Aku Kotkavuo



I am a software generalist from Helsinki, Finland. I’ve been working with software for most of my life. I practise writing about related topics here.

My open source projects include mpyq and jisho.


5 January 2021

👍 Recommended (78.9 hrs on record)

Just revisited this gem of a game I first played through when it launched. Yep, it's still the best programming game from Zachtronics, among many worthy contenders. It has the early-internet-era Cyberpunk aesthetic nailed down perfectly, and an excellent soundtrack that keeps you in the right mental space.

The programming is real, just limited to a made-up assembly language which sets tight boundaries to the solution space. This is both necessary and fun! The bite-sized problems are all solvable without any real background in "real" programming or computer science -- the only benefit I got was being able nod knowingly every now and then.

The leaderboards are what makes Zachtronics' games stand out to me. Not because I'm especially competitive, but because they let me know there was still a way to go. Going back to a puzzle you already solved and really optimizing it to the last cycle is something I only rarely let myself do at work.

Bottom line: automatic buy for people who love code puzzles, but they already bought this. If you're on the fence and are even slightly curious, take the leap.