#4 is the next game from this studio that is all about challenging puzzle games where there is never one perfect solution.
#4 — Infinifactory
Infinifactory by Zachtronics was their first Early Access title and took the open-ended puzzle solving of Spacechem to the assembly line. What’s interesting about Infinifactory is how much Zachtronics worked to make this their most accessible title yet; providing a progression model and storyline on top of the challenging puzzles.
Just like their previous works, each puzzle has one objective, but you are free to use the parts however you wish in order to figure it out. As with their previous games, histograms are set up on each puzzle to show you just how everyone did and challenge you to do better.
With the added option to create your own puzzles via the workshop provides the game with even more puzzles beyond the free expansion pieces offered by Zachtronics. As with previous games from Zachtronics, this is one of those titles that you’ll either get or you won’t; enjoying the hell out of it or not playing it ever again.
For me, these kinds of iterative puzzles are some of my favorites to solve and it’s a lot easier for me to process Infinifactory compared to Spacechem or TIS-100; which is another great game released this year. Infinifactory is also a good example of the benefits of Early Access for game development; allowing the developer to get free testing and feedback on their title from a variety of tastes and skill levels.
Infinifactory went through several revisions over the course of its early access; changing puzzle layouts and adding in new content and UI changes. By getting these changes in during the early access, it made Infinifactory that much stronger of a release when it was considered done by Zachtronics. Hopefully this isn’t the last we seen from Infinifactory and Zachtronics puzzle design, as there’s nothing like a challenging puzzle to make your brain hurt, in a good way.
We’re moving into the top 3 now and my next game is one of the best examples of a game where aesthetics and design perfectly mix to create one amazing title.