Machinarium

Machinarium, from the makers of Samorost, is a lot like a silent film; there are no written words or dialogue in the entire game. The world of Machinarium is inhabited by robots, and when they talk, the speech bubbles are filled with simple pictures. It's as if their language is so different from our words that there is no translation but pictures. Yet even in the demo, the story is fairly moving. The robot's pictures are worth 1,000 lines of dialogue.

The art is, of course, brilliant. The music sets the tone well, a sense of lighthearted fun sits on top of a gritty, dirty looking art style to provide the game with an odd sense of humor and a unique look. Your character is very animated and full of life, despite being a robot who stands still most of the time. The constant motion of the little details on the screen make the entire world feel real, despite the static, long-dead look of the landscape.

Your character is a robot who starts the game in a trash heap. It seems for some reason he has been thrown out with the rubbish. On the first screen you piece yourself back together using materials lying around you. Once that's completed, you move onto the next area, with the next challenge.

Inventory items don't move between screens. Each area is a self-contained puzzle. It's simple and still allows for some very interesting adventure gaming. I'm a big fan of this type of adventure game. There's no backtracking or convoluted inventories to keep track of, just clever puzzles and story.

The hint system is also fairly well done. There's one hint on each screen that shows the trickiest part of the puzzle, yet it's still optional to click. Even better, if you're really stuck you can unlock a walkthrough for the current screen by playing a little side-scrolling Gradius-type minigame. It means you'll never get stuck, but you're still discouraged from using the walkthrough by having to finish the minigame every time. It works great and keeps your brain focused on the puzzles, even when you're trying to get to the walkthrough.

Why You Should Check This Out: A game that manages to create a meaningful, interesting world out of just a few pictures and animations. A game with no dialogue, no complicated inventory, no backtracking. Just a screen, beautifully rendered, and a puzzle that needs to be solved to move forward. Machinarium simplifies the adventure-gaming formula, and manages to do a lot with that simplicity.

[size=20]Play Demo Now[/size]

[size=16](Full Version: $20, Win, OSX, Linux, No DRM)[/size]

Comments

Demo was fun, not sure I'm going to spend $20 though.... I'll have to think about it. Fun game though, nice design.

You should definitely buy it if you're a fan of point and click adventures. The puzzles are quite hard in places but always achievable with enough brain power. One of the best point and click adventures for quite awhile and for $20 you get the game and the beautiful soundtrack.

mrjohnsly wrote:

You should definitely buy it if you're a fan of point and click adventures. The puzzles are quite hard in places but always achievable with enough brain power. One of the best point and click adventures for quite awhile and for $20 you get the game and the beautiful soundtrack.

Once I find out if I have a job or not, I'll go for it. Not so much because of the $20, but because I might buy a new computer if I still have a job

I loved the demo, and I love how cross-platform the game is. As soon as I have money again, they're getting some of it.

I bought this the other night after playing the demo with my sons. Its a beautiful world Amanita has created, and the puzzles are -mostly- logical and always rewarding. After we got the robot jazz band back in action, my kids were up and dancing along with the little robot. This isn't to say its just a game for kids; many of the predicaments require some real problem solving skills. If you get stuck, I strongly urge you to stay within the game and not look on the internet for a walkthrough.

Machinarium is one of those games I'll be coming back to after finishing, just to tinker around in that grubby little mechanical world.

mrjohnsly wrote:

You should definitely buy it if you're a fan of point and click adventures. The puzzles are quite hard in places but always achievable with enough brain power. One of the best point and click adventures for quite awhile and for $20 you get the game and the beautiful soundtrack.

But what if you're not a fan of point-and-click adventures?

grobstein wrote:
mrjohnsly wrote:

You should definitely buy it if you're a fan of point and click adventures. The puzzles are quite hard in places but always achievable with enough brain power. One of the best point and click adventures for quite awhile and for $20 you get the game and the beautiful soundtrack.

But what if you're not a fan of point-and-click adventures?

There's plenty here to enjoy even aside from the point-and-click adventure gaming. The art and music are enough to recommend playing through the demo, though I really enjoyed the "silent film" style of storytelling they use here. The demo is free and runs in a web browser, so it's easy enough to see if you like it.

Great art, great audio, great story. Worth every penny.

I really enjoyed the demo, but I just don't think it's quite worth $20. At least not judging from the demo. Maybe a Steam Weekend deal will push me over that edge, or maybe I'm just over budget this month, but I just can't justify buying this game (yet). I did really enjoy the hint system though: the hint book in the corner is a clever and satisfying way to get a major "walkthrough" without feeling like you cheated by visiting GameFAQs or something.

Good demo but I don't think I'll drop $20 on the full version. Hmm... I'm not sure what my price point on a game like this is but it's less than 20.

I didn't need the hint system but I tried it just to see. The controls were not so intuitive there. Died (a lot) before I discovered I can shoot (doh!). I liked the logical thinking for most puzzles combined with a bit of luck now and then. The story was cute. Poor sap though, every level even after he "wins" things never go quite the way he planned.

I loved Samorost, and this one looks to be even better.

Such a beautiful, cool little game.

I think it gets my money just on charm alone.

Picked it up. Well worth it in my opinion. It's got a great style. You might get stuck for a bit in the puzzles but the creators make it a nice place to be stuck in.

This is one of the finest adventure/puzzle games I've played in recent years. The walkthrough system is fantastic, the art is gorgeous and the design and animations are charming and fun. I fired it up early in the evening to play through it with my girlfriend and before we knew it it was midnight. Get this game!

Yeah, well recommended. Considering how many hours you can get out of a $50 game $20 is a reasonable price not just for the time you'll spend wandering around inside the world but also the quality of the execution in the game - from the puzzles to the graphics to the sound.

This game looks really lovely. It reminds a little of the world of goo. I really loved that game as well.

It's really pretty, but from the demo I don't think it works for me as a game. Probably point-and-click is not my style.

I finally finished the game! I was waiting for a sale to pick it up, but I just couldn't take it anymore. I had even bought 1 copy of the soundtrack on yellow vinyl and two copies on black vinyl (for gifts) before even buying the game. The music of Tomas Dvorak is just fantastic. Anyways, the art and, most of all, the music in the game is some of the best I've ever experienced. I'm conflicted on the game design because I kept having to use the hint button as some of the puzzles are quite difficult. And at other times, it's just hard to figure out what to do next. It takes patience, that's for sure. With the in-game hints, it's not all that hard to complete. For those who haven't picked it up yet, at least pick it up when it's on sale. I got a good 9 hours out of it (but then again I'm not all that smart). Here's a picture of the soundtrack on vinyl which you should pick up as well:

*image was removed on minorityrecords.com*

Awesome game despite a few minor gameplay drawbacks.

I got the itch to buy some stuff from Minority Records again. I ordered the Samorost 2 soundtrack on CD, Stephan Mathieu - A Static Place on vinyl, Giuseppe Ielasi - Aix on vinyl, and Floex (Tomas Dvorak) - Zorya on vinyl.

Zorya is very close to being as good as Dvorak's Machinarium soundtrack, but it's more upbeat. You can stream the whole thing on soundcloud here. As usual, Tomas Dvorak is the effin man.