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Zachtronics is making its final game: Last Call BBS

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fatima khan
fatima khan
A brand new writer in the fields, Fatima has been taken under my electric spark's RGB- rich and ensures she doesn't engage in excessive snark on the website. It's unclear what command and Conquer are; however, she can talk for hours about the odd rhythm games, hardware, product reviews, and MMOs that were popular in the 2000s. Fatima has been creating various announcements, previews, and other content while here, but particularly enjoys writing regarding Products' latest news in the market she's currently addicted to. She is likely talking to an additional blogger with her current obsession right now.

Redmond-based indie studio Zachtronics was founded by Zach Barth, designer of  sandbox builder Infiniminer, AKA the game Notch ripped off to make Minecraft. After that, Zachtronics made a name for itself with 2011’s SpaceChem, which dresses like a game about synthesizing chemicals for space colonies but sneakily teaches you programming and circuit-building. It, and other Zachtronics puzzle games that are either explicitly about programming (like TIS-100, Shenzhen I/O, and Exapunks), or sneakily about programming (like alchemical device-builder Opus Magnum), have been dubbed ‘Zach-likes’ by fans. The studio has made games in other genres though, like AI-themed visual novel Eliza, and alternate-history strategy game Ironclad Tactics.

Last Call BBS seems like a culmination and combination of everything Zachtronics has done over the last decade-plus of indie game development. It’s a collection of eight puzzle minigames (“although some of them are quite big, at least the size of TIS-100 (opens in new tab)“), all accessed through a fictional retro computer called the Sawayama Z5 Powerlance. A BBS administrator called The Barkeep has filled this chunky red PC with games for us, and helpfully they’re “all fully cracked and ready to enjoy!”

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