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Assembly Planter

Posted on June 3rd, 2021

A farming / automation game, that allows you to progress from a poor hard-working farmer with just a few old tools to a lazy rich guy that watches his machines do the work for him while he tries to optimize production.

Classic machine and conveyer belt building blocks applied to a farming setting. This gets really interesting with the ability to minimise a section of your factory into a single block and continue building with that. It also has the compelling nature of a good idle game to boot.

Untitled Factory Game

Posted on August 10th, 2020

Untitled Factory Game is a mobile game, currently based on “Assembly Line”, however with plans to develop in quite a different direction once the basic controls and mechanics are fully working.

A factory building game which looks to have a lot of promise. Still in development but it’s solid so far and has a really nice clean art style.

Sandship

Posted on August 10th, 2020

Sandship is an upcoming title by Rockbite Games, featuring a gigantic mega-factory that slowly drives itself over dry, hot, endless desert.

This is a mobile factory game with free-to-play mobile mechanics so you have to open timed loot boxes in order to get the resources you need to progress.

Learning Factory

Posted on July 13th, 2020

In this automation sim, you are a data scientist who is trying to understand what your cat wants. How do you do it? By rebuilding and automating an old Learning Factory, a place designed for collecting data from thousands of cats and analyzing it with Machine Learning.

A factory builder with a cute theme in which information and machine learning become part of the overall system.

Shapez.io

Posted on June 22nd, 2020

shapez.io is a game about building factories to automate the creation and combination of increasingly complex shapes within an infinite map.

Heavily inspired by Factorio, but actually this really strongly reminds me of an old Flash puzzle game series called Factory Balls by Bert Bonte. Mine, split, colour, rotate and layer together various resources from an infinite map in order to mass product increasingly complicated symbols.

Lumbermill

Posted on May 7th, 2020

Build, Manage and Maintain a Lumber Mill deep in the Forest!

This is a factory building logistics game with tycoon elements to manage employees and products. Build a lumber mill in order to create and sell various wooden objects, all within a procedurally generated forest.

Good Company

Posted on May 6th, 2020

Good Company is a tycoon management game about founding a robot manufacturing empire. Grow your business; hire staff; automate production lines and optimize their output; invent new products and profit in an ever-evolving market. Can you build a Good Company?

I hadn’t intended to add this game to the list as it feels more like a tycoon game than a nerdy logistics/automation game. Initially you just hire staff who do most of the thinking themselves, but later on there are a few more in-depth automation/logistics elements so it might be worth a look.

Final Upgrade

Posted on April 14th, 2020

Final Upgrade is a factory building sim featuring battles in space.

This is a curious looking one. It’s a sci-fi factory builder but has combat/base defense elements so you have to deal with your factories being destroyed, which may be frustrating for some people. It also has an interesting looking galaxy map which add a big sense of scale.

uFactory

Posted on March 19th, 2020

uFactory is the ultimate in finely-tuned logistics challenges. Navigate the complexities of manufacturing processes inspired by real industrial methods.

This appears to be a pretty traditional factory-style game with a clean isometric visual style and a strong focus on mechanics over story.

Industrial Petting

Posted on March 18th, 2020

Industrial Petting is the chance for you and your friends to explore an alien world, find new pets, get them to love you, and sell them on the galactic market. Build factories to make more creatures, farms to feed them, and gadgets to entertain them.

I’ve seen this described as Satisfactory crossed with Slime Rancher. Seems about right. And unusually for this list, it’s also playable in VR.

Neon Noodles

Posted on December 8th, 2019

You are in charge of a futuristic kitchen operating in a mysterious cyberpunk world. Automate your robot chefs to cook recipes in perfectly elegant loops to create well oiled machines that churn out dish after dish. It’s a zach-like!

Their own description says it’s a Zach-like and that should tell you everything you need to know. Program robots (forward/back/turn/use etc) in order to make food. Optimise your solutions for speed, space, etc…

MOLEK-SYNTEZ

Posted on November 6th, 2019

Use the MOLEK-SYNTEZ to create small molecules with various pharmacological effects from the comfort of your small Romanian apartment.

If you are familiar with Zachtronics games then you’ll know what to expect. If you’re not then this probably isn’t going to be the most easily assessable one to start with but it appears to be somewhere between SpaceChem, Opus Magnum and TIS-100.

Automation Empire

Posted on October 30th, 2019

Build and manage a massive industrial network of factories, mines, and farms. Employ a fleet of trains, trucks, and robotic drones. In the age of automation, efficiency is survival!

Another game which could be described as Factorio in 3D. It’s very grey and industrial and doesn’t show off a huge amount of personality compared to other games on this list, but it definitely looks like you can create huge complex sprawling factories with lots of moving parts.

