Machinarium

Beautiful and fascinating

By canana, Posted 17 Sep 2012

Machinarium, developed by Amanita Design (Samorost 1 and 2), is another adventure game with an indie, psychedelic stamp that is growing in the video game market. The game offers a different mechanic and opts a mental abstraction to solving puzzles in unlikely places. Moreover, as the player can only touch on what is next to it, the game breaks the old technique of "click on everything until something works." In essence, Machinarium is a point-and-click title, in which you must progress by collecting and combining items various scenarios,and paying attention to detail. However, there are different actions like search, look, and examine. As this is the Playstation 3 version, most of the exploration is done with the analog stick.

You are in the shoes of a little robot that can stretch and reduce its body at will, redefining its height to reach various places that seem inaccessible at first, such as buttons under tables and hatches in the roof. The story revolves around the little robot wandering around the city to search for his girlfriend, trapped by the villains that terrorize the streets. By this description, you might be thinking that Machinarium is not even slightly interesting, but trust me: you will be surprised already in the first minutes! The game starts without reason (with you rescuing your own body's from the trash pile), but a few minutes later the pieces of the story begin to fall into place. As mentioned above, the plot revolves around the robot, his girlfriend and villains who are terrorizing the city, but the magic lies in the way the narrative is carried out, with lively passages via speech balloons (only instead of speech, pictures are presented to the player).

Machinarium, Review, Point and Click, Adventure, Robots

Looking at the screenshots of the game, you may immediately think it's artworks (conceptual art work) and not the actual graphics. But the fact is that the graphics in Machinarium are the images shown in this analysis. Almost everything is designed with lines that resemble crayons. The result on the screen is beautiful, cozy and unique. The return to the roots of the genre is more than welcome in this regard, though Machinarium's art style is not the only aspect that manages to captivate the player. The game's sound also deserves recognition, with cutting-edge sound effects that help give life to the robot characters inhabiting the world. The soundtrack is also exceptional. You will feel completely immersed in the adventure, with songs--in many ways reminiscent in the work of Vangelis and others that simulate Bossa Nova. In a certain moment in the game when completing necessary steps, you're free to stay to enjoy the sound of three musicians. A few, quirky instruments join the mix, but form a great ensemble.

Unlike earlier games from Amanita Design, Machinarium brings puzzles that will really blow your mind (in a good way, of course). There are few passages in which you will lose about half an hour just trying to figure out a basic strategy to progress. For those who like intelligent games, this is a delicious dish. And these steps puzzles are varied. Among these are arcade games, board games, electrical connection points, and alteration of structures. There are a multitude of possibilities, but the best thing you do is see the rest with your own eyes. Some of the main complaints about similar games fall on the "backtracking" mechanic or the need to revisit places so they can find new secrets. Fortunately, that problem is solved, avoiding unnecessary confusion. With this, the pace of the game becomes almost perfect, with you always discovering new areas and scenarios.

Machinarium, Review, Point and Click, Adventure, Robots

On one hand, the hints system itself works well in order to make your head work, though there will be times when you will be frustrated because you really have no idea how to proceed. This may be due to the fact that some tips are too vague or some items are virtually invisible in a particular scenario (which can easily occur in the prison cell, for example), impeding their progress in other stages. It doesn't help that the system of access to the book of tips requires you to pass a test (game), shooting and controlling a key clicking on virtual buttons. The process is very annoying and has to be repeated every time the query is performed.

Despite that, Machinarium is a fabulous experience. The beautiful art and detailed environments are superb, with beautiful lines that look like paintings in motion. Its mechanics are simple, not requiring nothing more than mere clicks or a combination of two items. Those who like to put the brain to work feel truly rewarded every step transposed. The robotic characters are also overflowing charm and charisma. You will laugh with evil, be concerned with the progression of events, and identify with the chaotic atmosphere of the city. Complementing all these factors, we still have an impeccable ambiance in a mixture of curious and amusing scenarios, together with a rather mysterious soundtrack. Machinarium is worth every penny. If you enjoy adventure games, you shouldn't pass this up.

Marco Cecilio, NoobFeed

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  • This game looks great! I'm loving the artwork/graphics. Def a game I'm going to have to check out!!!


    Posted Oct 23, 2012

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General Information

Machinarium

90/100

Platform(s): PS3, PC
Publisher(s): Amanita Design
Developer(s): Amanita Design
Genres: Point And Click
Themes: Puzzle
Release Date: 2012-09-06

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