Loonies 8192

Retro Puzzle for
DOS, Windows 3.11, Win32s,
PSX, Playstation 2, PSP, Vita,
GameCube, Wii, GBA, NDS, 3DS,
Modern Windows, macOS,
N800, N900, N9, Android, iOS,
PocketCHIP and WebGL

This simple puzzle game at some point fit into 8 KiB, hence the name. Since then, the focus has shifted to porting and support for various audio synths.

Update 2021-12-23: An enhanced version of this game is available: Loonies (2021)

How to play: There are 2x2-blocks falling down the top, with two different colors. Use LEFT/RIGHT/DOWN to move the block and use UP to rotate it. Use SPACE to drop the block (it will fall fast until it lands).


For the 3DS, you need to be running the Homebrew Launcher, for the PSP you need to install Custom Firmware (CFW). For DOS, you just need a Retro PC or DOSBox, PCem or similar emulators that emulate a DOS VGA machine. For the GBA, you need a hacked Wii/GameCube, a Gamecube-to-GBA link cable and gba-link-cable-rom-sender or (easier) just a GBA flash cartridge. For the PSX, you need a modchip or perform the disc swap trick. For the NDS, you need a flash cart. The Android version is available on Google Play. The Win32 build should work with all recent Windows versions and in Wine. The N800, N900, N9 and PocketCHIP ports all come as DEB package. For the PocketCHIP, see the included "README.pocket-home" for how to add a game launcher to the home screen. The iOS version is being submitted to the App Store. For the Vita, you need to be running Henkaku CFW. For PS2, any of the methods for running Homebrew should work (FreeMCBoot, FunTuna, FreeDVDBoot, ...). For GameCube, using Swiss works best (Game Save Exploits, PicoBoot, ...). For Wii, use The Homebrew Channel with the app copied to your SD card. For Windows 3.11, a 32-bit 386 CPU or newer is mandatory. On 286 or older CPUs, use the 16-bit DOS version instead. Best performance is achieved in 256-color mode. The game also works in 16-bit and 24-bit (32-bit) modes. In 16-color mode (standard VGA driver), the game will start, but it will show a warning and the image quality and performance will be reduced.


Older Screenshots

Play In Your Browser

If you don't want to download and install the game, you can just play it in your web browser (no audio at the moment): Loonies 8192 WebGL Edition



There's in-game help now on how to play the game. You can configure the language, soundtrack and difficulty level in the options menu. For DOS, the options menu also allows to choose between PC Speaker, OPL-2, MIDI and CDDA. For the GBA, DMG (GameBoy) sounds are used by default (this is currently the only sound option), for the PSP and 3DS, you can use PC Speaker (beep!) or MIDI (new software-based simple synthesizer) or CD-Audio (if the sound pack is installed). OPL-2 is not emulated/functional on PSP and 3DS for now. The Android version has Vorbis-encoded digital audio. No audio on NDS yet. The Win32, N800, N900, N9 and PocketCHIP ports have emulated PC Speaker and MIDI synth options, as well as "CD Audio" (for Win32: put the sound pack files in a folder called "music"; N800, N900, N9 and PocketCHIP DEB have them already).


                    DOS/WIN PSP/VITA/PSX/PS2 GBA/NDS/3DS/GameCube Wii
                    ------- ---------------- -------------------- ---
Left/Right/Up/Down  ARROWS  D-PAD            D-PAD                D-PAD
Accept/Drop         SPACE   X (CROSS)        A                    2
Exit/Abort          ESCAPE  START            START                1/HOME

On touchscreen devices, touch controls can be used. On the PocketCHIP, the backspace key (top right on the keyboard) can be used like space. On the N800, the D-Pad, D-Pad center and the back button can be used. On the N900, WASD, backspace (exit/abort) and enter (accept/drop) are used. On the Wii, hold the Wii Remote sideways. Alternatively, the GameCube controller is also supported on the Wii on backwards compatible models.

Sound Pack

By default, Loonies 8192 has synthesized sound built in, but it's possible to also use CD-quality audio files. Download the "Loonies 8192 Sound Pack", and put the WAV files on an Audio CD (for DOS) or in the game folders for PSP and 3DS to upgrade your sound experience to fully sampled 16-bit audio! The PSX CUE/BIN already contains CDDA audio (same as the Sound Pack). The sound pack can also be used for the Win32 build, just put the .wav files in a folder "music" next to the EXE file. The DEB (N800, N900, N9 and PocketCHIP), Android iOS and Vita builds already contain the music pack files and default to "CD Audio" (MIDI can be selected in the options screen). The PS2, GameCube and Wii ports do not have audio implemented at the moment. The Windows 3.11 "Win386" build uses Port I/O for OPL-2. MIDI and PC Speaker do not work in the "Win386" version (use the DOS version instead). The Win32s (w32) build uses Port I/O for OPL-2, and midiOut (MIDI Mapper) for MIDI, with no support for PC Speaker. CD Audio is currently also not implemented for Win386.


In addition to the default English language, Loonies 8192 is now localized into German and French (thanks, Angie!) -- configurable in the options.

Global Leaderboards: loonies.thp.io

There are now local leaderboards (best 3 highscores) as well as global leaderboards (using QR codes). When you achieve a local high score, you can submit the score online by scanning the QR code with your mobile phone and a QR code reader app (some phones have it built into the camera app).

The N800, N900, N9, Win32, iOS and Vita ports offer to open the submission link in a web browser as an option in addition to the QR code for easier submission.

User Photos

Here are some pictures from Vogons forum users that ran the game on their hardware, thanks to: Eleanor1967, amadeus777999 and Jo22.

The last one is a Roland MT-32 attached via SBMIDI, as the latest version of Loonies 8192 has support for General MIDI via both MPU-401 (UART mode) and SBMIDI interfaces.

Jonas (from the insideGadgets Discord) made a custom serial multiboot cable, and uploading the Multiboot ROM for the GBA works just fine:


Of course, the point of this exercise is experiencing it on real hardware, but failing that, you can listen to two different renditions of the songs in this game here, one with OPL-2 music being played back by a Yamaha OPL-3 chip on a Sound Blaster 16 and the other with General MIDI music being played back by a Roland SCB-7 WaveBlaster daughterboard on the same SB16: Loonies 8192 Soundtrack

Live Coding Stream

root42 did a YouTube stream recently (May 2020) where we went through the code and looked at the DOS-specific implementation of Loonies: Live Let's Code: Virus Lockdown Coding #2!

Source Code Snapshot: r50

The source code for Loonies 8192 r50 (only DOS and SDL ports) is available under the terms of the GNU General Public License, version 2 from here:

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Thomas Perl · 2023-06-01