Factorio. The one game that I want to get ever since I know of its existence, but only when it’s on a sale. And if so, I would procure it over in a heartbeat. Like a devout believer wanting a miracle I waited. Hoping that it will go on a sale someday. Unlike every other early access game that comes with a discount on their official release, Factorio does not. Instead of waiting for a miracle, I went ahead and bought it. Best money that I have ever spent.
Factorio is an optimization automation simulation game where you crash-landed on a world whose native race is split into two types of bugs, one that spits and another that bites. Your goal is to build a rocket and get out of the planet. The final destination in Factorio sounds simple enough and to most people, it’s all about the end goal, never the journey. But in Factorio, it will savagely beat you back down at the start of your journey with every new enlightenment of optimisation that you have comprehended. It’s a road where one should not tread lightly and more often than not, most players have walked the path of endless optimisation-and-restart, forever not reaching the goal.
Factorio | Wtube Software LTD
It all begins with a quest for building a rocket. Naturally, you will pluck any and every material off the ground that you are able to with your trusty pickaxe. Processing the raw copper and iron into plates with a stone furnace that’s fueled by coal is but the first step to your automation empire. Mining resources with your pickaxe is no doubt cumbersome and slow, resulting in you crafting a mining drill. This coal-powered mining drill doesn’t look like much, but it is your very first machine to your automation setup.
Placing it on top of the iron vein and feeding its content directly into a stone furnace is doubtlessly an automated setup. It is simple. And it is crude. Yet, this humble setup opens the door of automation subtly as you place down multiple copies of it. Unknowingly, you are cultivating the birth of an automation empire. A monstrous entity with a bottomless pit for resources that can never be satiated.
As your output for resources grows, the rate of production pf crafted materials is gated behind your handcrafting speed. Wanting to automate such materials requires you to research the buildings that allow you to do so. And when you have done so, you’re free to redirect your attention to more pressing matters, which is setting up automation for the materials that you need or your newly researched technology.
Factorio | Wtube Software LTD
Now, setting up an automated sequence is easy. Just put down the automation building, select the end product and ensure the materials required to craft the product are being fed into the building. But what you do need to worry about is whether your mathematical prowess is up to par against the things Factorio will throw at you. Calculation is needed for you to smoothly run your automation empire without overdrawing the total output of your produced products. A slight misstep will cause a slight crack in your empire. A crack that will gradually grow until your empire collapses.
A yellow conveyor belt can transport 900 items per minute. Any automation setup along this belt can continuously produce items smoothly as long as the totalled input of materials required doesn’t exceed this amount. And it’s a beginner’s ignorance to not know of this limitation, resulting in an overdraft of materials for factories that’s further down the line. At this point, you may have realised the limitations of the yellow belt or better yet, knowing the exact figure of the yellow belt capacity. Perhaps it’s time to restart your game, but this time it will be more efficient and more optimised.
And that’s the core experience of Factorio. Gaining inspirational breakthroughs on how to optimise your various automation setups while forever debating internally to the option of restarting your game again when you do. The iron vein at the starting location has run out, but you didn’t research the technology to use trains? Restart. You have found a better way to ensure a steady supply of materials while optimising your automation setup to produce trains? Restart. Does the train station require a bigger space? Restart.
The cycle is endless. It’s not a wonder why many that have touch Factorio are addicted to it like a crack addict. It’s a game where you are continuously improving yourself and there are results to show for it with every restart. You would enter a meditative-like state as you ponder how to optimise your newly researched technology. It feels as though you’re a practitioner of Buddhism as you sit there in your chair before you are rudely awakened by one of three things. Hunger, sunrise or the resounding alarm that your base is under attack.
Who else could it be besides the buggy locals. In all fairness, they would not have attacked you if your pollution does not reach their base. Think of it as your neighbour playing his drums or blasting music on the stereo for 7 days straight and you can hear it from across the street. It’s Factorio’s answer to your ever-growing automation empire.
Factorio | Wtube Software LTD
The more materials you harvest and process, the generation of pollution will only increase. As the pollution creeps outwards from your factories, it will eventually touch the insects’ base. And once the pollution has reached the threshold of which the bugs can tolerate, they will send out a punitive force to deal with your atrocities. Leaving you no choice but to exterminate these pests for the sake of your livelihood. Creating a new assembly line to produce turrets and ammo just to deal with the bugs. You will probably restart your game again when you have found an optimise manner to set up your weapons assembly line.
Factorio is one stellar of a game. It’s easy to be absorbed in learning how to set up your automation assembly line and the more you practice your craft, the better your automation efficiency will be. Ironing out the imperfection of your automation will unknowingly soak up hours of your time. Factorio is best recommended to your friend and foe. Allowing them to enjoy this masterpiece of a game while wresting their life away.
Platform: PC(Windows[Played], Linux, SteamOS & Mac OS X)
Publisher: Wube Software LTD
Developer: Wube Software LTD
Rating: 10 out of 10
Price: $26.00 (or your region equivalent)