(No video for this one! Turns out this is NOT a game for streaming.)
It’s the retrocyberfuture, and our fine self has come down with the phage, a disease which slowly turns nerve endings into computers. It totally sucks, and medicine to control it comes at $700 a dose, which sucks even more. Luckily for us, an AI stranger approaches us with an offer- one hack, one dose. Just gotta do a few simple jobs for an unknown cause, what could go wrong?
Exapunks is dripping with atmosphere right from the off, which is awesome and also the reason why it doesn’t make for a good video. Gameplay involves writing assembly code instructions for lil bots called EXAs to interpret and- ideally- complete whatever task is required. The game doesn’t teach us any of these instructions directly, instead referring us to the printable ‘zine it comes with.
The zine is written from an in-universe perspective and contains instructions, articles, and short stories, all of which can be perused for hints and nudges towards the right set of instructions. It’s really cool, but no one wants to watch me read a PDF for an hour.
Fin or Bin:
The first mission involved hacking a pizza restaurant to sneak myself a free pizza. The second mission involved hacking my own left arm. That’s some pretty steep escalation, and the difficulty scales with the stakes. I’ve got a fairly good head for programming skills- if you don’t, you absolutely don’t want to play this. I, however, am definitely absorbed in the worldbuilding, and while I expect the puzzles to get utterly mindbending in short order, these are the kinds of puzzles I like. Can I Finish it before the phage finishes me?