A while back I chose Machinarium as my Pick of the week. A pick that was put my way by our exalted intro music guru, Paul. Machinarium is a good old fashioned point and click adventure. The time-old story of boy robot tragically split from girl robot by nasty police robots and the quest to be re-united. So why is this game worthy of pick status? Quite simply because it’s gorgeous, exceptionally well realised and just plain cute and funny.
As you can see from these screen-shots, every location in the game is sublimely drawn. The detail is brilliant and you can tell a whole lot of love and attention went into creating this game. The style doesn’t just end at the graphics though. The animation and environments all keep up the illusion of a whole world full of robots.
Gameplay is pretty standard point-and-click affair. Solve the puzzles and problems. Work out how to get to new areas. There are plenty of mini games thrown in, with humor aplenty throughout. Along the way, the pacing was good and even with absolutely no dialogue, you always know exactly what’s going on. New problems are introduced subtly and you then need to find the solution! I didn’t find the puzzles impossibly hard at any point but I am pretty versed with the whole genre and some problems may lead to frustration. However, there is an in-built hint system used throughout the game should you really not know what to do. There is one hint available per screen to give you a light pointer but there is also a more in depth “walkthrough” type hint book available that spells out the steps needed. Like everything in this game – they’ve taken a potentially boring thing, a hint book, and added a twist. You have to go through a mini game to unlock the hint book. This mini game is long enough to stop you delving in just for the sake of it but also fun enough to see through should you actually require help.
My only criticism of the game is that it’s not massively long. But then that’s because I consumed it with relish and just wanted it to go on! If you’re good at point and clicks, you’ll probably be done in 5 sessions but playing back through again won’t be seen as a chore and the game is only £14 or so.
You can play a demo of the first few screens on http://machinarium.net as well as buying the full version. If you have Steam installed on your system, it’s also available through that.