Wednesday, 9th November 2022 ◆ Suffering plus time makes art (5) Puzzle time

Puzzlescript is a simple-yet-powerful game engine for tile-based puzzle games. I've played some really cool games made in Puzzlescript (you can see an absolute wealth of creativity in the gallery), and I've been intrigued by it, but I've never actually tried making a game with it.

So, wanting to tinker with it and see how it works, I decided to go for a little foray into Puzzlescript. Painter/Decorator is the result of the tinkering: a simple puzzle game in which you have to try to paint the whole screen using various paintbrushes.

The Game

I like the game, and I think it's a fun 5-minute dieversion, but I don't think it's that puzzly, nor that fun as a game. But the simple levels are quite satisfying; there's something pleasing about simply painting the screen.

I came up with 5 different types of brush (brush, reverse brush, roller, limited brush, stripper), but wasn't able to combine them in such a way to make interesting and thinky levels. A level can take a while to solve, but mashing buttons randomly will yield the result usually. The game as a whole doesn't have the feel of a real puzzle game where you have to make deductions about the moves you can and can't make. I think this could be improved if I had more patience, and were a better level designer!


The language itself is very minimalistic, and quite beautiful. The way that you design all the elements of the game in a single file, including the sprites, is quite unique.

I found it quite hard to do some of the stuff I tried to do, and ended up having to repeat large chunks of definitions. This probably means I am not doing it right! The game is defined in terms of a sequence of rules, and it's quite fun to think of the game in these terms and then define the rules you need.

The source code for the game is available here.


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