Program little office workers to solve puzzles. Be a good employee! The machines are coming... for your job. From the creators of World of Goo and Little Inferno.
User reviews:
Recent:
Very Positive (22 reviews) - 95% of the 22 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Very Positive (747 reviews) - 94% of the 747 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Oct 15, 2015

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May 18

Some Human Resource Machine fixes

The bosses now lie to you 3% less.

22 comments Read more

About This Game

Update: now includes the official soundtrack

Program little office workers to solve puzzles. Be a good employee! The machines are coming... for your job.

Human Resource Machine is a puzzle game for nerds. In each level, your boss gives you a job. Automate it by programming your little office worker. If you succeed, you'll be promoted up to the next level for another year of work in the vast office building. Congratulations!

Don't worry if you've never programmed before - programming is just puzzle solving. If you strip away all the 1's and 0's and scary squiggly brackets, programming is actually really simple, logical, beautiful, and something that anyone can understand and have fun with! Are you already an expert? There will be extra challenges for you.

From the creators of World of Goo and Little Inferno. Have fun! Management is watching.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: XP or later
    • Processor: 1.5Ghz CPU
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: graphics card that supports Shader Model 2.0 or greater
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Storage: 200 MB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: OSX 10.7 or later
    • Processor: 1.5Ghz CPU
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: graphics card that supports OpenGL 2.1
    • Storage: 200 MB available space
    Minimum:
    • Processor: 1.5Ghz CPU
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: graphics card that supports OpenGL 2.1
    • Storage: 200 MB available space
Customer reviews
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Recent:
Very Positive (22 reviews)
Overall:
Very Positive (747 reviews)
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490 reviews match the filters above ( Very Positive)
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
Recommended
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: September 13
It's little computer
It's little computer just for me
I've got the motherboard
That burns at a hundred billion degrees
It's little computer just for me

I've got these old maths
I've got this box of memories
We'll shove them in the PC
And crunch in the maddening potpourri
It's little computer just for me

It's little computer
It's little computer just for me
I've got the motherboard
That burns at a hundred billion degrees
It's little computer just for me
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
482 of 509 people (95%) found this review helpful
464 people found this review funny
Recommended
4.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 15, 2015
Game tricked me into doing math and logic programming. I actually pulled out a piece of paper and a pencil to try and work around some of the levels. ♥♥♥♥ you game.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
361 of 402 people (90%) found this review helpful
15 people found this review funny
Recommended
0.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 17, 2015
It must the Year of the Indie Programming Sims, because there sure are alot in that category, or at least in fringe group categories.

The devs that did this also did World of Goo and Little Inferno, which were incredibly endearing games with storylines that emotionally moved me. No exaggeration.

Now onto 'programming games'. I do programming occasionally, for work purposes. I am no stranger to logic structure, BUT I am no expert in it either. TIS-100 was super awesome fun at first, and then it was a chore. The same problem goes for this title here.

So here is the thing: If you like programming games, this one is fairly lite. It is also fairly short (~5 hours if you are decent at logic puzzles). If you don't like programming puzzles, run away. If you like them, this is probably a fun afternoon.

A good review should be less of a personal opinion, and more of a statement that helps a potential buyer make an informed purchase, or not. I would down-vote this for my personal taste, but it is certainly a well done game, by a well-accomplished developer. Upvoted because it deserves it, regardless of my personal taste.

Peace,
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
462 of 531 people (87%) found this review helpful
501 people found this review funny
Recommended
15.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 19, 2015
Should I be a programmer to play it?
No. My 11 year old is on level 22. However, he now calls himself a programmer.

Will this teach me programming?
No. If completing this is in your CV, you will remain unemployed.

Will I be a better programmer once I've completed it?
No. You were probably a better one before.

Is this a high level language?
No. However, that would depend entirely on your altitude when you looked.

I'm an elite class Jedi coder. Should I?
No. Because it doesn't matter what you do, someone can do it better, in less lines and less iterations.

Will I enjoy it?
No. Unless tearing your hair out writing 50 lines of code when 5 would normally suffice appeals to you.

