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Cart #cipher8-1 | 2023-09-12 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | License: CC4-BY-NC-SA

You just couldn't let go of your dream to become some sort of cyberpunk Robin Hood, so you invented a device that connects your brain to the inner world of a high-security safe’s digital lock. Somewhat irritated, the safe suggests you play a game to make up for your intrusion. Lose and be locked in forever, or win to attain unimaginable wealth (to redistribute among those in need of course). Can you crack the cipher?

CIPHER-8 is a brain-twisting game where you push numbers into a grid. Well, numbers or all kinds of manipulatory tricks. Or bombs apparently. Anyways, after all it’s about making the total value of each column match its goal value. However, changing one column affects the others as well. Oh and by the way, bonus points if you manage to plan ahead a few turns to keep your cipher streak going in the process!

There are two game modes:

  • BLITZ asks you to reach a target score in just 90 seconds, so you better get that brain juice flowing fast!
  • PUZZLE mode on the other hand is all about planning since there’s no timer, but you lose energy if you go without scoring for too many turns.

Both modes track your skill separately and become more challenging every time you beat them.

Fabian Fischer does not like raw arithmetic in games, so he created this game that makes you do arithmetic "the fun way", i.e. in relation to spatial dynamics. The transformation of the player’s thinking while making their way through the game can be seen as an illustration of Frank Lantz’s model​ of games being "a way for thought to become visible to itself".

At the same time, the game is an illustration of Fischer’s 2014 master’s thesis on game design in digital game-based learning, where he argued that educational games should weave their teaching into their core mechanics instead of serving it on the side or sugar-coating it with the "real" game.

Website: https://ludokultur.de/
Twitter: Ludokultur

P#104179 2022-01-03 09:35 ( Edited 2023-09-12 17:31)


This is a fun concept! I also like the streak bonus staying active for 3 turns before it's lost, feels pretty rewarding and generous. c:

P#104221 2022-01-03 20:19

@Notester82: Thank you very much! Glad you enjoyed yourself! :)

P#104262 2022-01-04 09:15

Heads up, I updated the game with a few gameplay tweaks and absolutely boppin' new music by @muse_energy. In celebration of PICO-8 existing for 8 years now, I also brought it to Steam as a 100% free game!

If you have a tiny bit of fun, consider leaving a Steam review to spread the PICO-8 love and draw more eyes to its beautiful ecosystem! ❤️

P#134268 2023-09-13 11:02

Best of luck with your Steam launch! I know it can be tough on steam, consider using Steams program to give it to relevant reviewers via their system(i forgot the name(maybe insider sth?)).
There are surely some reviewers for educational titles, and if it lands on their lists lots of people will benefit from your fun game :)

P#134274 2023-09-13 14:09

@taxicomics: Thanks for the kind words! You probably mean the Curator Connect thing? I made some heavy use of that. Only a couple reviewed it though I think. But honestly, I got some really lovely feedback in the few reviews so far and more downloads than I ever got on a PICO-8 game, so mission kind of accomplished already. :D

P#134278 2023-09-13 14:17

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