Automachef

Posted on May 29th, 2019

Welcome to Automachef, a resource management puzzler where you design kitchens, program machinery and watch your genius come to life! It’s time to engineer tomorrow’s kitchen, today!

A game where you are rewriting bits of machine code in order to solve puzzles. Also looks to have a level editor where you can create your own levels in order to send them to the developer and maybe get them added to the game. There is also a slimmed-down web version you can try.

Satisfactory

Posted on March 11th, 2019

Satisfactory is a first-person open-world factory building game with a dash of exploration and combat.

Most people seem happy to describe this as Factorio in 3D, which you can understand looking at it. It is currently in development so we shall have to see how it turns out.

The Sequence[2]

Posted on March 11th, 2019

Think out of the box!

The follow up to [the Sequence]. This is more of the same, but instead of being set on a squared grid you are on a hex grid which adds to the complication. As with the first game things start simple and as more types of component are added, the challenge increases.

Blueprint Tycoon

Posted on March 11th, 2019

Build your settlement, gather goods, ensure maximum efficiency and make a profit!

If you can get past the UI which feel aggressively functional, then it looks like there is a lot going on in this game. I’m not sure if it’s a bit too much of a simulation game for this list but I’ll leave it in for now.

Factory Town

Posted on March 11th, 2019

Build, expand, automate, and optimize your own custom village using a variety of worker units, marble-run chutes, railways, logistic blocks, and conveyor belts.

This one starts out looking like a Settlers-style logistics game, but the more you play and unlock the more it becomes about automating and optimising your town.

Manufactoria

Posted on March 10th, 2019

“Manufactoria is a game about putting robots in their place.”

This is a conveyor-belt game where you are dealing with little robots that have data associated with them (a sequence of coloured dots). You must shuffle them around depending on their programming and later on change the programming. This game has a nice progression, has a decent challenge and have more depth than a standard conveyor-belt type of game.

The Codex of Alchemical Engineering

Posted on March 10th, 2019

“The Codex of Alchemical Engineering is a puzzle game about programming ‘manipulators’ to move, transmute, and bind alchemical ‘atoms’ into complex compounds.”

The game that inspired SpaceChem. You can place down various little machines and robot arms and then give each arm a set of actions which it should perform. Use the arms to move, combine and modify various elements. Starts pretty simple. Gets pretty complicated and if you finish it, there is the Magnum Opus challenge which gives you a whole new set of levels.

Assembly Line

Posted on March 10th, 2019

“Assembly Line combines elements from idle and tycoon games. You need to build the best assembly line in order to have the most profit possible.”

This free, ad-supported game is quite odd because it is part logistics game and part idle/clicker, which means you aren’t really solving problems, you are mostly waiting for money to accrue. You progressively unlock different machines, product and upgrades which in turn produce more money. It’s a bit mindless compared to a lot of the other games on this list but it’s still fun to plan, build and see your little production line ticking away. Worth a look if you prefer your games on the zen side.

Mindustry

Posted on March 10th, 2019

“A sandbox tower defense game– Create elaborate supply chains of conveyor belts to feed ammo into your turrets, produce materials to use for building, and defend your structures from waves of enemies.”

This one is very Factorio-lite. Enemies attack in waves and destroy your base so the game becomes a hectic combination of maintaining your factory and building new stuff in order to upgrade it. If you like time to think in your games then it may not be for you (although you can pause whilst building). The controls can also be a little awkward but it is getting regular updates and improvements and it appears to be free so why wouldn’t you try it?

CargoBot

Posted on March 10th, 2019

“Cargo-Bot is a puzzle game where you teach a robot how to move crates. Sounds simple, right?”

This game appears to primarily be an advert for a development environment, but actually the game itself is a lot of fun and definitely gets your brain thinking. It has a lot in common with LightBot in that you are giving your robot (arm) a sequence of actions in order to get the crates into the correct order. Even if it wasn’t free it would still be worth a look. But it is free so check it out!

Perfect Paths

Posted on March 10th, 2019

“Perfect Paths is puzzle solving game where you create paths and add other instructions to move blocks to their designated positions.”

This is a pure logistics puzzle game, really nicely presented and with a decent challenge. The thing which makes this game really interesting is that each type of action happens in sequence, so objects aren’t all moving at once, but rather things moving up with move, then those moving left, then down etc. It doesn’t seem like much but it can add real depth puzzle solutions.

[The Sequence]

Posted on March 10th, 2019

“The Sequence is a unique puzzle game. Build a sequence using special modules to transfer binary cell. Find solutions to solve 72 levels with simple and complex structure.”

I’m not sure this really is unique. I think it again shares a lot in common with games like The Codex of Alchemical Engineering in that you use little devices to push, pull and rotate objects around each level, but what it is is very nicely (minimally) presented with a decent UI and puzzles which get very challenging toward the end of the game.

