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SHENZHEN I/O

4 months ago

Zachtronics games now free for schools

Cor, kids have it easy nowadays. Sure, they're inheriting a polluted hellhole teetering on the brink of ecological and economic ruin, but look at all the neat games they get to grow up with. Thanks to Zachtronics announcing they're giving away (nearly) all their games to schools, some of them even get to muck about with fabulously inventive puzzle boxes during their pretend workday. Imagine…

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Zach-Like comes to Steam free with loads of game-like extras

Zach-like, the book about Zachlikes by Zach Barth, creator of the genre, is now free albeit notably less papery now. Zachtronics's previously Kickstarter-exclusive book was a collection of design documents from the creator of Spacechem, Opus Magnum, Infinifactory and many more, showing just how he engineers his puzzles. Now anyone can read a digital version for free, and it comes bundled with a pile of his…

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9 months ago

Zachtronics book Zach-Like shows how the puzzle sausage gets made

I reckon most of the RPS Treehouse gang love us some Zachlikes, since well before Alice Prime coined the term in 2016 in reference to Shenzhen I/O. Puzzlemeister Zach Barth likes the term too, as he's borrowed it for the title of his book. Currently crowdfunding on Kickstarter (500% funded in one day), Zach-Like shows the workings and the processes behind his practical puzzlers. There's design docs…

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11 months ago

Feature: Stick a PIN in it

The 10 best hacking, coding and computing games

This is the hAcKeR collective {{Synonymous Bosch}}. We have taken control of this aRt1cLe. Three years ago it was written by the untalented and scurrilous “journalist” Brendan Caldwell, a man lacking in both knowledge and substance. But we have gained access in order to correct his egregious errors. It’s a hack of a hack! Ha ha ha. We had our best joke cell work on…

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1 year ago

Feature: "I'm in"

How Exapunks represents hacking without limits

It’s pretty obvious that the excellent Exapunks is a game about hacking. Specifically, it’s a game about programming viruses and sending them into networked systems to monkey around with data, set in a great alternative 90s Wired cyberworld of PC cases flashed with black and red decals and zines set in Apple Garamond. For its makers, though, Exapunks is a game about limitations. Its format…

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2 years ago

Feature: Games about hacking, coding and computing

The 10 Best Hacking, Coding, Computing Games

As anyone who watches their feeds knows, we live in a constantly evolving cyberpunk dystopia. They're connecting toilets to the internet, for heavens sake. If this Gibsonist world is just too REAL for you, we have put together the ten best videogames about hacking, programming and computing so you can escape into meta-dystopia. Which I'm sure is a much better place.

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Feature: Zachlikes

Zach of Zachtronics: “I really like making my dumb little games that don’t matter”

The alchemical puzzler Opus Magnum has a few of us at House RPS scratching our heads and shouting "a-ha!" before giddily sharing our twisted contraptions in GIF form. It's real good, friends. The studio behind it, Zachtronics, is headed by Zach Barth. I spoke to him about the game's machines, his short stint at Valve, and the reasons he sold his own company.

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Clickuorice Allsorts: Shenzhen Solitaire on MS-DOS

When I saw that Shenzhen Solitaire - the solitaire minigame spun off from Shenzhen I/O - was out for MS-DOS on floppy disks I'll admit I nearly consigned it to the novelty promo pile along with emails about cassette mix tapes or my friend whose response to new music is always "Yes, but can I listen to it on my Discman?". HOWEVER! It gets more…

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3 years ago

Shenzhen I/O’s solitaire now available standalone

If you've heard folks talk about Shenzhen I/O, you've likely heard them celebrate the fiendish and delightful puzzles of building and programming hardware. You were likely a bit blindsided when they went on to praise its in-universe solitaire game. Well! If Zachlikes are a bit much for you but you do enjoy a nice bit of solitaire, good news: Zachtronics have now released Shenzhen I/O's…

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TIS-100 dev’s Shenzhen I/O launches out of early access

SHENZHEN I/O [official site], the latest Zachlike from the creator of TIS-100 and SpaceChem, today properly launched after six weeks in early access. It's a puzzle game about assembling circuits from components then writing code to drive them, while poring over a manual for help and getting to know your new co-workers a little. SHENZHEN I/O was already a cracking game when Brendan prematurely evaluated…

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Feature: 我很蠢

Premature Evaluation: SHENZHEN I/O

Every Monday we send Brendan to the special economic zone of early access and task him with increasing the productivity of the people’s republic of videogames. This week, the brain-breaking electronics of SHENZHEN I/O [official site]. Some spoilers included. Zach Barth of Zachtronics, who is previously responsible for games like SpaceChem and Infinifactory and who is also definitely a robot, unfurled his new electronics-em-ep this…

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Boot Up: TIS-100 Dev’s SHENZEN I/O Hits Early Access

The creator of SpaceChem, TIS-100, and Infinifactory is back with another making-things-work puzzle game. Zachtronics last night launched SHENZHEN I/O [official site] onto Steam Early Access, letting people have a crack at building circuits from electronic components then program them by writing in an assembly language. Easy peasy! Zachtronics say Shenzhen I/O is already "highly polished and would be perfectly acceptable to release in a…

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SpaceChem & TIS-100 Creator Announces SHENZEN I/O

A proposal: puzzles games focused on assembling or programming - or both - should be called Zachlikes. Following the atom-assembling SpaceChem, production line 'em up Infinifactory, and the computer-programming TIS-100, Zach Barth and his Zachtronics have announced a new Zachlike. SHENZHEN I/O [official site] will combine assembling and programming to build circuits from components and then write code for them. It's due to hit Steam…

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