Machinarium full review

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.

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