, and any released version on the repository Releases page. If you own PICO-8 and want to run the .p8 or .p8.png cartridges directly, please note that you will need a patched version of PICO-8, and must extract the cartridge files under your local PICO-8 carts folder (see README).


  • Sonic Team - Original games
  • danooct1 - 8-bit remixes of Sonic 3 BGMs
  • Leyn (komehara) - Programming, Sprite/SFX/jingle adaptation, BGM adjustments


pico-sonic-windows.zip 1 MB
Version 5.2 13 days ago
pico-sonic-osx.zip 3 MB
Version 5.2 13 days ago
pico-sonic-linux.zip 775 kB
Version 5.2 13 days ago
pico-sonic-png.zip 247 kB
Version 5.2 13 days ago
pico-sonic-p8.zip 105 kB
Version 5.2 13 days ago


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this.. isnt too playable, but the movement doesnt feel that bad. also you can "fix" the lag by making the base game 30 FPS 'w ' (that is, if thats possible to do)

GOTTA GO FAST *earrape Green Hill zone theme*

This game better be goo

I really appreciate the smaller details, like the loading cartridge screen and the game saving icon. Great job man


which buton is the start buton reply plz im on keybord

Nevermind its c


This is incredible! having a more exploration-focused game like Sonic CD works incredibly well for the Pico-8!

This is so cute!

This is so awesome!!! The control is so fluid and the plataforming is better than a lot of Official Sega Games, and I really loved it. Congratulations, it was a great experience :D


I remember playing a lot of Sonic 3 on Sega Genesis. It was a sensational game. And now I see more proof of competence on the part of the fans, with this project. It is already impressive in itself due to the context surrounding Pico-8. Congratulations on this incredible work.


Thank you! I didn’t have time to edit a video, so thanks for yours too!

I’ll try to bring some updates in the incoming weeks.

(2 edits)

[Reply]I played sonic 2 on the Xbox360 (dose anyone played(or even remenberd that port))

really nice, feels just like old sonic


Thank you!

how do u play

never mind i got it

One mistake: You say its Pico island, but the game says Angle Island. DUDE THIS IS AWESOMMMMEEEEEEEE! Is this based on a specific Sonic game? Because I had one a long time ago that had the same trampoline in tree setup in the beginning to the top left above the start with a secret.

I feel the level it's based on Sonic 3 (yup, Angel Island Zone) , and the controls based from Sonic 1

Yeah! Thats the one I had! Thanks!

Exactly! Although I didn’t add spin dash due to lack of time and hope to add it at some point.

Thanks! And good catch, I’ll fix the “Angel Island” in the stage result.

If you decide to put a ton more effort into this, you could add a coin globe and tails too! Although I dont think there is a reason you would, since its just a bunch of effort and minimal outcome


That was neat! I can't get that damn yellow emerald though, it seems too high!

you need to use momentum there is a ramp to the left of it

were is the andoid


<Here it is>

And btw, it's where