This game consists of one level with one puzzle. It’s pretty close to the simplest possible video game, it doesn’t even have a title. None the less, it’s fun for a few minutes. Don’t get frustrated, there is a solution.

The developer does a large number of these tiny games, and makes a modest living this way via Patreon. Here’s one about opening a drawer. One drawer.

Good on him. It’s nice to see an alternative business model for game development work out like this.

There’s a sub-genre of puzzle games which involves building things. Most frequently what you build are bridges, hopefully ones which don’t fall down, but there’s a wide variety and what’s pretty consistent between all of these is a realistic representation of physics (within a practical limitation). This used to be quite a novel thing, evaluating forces acting on all of the objects in a scene is more CPU-intensive than was feasible in most games back then, and so games which did this, whether building games or others (they were almost all building games), came to be known collectively as “physics games.”

fantastic contraptionThat’s a terribly poor descriptor nowadays, given that more current games use physics than don’t, but it’s still the moniker given to games in which taking advantage of a physics engine is the focus of gameplay. Fantastic Contraption is such a physics-based building game, though what you build are… cars. I’m going to call them cars, fanciful cars. And yes, I realize that I just said that the game was physics based, and that would seem to me to be inconsistent with the idea of stiff inflexible rods made out of flowing water, but I never took that course on fluid dynamics, so what do I know?

Also the game is pretty fun I guess. Maybe you should just try it.

z-roxYou know that bit in Flatland where the square is trying to explain what a sphere is to the other two dimensional people around him? A sphere is a point which grows to a small circle as it passes through the two dimensional plane, then grows to a bigger circle, then shrinks back to a point. I’m sure you all remember that. (You should read Flatland. There’s a game based on Flatland actually… I’ll post that some other time.) Anyway, that’s Z-Rox in a nutshell except it’s two dimensional figures passing through a one dimensional space.

I love Z-Rox just for being interesting and original, but also for being accessible. It’s one of those games which is very easy for a non-gamer to grasp and enjoy quickly.