Machinarium

Amazing.

By Daavpuke, Posted 30 Mar 2012

Point-and-click adventures are big in the indie scene. Amazing plots and engaging puzzles attempt to whisk players away to a new universe as they overcome the obstacles in their way. But none do this with the charm and grace of Machinarium.

Machinarium - NoobFeed Review

The hand-drawn machine apocalypse that is the world of Machinarium sees players follow an endearing little robot, which has been swept away in the trash that must now venture back to the big city. Using his smarts and limited capacities, he must overcome many puzzles, crack codes and sleuth his way through sections as he climbs closer to the grand city. The gritty panels of each panel are all a true work of art; mixing dark and bizarre creations with charming details and slight color nuances amongst the metallic masterpieces. This is further expressed with the strange characters spread throughout the city, that each have their own robotic character trait.

Yet, most amazing of all is the way these characters interact, using only small animations depicting their thoughts, without ever uttering one word. This clever new way of communication offers an entire new world of perception that fits perfectly into the charming unique world of Machinarium. Additionally, the small robot protagonist is equally limited by only being able to reach and interact with objects in the immediate vicinity. This requires players to really observe panels and think of ways on how to best handle certain sections of that terrain. By stretching and shrinking its body, the robot can reach higher and lower, but not to endless extent. Through this limitation, Machniarium creates an entirely new way to look at the puzzle genre, as players must empathize with the restrictions of their robot alter ego in order to proceed.

Machinarium - NoobFeed Review

But, apart from the incredible art direction and singular approach, the game mechanics themselves are truly a spectacle to live through. Each puzzle presents simple yet challenging logic to complete and progressing will require some creative thinking or combinations. There’s a lot of variation between puzzles and while all have a well-hidden solution, at least there’s a lot of difference to keep sleuthing fresh. But planning ahead and sometimes backtracking will also be required, as overlooked items become necessary in later sections. This all makes each individual panel a thorough investigation to go through, as players need to move around and see where exactly items can be manipulated.

Whenever players get stuck, there will always be a clever hint system available within the minimalist interface, to nudge towards the right direction. If a small hint isn’t enough, there is also the most endearing little storybook, which tells the story of each panel. This serves as a makeshift walkthrough that depicts how each panel should be solved. Of course, this comes at a price and in order to unlock players are required to complete a simple miniature shooter to guide the key towards the page keyhole. Each and every implementation in Machinarium is as unique as it is charming, which is positively amazing.

So much praise must hide some flaws somewhere, but the truth is that Machinarium doesn’t really hold any notable errors. It’s debatable whether the challenge is steep and the story a bit lacking in power, but these are very subjective points, which will all wither away when compared to the undeniable charm of this astounding game.

Machinarium - NoobFeed Review

Czech developer Amanita Design has succeeded in creating a breakthrough in point-and-click adventures; one which doesn’t look like it will be surpassed for quite some time. Machinarium is a work of art in both presentation and design. There really isn’t any more to say other than every fan of the genre should play this game at some point.

Daav Valentaten, NoobFeed. (@Daavpuke)

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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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