Factory Engineer

Posted on March 10th, 2019

“Factory Engineer is a factory simulation game which is about creating a huge automated factory by building production lines to create products and make money.”

A lot of the reviews for this seem to describe it as a cross between Big Pharma and Factorio, but a lot closer to Big Pharma. From what I can tell, it takes Big Pharma, removes the tycoon elements and gives you a larger space to create factories in, so if you just like the factory building (and watching your creations busilly working away) then you might like it.

Glyphs Apprentice

Posted on March 10th, 2019

“Glyphs Apprentice is a puzzle game where you need to take raw magical energy and change it’s outer shape and inner symbol…”

I’m really torn on this one. It is a remake of The Codex for Alchemical Engineering but done by a different company. They have changed just enough so that it isn’t a complete copy but somehow it doesn’t quite have the same spark as the original. Now that Opus Magnum has been released it is even more obvious that the UI in this game is clunky and the progression is awkward. If you have already played all of the Zachtronic games then give this a go. It’s more of the same (just not quite as good), but if you haven’t then start with Zachtronic games every time.

The Great Permutator

Posted on March 10th, 2019

“Great Permutator is a puzzle. Hard and tricky. One in which you will have to build a complex system of conveyors and various devices so that the colored boxes can travel across the factory and arrive at right places and in right order”

This is a very traditional conveyor-belt style logistics game. Move boxes from their starting locations to various different machines and then out. The only downside is that the presentation is pretty simple, but if that doesn’t bother you then this should keep you busy for a little while.

Prime Mover

Posted on March 10th, 2019

“Prime Mover is an open-ended puzzle game about designing circuit boards. Work your way from transistor to processor, uncover the story of the Byte of Burden!”

A retro themed visual programming game with a sci-fi story where you are building ‘circuits’ which act as pathways for data packets to travel along. Use the various components to affects the data as required. Comes with the graphs usually associated with Zachtronic games to encourage optimisation.

while True: learn()

Posted on March 10th, 2019

“while True: learn() is a simulator of a machine learning specialist who uses visual programming to make his and his cat’s living. Make money as a machine learning developer.”

This is a visual programming game but also feels a bit like a logistics game because you are moving data around from location to location, filtering and sorting them as you go. Your solutions will earn you money which you can use to buy hats for your cat! Optimise your solutions to make more money.

Factorio

Posted on March 10th, 2019

“Factorio is a game in which you build and maintain factories. You will be mining resources, researching technologies, building infrastructure, automating production and fighting enemies.”

This game is about automation on a massive scale. You start out digging rocks and will end up with whole rail networks and miles of stacked up conveyor belts! I personally was a little put off by the combat. I quite like the zen-like quality of many of these games, but if you are OK with being kept on your toes and having to react to attacks then this might be the mother of all automation games! You can even play it multiplayer.

Production Line

Posted on March 10th, 2019

“A modern car factory is a near-perfect example of efficiency, process-management and flow. A massive army of precision-controlled robots dance to a millimetre-perfect ballet of engineering excellence with perfect timing.”

This game is part conveyor-belt style logistics game and part tycoon game. Unlike Big Pharma this seems to be focused more on the logistics side of the game rather than the tycoon side. You also have a lot more floor space to play with in Production Line so you really can create huge sprawling factory floors!

Big Pharma

Posted on March 10th, 2019

“With a few rusty reconditioned machines, you can progress from knocking out cheap generic treatments for minor ailments, to discovering new active ingredients and hi-tech machines to help refine the next generation of world-changing drugs.”

This game is part conveyor-belt style logistics game and part tycoon game. If you want a pure logistics puzzle game then this may not be for you, the challenge may not be in creating the best or most efficient factory floor, but also in how you sell and market the products you are making.

Infinifactory

Posted on March 10th, 2019

“Build factories that assemble products for your alien overlords, and try not to die in the process.”

There have been lots of little web games where you put down conveyor belts to manipulate items. This game takes that concept and brings it into 3D. It’s got a fun side-story but the main draw is just how much depth the third dimension adds to the standard conveyor-belt gameplay. It’s hugely satisfying and again comes with the usual Zachtronics options for optimisation.

Opus Magnum

Posted on March 10th, 2019

“Master the intricate, physical machinery of the transmutation engine, the alchemical engineer’s most advanced tool, and use it to create vital remedies, precious gemstones, deadly weapons, and more.”

This is a spiritual successor to one of Zachtronics earliest games called The Codex of Alchemical Engineering. In this game you set up and program an assortment of grabbers and little machines to pick up, combine and manipulate elements. The interface is really slick and it is as satisfying as ever to see little molecules being put together. Again you have graphs for things like speed, cost and footprint which keeps you coming back to fiddle.