Skip to main content

Plug and program to match waveforms in this puzzler inspired by synthesizers

An image of synthesizer modules from puzzle game The Signal State.
(Image credit: Reckoner Industries)

Here's a thematic looking puzzler for those of you who love the technical: The Signal State, a logic game that uses the methods inspired by modular synthesizers. In it, you're a machine tech repairing parts in order to rebuild farm equipment to produce necessary food.

To play, you manipulate inputs by connecting cables to inputs and outputs on sets of modules, all with the goal of meeting a certain waveform on each output. It's all about figuring out the logic of how to get from point A to point B using the parts you have available.

It's one of those games that probably scales very much based on how good you are at puzzles and how much understanding you have of the underlying material: In this case, that's modular synthesizers, sound waveforms, and logic. To me, it's a pretty impressive first outing for a new developer entering what is one of the most complex genres in PC gaming—the kind of fiddly logic puzzler with a very specific niche theme. It was made famous by Zachtronics, and some go so far as to call the whole genre "Zachlikes."

It's not very exhaustively reviewed, but The Signal State has very positive reviews for now. Those who dislike it don't seem to dislike the gameplay at all, just finding fault with either the puzzle complexity or the length. You can find The Signal State on Steam.

Jon Bolding is a games writer and critic with an extensive background in strategy games. When he's not on his PC, he can be found playing every tabletop game under the sun.