If you’ve played Tomorrow Corporation’s surprising burn-‘em-up Little Inferno you’ll know to look at the studio’s next game with a beady, suspecting eye. As what Little Inferno taught its players is that not everything is as it seems. And that’s probably the case with Human Resource Machine.
Tomorrow Corporation calls Human Resource Machine a “puzzle game for nerds” on account of it essentially teaching you how to program. The idea is to drag-and-drop commands to instruct a human office worker to solve the problems that your boss gives you. Once you do solve a puzzle, you’re able to head up to the next level of the corporate tower that the game takes place in to take on the next puzzle, with each floor representing a year in time.
The layout of each floor (or puzzle) is meant to replicate a simple computer. There’s an inbox on the left from which all the boxes (representing data and functions) arrive. While an outbox on the right is where you need to have the office worker submit the correct boxes (one at a time) and in the right order. There are also slots in between the two sides of the screen where you can store boxes to use later.
You start off with just two commands but will end up with a total of 11, which Tomorrow Corporation says is “enough to simulate almost any computer algorithm in the world.” It’s due to this that the developer says that Human Resource Machine should come quite easy to those who can already program. Others shouldn’t be intimidated, though, as apparently anyone who enjoys solving puzzles should be able to play through the game.
You can find out more about Human Resource Machine on its website. You can also pre-order it there for Windows and Mac at a discounted price of $7.99 (full price is $9.99). Other platforms are listed as TBA (to be announced) for now.