Go beaver go -- By eriban

Go Beaver Go

Author :  eriban

Go Beaver Go is a puzzle game that teaches you basic programming skills. Now you can improve your programming skills wherever you are with your Gamebuino!

The game is based on (a variant of) the esoteric programming language 2L. This is a two-dimensional language that features only two instructions. I will not explain here how those instructions exactly work. That is for you to discover as part of the puzzle experience. The language is Turing-complete which means that in principle it can do anything. In this case, the limited size of the program severely restricts what you can do. Nevertheless, you can write surprisingly intricate programs. The main challenge is to write a Busy Beaver program; a program that runs for as long as possible, yet terminates. The current record is a program that takes 1473631 steps to complete. If you manage to beat that, definitely let me know!


  • Ability to Edit programs
  • Ability to Run programs
    • Actions: Play, Pause, and Step
    • Variable run speed
    • Intensity-based path tracking
  • Tutorial Mode featuring seven challenges
  • Challenges Mode featuring fifteen puzzles
    • Four types of goals: Output Value, Reach Exit, Run Length, and Create Sequence
    • Progress is stored
  • Experiment Mode
    • Ability to Save and Load programs
    • Four metrics: Longest Run, Highest Output Value, Lowest Output Value, and Longest Sequence
    • Progress is stored¬†
  • Basic help

Version 0.4.1:

  • Further increased size of data (to 2048)
  • Further increased program store size (to 64)
  • Adapted About view to correctly show Longest Runs of more than one million steps¬†

Version 0.4:

  • Various improvements to data
    • Increased size of data
    • Improved animation when data pointer shifts
    • Enable user to move data when program is not running
  • Bug fix: Let user store more than eight programs

Version 0.3:

  • Metrics tracking of experimental programs
  • About Window with summary of progress

Version 0.2:

  • Added Tutorial Mode, teaching the basics on a smaller sized grid
  • Extended help with instruction summary
  • Streamlined switching between Edit and Run modes

Still pending:

  • Sound and light effects
  • More challenges?

I welcome suggestions for other improvements.

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Author :  jicehel

I let no real comment as i have to see it more but thanks already Eriban. I would check this language 2L. I have not yet well understood how it's worked for the change direction choice with the orange dots... Score to reach at end is the sum of the colonns ? 

Author :  eriban

You should be able to play the game without first reading about the 2L language. My intention is that you discover how things work by experimenting. The challenges are constructed to guide you. I mainly mentioned the language to give credit where credit is due.

There is no score for this game (yet?). The aim is to simply complete each challenge. The number in the top right is the current run length of the program, which is sometimes a goal of the challenge. The numbers at the bottom are the memory, which you can manipulate with your program.

Author :  eriban

Version 0.3 has just been released.

Ease of use has been greatly improved since the initial release: there is now a tutorial that guides you through the basics, help now includes a summary of the instructions, and the UI has been streamlined. 

Having said that, this is not an easy game and it will not be everyone's cup of tea. Nevertheless, I hope that some of you will enjoy these challenges.

I plan to finalize this program soon. If you still have suggestions for improvement, let me know soon. Thanks!

Author :  geed

I like it, i want more puzzles, more, much more !!!  :D

maybe you can work on the user interface, and maybe some tuto-puzzle. Like you can found in SpaceChem or Shenzen I/O for example.

Author :  eriban

Thanks for the feedback. I have not heard of either game, but just had a quick search for both and they look interesting. I hope to check them out later.

At the moment I am a bit side-tracked, however, as I just started programmatically searching for Busy Beaver programs. The required effort quickly goes up with the size of the programs. From milliseconds for the 5x5 board, to half a minute for the 6x6 board, to more than several days for the 7x7 board. The latter search is still ongoing.

I already found some interesting programs, however. Some producing longer sequences than I had imagined possible, with very intricate execution flows. I just released Version 0.4 to better support these kind of programs. I will also try to reverse-engineer these generated programs, which may inspire some new challenges.

Author :  mike_j503

I just started playing this. Very much, I feel intrigued. So far, I don't really get what the markers do, but it's only a matter of time.

Looking forward to playing more. (And hopefully comming up with some useful commentary then)

Author :  mike_j503

oh, I get it now! It's really a clever little system. I only did the first 3 challenges, and will be happy to continue soon; and put up some thoughts, too.

Really fun!