Factories are complicated things built from simple components, which makes their construction a perfect mental exercise. Dump down a few machines, connect everything with conveyor belts, and all of a sudden the blank floor-space is buzzing with active machinery, all working in sync to the player’s commands. Assuming it’s been assembled efficiently, of course, because nothing shows the flaw in a seemingly-perfect plan like executing it. The factory genre has been moving along nicely the last few years, with giant hits such as Factorio and Satisfactory leaving room for a nice selection of smaller titles like Automachef, Infinifactory, and many more. Shapez-io is the latest addition to the ever-growing pile, and it’s a chill, semi-abstract experience about designing a system with no pressure. Build a small machine that may take a while to reach its target goals, or go nuts automating a massive hyper-efficient beast outputting thousands of components per minute; there’s no limit beyond PC performance and your own patience.
Shapez-io released an early version a few weeks back on itch.io and since then has received a number of updates, to the point that it’s now in its 1.0 stage. While today’s Steam release is technically a full game there’s still a huge amount planned for Shapez-io’s future, including a campaign mode, more levels, more shapes to construct, accessibility options like a colorblind mode, etc. The current version is a smoothly-running game of minimalist device management for maximalist output, as evidenced by its launch trailer below. Give it a watch, and enjoy seeing the hundreds of devices churning out thousands of parts and pieces as they work together to manufacture all the widgets one could ever hope for.