Review: ZACH-LIKE, A Game Design History

I’ve played a number of Zachtronics games. SpaceChem and Opus Magnum. TIS-100 and Ironclad Tactics. For a programmer/code geek/puzzle lover like me, they’re a wonderful sort of thing.

And from the standpoint of someone that’s made a few very small games, loves to learn about how they’re made, and would like to do more with game design, ZACH-LIKE, A Game Design History is a fascinating read.

Basically, it goes through a large chunk of the notes Zach Barth has made for games both released and unreleased, going all the way to middle school. It’s a fascinating dig into planning and interesting to see what worked and what didn’t work.

I think the main negative is actually that there are a few games I haven’t played (EXAPUNKS, Shenzhen I/O, and infinifactory!) and now I want to play them! And I didn’t have nearly as much context for what the notes actually meant/what might have changed. So it goes.

An interesting read. And you can’t beat the price!