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7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 29 Ratings

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  • Summary: TIS-100 is an open-ended programming title in which you rewrite corrupted code segments to repair the TIS-100 and unlock its secrets. It’s the assembly language programming game you never asked for.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 3
  2. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. Aug 17, 2015
    84
    This is as dry as it gets. It makes a game out of some peoples’ jobs. And in all its minimalistic glory it is a lot of fun. But conceptually it is not as far as it may seem in the beginning from the author’s earlier works like SpecChem or Infinifactory.
  2. Sep 21, 2015
    80
    It manages to maintain an even balance of being fun and being educational.
  3. CD-Action
    Oct 17, 2015
    70
    Zach Barth (the author of Infinifactory) is back and again creativity – both the developer’s and yours – plays first fiddle. [10/2015, p.71]
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 8
  2. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. Mar 22, 2017
    10
    I own this game on Steam. I've completed the "any%" category for the game and cleared every challenge achievement, save for two. Those two asI own this game on Steam. I've completed the "any%" category for the game and cleared every challenge achievement, save for two. Those two as you may be able to surmise from the previous sentence, are the 100% achievements, which I am 6 puzzles away from (two in the first half of the game and four in the latter half).

    While some puzzles still may be giving me a hard time I still love this game. There's nothing more rewarding than solving a puzzle for the first time, especially if you come in with good idea of how to handle it and it pans out. Admittedly sometimes you have to make a few tweaks to your original plan, but that makes the solve all the more rewarding. Heck, even after you solved a puzzle before(and outside of the achievements that place certain restrictions on solving puzzles), there's still a sense of accomplishment from finding a faster solution to your puzzle (and sometimes one that will even cut out unnecessary lines of code with just a bit of reengineering).

    I absolutely adore this game. I admittedly don't know too many people that know about it or enjoy it, but it's a game I could gush on about for a long time. I mean, what other game has you come up with a solution to multiply, divide, or even expotentiate numbers using commands that can only compare numbers (to zero), pass data around, and add/subtract/negate values? Not too many I can think of (though I am reminded of some other games that require clever solutions to puzzles as I type this, including triangulating a location on a map). Without spoiling how to get to a (I say "a" because I've seen other approaches than the one I took) requires a fundamental understanding of the relationship between the numbers in more basic terms.

    Also, I don't know if it sounds too cliche, but I think that solving puzzles like the one in the game help your decision making in real life. I guess you could say that about videogames in general but this one in particular may make you think more algorithmically about how to accomplish everyday tasks. Maybe that's just me though.

    Enough yammering though.

    tl;dr: I love this game because you have to really understand what you're doing to effectively solve puzzles, and there's a huge sense of achievement in being able to figure that out. The crazier the task, the greater the satisfaction.
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  2. Jun 4, 2015
    10
    Really nice. Just like Zachtronics' other games, it really gives me some brain exercise and I like it. Although it's about repairing anReally nice. Just like Zachtronics' other games, it really gives me some brain exercise and I like it. Although it's about repairing an old-fashion computers in Assembly, it doesn't requires programming skills just like Spacechem doesn't requires chemistry knowledge. It does require a lot of logical thinking thought, as you try to figure out a way to redirect and manipulate the data stream but also optimize the cycle number and instruction count at the same time.
    If you are still worried about learning the concepts, it has a manual in pdf format which explain the ideas pretty well. After you get used to it and have some ideas in your mind, here comes the fun part: there are 3 different types of sandbox that you can freely code anything you want at you wish, just like the sandbox mode in Spacechem and Test Zones in Infinifactory.
    To sum up, it's a awesome game that will surely bring you a unique, wonderful experience.
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  3. Jan 7, 2018
    10
    A great game for anyone who enjoys the challenge of coding within confined memory.
  4. Aug 3, 2015
    10
    A typically brilliant Zach game, a seemingly low-fi Spacechem type deal, focusing on pseudo assembly language coding. No need for knowing whatA typically brilliant Zach game, a seemingly low-fi Spacechem type deal, focusing on pseudo assembly language coding. No need for knowing what accumulator, breakpoints or stack are: anyone with a mind for puzzling out logic problems can give it a go. There is a nice little conspiracy/cyberpunk story behind it, but can safely be ignored. Highly, highly recommended!

    PS: The 14 page manual nicely resembles some 4086 processor instruction manuals, and will be your Invaluable Companion (TM) throughout.

    PPS: Don't forget, the JRO opcode is your best friend.
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  5. Aug 26, 2015
    10
    Very specific target audience but I love it!

    An original architecture to explore and create with that somehow provides a sense of
    Very specific target audience but I love it!

    An original architecture to explore and create with that somehow provides a sense of accomplishment even though you are not accomplishing anything. ;)

    Makes me feel like I should re-direct my time toward learning REAL assembly languages and architectures instead.

    Having finished the main campaign I have to say my experience has been more engaging than any I can recall in recent years. It preoccupies my thoughts while showering, driving, eating, breathing.... Brutally challenging in its simplicity. Wonderfully handled in its look and feel.

    Will be looking forward to sequels or add-ons!
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  6. Mar 22, 2019
    9
    Did you ever wanted to sort a sequence of numbers in a assembly language with parallel nodes?
    Oh? Really? Huh, ok. Then I guess TIS-100 is
    Did you ever wanted to sort a sequence of numbers in a assembly language with parallel nodes?
    Oh? Really? Huh, ok. Then I guess TIS-100 is made for you. I wasn’t ready, sorry, usually people prefer games with guns or cars, you know.

    Anyway, TIS-100 is an emulator for an imaginary machine, on which you code with a set of 13 simple instructions on up to 12 parallel nodes, each having a space for only 15 different instructions. Program space quickly becomes an issue and asks of you to be clever to make your program fit.

    Compared to classic assembly instruction sets like x86, TIS-100 is really simple, and does not offer much. You can move values, add and subtract, do conditional jumps, but not multiply, divide, do logical operations nor bits operation. And more importantly, each node has only access to two registers, but only one can be accessed directly, the other acting more like a distant memory. This makes the coding tedious at times, and forces you to think differently to create programs.

    And the later problems in the games ask you for example to determine the prime factors of a number up to 99, in ascending order (e.g. 86 would result in “2, 2, 3, 7”). When finally, after hours of thinking and programming, your program finally goes through all the numbers successfully, a feeling of proudness arises.

    And if solving the problems is not enough for you, you can still try to optimize your programs so they execute faster, or take less space in number of nodes or instructions. My personal objectives was always to go for the fastest program, but sometimes it’s really impossible to match some internet records.

    I started playing this game years ago, and stopped playing thrice for multiple months before going back to it, but I finally beat all the problems of this game and am ready to test my mind onto another of Zachtronics game. Story of my life.
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  7. mno
    Sep 25, 2018
    5
    A somehow decent idea but I prefer to program things, I doenjoy, on my own before dealing with those artificial obstacles.

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