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3D Sandbox Puzzler 'Infinifactory' Officially Released For Linux

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The sandbox factory puzzler by SpaceChem and TIS-100 developer Zachtronics has left Early Access after five months of tweaks and bug fixing. Infinifactory was made available for Linux in March, and I've now had a chance to play a few hours of the game.

As might be seen by the above trailer, Infinifactory is similar to the hardcore puzzle classic SpaceChem in structure. In each level you're tasked with building a specific construction, and certain manufacturing units have already been placed when you start, but it's up to you to figure out the rest. At first, you can only place conveyor belts, but as the puzzles get more intricate, you get several other tools at your disposal, like welders, rotators, and other more advanced units. You get a lot of freedom in how to solve each puzzle, and like in Zachtronics' other games, your solutions are rated at the end of each level and compared to those of your Steam friends.

The premise of the story is that you're a human who has been abducted by aliens to be used for cheap labor in producing various products. You're not the first one either, as you will find the corpses of your predecessors abandoned in several of the levels, and you can listen to their audio logs to make some sense of what's going on on the aerial facilities where you perform your duties. This way of telling a story feels very similar to the debugger comments of TIS-100 and is a style I, personally, enjoy. And if you don't care about the story, you're free to ignore this aspect of the game when playing.

I've played well over two hours so far, and I'm only about halfway through the second set of puzzles, but I think it's safe to say that the difficulty is about what you'd expect from a Zachtronics game. Meaning it's on the devilishly hard end of the scale. The third dimension isn't just presentational, since you often need to stack both production units and the product you're making. There's no element of 3D platforming though, since you have a jet pack that you can use to adjust your height in the terrain. However, you have to move around a bit to be able to place everything, since most levels are relatively big.

Like TIS-100, Infinifactory also uses the Unity3D engine, and the Linux version has worked without issues for me. There have been several Linux specific bugs during Early Access, but as far as I can tell, all of them have been fixed. The developers even adhere to the XDG base directory specification by writing saves to $XDG_DATA_HOME, if set.

This is a game that requires a fair bit of concentration and a good chunk of time per session, due to the complexity of the puzzles. I'm really enjoying the game so far, and I think that if you're a fan of Zachtronics' previous games, you'll probably enjoy Infinifactory too.

About the game (from Steam)

Infinifactory is a sandbox puzzle game by Zachtronics, the creators of SpaceChem and Infiniminer. Build factories that assemble products for your alien overlords, and try not to die in the process.

  • LIKE SPACECHEM… IN 3D! Design and run factories in a first-person, fully 3D environment.
  • HISTOGRAMS ARE BACK! Optimize your solutions, and then optimize them more when you see how much better your friends did.
  • VISIT EXOTIC ALIEN LOCALES! Explore a story-driven campaign with 30+ puzzles, audio logs, and more.
  • BLOCKS THAT MOVE! Go beyond the campaign and push the limits of Infinifactory’s next-generation block engine in the11 sandbox.
  • STEAM WORKSHOP INTEGRATION! Create, share, and play custom puzzles on Steam Workshop.

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About the author -
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A big fan of platformers, puzzle games, point-and-click adventures and niche indie games.

I run the Hidden Linux Gems group on Steam, where we highlight good indie games for Linux that we feel deserve more attention.
See more from me
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Skiski 1 Jul, 2015
I can't say how much I love this game. It is clearly awesome. And I found the difficulty curve much more manageable than in SpaceChem. So, if like me, you never finished it, you can at least hope to go much much further in Infinifactory.

The fact that it is in 3D give much more room to build anything. So if you have any idea on how to solve a level, you can probably build it.

It even gave me new ideas for SpaceChem and I was able to advance a few levels.
stan 1 Jul, 2015
Spacechem has a terrible tutorial, and of course TIS-100 has none, so I’m gonna avoid anything made by Zachtronics until further notice.
FrasierCrane 1 Jul, 2015
Quoting: stanSpacechem has a terrible tutorial, and of course TIS-100 has none, so I’m gonna avoid anything made by Zachtronics until further notice.
I can't speak for TIS-100 but I thought Spacechem eased you pretty well into the gameplay process.

I hope Infinfactory will also be available on GOG in the future.
flesk 1 Jul, 2015
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Quoting: stanSpacechem has a terrible tutorial, and of course TIS-100 has none, so I’m gonna avoid anything made by Zachtronics until further notice.

But TIS-100 has the best ever tutorial in the form of an authentic looking scanned reference manual! What more could you possibly want!? :P
Samsai 2 Jul, 2015
Making a tutorial for TIS-100 would in my opinion be harmful for the game overall. Everything you need (except for prior programming knowledge) is in the reference manual. The story in TIS-100 specifically puts you in a situation where you must figure out what this machine does and all you are given is the manual that explains basic functionality.
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