🤑 Indie game store🙌 Free games😂 Fun games😨 Horror games
👷 Game development🎨 Assets📚 Comics
🎉 Sales🎁 Bundles
A jam entry

Simple Machines (xkcd game jam 2017 entry)View game page »

Puzzle game inspired by xkcd's Thing Explainer
Submitted by Cosmologicon with 1 hour, 40 minutes before the deadline

Play game

Visit Simple Machines (xkcd game jam 2017 entry)'s game page


CriteriaRankScore*Raw Score
xkcd-ness (how well it matches/interprets the comic)#343.8463.846

Ranked from 13 ratings. Score is adjusted from raw score by the median number of ratings per game in the jam.

Link to xkcd comic / 'what if' article the game is based on

Please list any pre-made art/music/other assets that you used.
Music: The Lift by Kevin MacLeod
Fonts from Google Web Fonts

Team size


Team's social media links:

Leave a comment

Log in with your itch.io account to leave a comment.


I agree completely with Naomi Norbez. I just have one question. What the hell is a wooden block that you hit to make music? Dude, I finished music school and I have no idea what are you talking about.


Thanks for the feedback. There's a hint sheet here if you want the answer to that one.

oooooh! I get it now! But to be honest it was worded in a way that made it really hard to figure out what was going on. That extra level was easy though :) Nice game.


Definitely agree. That was way more obtuse than I meant it. I'll have to redo it after the jam is finished. Thanks again!

Interesting concept for a game, but the instructions although simple doesn't seem to convey the full meaning sometimes. Couldn't get through level 9. 


Thanks for the feedback. There's a hint sheet here if you want to give level 9 another shot.

Pretty nice and fun.
I don't get what you are supposed to do in level 9. I don't think The mechanic about bad words adds much. Nor does the timer.


Thanks for the feedback. There's a hint sheet here if you want to give level 9 another shot.

Nice, I finished it.

This is a fun little game, and I like the idea of it; trying to follow such simple instructions. The "bad word" mechanic I don't like as much though.

Like the title screen and how it parodies the explaining style of the xkcd comic (and the book Thing Explainer). X)

The game's instructions are not as clear as they could be, though?  For the first level I thought the slider was the circle-thing, so was confused when I got "job not done".  And level 2 really amped up the amount of tasks and difficulty (the spiral one is especially confusing--I understand the instruction at all, and just wrapped it bit by bit until the sound played).  Things are explained in a way that's more confusing than it is simple, and I'm not sure if that was intentional or not.  I eventually set the game to easy and had a much better time (thanks for having an easy mode!), but a walkthrough would probably help too.

I also think it's a pretty mean dig at the original xkcd comic.  While Simple Machines does make a fair point (that complex words are important, and simple words can only hinder understanding if used incorrectly), Thing Explainer, by using simple words, tries to be an accessible way to view complex things, and shows how simple words can help understanding.  Simple Machines takes the complete opposite approach to this, which I suppose was your point.

This was a pretty fun game, and surprisingly complex for a game made in a weekend.  Definitely worth playing.

A whole lot more polished than the start screen made me think! A great twist to see the flaw in explaining everything in simple language. Proving proper nouns are needed for efficiency. Great job! Anyway one thing I do want to mention is I'm doing a review of design on the games in this jam so here's a shameless plug to my channel if you want to be notified of the vid when released: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7Vj46GGL9VMUvd4YTMtjXg

My XKCD game jam analysis is out!

This was really fun to play and a good use of the most common words in the English language. Admittedly we had to switch to easy for the last three levels and even then it took a bit to figure out the musical letter. Good riddles :)

That damned letter. I'll probably realize what it is tomorrow. If so, it would totally be worth it to play again.


Thanks for the feedback. There's a hint sheet here if you want the answer to that one.