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Adventuring In Machinarium


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Posted 21 October 2009 - 05:33 AM

Destructoid has posted a review of the recently released Mac version of Machinarium. The point and click adventure game follows the adventures of a robot who must find a way to save his girlfriend and his city from a group of villains known as the Black Cap Brotherhood. Destructoid gave the game a score of 9 out of 10.

From the review:

A review like this would typically devote an early paragraph to summarizing the story, but I'm pleased to be unable to do so with Machinarium: the story is not only completely bare bones and highly reliant on player inference (think Shadow of the Colossus), but it's told in such a gradual and mostly unobtrusive way that half the fun comes from gradually discovering exactly what the unnamed protagonist's relationship is to the rest of the world (I say mostly; from time to time the protagonist will have a thought bubble flashback to provide backstory, but these are really short and easily skippable). Suffice to say, the world of Machinarium is beautiful, haunting, charming and funny.

In regards to puzzle solving, Machinarium is as satisfyingly focused a title I've yet experienced. Rather than forcing the player to collect dozens of items, or backtrack across eight different screens just to accomplish one small task, Machinarium restricts 90% of its puzzles to single locations; even when the game world opens up around the halfway mark, the individual puzzles still feel remarkably tight.

You may enter a room with the intent of finding an item to be used in a different area, but you'll still be able to essentially solve all the puzzles in a location without leaving to get another inventory item or talk to another character. Those few areas you cannot access immediately are clearly marked, and feel less like distracting maybe-solutions for other puzzles and more like isolated reminders: "yes," the game says, "go to the greenhouse and solve an abstract lite-brite-esque puzzle, but don't forget you're also looking for a key to the arcade. Thus, it's very difficult (but not impossible -- more on that in a bit) to feel completely confused about where you need to go, what you need to do, and what tools you have at your disposal to accomplish those aims.
Visit the site below to read the full review.
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