For anyone that knows me, has watched my streams, or has asked me what game I recommend. They know how much I love automation games. I can’t get enough of them. Satisfactory absolutely took over my life when it first launched, and then again about 6 months ago when it had a huge update by adding pipes! Factory Town was a huge thing for me awhile. And I can’t forget the toy shop automation sim, Little Workshop. Factorio had my attention but I always liked not having to fight and just automate, plus finite materials were a drag.
For my first Hidden Gem Spotlight, I would think it’s no surprise that I bring you an automation game. Shapez.io is a game that I stumbled upon on Itch.io recently and I haven’t been able to put it down. It fills my breaks from work. It fills the time before I stream. It’s so good!
The premise of Shapez is to automate factories that mine circles, squares, stars, and other shapes. You can mine dye to then paint the shapes. You can cut the shapes and paste them together to make new shapes! Need cyan for your squares? Mine some green and blue and mix ’em and you’re set! Send all of your shapes down to your warehouse by using belts and splitters.
The game gives you tasks you must reach, like mining 1,000 gray stars, and when you do this you unlock a new tool such as the painter or you unlock upgrades to existing systems like mining efficiency. There’s always something to work towards to get the next tool or upgrade.
Where this game really grabs me is everything has a set rate, so much like in Satisfactory, you end up working to optimize your factory right down to the last part. Fine-tuning so no work is wasted in any one area. Only to then upgrade your belts and have to redesign. It’s incredibly addictive.
The soundtrack is nice a relaxing and has gotten me to zone out while looking at the mesmerizing factories. It can get a touch repetitive but it’s so subtle that you forget it is the same song.
The map is MASSIVE. At first glance, I thought it was quite big but as I scrolled I began to realize it’s infinite. This really leads you to be able to choose specific areas to be giant sub factories. You can make a specific square for just making purple dye and then route it over to the area that makes teardrop shapes. You can set geo markers to find these areas quickly too. It’s all pretty amazing how well it works.
The dev updates a lot and has great interaction with the community. He takes polls on new ideas and is really working with the community to shape this game.
You can grab the game here for a criminally low priced $3.99 Shapez.io