Build factory, make products, obey! That’s exactly what you get to do in Infinifactory, and oh boy is it good fun. Zachtronics brings you a great puzzle game in the form of this conveyor factory builder, that seeps into your every waking thought and saps your concentration from everything else.
To start with, Infinifactory is simple in design but devious in implementation. This is apparent immediately when the game starts, as there are no menus, settings or a fancy title page for you to ignore. The game simply starts. You play a nameless John Doe driving your truck happily on a quiet dark road with the radio playing idly, then BAM! Aliens. Don’t worry they aren’t here for “that”. Just as quickly as things start you are now in a corridor unable to move as a conveyor belt pulls you along while you get scanned, suited up in a snazzy, snug fitting red spacesuit and a computer figures out how to speak English.
Now this is where things start to get fun. Your tutorial is a nice simple explanation of your ability to place a block with a left click and remove it with a right click. Now to begin with, you have unlimited resources, you can place as many blocks as you want. In the first test you could have happily made a staircase, rebuilt the whole corridor until it was smaller and you could barely fit or do the quick thing and make a line to walk over. It is this freedom which makes me love this game so much and I’ll explain more shortly.
So now you are shown the premise of the game, a block pops out and you have to get it over to a receptacle using conveyors ten times. Nice and simple. After your little introduction you are given the chance to reproduce the previous machine, which again is nice and simple to do. Then your tutorial is over. That is all you need to know to get started and you get to enter a nice Stanley Parable room which forces you to go left. Trust me you want to go left!
Everything up to this point has been again nice and simple. I keep saying this just to reinforce the next point. After the tutorial that is the last time the game will hold your hand. You are now on your own and you will not get any more hints or tips, except very few very basic infographics of how to work a new block, which frankly confuse you for a good few minutes. Like I said you now have unlimited resources for your puzzles. The only thing stopping you from completing them now, is you.
Each puzzle has a lovely progression. Your simple one-block conveyor ramps up nicely to a three block conveyor puzzle, then I think someone decided to hit the turbo button as things escalate. You quickly gain a sense of pride and ownership of your factory lines when you complete the needed task and you want to brag and show them off, but you also don’t want anyone else to see. They need to sweat just like you did.
Now with the aspect of unlimited resources you can make the least efficient machine and still complete the task. What strives you to fine tune and tweak is your score at the end, which records your footprint, how many block you have used, and the cycles and how long things take. These two results are displayed on two bar graphs comparing you with others. The further left you are, the better your machine is compared to everyone elses.
Don’t worry, I know what you’re still thinking: “Why have you been abducted by aliens to build machines for them?” Well the simple version (the only version really) is that they are lazy and humans are good at making things. You unfortunately aren’t a special rose, you aren’t the first person to be abducted, as you will come across many fellow builders through the levels. What you get in return though is the ability to see nice worlds, massive aliens ships, work for aliens, have a healthy supply of food pellets in your cell and strive for better performance reviews. Quite a good deal I would say.
Infinifactory loads instantly into the puzzle you were working on, you have freedom to solve the puzzles and you get a jetpack to fly around and see your creation from every angle to tweak things to perfection. The puzzles have a level of complexity to them where a single block can fix or ruin your production line. The simple story is great and amusing too and the aliens performance reviews just make you smile each time. All I can say is that if you love puzzles and want a challenge, then Infinifactory is right up your alley. I love it and I will be playing for ages to come, trying to perfect my old machines and figure out new ones.