Publisher: Amanita Design
Developer: Amanita Design
Platform: PC, Mac, Android, Fire, iPad, PS3
If there was a Miss Congeniality award for adventure games, Machinarium would lap the field. Controlling a runt-of-the-litter robot whose goal is to save himself, his robot town, and his robot girl, charm endlessly abounds. Normally a game with no text or dialogue would turn me off completely, but with the exceptional use of picture thought bubbles and flashbacks, a thorough story is doled out to the player without the need for any words.
The excuse for an underdog robot story are a bunch of puzzles, self-contained within each scene. It’s hard to say if there’s exactly a learning curve, as the puzzles don’t necessarily build on one another and their difficulty can depend on how your mind tackles different types of puzzles. Most of the puzzles are plot-relevant and fair and once figured out there’s a sense of satisfaction, not to mention a reward for advancing the plot. Some of the coolest puzzles involve using your own sweet robot body. However, despite the superb game art, a few times I was pixel-hunting for far too long; there’s also an annoying maze (redundant, I know). If you do get stuck, there is a hint system.
A relatively short game and a breath of fresh air. While I can’t say I have any desire to play through it again, I’m glad I played it once.