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Machinarium Review (Android)


Does Amanita Design's whimsical point and click adventure deliver a game that plays as good as it looks?




[NOTE] Although it's available now on iOS and Android, it's only available to Duel-Core Android tablets and the New iPad and iPad 2.

Machinarium took the prize for "Excellence in Visual Art" back at the 2009 Independent Game Festival, and it is easy to see why. The game is stunning, like an interactive steam-punk graphic novel, bursting with hand drawn art that ripples with life and personality, Machinarium is certainly in a league of it's own when it comes to design.

On the gameplay side of things, it's a point-and-click adventure through-and-through, and fans of old school greats like Sam & Max and the Adventure of Monkey Island will be at home with the insane difficulty level. Yes, Machinarium will confuse and frustrate you to your very limits, but it's worth it to experience one of the most beautiful and endearing games I've ever played.


You command a cute little robot abruptly thrown out of his city with the trash. By pointing and clicking through the bleak steampunkish environment you can return him to his home, reunite him with his girlfriend, and even aid in preventing a terrorist attack.

Our robot buddy has the ability to stretch and scrunch his body, making for some interesting puzzle opportunities. There are is no dialogue in Machinarium (save for some odd sound effects) but when the robot encounters someone, a thought bubble will appear that shows the specific memory this individual conjures up. Despite the chilly atmosphere, these moments offer a wonderful sense of fanciful quality.




During the play through, I actually managed to get stuck on the second puzzle; it's that hard, but if you do need a hint (and you will), you can tap the light bulb in the corner of the screen and a thought bubble will appear above the robot indicating the ultimate goal for that particular room. It wont reveal how you actually solve the puzzle, but it helps.



However, if you truly need to be told, by clicking the small journal with a question mark, you can partake in a small 2-D shooter. By completing the brief mini-game, you'll be granted a detailed visual walkthrough of the scene you are currently in.

A flaw which did frustrate, was the robot and his walking. Once he's in motion you can't alter his course until he's reached his goal, making for a little too much downtime. It's not a big deal, but it does annoy.


All in all, Machinarium is a must-play for point-and-click fans. With it's gorgeous visuals, and, despite the lack of dialogue, the little robot is able to communicate more emotion to the player than most videogame characters. The music, with its subtle electronic soundscape that constantly shifts between making the player feel uneasy and calm is just outstanding, and goes hand in hand with the steam-punk style.

Judiciously and efficiently designed, with not a single pencil-drawn sprite out of place, Machinarium is a treasure that needs to be played to be believed, and if it wasn't for the few little niggles, Machinarium would have been the first App we scored a perfect 10, but as it is, it'll have to make do with one less.





Machinarium is an indie game project created and released by Amanita Design. A puzzle / adventure game, this game focuses on a little robot who's been thrown out to the scrap yard behind the city who must return and confront the Black Cap Brotherhood and save his robot-girl friend.


Also Available On: iOS (iPad 2/New iPad only), PC, Mac || Soon on: PS3

Rating:
E10+ for Everyone 10 and older: Comic Mischief, Use of Tobacco
Genre: Adventure
Publisher: Amanita Design
Developer: Amanita Design

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