Tag Archives: zachtronics industries

Thoughts: Shenzhen I/O


Well, it finally happened. After carving out a niche in the market by making puzzle games that were secretly about programming, it was inevitable that Zachtronics would eventually cross a line and make a puzzle game that was actually about programming.

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Thoughts: Infinifactory


It feels somewhat dismissive to call InfinifactorySpaceChem – but in 3D!”, but that’s exactly what it is – indeed, that’s exactly what it’s marketed as in the Steam blurb:

LIKE SPACECHEM… IN 3D! Design and run factories in a first-person, fully 3D environment.

In fairness to Zachtronics they did make SpaceChem, and so in describing their third mass-market game this way they’ve just saved me a whole lot of bother trying to sum up what Infinifactory is about. It’s SpaceChem. But in 3D.

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Thoughts: Ironclad Tactics.


Ironclad Tactics suffers from something of an expectations problem. It’s the next original game from Zachtronics Industries, whose previous game you should have heard of if you care about puzzle games at all: SpaceChem. I loved SpaceChem; it was an immensely clever piece of work and the only game I’ve ever played that’s made me think so hard I’ve given myself a headache. Moreover, its presentation and soundtrack managed to evoke an omnipresent feeling of “Science is awesome!” despite SpaceChem itself having very little to do with actual science, and that’s always going to score bonus points on a site called The Scientific Gamer. Following up one of the few games I would actually genuinely describe as inspired was always going to be tricky, and Ironclad Tactics falls intro the trap I half-suspected it would: it commits the (forgivable) sin of merely being okay. For most games, this would be enough. For something which is inevitably going to be compared to SpaceChem, however, “okay” falls some way short of the lofty standard set by its predecessor.

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