Is the author a good programmer?
Yes. Pre-empting outcomes with any given code - before you write it - is elite.


gg.
9.5/10.

Would get 10 but the coffee room is full of very ugly women.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
127 of 133 people (95%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Recommended
2.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 18, 2015
Its basically Assembly Language class. Ive read a few other reviews here, and the negatives bring up a couple valid points. There is very little handholding. They expect you to google to learn the concepts, then do the exercise in all but the most simple puzzles at the start. The game is more like a question booklet rather than a textbook, so you are solving problems not learning the material you need to solve problems. If you have some programming background and need a referesher on assembly, or if you know programming and want to try your hand at some assembly type problems without actually doing assembly code.... this game could be useful and entertaining. But if you are looking to LEARN, this game will not teach you very well. You will need to do the learning else where and come back to this as an exercise.

As an exercise, its good and I reccomend it. As a learning tool, I do not reccomend it. You should be aware of this before buying. I will reccomend it because I like it, but really take my words as a warning before buying it. Its for a specific audience.
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91 of 96 people (95%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
Recommended
1.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 7, 2015
This is an amazing game / educational tool. My 10 year old who I could not pull away from minecraft seems to have taken this game as his new thing. He has been able to out solve me on several levels and has grown beyond my coaching. As an IT professional, I wanted him to do more than game; I wanted him to learn how to make the games. Until this his only real motivation was portal and AGF pro (that was a disapointment). Now he sees the logic in my encouragement through this game. Now I need to know what to do when he completes it. final note.... this is what education should look like, not standardized test.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
96 of 105 people (91%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
1.1 hrs on record
Pre-Release Review
Posted: October 15, 2015
Video Review:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvsEF_SrK3g

Human Resource Machine is a game about programming. It provides a robust set of visual programming tools that you need to use to solve a series of challening puzzles. I love the game and throughly reccomend it. However, if you hate math and logic puzzles it might be something you want to skip. See my video for more.
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134 of 171 people (78%) found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
3.3 hrs on record
Posted: May 10
I'm a professional software engineer. I like programming games. Human Resource Machine was... okay. I like the graphics, I like that one can add comments and labels, and I like the music. But let's talk about the core gameplay: the puzzles.

The puzzles are pretty simple for the most part, with the exception of the side-branches (which are nicely hard, and optional), and the final puzzle, which is literally a second-year computer science exercise in writing a sort algorithm in assembler. It's rather a big leap from all the other puzzles you've been working on. It would make a great side-branch challenge, but it's a rather brutal challenge for a typical player.

If you've got a programming background, you can knock the main branch (and "win the game") in about 3-4 hours, which means the content feels a bit lacking. If you don't have a programming background, the last puzzle will be crushingly hard, which means endless frustration when you can't win the game. This leaves Human Resource Machine not well-placed for *either* audience. I'd love to say the storyline makes up for this, but unfortunately it doesn't.

Instead of playing Human Resource Machine, I would recommend:

- TIS-100, if you've got a programming background. It's *very* well done.
- SpaceChem, regardless of your background. It has lots of challenges and will really make you think.
- Little Inferno, if you don't want a programming game at all, but do want an awesome story from Tomorrow Corporation.

Maybe grab this if it's on sale, but try one of the games above first instead of paying full-price.
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74 of 90 people (82%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Recommended
3.9 hrs on record
Pre-Release Review
Posted: October 15, 2015
Introduction

Mind numbingly difficult but oh so satisfying.

Human Resource Machine is a challenging puzzle-based programing game from the devs who brought us Little Inferno and World of Goo. In HR Machine you’re presented with tasks to complete and in order to complete said tasks you need to program your little office worker to complete whatever steps need to be taken in order to complete it. As you’d expect the puzzles get harder as you progress through the game but they’re not exactly easy to begin with, making this one of the most challenging games I’ve come across.

I’ve never done any kind of programing before and while the game is very good at explaining how to do it within the game it is still pretty tough to wrap your head around. If you do have programing experience you may find it slightly easier but there are bonus levels along the way to test the best!

