These days, in this horrifying new era of ethical games journalism, it’s important for writers to be totally upfront by divulging every aspect of their personal lives, everybody they’ve ever been friends with, every secret they’ve ever held and anybody they might have kissed along the way.
So before we proceed with this article about a puzzle game that I like, I feel the need to disclose a number of potential conflicts of interest.
- While driving along a country road late at night in 2002 I accidentally hit and killed the CEO of Ubisoft with my car. This triggered a clause in his contract that made me the new CEO of Ubisoft. Despite my best efforts to dodge my newfound responsibility, I held this position for three months until I learned the true meaning of Ubisoft. Shortly afterwards the original CEO appeared from behind a desk and told me that he hadn’t died at all, and that the spirit of Ubisoft had been inside me the entire time.
- As a prehistoric multicellular cyanobacteria, I shared the same primordial puddle with an anaerobic organism who would later go on to work in the QA department at Sega. For several million years we produced free oxygen together through a primitive form of photosynthesis and ultimately triggered the global oxygenation that precipitated the largest extinction event in Earth’s history. As such I have not reviewed any Sonic games since. And whenever Sonic comes up in editorial meetings I turn my back so as not to subconsciously raise Sonic’s profile among the team using my compelling range of facial expressions.
- Was once in a plane crash with Sid Meier and woke up on a mysterious island where nothing was as it seemed. It was on this island that I gave Sid the idea for Civilizations II, III, and V.
- Did the Lady and The Tramp kiss scene with some guy from Games For Windows Live, except instead of a strand of spaghetti it was one of those twenty foot long Subway sandwiches they do special for catered parties and it took us both forty five minutes to reach the middle and start making out.
- Once discovered a tiny hidden door in my apartment that allowed me to crawl into Brian Fargo’s mind, experiencing the world through his eyes for fifteen minutes at a time. This would later become the inspiration for the video game ‘Messiah’.
- Until the mid 90s I was part of a cool biker gang that one day discovered an abandoned baby crying alone by the side of the road. Scooping the child up and swaddling her in my leather jacket I vowed to raise her as my own, teaching her the ways of the open road as we rode together for years. On her 18th birthday, the girl — no, the woman — turned to me and said “Steve, I must go now. This life of chaos has equipped me with the skills I need. You are the closest thing to a father I have known. You have taught me to act with grace and civility, to fight injustice, to chase the sunset, to live the dream. And now it’s time to go it alone, or my name wasn’t Jade Raymond all along.”
- Owned a dog that looked a bit like Ken Levine.
- Once rolled down a hill with Gabe Newell, just laughing and laughing until we were laying side by side in the grass, looking up at the clouds, pointing out the shapes until, somehow, I don’t know when it happened, we were holding hands and our voices fell quiet and we just lay there, we just lay there for what felt like hours, and the sleepy clouds drifted by overhead and the setting sun painted vast orange shadows across the sky, and we finally just didn’t care about anything other than that one moment.
Okay, we’re good. So Infinifactory is a puzzle game from the guys who made SpaceChem. It’s essentially a SpaceChem sequel in three Minecraftian dimensions, a game in which you must construct an automated assembly line that reliably spits out a particular arrangement of blocks. You build a factory that assembles products. Here is a screenshot.
You do this by placing blocks about the level, laying down conveyor belts to ferry component parts into positions such that they can be welded with other blocks to form the product that you’re being asked to build. The game gradually becomes more complex as it adds different kinds of blocks with new functions, such as sensors that you can hook up to pushers that nudge parts in different directions. In this manner the game challenges you to build ever more complicated machines, with each level having multiple solutions. Here is another screenshot.
Infinifactory is available on Steam Early Access right now. It’s really good fun, if rather difficult, and I think it’s worth a purchase even at this stage in its development. I hope that you can trust my opinions. Please trust me, I truly believe I am a trustworthy person. Tell me what I have to do or write so that you trust the things that I say. I will divulge any part of my past, no matter how personal, if you think it is relevant to my ability to write honestly about this game. Just, please.