Make I before E and every other letter in optimisation puzzler Word Factori

Word Factori is a conveyor-belt puzzle game in which you plop down structures that bend, mirror, rotate or merge your resources in order to produce something new. So far, so Opus Magnum. The twist is that your only resource is a sans-serif letter “I”, which you’re manipulating and combining to make every other letter in the alphabet – and, in turn, to construct whole words to complete each level. It’s out now.

Word Factori is a pleasing puzzle game about constructing letters.

You’ve got five basic building types in Word Factori, the first of which generates the letter I, while the others bend, rotate, reflect and merge. Your challenge as the player is to wire these buildings together in such a way that your ‘I’ enters from the bottom and is ejected into a bucket at the top of the screen as whatever letter is demanded.

For example, you can take your sans-serif I and bend it to get a C. Mirror that C horizontally and merge it with another I and you get a D. Merge it with another I and it’s a P, and so on. There are multiple recipes for producing each letter and you’ll need to discover them if you want to make your machinery maximally efficient. Upon completing each level, you’re told how you have performed in comparison to other players, based on number of buildings placed, letters over-produced, and the number of cycles your machinery needed to run to create all the required letters.

So far, still so Opus Magnum – but that’s no bad thing in my eyes, given the Zachtronics’ masterpiece devoured my attention for weeks. Word Factori doesn’t quite reach the same heights, in part because my constructions in Word Factori look comparably mundane. Your machines get busier, and it’s still satisfying to lay them out efficiently and neatly, but they are never swinging, twisting, GIFable marvels.

But Word Factori has still provided me with three hours of pleasant tinkering so far. It’s £5/€5.89/$6 from Steam.