Just One Boss

Sole Developer / Feb 2018


A challenging boss fight against a charming opponent!

How to Play

Collect the glowing tiles while avoiding the boss's attacks.

  • Arrow Keys: Move
  • Right Arrow Key: Start


Ever since playing Banana Nababa as a kid, I've been an enormous fan of boss fights and boss rushes. So during my twelve-week batch at the Recurse Center (a self-directed retreat for creative programmers) I decided to create my own!

My goal was to make a boss fight that:

  1. Was non-violent (or at least not strictly antagonistic)
  2. Had phases that progressively challenged and recontextualized the player's chosen strategy
  3. Inspired some fun and dramatic "Oh no" moments

I was determined to figure out a way to fit a Hard Mode into the game for my fellow masochistic players. And so a good chunk of development was spent just trying to optimize all of the game's content to fit into a single PICO-8 cartridge (which it barely does at 8192/8192 tokens).

Just One Boss marked my first experience ever composing music. I knew nothing about music or music theory going into it, and it took three weeks of intense study to learn enough to be able to make the game's main track. But I'm proud to now have a piece of music to my name!


I'm blown away by how well Just One Boss has been received. It's gotten tons of lovely comments from players (including some really awesome fan art), there's lots of videos online of streamers who have taken to the game, and some cool folks have even speedrun it!

Lorenzo Pilia@LorenzoPilia

Feb 20, 2018


Feb 13, 2018

Meeple Bunker@MeepleBunker

Oct 13, 2019

Just One Boss has been played hundreds of thousands of times across itch.io, Newgrounds, GameJolt, and Armor Games alone. It's even developed its own speedrunning community that have absolutely pushed the game to its limits.

As someone who doesn't do any marketing beyond putting out a single Tweet whenever I make a new game... I'm really floored and flattered.

Thank you for playing!