A 2D programming optimization puzzler where you pick up items from a conveyor, modify them with commands and drop them out. Contains 37 levels with 5 cutscenes. You play as a worker in a corporate building; each level is one year working to get promoted to the next floor.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Good graphics and sound
The game is very reminiscent of World of Goo's graphics, being very consistent and sort of cartoony, and all sounds are synthesized.
Pro Can optimize your solutions
The game's replay value increases as solutions can be beat in two metrics: Commands and Steps.
Con Awful debugging
The game's debugging features consist of a step forward button, a step back button, and fast forwarding (up to about 4x). However, these are not enough. In many levels you could find yourself noticing your program is stuck in a loop, then having to repeatedly click "Step back" dozens of times just to find the key moment, which is even worse if you were fully fast forwarding. In later levels, where solutions start taking some more time, it might take minutes to find the key moment in your program that failed to work, just to wait more to figure out if the change you made was enough to get it to work.
Con Short for price (especially for people looking to learn)
This game contains about 5 hours of content for many players, and is composed of 3 "chapters" of about 11 levels each. Most of that is taken up by tutorials. Each chapter 'dives in' a little bit into a topic. But if you're looking to learn programming it'll likely be too short. It also has many mini levels where it shows a little topic, but those are not explored that much (one of the worst moments with it is when it asks you to "use a friendly search box" as a serious recommendation).
(Note: This game actually is appearing in a Humble Bundle for $1 by the time of writing.)
Con Lack of optimization accuracy
One pro about games like this are the fact that you can optimize your solutions. But the marked "Best" solution is almost always inaccurate. Some levels are tens of blocks and hundreds of steps away. You'll have to go to other places to challenge yourself properly.
Con Levels are unoriginal
Related to the game's story not doing much, the gameplay also does not integrate itself with any cool story events that may happen, as they don't happen. You don't lose abilities, nothing gets 'screwed up', and the game doesn't last long enough to be able to explore the game's concept in depth. What this means is that the levels are more by-the-book as if they were programming puzzles in a book, and if you've played many games of this similar genre you've already seen about 80% of the puzzles in the game, in which most of the remaining ones are early tutorial puzzles.
Con Frustrating interface at later levels
The game does not show you every part of your program at once. At later stages, even about 20 instructions will require scrolling to reach parts of your program. Even with about 30, it quickly becomes tedious to move around your instructions as you will either have to wait for scrolling or spam the scroll wheel. Many of your solutions will also be using one of the 'blue' commands, which has two arrows, so you cannot just delete the key instruction and add a copy to where you want it to go.
Con Story is disappointing
The game's story does not progress very far. With a premise as interesting as tying into the "machines taking over jobs and humans", you'd expect gameplay and levels as unique. But the game plays as stock as a programming game can get, even just on the story standpoint. Many details are shown around the game, but the game doesn't go deep for anything involving it.