The strange automation of Sixty Four

The strange automation of Sixty Four
The strange automation of Sixty Four

“A game about building something you don’t understand in a place you’ve never visited”: that, in a few words, is the description given by Oleg Danilov, the developer of Sixty Four, of his title recently released in version 1.0. Difficult to say otherwise.

The extremely minimalist management game places the player in an entirely white (and empty) world; only notable point, this ability to install a pump. By operating this, blocks made of smaller cubes will appear. Breaking these cubes will accumulate resources, unlock upgrades, etc.

So far so good. Fans of the genre will recognize it: extract resources, transform them as needed, then install increasingly complex machinery. All to extract more resources, transform them more quickly, etc.

Rather than having a procedure to follow, whether it is a list of ingredients to accumulate using other ingredients, clearly established objectives, or a diagram of various steps requiring research time, we is rather left to our own experiments.

Of course, the arrival of a new color of cube (the colors acting as different resources), and the unlocking of new buildings to construct seem like steps taken, but nothing really allows us to understand how these new additions work, unless you spend precious resources to build them.

There is a frankly frustrating side to Sixty Four, especially with this impression that we are always one step away, one more construction, a new goal achieved to finally understand a little of what we are doing, rather than feeling like a monkey pressing on buttons to receive a reward. In Factorio, for example, things are quite simple, basically: iron and copper ores are exploited by mines and are transformed in furnaces. Coal, also extracted by mines, is used to power said ovens, but also the boilers of the steam generators producing electricity.

Obviously, it becomes more complex later, but the essential thing is there: extract a resource, transform it, then use it to make something else.

In Sixty Four, we wander in the dark and we fumble, in addition to frankly having the impression of wasting our time. Abstraction can be very interesting, especially in management games, but there are limits to everything. It is therefore recommended to have your feet a little more on the ground…

Sixty Four

Developer: Oleg Danilov

Editor: Playsaurus

Platform: macOS, Windows (tested on Steam)

Game available in French

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