PuzzleScript: the free puzzle-building tool that lets you make games in minutes

Philippa Warr at

"Worst fruit/vegetable thrusting game I have EVER played." The Guardian's games critic Keith Stuart thus appraised the first game I ever made. It was built using PuzzleScript - Stephen Lavelle's puzzle game creation tool - and goes by the name of Avocado Pusher. You use a giant finger to push little avocados into swimming pools. "Typical Guardian," I shot back. "I bet if it had been 'Fancy Artisanal Loaf Pusher' you'd be all over that."

Everyone else had been far more impressed. Ex-PC Gamer critic and current indie dev chap Tom Francis gave it a probably-not-entirely-sarcastic 9/10 and illustrator and games critic Marsh Davies called it "The best 5x5 pixel rendering of an avocado I've seen in a game". One of the creators of endless runner Boson X, Ian MacLarty, even created a mod for the thing called Asparagus Pusher.

I'm saying this not just to point out that Keith was wrong, but to stress how easily you can use PuzzleScript to give you a working game. In the 20 minutes of time I had before I needed to head to the pub I worked out what the most basic commands in the game engine would achieve and created my own items and avatar by fiddling with the colours and pixel patterns in a pre-existing level editor. The end result was insanely straightforward but, crucially, worked as a puzzle game.