Developed by Amanita Design (Botanicula, Samorost), Machinarium is a point and click puzzle game that stars a little robot who has been scrapped. Finding himself in the scrap yard, he goes on a mission to save his girlfriend from the Black Cap Brotherhood. Although it was released back in October 2009 for the PC, it has since been ported for the Playstation Vita and mobile devices using either the iOS or Android platforms. Join Josef the robot as he attempts to rescue Berta from a life of cooking. Help him find handy scraps, get past tricky spots, and go up against a trio of robo-criminals intending to blow up a tower in the city. If you don't want him to end up in pieces, you'll have to keep your wits about to figure out the visual clues. Sounds intimidating, does it? Fret not, he's not alone in this adventure. Plenty friendly faces are raring to lend a hand if you know where to look.
The story starts with a disposal flier doing its usual rounds of taking out the trash to a nearby scrapheap. Josef, the player character, is dumped rather roughly like a useless piece of garbage. Although he is in need of some assembling, it's not himself he's worried about -- his beloved Berta is nowhere to be found. Upon returning to the city, he finds himself in the middle of a plot much more sinister than just a kidnapping. Unfortunately, a trio of bad robots find him and he is imprisoned shortly after. Eventually, he learns that Berta has been forced to serve the villains and that the head of the city needs his help.
Although it is true that a lack of dialogue limits its delivery quite a bit, Machinarium's narrative is by no means an issue that should dissuade you from trying it out. In fact, some might argue that having the story delivered purely through art is beneficial in keeping the pace of the game going. Making up for a lack of text, the post-apocalyptic world is simply breath-taking. Soon after launching the game, you will find yourself immersed in a grand post-apocalyptic world, where no robot, scrapped or not, is useless and even the best solutions are oftentimes the simplest ones. As expected from the creators of Samorost, the hand-drawn visuals lend a sophisticated storybook feel to game; while a dominantly brown color scheme gives a cohesive, rust-like theme that fits Josef's story to a tee.
As a puzzle game, your goal in Machinarium is, of course, to solve a myriad of brain teasers. Most of these have the same formula: encounter a road black, find an object that would allow Josef to tackle said block and click away. Unlike other point and click games, you don't get to amass a stack of key items in your inventory. What you need will always be just within reach in a single scene at any given time. In lieu of the usual text hints, Machinarium makes use of clever thought bubbles that illustrates what Josef thinks needs to be done. For instance, your robot pal needs to close a gap in between buildings. In accessing a hint, Josef may think of using a specific kind of tool. Upon searching the vicinity, you see a plunger and assemble a special type of gun which can enable him to get to the other side.
While you get one hint per level, it is still possible to get stuck as they do tend to be a bit vague. Usually, it would reveal what has to be done for the puzzle to be solved and not exactly which items are important or where to click next. When that happens, Machinarium gives you the option to check a walkthrough which can be accessed within the game itself. Just for fun, accessing the cheat sheet does entail finishing a mini game.
Do you usually root for the underdog? Are you ready to thwart the plans of evil robot overlords? Do you prefer actions over words? If you say yes to any of these, then Machinarium is a great choice for you. It has all of the above and, not to mention, it is absolutely beautiful from start to finish. With a different approach when it comes to in-game dialogue, the puzzles are also quite challenging. Thankfully, its visual hints combined with a comprehensive walkthrough will ensure that nothing will ever stump you completely.
Machinarium pushes the boundaries when it comes to what we know about traditional point and click titles. First, it has no dialogue save for a few text tidbits at the start. Its puzzles are confined to a single screen, and it's not afraid to lend a hand when needed. It's different, and it's infinitely more interesting because of it. To sum it up, Machinarium is one of those rare games that brilliantly executes radical ideas.
'Machinarium pushes the boundaries when it comes to what we know about traditional point and click titles. First, it has no dialogue save for a few text tidbits at the start. Its puzzles are confined to a single screen, and it's not afraid to lend a hand when needed. It's different, and it's infinitely more interesting because of it. To sum it up, Machinarium is one of those rare games that brilliantly executes radical ideas.'