The Loss Levels is a series of fifteen narrative microgames, exploring aspects of my experience during the 2017 terrorist attack, in which I lost my brother Martyn. The games are designed to explore some of the elements of the experience, without naming any specifics of place or time or name. The games are intentionally simple, designed to mimic old-school 8bit games, and in many ways are a mirror of my earlier game c ya laterrrr, but depicted in a much more focused and stylised manner.

Each game is no more than ten seconds or so in length, with a total gameplay time of around 3-4 minutes. 

This project has been commissioned for the 2018 Now Play This experimental games event as part of London Games Festival , and is displayed in a custom-built arcade cabinet deployed at the event at Somerset House in London, and will hopefully be touring to other games events. This version is identical and hosted online, to allow players to try it out without making it to the event. 

The source code for this game is also public, check it out here.

Although these games are abstracted and simplistic, it goes without saying that they still do explore some challenging themes, and if you're unsure about this content then proceed with caution. 

Additional thanks: 

- James Medd and the Barclay's Eagle Lab (MediaCityUK) for the amazing cab build

- @PixelArtM and @DidiGameBoy for artwork assistance

- Sophie and Holly at Now Play This for letting me do this weird project at their amazing festival! 

Rated 4.6 out of 5 stars
(39 total ratings)
Made withPICO-8
Tags8-Bit, dan-hett, Experimental, loss, loss-levels, PICO-8, the-loss-levels, thelosslevels


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Beutiful. Just beutiful. and thx for opening up and sharing your experiences. Also read about this by the Wireframe mag

Thank you for making this and publishing it online. This kind of openness about death means a lot to me.

What are the controls? 

arrow keys, and Z/X as action buttons. Sorry it's not super clear, the original format was for an arcade cabinet, uploading it to play online was almost an afterthought...

Touching game. A must play.

is this loss?


almost found it...

i'm sorry for your loss, man. (random stranger like me)

Wow, this is awesome...

This game was incredibly immersive, and everything from the graphics to the integrated minigames contributed to that. Thank you for making it. 

this was a very nice game. i loved it a lot

Wow this is awesome, good game and great concept, it was a beatifull way to express your fellings, forwarding to friends

I can tell you have a ton of skill at programming and that this was a labor of love. Keep it up and stay strong! Thank you for sharing a part of yourself with the world.

"Although these games are abstracted and simplistic, it goes without saying that they still do explore some challenging themes, and if you're unsure about this content then proceed with caution."  its written in description. this video is for those who enjoy watching than playing itself.

At first, I thought this would be a game about a joke that has transcended the internet.

But this... This is more than a game. This is real pain, expressed though eight bits.

I am blown away, thank you.

Thank you for making this game, it felt like an extra message to watch children playing this game at Now Play This

I played it unintentionally to this music: 

and it gave me a feeling of coming to rest with oneself and the song kitschely ended in synch with the game. Thanks for sharing your story.

It is a quick game made with a hard theme. At times it is even too "fun" for the hard stuff it tells about.

I don't think I like it for the gameplay it has, but mostly for the communication it provides.