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Learn how to program a robot in this sci-fi puzzle game

If you fancy getting another language under your belt, upcoming puzzle game Robo Instructus will fill your brain with code as it teaches you a simple programming language designed to command a helpful little robot. Take a look at him in action in the above announcement trailer. 

Starting out, you just get a few lines taught to you. That's where I'm at right now, after a few missions. I can get my engineering bot to do very simple things, mostly moving around, by typing "robo_forward()" and other variations a great deal. I'm still very proud and feel a little bit smarter every time that wee robot reaches his objective. Look at me, Mum, I'm programming robots.

As the maps and objectives get more complicated, new bits of code are unlocked, letting you construct increasingly an elaborate—at least from a novice's eyes—program that takes into account different variables and makes the robot perform additional tasks, such as scanning tiles. Robots flipping love to scan things. 

It's the triangles I find harder to parse, rather than the coding side of things. Instead of a hex or a square, every tile is a triangle, so when you're giving the robot its marching orders, you've got to remember that moving it forward will actually move it diagonally to the right. Just keep making it move forward and eventually, if there's enough space, it will come full circle.

Levels have multiple floors you have to contend with, which turns out to be a neat wrinkle. When you escape the first floor, elated, you'll quickly realise that you need to create one long script to get your robot from the entrance of the first floor to the exit of the last. You might be able to use loops to save you a lot of work, however, and you can tweak the code and experiment whenever you want with no real consequences. None for you, anyway. The robot, on the other hand, might fall to its doom. 

I meant to post this a bit earlier, but I confess I got a bit stuck, and that's when Robo Instructus ensnared me, making me briefly forget about anything that wasn't my mechanical buddy and his programming. If that sounds like a good time, you can register for instant access to the free beta here.

Fraser is the sole inhabitant of PC Gamer's mythical Scottish office, conveniently located in his flat. He spends most of his time wrangling the news, but sometimes he sneaks off to write lots of words about strategy games.