Last Call BBS: Zachtronics' new game

And on GamePass

Maybe thematically, but nothing looked like this on a BBS!

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That Starfleet 2: Krellan Commander thing is more like what BBS stuff actually looked like.

Those are supposed to be downloadable games you run on the PC :)

Interesting… I might know that if I played early access games! ;)

I am excited for this one! They’re saying “1-2 months” for early access, which translates to 6-12 months minimum for a first-time dev, but since this is Zachtronics I wonder if maybe we can believe them…

Zachtronics early access periods are very short, and usually only result in minor changes (generally tuning the difficulty of puzzles).

I wonder if Zach had previous teaching experience? It sounds like the transition didn’t work out the way he expected. My guess is that he taught introductory level courses at a college or high school, that’s the fastest way to burn through your enthusiasm :P

Can somebody who has played it explain what the game (not just the concept) actually is? Is this really 8 different programming games, or one “main” programming game and seven irrelevant minigames. (Like the solitaire minigames in previous Zachtronics games, except more of them.)

How dare you

I know there are people who love them, but the minigames just aren’t the draw for me.

I can’t say for certain, but in my time with it there’s been one card game, one logic puzzle game, and one Zachlike / histogram game. (All games are not available at the start, but it looks to be only gated by time.) From reading reviews it looks like there’s one more programming / histogram-results type game to unlock, and four more mini-games.

There appears to be some meta-story coming out as I do well in some of these mini games (new PDA entries that are starting to mention people).

As a Picross expert/addict, the Dungeon Diagrams game hurts my head because I can’t apply my standard solving logic.

Agreed, but it’s a nice clever little game. It’s a fun challenge to figure out what the new patterns are, given the unique rules.

On the other hand, I can’t even figure out how to do the first level of 20th Century Food Court! My problem is spawning additional trays. I know how to spawn food items, but there’s no… whatever those wiring units are on the left… to trigger more trays. What am I missing? The instructions for this mode are miserable.

Land of Devastation had a downloadable client that provided somewhat comparable SVGA graphics

I remember you could build bases and attack other people’s bases. Sadly on my BBS it was not very popular

I was enjoying the game on Game Pass, but the second time it failed to save my progress after clicking Shutdown, I had to uninstall it.

They’re deliberately miserable to encourage trail-and-error. A new tray will spawn when you deliver the previous tray correctly. You typically only need to produce one of each kind of thing, not handle multiple iterations in a loop. The difficulty with Food Court isn’t optimizing a programming solution, it’s figuring out how it works in the first place and then fitting your construction within the space allowed.

It appears to be 8 different mini-games. (Not all of them are games.) Part of the fun is discovering what the hell, so I won’t go into huge detail. All of the games are unique and interesting, most of them Zack-like twists on existing formulas, e.g. the first one you’ll encounter is an interesting Klondike variant. The meta-game stuff is also interesting and effective and not something I’ve seen done before.

The model-building mode has taken up most of my time. I’m bad at engaging with the customization elements of most games, but for some reason when it requires a certain kind of strategy and precision it gets way more interesting for me. I put the first model together and then tried to paint it, and almost gave up on it. Then I realized you need to paint the parts before assembling them entirely… (Like real model-builders do, I assume.) And then it just clicked. Really fun, even if it has me with my face two inches from the screen, trying to tape off two specific pixels…

I like the dungeon diagram one. The block matching game is too damned fast. I can’t get past the first level.

Agree. I built the first model and really enjoyed the process.