Programs to Make 8-Bit Games

By Brandon Pierce

Updated September 28, 2017

Making your own games is not as difficult as you might think.
i controller image by Thommi from

There are programs that can be found on the internet either for free or a small fee that can allow a person with minimal experience to design their own simple computer games. 8-bit technology is a little dated now, but it can still provide a very entertaining gaming experience, as seen on cell phones all over the world. Popular, classic 8-bit systems include the Commodore 64 and the original Nintendo Entertainment System.

GameMaker's GameMaker application is a powerful tool for creating your own 8-bit games. No knowledge of computer programming is required. With a handy point-and-click interface, you will be compiling games of all genres in minutes. You can show off your creations by sharing them on the forum so people all over can download and enjoy your game. The lite version of the software is free to download, but to get full functionality, you will have to pay $25 to upgrade.


Phrogram is another application that allows you to create your own gaming software. Not quite as user-friendly as GameMaker, this one does involve some elements of programming, but it presents them in such an easy way that anyone can catch on. One really nice feature is that it compiles your creation into a self-installing file, so you can send your game to anyone and they can install it on their computer like it was a real commercial package. A fully-functional trial version is available for download, but it only lasts for thirty days, after which it costs $49.95 to purchase.

Sploder is a web site that has built-in Flash applications that allow you to design your own 8-bit games. Another point-and-click, non-technical app that is made for anyone to be able to use, there is a huge community of people that have posted their creations to share with others. The games are then voted on by the users to determine which games will be highest-rated and featured on the front page of the site.