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

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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 (opens in new tab).

Fraser Brown
Online Editor

Fraser is the UK online editor and has actually met The Internet in person. With over a decade of experience, he's been around the block a few times, serving as a freelancer, news editor and prolific reviewer. Strategy games have been a 30-year-long obsession, from tiny RTSs to sprawling political sims, and he never turns down the chance to rave about Total War or Crusader Kings. He's also been known to set up shop in the latest MMO and likes to wind down with an endlessly deep, systemic RPG. These days, when he's not editing, he can usually be found writing features that are 1,000 words too long or talking about his dog.