A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Infinifactory is a creepy downloadable puzzle game that requires building assembly lines to meet the needs of a race of aliens holding you captive. Although you're rarely in peril, expect to come across a number of your deceased predecessors (with the occasional bared skull) whose "Failure Logs" might help you piece together the story of what's actually happening. There's little instruction as to what to do (most of it is visual and somewhat vague), and if the puzzles don't click in your mind, you're out of luck. On the other hand, you have plenty of room to try out different solutions for the puzzles to get them to work. With the dark story line and the challenging nature of the puzzles, this is best for older kids who enjoy logic and programming.
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What's it about?
In INFINIFACTORY, players find themselves imprisoned by an alien race, forced to build increasingly complex machines to make objects to certain specifications. You start with basics such as conveyor belts and sensors and slowly unlock more complex items, such as logic gates. For each puzzle, there's a visual goal and set of starting locations that will spit out specific types of blocks. Your job is to build a machine that turns the raw materials into a final product, preferably in the most efficient way possible. There's no one right solution, so you're free to be as creative as you'd like. As for the story, it will be revealed over time, but you can expect to find mysterious food pellets, strange trophies, and a lot of dead bodies of those who came before you. How to avoid their fate will be for you to figure out. There are at least 50 puzzles in the story and a library of user-created puzzles made with the included level editor.
Is it any good?
Infinifactory is challenging, frustrating, eerie, and hopefully rewarding. This isn't the game for those who like to follow a prescribed path. From the beginning, you're left to your own devices to figure things out, which never really changes. You'll need to spend a lot of time thinking, testing, revising, and possibly tearing your hair out to work through the whole thing. On the other hand, it's exciting when the lightbulb finally goes off and your solution results in the correct final product. The one big flaw is that new building blocks are introduced with a vague illustration that shows what they do and how to use them. A more clear animation would go a long way to setting you on the path to building the next factory line. Infinifactory is a programming/logic puzzler, and it's a good one. If your kids are ready for a challenge, give it a shot.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about logic. How do you get started on this type of puzzle? Are there other activities you enjoy that require a similar way of thinking?
Discuss engineering and design your own machines on paper. What do they do? Build something out of building bricks or materials you have around the house. What can you create?
Talk about efficiency. Are there other areas of your life where being more efficient can help? How can you boost your efficiency in school and around the house?
- Platforms: Mac, Windows
- Subjects: Math: algebra, patterns
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: hypothesis-testing, logic, solving puzzles
Creativity: combining knowledge, developing novel solutions, making new creations
Self-Direction: goal-setting, work to achieve goals
Emotional Development: moving beyond obstacles, persevering
Tech Skills: using and applying technology
- Price: $24.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Not available online
- Developer: Zachtronics Industries
- Release date: June 24, 2015
- Genre: Puzzle
- Topics: Space and Aliens
- ESRB rating: T for Violence, Blood, Mild Language, Users Interact
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.