TIS-100

Fri, Dec 30, 2016 2-minute read

I am a bit late to the party, but I am playing TIS-100, the programming game you’ve never asked for, and it’s great fun.

A screenshot from the game

TIS-100 players have to solve a series of puzzles writing assembly code for an esoteric imaginary computer. The TIS-100 language is extremely cut down and the architecture is very limited and unusual. All you have is a set of concurrent processors each one with a very limited instruction memory, a single active register and a backup one. There is no addressable memory and only in some level players have the luxury of a stack. To get any result players have to find creative solutions making the various processors communicate and co-operate to achieve the task. It’s not easy, but it’s fun and very rewarding.

tis-100 is a game about assembly, and not even good assembly. it’s a game about horrible hacks making a piece of shit, half broken terminal do the impossible. if your code is readable you’re playing it wrong :)

undergroundmonorail on reddit

This quote nails it. I wouldn’t recommend TIS-100 to novice programmers. It’s not how you want to learn how to code. I see it more as a game for experienced programmers to have a good fun working with an unusual piece of ‘hardware’.

It’s worth mentioning that the game can be played and played over again. You’ve got a working solution. Well done, can you make it faster? How about making it use less resources? And don’t forget to code-golf it to use the fewest instructions possible.