When I think of programming and games, I think of the programming that's going on behind the scenes that is driving the game and its mechanics. Being someone who has done this kind of programming, it's not such an abstract concept for me to wrap my head around.
Screeps, however, is not your standard MMO / RTS game. Games like Hacknet, TIS-100, and else Heart.Break() are built on the concept of programming qualities but are watered-down -- they're more like pseudo-programming games where the concept is the same, but the execution has been made simple for non-programmer players. Screeps is the real deal, you're working with actual code and how / what you code is important.
Given the MMO nature of the game, there is the added excitement / dread that your code might not be good enough to defend your resources once you log off as the game takes place on a single server -- putting your skills to the test against other programmers of greater or lesser skill.
What I like:
- Simple design and concept
- Makes you think
- Scripting the functions of your creep is fun
What it isn't:
- Not a way to learn to program, but is an incentive
- Not fast-paced - The game moves at a very slow rate
- Not free-to-play - There is a monthly subscription for more CPU limit to allow you to run more processes which feels kinda pay-to-win to me.
Screeps is a fun game and has a unique angle to it. While it still has some room to grow, it's moving in the right direction. Using actual programming instead of a pseudo-language actually allows the players to focus on better coding habits and makes practice fun. There is a very active community of people on the game's Slack channel so it also has a touch of the MMO chat to it for the social programmers out there.
If this sounds like a game you might be interested in check out their website and give the live demo a spin. It's free and it will help you decide if Screeps is a game for you. You can also check out this short trailer video which showcases the gameplay you can expect from Screeps.
Does Screeps look like a game that would interest you? Let me know what you think in the comments below.