If you like creating stuff, puzzles, or have enjoyed Factorio, I highly recommend shapez.io
Shapez.io is a game all about factories, which produce and combine various shapes that need to be delivered to the central hub: simple as that. There is a nice variety of machines that alter the default shapes to different, complex shapes required to progress to the next level, as well as an upgrade menu that can speed up your machines.
The levels are progressive, so you don’t lose any of your current machines. Instead, you’ll get new machines, new varieties, and new features (like the blueprint tool) for achieving the level’s goal. Upgrading the machines requires that you collect multiple shapes depending on the level.
The graphics and sound design are pretty simple, but let’s be honest: who plays automation games for the graphics and sound design? The important thing is the gameplay, which is engaging, simple, and fun. Each new machine and machine variety adds something new, and the blueprint tool allows for the creation of machines that can build other machines and distribution methods, like belts, splitters, and tunnels. Out of these machines you’re able to build EVEN MORE machines, quickly expanding the size and scope of your productions. It’s all about logistics, managing production lines, managing machines, and collecting those shapes!
The game is open-source and the developer, Tobias Springer, is actively involved in the community. For this reason, players have their suggestions reviewed and all feedback is taken into consideration where possible. The game is currently still in development with more than one update a week at the time of writing. Springer promises to release features like power management, custom maps and puzzles, a story mode, and more shapes to work around. There is also a great demo version available on the game’s website, with the steam link included.
If you’re interested, there’s also an alpha version of the not-yet-released power feature available. This simplifies the building of digital systems within the game by adding wires and the logic gates, the basic building blocks of any digital system. Upon browsing the discord server I spotted a working 8-bit calculator that was created in this version, so there’s lots of potential here and likely even more potential on release.
The community for this game is dedicated. The discord features truth tables for the logic gates as well as the most efficient tileable machine systems, making it a worthy place to visit for tips and inspiration.
The game does have a few glitches here and there, but in the 7 hours of playing, I haven’t seen anything possibly game-breaking, only some graphical issues. All this is to be expected with a game under progress from a single developer.
I’ve currently spent 7 hours on the game, and will probably spend many more in the near future. With regular new content, it’s hard to imagine staying away from this game for too long. It is important to note that Springer says the game’s price will increase from $3.99 to $5.99 once the power update is finished. If you have some spare change and love constantly evolving logistics-management games, I highly recommend Shapez.io. Even without new content, both prices are a great deal for the simple complexity and devoted community. If you’re not sure about the game or if it would be right for you, there’s always the demo available.