the sorting game nobody saw coming

Play a game about sorting that, instead of focusing on level-based puzzles, goes for point based competition. Or just sort infinitely, because the points aren't important.

In singleplayer, use the arrow keys or ESDF to move and Z/C/N/Left Shift/Tab to swap or select. Q/X/V/M/A will cancel your combotimer.
Enter/P brings up the pause menu.

A simpler way to think about it is: Arrows move. N swaps. M does... stuff. Enter pauses.

In multiplayer, Arrow Keys + N/M is one player and ESDF + Tab/Q is the other. You'll need controllers for the other two players. Or you can use four controllers, one for everyone. Or have three controllers and one keyboard.

Enter still brings up the pause menu, though.

note: this is the official location of this game’s A-series, if you see it anywhere else, it’s been copied from this page.

The only other official version is the P-series, which is on Lexaloffle’s PICO-8 SPLORE.

four awesome gamemodes

Sort infinitely! Practice getting huge combos. Or just sort your heart out. Nobody cares, and nothing saves! (Except to a small stats menu known as your Collection.)

Sort quickly, sort well, my friend. Aim for huge combos, back-to-back chains, and any other awesome strategy that gets you a huge score within 2 minutes (or 3, or 4, or 5). Go for your high score. Make yourself look awesome.

Combos too complicated? Sorting fast is all that matters here. No setups needed - nail a certain amount of capsules as quick as possible for some amazing Bragging Rights. Play for 8, 16, 32, or 64 clears. Just please don't hurt your hand. Orbsort whiplash is a serious condition.*

*it's not. please make sure you don't get carpal tunnel though. your hands are more important than colored balls. :)

FOUR PLAYER SPLITSCREEN!!! HOLY MOLY!!! (note that you do need controllers if you intend on playing with more than two players. PICO-8 doesn't let me and there's not enough room on the keyboard anyway.) KO your friends as quickly as possible without losing yourself in this surprisingly moderately strategic mode. Keep your health high, your shield even higher, and when everything seems lost, keep making those combos.

i wanted anyone to play it

Need to learn the game's strange rules? On the first boot of the game, you get a tutorial. (Hit ENTER to skip the tutorial, if you want to.)

Want to change up combos? Head over to Options and change the combotime to your liking! There is ABSOLUTELY NO PENALTY because I DO NOT CARE! This is a game about SORTING! SORT TO YOUR ENJOYMENT!!! (DO IT)

(And you can turn off combos entirely if you want!)

Hate circles? Change the orb set! We've got regular orbs, bubbles, and shapes! (Though all of them have some amount of circle-ry. Deal with it, buddy)
Colorblind? There's a variation of the Shapes set without shadows or highlights that also adds in a bottom bar for the order and changes the icons for the Bag on the top of the screen.

Finally, you can make it so that there's only 6 orbs instead of 8. Color order adjusts for this too, so don't worry about losing color combo c-opportunities.

gamer music

- 5 tracks of casual music (Infinite)
- 4 tracks of tense music (Blitz/Clear)
- 2 tracks of Knockout music
- 5 other tracks that exist
(that's 16 tracks!!!!! woow!)
if you download the game i give you all the MP3s for free!!!!!!!!!!!!!! you can listen to them in the app too anyway

hope you enjoy :)

please share it with your friends and force them to play Knockout against their will.

Or, if you prefer to not get arrested, feel free to beg them kindly.

or, if you hate Knockout, compete for a good score.

or, if you hate your friends, just keep sorting things out :)

Updated 4 days ago
Published 7 days ago
PlatformsWindows, macOS, Linux, HTML5
Release date 6 days ago
Rated 5.0 out of 5 stars
(3 total ratings)
AuthorWish Volo
Made withPICO-8
TagsAbstract, Arcade, Casual, Fast-Paced, High Score, PICO-8, Pixel Art, Singleplayer, sorting, Split Screen
Average sessionA few minutes
InputsKeyboard, Gamepad (any)
AccessibilityColor-blind friendly, Interactive tutorial
MultiplayerLocal multiplayer
Player count1 - 4

Install instructions


Make sure you're downloading the files for the correct OS ;)

When it's downloaded, unzip the file. All of the files in the folder must be kept together, or it won't work. (You can make a shortcut and it'll work perfectly fine, though.)

Run the program with the capsule + 1.5 orbs icon. If it starts yelling at you about the file possibly being a virus, ignore it by:

  • On Windows, hit "More info" and "Run anyway"
  • On Mac, I'm not entirely sure. You might have to open settings and go to Security, then hit Open Anyway over there.

If there's any issues, please leave a comment. I'd love to fix whatever!


Download the zip file, unzip it, then play the music. You might have to do some fiddling with local files, but iTunes/Apple Music and Spotify will let you move the files to your phone, and you can play them anywhere.


Download 1 MB
Download 3 MB
Download 799 kB
Download 2 MB
Music .mp3 zip 40 MB

Development log


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Amazing, beautiful, well done.



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Definitely did not see it coming. How much time did you put into this PICO-8 game? I’ll endanger my sanity if I write this much code in Lua.

Kudos to you, the Orbsort Master.

Haa, thanks! Thanks very much!

It started seven months ago, though I assume only half of that was when I was actually doing work… Recreating it from zero, I could prolly do it in 2… and save a bajillion tokens. (bajillion prolly equaling 12)

Lua’s kind to me lol. I think the most maddening thing was whenever I did a really stupid thing and couldn’t find it later. Everything that wasn’t that was actually pretty easy.

Though it was prolly helpful that I added every feature via the equivalent of duct tape, popsicle sticks, and marshmallows.

(1 edit)

Maybe you can port your game to desktop and add better assets, then sell it as “Orbsort Deluxe” or something. may help (a Lua Game Engine)

Someday. Maybe. Maybe not. Who knows.


i'm so incredibly proud of you wish! orbsort has amazing potential :)