Presentation

HR Machine brings back the style that Little Inferno and World of Goo had and as expected it looks great and fits perfectly with the game. There’s not much else to say about this other than the fact that it’s a great looking game. All the models are good, the UI is clean, simple and easy to use as is the menu.

Gameplay

Management is watching.

Starting the game with two different commands you’ll gradually work your way up to eleven different commands, making up a simple language. Using this language you’ll program your little office worker to complete tasks set by the management. Each task has its own floor, completing the task will earn you a promotion to the next floor and a harder task to complete. While the main objective is of course to complete each task, the management are also looking to see how many commands you use and how many steps it takes for you to complete the task. While these aren’t tied to progression they add an extra challenge if you wish to push yourself though it’s not always possible to complete them both in one program.

The tasks set are of a wide variety but they always involve taking items (numbers at the beginning but letters are introduced later on) from the inbox and then manipulating them somehow before moving them to the outbox. Some tasks involve taking items from the inbox before subtracting them from the next item in the inbox, some involve multiplying a number by itself x number of times etc.

All of the levels with tasks have spaces on the floor where you can copy inbox items to/from. These are used in pretty much all of the tasks in order to manipulate the items or swap their order etc.

As I mentioned earlier there are bonus tasks which provide a challenge for even the best programmers! The different tasks are displayed as what looks like an elevator floor control. Every so often you’ll come across a branch that breaks away from the rest of the levels, generally about four or five levels. The tasks given to you on these levels are incredibly challenging, I found the regular tasks mind numbing but these take it to a whole new level of mind numbingness! So whether you’re a programming wizard or a complete newcomer there’s something here to get your grey matter going.

Audio

Audio is great across the board for HR Machine. The music fits nicely with the game and it’s reasonably subtle so it doesn’t steal the show from the game itself. Sound effects are also fitting and sound pretty good.

Miscellaneous
  • While it’s definitely not the main point of the game, HR Machine does have a storyline running through it which is rather amusing and provides a nice occasional break from the game itself.
  • HR Machine features forty-two levels, enough to keep you going for quite some time though not all of the levels have tasks to complete, six of the levels are coffee breaks, i.e. the levels where you’re presented with the story.
  • Really the only thing I didn’t like about HR Machine is that it’s pretty difficult to write out the comments. Comments are unlocked a few levels in and allow you to split up your code (you can also label spots on the floor later on) but they have to be ‘hand-written’ with the mouse, personally I would have preferred to just type them.
  • You’re able to run your program step-by-step which is incredibly helpful for fine tuning it as well as weeding out any issues with it to correct them.

Verdict

Essential Purchase.

Human Resource Machine is a truly fantastic puzzle-based programing game with a charming aesthetic and challenging puzzles. If you’re a fan of puzzle games or just like a good challenge, do yourself a favour and buy this game.

Review Copy Provided.

No drama, Just Reviews.

El K.
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49 of 53 people (92%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
Recommended
5.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 21, 2015
As a HR professional IRL, I initially thought this would be an employee management simulator with a "Tomorrow Corporation"-twist and shrieked in delight. That's the sad thing about loving your work. The idea of pretending to do my day job inside a video game and in my spare time excites me...

Of course, I was wrong. Human Resource Machine is a low-level programming puzzle game with a few HR and performance management jokes thrown in along the way. You pick an employee and "code" their workflow to automate a particular job, and with each level it becomes messier and more complex. Most frustrating of all are the optimisation challenges, which force you to rethink and rewrite solutions which may work perfectly on their own, but falter when it comes to "efficiency".

It gets tough quite quickly, and as someone who dropped Maths at school as soon as I was allowed to, I was often left stumped. Luckily, my intermediate knowledge of PHP/Javascript helped a little, and the game does a good job of introducing new commands one by one, so there is a great feeling of progression as you pick up new concepts and techniques. Despite the difficulty, it's ridiculously fun and somewhat educational.

My only negative comment would be that the UI is a little clunky, forcing you to scroll up and down if you have over 15 lines of code (zoom functions would be a great addition) and hand-draw notes rather than type. However, the developers have cleverly added in the ability to copy and paste code within the game as well as in into external programs like Notepad, for those who like to get down to the nitty-gritty.

