Puzzle game developer Zachtronics is currently working on its swan song, and it looks like the studio intends to go out with a bang. Last Call BBS is a game about playing cracked games on a retro computer console called the Z5 Powerlance and finding some strange gems in the process. It’ll also be the studio’s final game.
Similar to other Zachtronics games like Shenzen I/O and Exapunks, Last Call BBS presents itself as the interface for a bespoke computer environment. In this case, it’s the Z5 Powerlance, a kind of higher-tech version of the Sinclair ZX Spectrum or Apple IIe. The premise is that a bartender has loaded up this machine with access to a bunch of cool puzzle games for you to try out, and each one looks like a journey down a Zachlikes-themed memory lane.
Some of the games look like standard solitaire clones (although you can bet there’ll be a twist to figure out). Another has you fitting conveyor belts and other industrial machinery together and programming the control units, while another appears to be about producing lumps of organic meat for some creepy cosmic space aliens. Then there’s one that’s just about snapping together and painting gunpla models.
The blurb for Last Call BBS bills it as “the last game from Zachtronics”. On Twitter, a fan asked whether that means “last” or “latest”, and the company confirmed that it’s the last one it plans on making with a simple, direct reply.
— Zachtronics (@zachtronics) June 15, 2022
Zachtronics was founded by designer Zach Barth in 2000 and has produced 13 games, including Infinifactory, Ironclad Tactics, and Mobius Front ’83. Last Call BBS will be the studio’s fourteenth game, and is set to launch July 5 on Steam.