TIS-100 Review

A game by Zachtronics

TIS-100 is a game. One might even go as far as to call it a “video-game”. In fact, I myself refer to TIS-100 as a “video-game”. Is it an enjoyable game? Yeah, I suppose.

If you enjoy programming in assembly, (and why wouldn't you?) you would probably enjoy this game, as it is exactly that: assembly.

If you don't enjoy assembly, then what are you doing on this site? Why don't you go back to your Ruby and other high-level programming languages that I can't think of at the moment?

If you heeded that warning, and you are still here, you will probably enjoy this game.

TIS-100 is a game in which you control a set of little computer bits, or “nodes”. You program each of these nodes with a fake assembly language for the fake TIS-100. You are given a task at the top right, and you have to complete the task, as one might assume. These tasks rely on your knowledge of the TIS assembly language, which is located in the manual. The manual is actually a .pdf that you refer to externally. If you hate ALT-TABbing, reading the manual whilst playing the game might become quite a bit challenging. Be sure to run the game in windowed mode to make reading the manual easier.

An interesting thing to note is that this game appears to use the same font as QB64, a modern clone of Qbasic. Although I couldn't find anything about it, I believe this game may have been written in QB64. This theory is further supported by the fact that only one resolution is available, similar to QB64. (I've used QB64 a bunch) Here is an image of the QB64 dev environment for comparison:

I probably should have made the header TIS-100 screenshot bigger.

Here is a better screenshot, from ME:

After the rescaling of this image, I see this was a bad idea.


It is fun


If you are a newb at assembly like me, you may have a hard time coming back to this game.

The game only allows one resolution, so eugh.

But should you purchase the game? Well, it comes at the hefty price of $NOT.FREE USD, which translates in Greek currency to roughly half a fortune. But yeah, it's pretty good. I purchased it, and I did not regret it. It is a bit challenging if you do not know assembly, but overall it is an enjoyable “video-game”.

8/10, 2 points off because it didn't cure cancer, so what's the point.