As expected from the creators of World of Goo and Little Inferno, the music and graphics are delightful, and whilst there isn't so much of a storyline going on behind the scenes, the gameplay is captivating and very rewarding.

HRM combines three of my passions - HR, code and video games, and it does so fantastically. A truly unique game - especially worth picking up if you have programming experience, and if you don't, why not start here?
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ZombiegirlHT
3.1 hrs
Posted: September 19
It took me forever to try this game! I was so nervous I wouldnt like it or it would be to hard. I almost never tried it.

I got some extra money and decided to take a risk. Im so glad I did!
Im an 18 year old college student! Im not studing for anything about computers or programing.
I have used techonolgy and gaming my whole life so I know the basics.
This game is so cute and hasnt proved to hard! Still it gives a good challenge but one you will eventually overcome. You just have to keep trying. I have completed 10 levels in 2.4 hours! When you do finally figue it out it feels so good! Then you can even push farther and try to use less commands or less movements or both. Its the best feeling playing this game. The music is awesome. Graphics are awesome! The game runs amazingly and I have a very crappy computer! I really like this game! 10/10!!
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happy-jeroen
8.4 hrs
Posted: September 19
I really like this game. Even though I have programmed a little in assembly for study, it is still quite challenging in the later levels. Especially when trying to get the most efficient or shortest answer.

Highlights:
- Even people who have never programmed are able to solve the puzzles
- The levels get more challenging in a good pace
- Nice artwork

The only negative thing I can think of is that within about 6 hours I played through about the whole game. And it is not really replayable within (except maybe after a long time)
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The_Real_Nomis
5.7 hrs
Posted: September 19
I love this game!!!
It is a great puzzle game if you are interested to become or are a develloper. It thakes thinks back to the basics. You have to write programs whit only verry basic commands. So simple tasks can be verry complicated to write. It has a neat little story and the music is great. This is one of those games that actually learns you something.
Even if you think that you know everything about writing codes think again becouse the game also challanges you to write the codes so short or/and efficient possible. They also have some optional levels that are for the more skilled/experienced players.
These devellopers are amazing. I would deffinetly also recommend world of goo, a puzzle game that was created by +/- the same people.
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StarTux
26.0 hrs
Posted: September 19
There are a handful of programming games out there, and this is by far the most fun I've played so far. In the game, you assemble commands for a minimalistic CPU with a deliberately limited instruction set to accomplish various given tasks, such as finding the smallest number, counting and comparing null terminated strings, or finding prime factors. The presentation of Human Resource Machine is amazing. The workings of the CPU are visualized by means of a tiny office worker, your avatar, who executes your commands and walks around, picks up boxes and changes numbers. It has a cute graphic style and there is some mild storytelling with sweet and short cutscenes and lots of good humor.

I recommend this game to anyone who is even remotely interested in programming. If you are like me and just have to complete all the extra achievements and bonus levels, I found them to be challenging, but never unfair. Not once did I get the too familiar feeling of an artificially inflated difficulty to make the final achievement needlessly hard to get. So I finished all 16 achievements within two days of playing the game. I wish they would add something beyond the campaign, such as a daily or weekly challenge (which I realize would be a lot of work) or at least a sandbox mode, but the game deserves a full recommendation the way it is.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
mike
8.2 hrs
Posted: September 18
Lots of fun :)
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bedlam
35.4 hrs
Posted: September 17
Thoroughly enjoyable! Really liked the level of difficulty -- quick and fun to build out an initial implementation, and an interesting challenge to hit all of the optimization thesholds; nothing was too tedious to not be a good time. After hours of playing, I had to find the music volume setting in a config file, in order to disable the single music track and listen to my own music -- aside from that, I think the game was very polished for what it is. I especially appreciated all of the verification tests that were run in the background, to provide useful test cases for debugging. I'd recommend this for parents who want to expose kids to programming.

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fingerapplelovemuffin
1.6 hrs
Posted: September 16
coding is cool
Helpful? Yes No Funny