Mon, 08 Feb 2010 Machinarium review
Guide a rickety old robot around a steampunk landscape, solving puzzles as you go
- Manufacturer: machinarium
- Pros: Hand-rendered sprites and backgrounds; epic adventure with 30 locations
- Cons: None we can think of
- Price: £13.50
- Star rating:
If your idea of gaming is a leisurely session of puzzle solving, and if you admire beautiful, hand-drawn backgrounds, then prepare to be delighted. Machinarium is a cute and crafty adventure, with none of the violence or button-pummelling required of first-person shooters.
Expanding on the gentle gameplay trademarked in early entries – Samarost 1 and 2 – in Amanita Design’s Machinarium, you take control of a characterful robot in a series of puzzle scenarios. Each screen is a revelation as you descend into a gorgeously rendered world.
The gameplay is simple: you click on objects and things happen. The trick is finding what sequences work, which objects to use for a given task, and so on.
If it sounds tedious, the combination of brain teasing, sweet humour, relaxing ambient sound and charm will win over anyone with a curious soul. As the game progresses, the world opens out, giving way to a more exploratory approach.
The story behind the game is almost as interesting as the game itself. A true independent, it was put together by a group of Czech guys with less than $1,000 [about £600] between them for marketing. Though they’d had modest success with point-and-click adventures before, they had no idea how Machinarium would turn out. Winning a prize for visual art in the 12th Annual Independent Games festival, the game is now one of the most popular on PC download platform Steam.