First off, I’d like to thank this past week”s guest Ty for, after my last blog post about Idle Games coming out, he sent me Idle Gears because he is a smartass.. then he and I discussed strategizing it for the next two days.
He’s a monster. Thanks, buddy.
Anyway, there is another kind of game that is close to the idle genre, but is less idle and more.. frustrating? nerdy? Made for people with Engineering degrees? But, don’t get me wrong, they are still, in some ways, idle games.
I’m talking about a genre that is loosely referred to as factory automation games.
Have you never played them – then the fact is – you probably don’t want to, because the people that do want these games, have likely already found them. They’re sort of like Narnia that way. But just in case you have lived under a rock and really like the idea of building a machine that builds a machine that builds the gear the helps you build the new machine… here, you’re welcome:
FACTORIO – So, I’m putting this one here first because it isn’t the first of the genre, but it most definitely is the one that everyone thinks of. It’s a simple premise – build a rocket. Obviously, easy peasy. Especially when you start on an alien planet with a pick-axe and that’s it. So yeah, you mine some coal and some iron to make a furnace and make a gear and use gears to make a lab, and a lab to make some science and some science to build an entire planet covered in giant conveyor belts of machinery that are building buildings to build buildings.
SATISFACTORY – Now, it is easy to say that Satisfactory is just 3D first person Factorio.. but it isn’t. Well, it is a little, but not entirely – you see, the world you are in Satisfactory is not a randomly generated world. It’s the same world. Start a new game with the basic settings, start in the same place. That’s because this world is a huge country with different lush biomes and vibrant wildlife and greenery, and you get to slowly but surely pave over it and fill it with billowing smokestacks, giant conveyor systems, and gigantic power supplies. It’s this brilliant and hysterical eco-message in an amazing world.
AUTONAUTS – Autonauts may be my favorite on this list, and it is because it does something so simply different with its premise. Yes, building things that build things – but – they are all robots and you get to program them in a fairly basic way. After building a robot, you walk around and do something – and then it repeats it. Want this bot to grab logs and bring them over there.. fine. Want this bot to take logs from there and turn them into gears? Sure. And eventually, as you upgrade your bots (or you have your bots upgrade your bots) you are running this artistically-simple, but chaotic mess that likely looks like the world 5 minutes before the beginning of the war in Terminator.
SHAPEZ – This game gets a quicker honorable mention because it is legitimately the simplest of the batch. You build a shape and conveyor belt it in to a base. Now you need a new shape, build a machine that screws up your old shape and turns it into a new shape.. now it needs to be blue.. ..and split in half.. ..and broken into separate quarters that are each on top of another shape and painted 4 different colors.. this goes on. Definitely worth a check out though and the sequel is on its way.
GREGTECH: NEW HORIZONS – This may be the one that you aren’t aware of – the one that slipped through the cracks.. and there’s a reason. It’s not a game, but a mod on the blocky masterpiece of Minecraft. Now, in Minecraft there is some automation you can build – and it can get intricate, but it isn’t the purpose of the game. (Unless its your purpose, but that’s a different thing) GT:NH as it is referred, is a mod pack that makes every single step of the game a bit of a hassle, but not an unsatisfying one. Where before you found some coal and mined it and made a torch.. well, your first few days in this highly dangerous world you will spend with one torch as you learn how to build basic tools, and figure out how to build a giant coke oven to collapse wood into charcoal. It’s brutal, and it goes like that as you grow from steam power to electrical power to planetary hopping and dimensions. I hate it…. I’m lying… I love it..
What factories do you build – sound off in all the places.