TIS-100 is an open-ended programming puzzler by Zachtronics, the creators of SpaceChem and Infinifactory, in which you rewrite corrupted code segments to repair the TIS-100 and unlock its secrets. It’s the assembly language programming game nobody asked for, as the developers themselves advertise.
The game area as shown below, comprises of different nodes which allow you to perform calculations and input / output values to full fill a task list. The game is not visually stunning, but the mechanic is pretty interesting and does a good job at capturing the essence of working with an assembly language.
A note of caution, this game is pretty niche and not for your average Flappy Bird gamer. But if you are a nerd who loves puzzle games, this may just be for you.
In the game you will come across manuals for operating the system, which includes system commands, explanations of purpose, as well has hiding traces of a backstory which eludes to a secret government project.
The game is pretty unique and not what you would usually find on the iOS app stores, it’s well at home on steam thoough. It is clearly a game by nerds for nerds. A lot of though has gone into the mechanics of this game, which gets pretty interesting (and challenging) once you learn the basics of the TIS-100 system.
Some of the developer listed features:
- Print and explore the TIS-100 reference manual, which details the inner-workings of the TIS-100 while evoking the aesthetics of a 1980’s computer manual!
- Solve more than 45 puzzles, competing against your friends and the world to minimize your cycle, instruction, and node counts.
- Design your own challenges in the TIS-100’s 3 sandboxes, including a “visual console” that lets you create your own games within the game!
- Uncover the mysteries of the TIS-100… who created it, and for what purpose?
Are you nerdy enough or want to see which it might be like to program on a cold war government system? Check out the store links below.