Screenshot of the puzzle game Human Resource Machine

Human Resource Machine is a nice little puzzle game where you are tasked to transform blocks according to some given instructions. Each level has a new set of instructions, which might be to multiply each pair of numbers, or to sum each zero-terminated sequence of numbers.

To solve these tasks, you have to program your worker with appropriate instructions. The instruction set you have at your disposal is a small number of assembly instructions. You are able to perform actions such as copy from and to memory locations, add and subtract numbers, jump and conditionally jump between instructions, and follow memory pointers.

Besides producing the level's instructed outputs, each level also has two additional goals that you may try to achieve. One is to use a maximum number of instructions in your solution, while the other is to make your worker take a maximum number of actions. These goals are analogous to a compiler's space-time tradeoff.

Being a programmer who have done programming in C and assembly, I did not find this game hard to grock. I think it was entertaining, and a fun exercise trying to achieve some of the optional optimization goals. The complexity of the levels was suitable, where it culminates with you having to implement a sorting algorithm, where I opted for implementing bubble sort.

I got my copy of Human Resource Machine from GOG for about $10. It ran fine under Linux on my ThinkPad T440 laptop with only Intel's integrated graphics.