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By Doubleplus18-05-2015

The Defence

Indie, Puzzle, Simulator
Release Date:

The Prosecution

Intel Core 2 Duo 2.0 GHz
AMD equivalent
Nvidia GeForce 460
AMD equivalent
2 GB
1.5 GB

Anyone who’s played Minecraft or knows what a huge name it's become may or may not know that it was actually a spiritual successor to a small experimental game called Infiniminer by Zachtronics. Another game by Zachtronics is a game called Spacechem, a moderately easy to learn, insanely difficult to master logic puzzle game involving making molecules out of various atoms with a reactor system that also happens to be one of my favorite games of all times. Zachtronics’ latest title is Infinifactory, a spiritual successor to both Infiniminer and Spacechem that is available now in Early Access.

However, the thing that stands out about Infinifactory’s being in Early Access is that unlike most Early Access games, Infinifactory hit Early Access in a complete state, using the Early Access model as a means of expanding on it and giving it new content. This is a way of doing Early Access that I wholeheartedly approve: using Early Access as a means of helping the game grow with community involvement, rather than expecting the consumer to cough up money for a game that is unfinished and that the developer has no real obligation to finish and can simply call it “Done” whenever they don’t feel like or don’t want to spend the money to finish it *cough cough Spacebase DF-9 cough.*

This bodes well for me, I think.

This bodes well for me, I think.

Infinifactory’s gameplay can be summed up as this: take an input and build a system that turns it into a desired output using special blocks such as conveyors, welders, pushers, blockers, sensors, etc. It may sound easy enough, but it’s executed in a way that makes solving every puzzle feel like you’ve made a masterpiece of engineering. This isn’t a puzzle game that has a specific answer, but instead pushes you to make the most efficient system possible to complete the task at hand. It’s essentially Spacechem’s general gameplay meets Infiniminer’s block system. Anyone who plays heavily modded Minecraft for the purpose of making factories or systems of blocks should definitely look into playing this, because it's essentially that with goals and actual physics.

The game has a very visually appealing cartoony art style that makes it pleasing to the eye, which fits into its darkly humorous nature. Various short and to the point cutscenes dealing with alien overlords that don’t quite have the grasp of human life but are still trying to make a comfortable experience for humans, such as awarding you various “human” items for solving groups of tests comes off as somewhat Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy-esque in a small way. That combined with the audio logs (what game doesn’t have those these days) of those who have been in your position and have failed and died makes a brand of dark humor I haven't seen since the original Portal.

You'll understand why this is so cool once you play the game.

You'll understand why this is so cool once you play the game.

To sum up, Infinifactory is definitely a game worth looking into and possibly the only Early Access game that I would advise picking up immediately, due to the fact that it's already in a complete state. As gripey as I tend to be about things, I can't find a single thing to nitpick about it. It’s got plenty of content, solving puzzles is satisfying, it runs beautifully and virtually bug-free, and its humor enriches the experience rather than falling flat and acting as a detriment.

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