review
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POSTED 9/9/12


MACHINARIUM

Amanita Design
PS3/PSN (also on PC and some other stuff)

Reassemble, Stephanie!

Well, more accurately reassemble Josef, our robotic protagonist for this pointy-clicky-adventurey thingummy that’s been around on lesser formats for a while now.

The first thing that strikes you – should you not duck quickly enough - is the stunningificent art of Machinarium. Reminiscent of Terry Gilliam’s work on his best days (and he’s no slouch on his shittiest days), it’s an intricate hand-drawn affair that’s completely, totally and utterly beautiful. But we kind of intimated that a few lines back with our outbreak of hot portmanteau action.

Still, more than awesometacular graphics are needed to make a good game. So, how does Machinarium fare sonically? Well, tunes are funktacular, with enough bassiness to cause occasional pantsular panic, as it veers ominously close to brown note territory.

Looks good, sounds good – and if it wasn't download-only we’d even go the chomp to advise if it tastes good. What’s left? Oh yes, gameplay. Umm, yes...

Being pointy-clicky, the left thumbsticky doobrie moves a cursor about. You can only select things within Josef’s reach, be he normal size or stretchy/squishy. Stuff you collect en route can be combined to make useful thingies that allow progress, as you journey into a city of lit-up traffic coney-headed cops and a triumvirate of bad guys who’re mean-bean personified, wanting to blow up the city’s tower and all. The aim is to plough through various static screens, solving puzzles that regularly and effortlessly redefine the word obtuse. Luckily you can avenge latent or flaming arachnophobia by shooting spiders to score a level map which can help a little bit. Sometimes.

Ignoring the abundant prettiness, whether you love Machinarium or hate Machinarium will depend solely on your tolerance for mind-bendy puzzling. At times it’s mind-bendy in extremis, which may result in shattered DualShock. Many fragments, some large, some small...

take me back to the start...

 



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ALL WRITTEN CONTENT COPYRIGHT © AMY FLOWER 2008-2014. GAME IMAGES COURTESY OF RESPECTIVE GAMES COMPANIES.