Machinarium is a 2D point and click adventure game created by Amanita Design studios. As far as the story goes, you play as a cute little robot that is dumped outside of the robot city by the Black Cap Brotherhood and must find a way back to save his love. The great thing about this game is that you actually want your robot to succeed and save his lover robot all because Amanita did a great job at making the Black Cap Brotherhood a bunch of jerks. Your little robot acts as the inventory; eating objects that you find. He also has the ability to extend to great heights or “squish” in order to fit in tight spaces. This little adventure game will have you meet many unique, eccentric characters from the robot band to a robo-kitty all of whom capture the atmosphere of this tiny robotic world.
The artistic style is absolutely stunning: The dark color pallet with the scratchy sketch style artwork creates an ambiance of its own. Not to mention the soundtrack created by Tomas Dvorak transports you to another world in and of itself. Basic adventure concepts are seen as you must find objects, combine objects, and navigate between screens to solve puzzles. If things do end up getting too difficult there is a one-time hint system (in the form of a light-bulb in the upper right hand corner) and a built in walkthrough for each screen. However, in order to access the walkthrough, one must complete a side-scrolling mini game where you guide a key to the end. This mini game can be a nice change of pace yet is relatively easy, but it did keep me from yelling at or breaking my laptop when things got frustrating. Even if you get to the walkthrough, there is still some thinking to do because the walkthrough does not just hold your hand and guide you to the end. This in my eyes is a good thing because it makes things easier, but not so easy that you don’t use any brain cells at all.
I did not have any trouble running the game or encounter any bugs while running it. The game takes roughly five-to-six hours to complete depending on how fast you are able to figure out the puzzles. It is presented in superb fashion with its style and sound. There is no dialogue besides some robotic mumble-jumble yet the interface and art-in-bubble imagery make it work somehow. There are two problems that I think Amanita Design could have improved on. The first unfortunately being the first law of thermodynamics: a body in motion tends to stay in motion. Meaning, once you click a certain spot, your little robot will not stop until he has reached his destination. The second being you can only have the option to click items once you are in the direct proximity of said items. Other than those minor quirks, Machinarium is a must have in any adventure game nut’s collection and is even newcomer friendly. (Although if you are not willing to dish out the 9.99 retail price on Steam, then be sure to nab this gem when it is on sale.)
-Written by Rooster