I’m a sucker for point and click games. There’s something about finding out what to do, combining items and solving puzzles that can make me go for hours without even blinking, it’s just my idea of game heaven.
By Amanita Design, this is not only one of the cutest, yet cleverest games of its sort, it’s also unbelievably beautiful. Just looking at the graphics is a delight, getting to interact with almost everything is even more rewarding. It is, no doubt, one of the greatest indie games out there.
Machinarium starts with a little robot being dumped in a junkyard. That broken helpless thing is you. After getting yourself together, you head back to where the trash-robot came from with you inside and your adventure kicks off.
At first you’re not sure what’s happening, but as you go through with your tasks, the little robot remembers things and finally we begin to understand what’s going on. Simply enough, there are some bullies in town that kidnaped your girlfriend and are terrorizing lots of other robots, arresting people and basically doing whatever they please. Escape prison, help the ones you meet, stop the evil plan and rescue your lady in distress.
I know this might seem a fairly ordinary plot, but I assure you that it belongs to a game that’s everything but ordinary. Without any words used, you’re off to an adventure full of clever puzzles of all kinds that requires the player to think outside the box to help the little robot outwit his enemies.
At first, the level of difficulty is not that great as you’re just finding out how everything works, and what kind of things you’re expected to do, as well as being amazed with the art and looking over some important details. It’s ok, it will get more challenging. And the good news is that, as difficult as it can get, you won’t have to go for a pixel hunt. The true complexity lies on finding out how to get what you want using the resources you have, and if you ever need it, there’s a clue for each level and even a walkthrough book (beautifully illustrated, I must add) if you ever get really, really stuck – that one, I admit, tempted me at some points, but since the game’s quite short, I thought that being a little stuck was just a way of delaying the end of it.
Throughout the game, the puzzles are a combination of the plot and characters with brainteaser that have to be solved to achieve your objective – like, lets say, working a machine or opening something. This for me was a killer combination, not often found quite like that in point and click games.
But just being smart and pretty doesn’t cut it (bazinga!). It’s a good thing that on top of it all, this game is also sweet and poignant. Not to mention that it has an amazing soundtrack.
Surely a must play.