10 amazing JavaScript demos using 1k or less

You won't believe these awesome demos were made using such a small amount of code! Check out these brilliantly lightweight animations and games.

Every year the JS1K competition asks web designers create a cool JavaScript application no larger than 1k. The contest started out as a joke, but the high quality of entries over the years has led to it becoming a brilliant showcase of just what you can do with a handful of code.

Here are 10 of our favourite submissions for this year's competition - but there's plenty more amazing work to see: check out the list in full at the JS1K site. (And if you want to enter, you've still got time; last call for entries is midnight this Sunday).

  • Read all our JavaScript articles here

01. Matrix is a system

No one can be told what The Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself

Who wouldn't get a thrill from this brilliant demo reproducing The Matrix's famous 'digital rain' sequence using minified JavaScript? It was created by Pedro Franceschi with just 956 bytes of code.

02. April showers bring May flowers

Type the letters you see in the droplets and they turn into flowers

This simple but fun typing game based around Spring-like animations was created by Abigail Cabunoc. The code was compressed with Closure Compiler, then further hand minified, then finally JS Crush.

03. 3D City Tour

Tour a city from above using your mouse

3D City Tour delivers just what it promises - a first person view of a springtime island city. Use your mouse to fly over the city, jump from roof to roof or drive with the cars on the streets. You can also just let the autopilot show you around. Including buildings, streets, traffic signs, moving cars, parks, a sea, and more, you'll be astounded that Jani Ylikangas managed to create all this in under 1k.

04. Strange Crystals

This animation takes you on a strange journey underground

This amazing 3D animation by Philippe Deschaseaux takes you on a strange journey through an underground mine. "The miners have stopped working," reads the description. "They are afraid. It all seems to come from those strange crystals that some have seen. Be patient and with a bit of luck, you'll see them."

05. 1K Meteors

We love our retro games, and will never get tired of this one

We're suckers for old-school games at Creative Bloq, so we love this Asteroids tribute from Oscar Toledo G. It runs at 30 frames per second on most machines, each game is unique and, as the creator explains, it offers "a lot of realism as there are no sounds in space".

06. Don't worry, bee happy!

This dayglo animation is simply terrific

This pseudo-3D self-running animation features a busy bee flying left and right, fresh animated swaying grass with depth cueing, pretty flowers, and a camera moving in all directions (left, right, up, down, and forward) for your entertainment. Created by Manuel Rülke, the code was minimized using Closure Compiler, further optimized further by hand and then crushed with JS Crush.

07. Morphose

Have a play with this 3D mesh - you'll be hooked

This interactive 3D mesh is something you have to play with. Created by Benjamin Bill Planche, the demo uses the Painter's algorithm to render the 3D mesh. After projecting each face on the coordinate system defined by the camera, they're sorted by decreasing depth to get the painting order. The displayed shape is the result of a chaotic tweening between two pre-generated meshes, a cube and a sphere. To get a smooth tweening for the faces, the sphere geometry is created by mapping each vertex of the cube (cube-mapping method).

08. Comanche

Pilot a helicopter through day and night

This tribute to the helicopter simulation game Comanche: Maximum Overkill enables you use arrows to control pitch and roll (altitude is on autopilot). The sky switches from day to night and the game runs at 25 FPS on a medium-end computer. Designed by Siorki, the Packer code was evolved from both First Crush and JS Crush.

09. Flower

Don't stare to hard or you'll end up in a trance

The way these undulating, spinning circles form themselves into a rotating flower shape is simply beautiful and has to be seen to be believed. It was created by Cheeseum in just 960 bytes.

10. Furbee

We can't bee-live this was created using such a small amount of code

Here Roman Cortes really pushes the limits of what is possible in under 1k with a 2D canvas and high-end hardware. This colourful animation features fur rendering, wings with artistic motion blur and a 3D cloudscape. To fully enjoy it, it requires to be watched in a very powerful computer with Chrome. (In another entry, Furbee, get out of that tunnel ASAP!, Cortes has mashed up his Furbee with Deschaseaux's entry - number 2 on our list - and that's pretty incredible too.)

Liked this? Read these!

Have you seen an amazing JavaScript creation in 1k or less? Tell us about it in the comments!