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7 Billion Humans puts a cheerily dystopian face on programming next week

I am not a number, I am a - oh, wait, I am.

First World of Goo, then Little Inferno, then Tomorrow Corporation even made programming a bit sinister in Human Resource Machine. Next week, they're rolling out 7 Billion Humans, sequel to Human Resource Machine. Robots have taken over the world, and in order to give our now-redundant species something to do, they've bundled us all into a towering office building. It's up to you to program them to make work happen, because that's what humans do. The darkly comical (and surprisingly educational) game will be out next Thursday, August 23rd.

While Human Resource Machine was a relatively simplistic programming game, giving you a single active worker to follow your instructions at any given time, 7 Billion Humans opens up a whole new world of mind-hurting parallel operations. You've got to write code that an entire swarm of expendable little employees will be able to follow simultaneously. Thankfully it's still using the same comfortable and colour-coded drag-and-drop UI that made the original so surprisingly accessible. With your threads being people, 'terminating' them does seem to be a particularly grim act.

Cover image for YouTube video

It's interesting that three programming games should launch so close to each other. My mind is still reeling from even the earlier missions of Exapunks, so perhaps this and Gladiabots are what I need to get up to speed for a full-fat Zachlike. Tomorrow Corporation promise that there's a "friendly" built-in hint system, which might help me over some of the nastier humps in my way. That said, I will refuse to skip over any of its 60+ puzzles (many more than the original) even if the option is given. I'm just stubborn like that.

7 Billion Humans will be out on Thursday, August 23rd for $15. It will be launching on Steam, GOG, Humble and direct via Tomorrow Corporation's site here.

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7 Billion Humans

PC, Nintendo Switch

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Dominic Tarason