Astero title screen shot.

Astero is a scrolling shooter where the player must destroy as many ships as possible while avoiding their fire and collecting power-ups.

Being released on the PICO-8 medium, the game can be played on various platforms. It was created by grumpus and was published in 2016.


Upon the start of a game/level, enemy ships begin appearing, each of which has a certain attack pattern and weapon, as Sentries travel straight down vertically but fire one shot to each side at about a 45 degree angle. Wardens only fire one vertical shot at a time but they move diagonally. Jackals quickly move horizontally while firing up to two Missiles that rapidly travel downwards and Alphas move slowly horizontally, but then stop and fire a powerful laser for a few seconds.

Getting hit by an enemy or one of its weapons will cost the player a ship and the game will end when there are no more remaining ships. The game will also end if the player beats all six levels. However, occasionally a destroyed enemy will release a power-up, which includes a Fan, which will enable the player’s shots to fire in three directions: at about a 45 degree angle from each side and straight forward. The Tri shot will enable the player’s ship to fire forward and left and right all at once. The Double shot fires two shots straight ahead at once and the Laser will fire a continuous powerful beam. All power-ups only last a few seconds after being collected, but the player will also lose a power-up’s ability if they are in possession of one when they lose a ship.


  • Play game–x or z keys (on title screen)
  • Move ship–arrow keys
  • Fire–z or x keys
  • Pause game and/or reset cart–enter or p key


  • There is a chiptune cover of "Scars on Land" by Kings of Convenience included in the game, which is one of the programmer’s favorite songs.
  • In response to a post on the Pico-8 forums in regards to the player’s ship having a constant stream of smoke coming out of its engines, the programmer responded with “I actually started this game with the idea ‘what if your ship was breaking down and you had to escape an alien fleet?’ Hence all the smoke...”.
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