untrusted.pngUntrusted is a puzzle game that requires you to modify the game to win it. You don't have access to the game's full code while playing (though you can get it from GitHub), but you have some ability to change things and must get creative to succeed. It certainly helps to have some programming experience for this one, but developer Alex Nisnevish claims that even non-coders have enjoyed the game.

You play Dr. Eval, who is trying to escape captivity. You start out in an empty cell, in which you can move using the WASD or arrow keys to get to a laptop sitting in the middle of the room. This brings up a second window on the right hand side, which contains JavaScript code and an introduction in non-code comment text.

The code box has red and black regions; red regions can't be modified and black ones can. You can add or change anything you want in the black regions, and any solution that gets you to the small blue exit box is a valid solution. It makes for an open-ended puzzle game that can accommodate an infinite number of possible solutions. An API menu helps you figure out what all of the functions do so you can find good ways to modify the code, and if you're stumped you can always take a break and come back; the game saves your progress for future visits.

Untrusted is an excellent exercise for your brain. It's hard; you really have to be creative with your solutions. That said, the level of programming skill required isn't that high. How well a non-programmer would do depends, I think, on their skills of observation and pattern recognition, as well as on their willingness to try things out. For someone interested in learning more about programming, it would be a good thing to pair up with CodeCombat.

[Play Untrusted]