What is SCUMM-8?

SCUMM-8 is a “demake” of the SCUMM engine (which powered most of the classic LucasArts adventure games, such as Monkey Island and Maniac Mansion) for the PICO-8 Fantasy Console.

Check out the project on:

A playable sample game “Return of the SCUMM” can be found here.


While it is heavily “inspired” by the SCUMM engine, it isn’t a true replica (for that you’ll want good ol’ SCUMM-VM).

However, SCUMM-8 attempts to stay as true as possible to the original SCUMM command reference.

“Cool, so does that mean I can play those old LucasArts games in PICO-8?!”

Er… no. SCUMM-8 cannot play those original games, just that it is intended to provide similar functionality within the (very limited) world of PICO-8.

“It don’t work mate, waited forever and ‘Monkey Island’ never loaded!”

Wow, really? You still here?! OK, once again. Think of SCUMM-8 as an even more retro “mini-me” version of the classic SCUMM engine. Most of the features are planned, but the experience will be… shall we say…”cut down”.

“Got it. . . . so what about ‘Day of the Tentacle’ then?”

*sigh* . . . “Look behind you! It’s a three-headed monkey!” . . . *runs away*

Current Features

  • Multiple Rooms (32+, per cart, technically)
  • Pathfinding for walking
  • Dialogs between Actors
  • Cut-scenes
  • Camera system (pan-to, follow, static)
  • Room transitions (“iris”, cut)
  • Customisable Verbs
  • Z-plane ordering of objects/actors
  • Global-level (background) & Room-level scripts
  • Game start-up script
  • Object dependencies
  • Replace Color (to allow re-use of room/object gfx)
  • Adjustable Room Brightness Levels
  • Screen “shake” effect
  • Proximity (between Actors/Objects)

Planned Features

  • Game Editor (In Progress…)
  • Game Save/Load

Getting Started

Please see the SCUMM-8 Wiki for details on how to get started creating your own SCUMM-8 game, as well as the the full API reference.

Thanks & Useful Resources

A big thanks to Aric Wilmunder (ex-LucasArts developer) for sharing valuable SCUMM documentation.
Particularly the SCUMM Tutorial (1991), the example room from which was the first room I actually created in SCUMM-8 (minus the cool Sam & Max gfx, of course)

Thanks also to Dan Sanderson for his picotool – specifically his minifying tool (luamin), which enabled me to squeeze MUCH more code under PICO-8’s limits.

Shoutout to @PixelArtM, whose PICO-8 mockup inspired me to wonder whether this could actually be pulled off within the virtual console’s limits
(and then later used SCUMM-8 to make said mockup a reality!).

Some other great SCUMM resources I found along the way include the following: