What’s not to love about Machinarium? It’s an innovative point-and-click adventure game developed by Amanita Design, an independent studio based in the Czech Republic. Originally released as a PC game, Machinarium apparently taxes the iPad hardware so much that it only works on second generation devices. But we like this adaptation of the game so much that we hope they someday optimize it for use on more iOS devices.
In Machinarium you take on the role of Josef, a robot who’s been thrown into a heap of junk. He quickly reconstructs himself and embarks upon a puzzle-filled journey in an attempt to rescue his beloved companion, a female robot who has been kidnapped and is being held in the city’s tower. On his journey, he passes through a series of environments and learns of a treacherous plot by the Black Cap Brotherhood to detonate the tower where his girlfriend is being kept.
Give ’em a round of applause, everyone.
It’s amazing how powerfully the developers convey these points without using any spoken dialogue. Instead, the communication is expressed through a series of hand-drawn thought bubbles that effectively communicate the story to the player. These bubbles give you the sense that you’re in a very well-designed, playable comic book.
The environments contain a series of puzzles and brain teasers of varying difficulty levels that you have to solve to progress. Oftentimes these are incredibly clever and require much creativity to figure out. Thankfully, you can use hints if you need them–however, the hints become increasingly ambiguous as the game progresse.
The sound design in Machinarium is great, and we encourage you to play the game with headphones for a totally immersive experience. The visuals are top notch as well, and–perhaps because it only runs on an iPad 2–the game plays very smoothly. Machinarium is undoubtedly one of the best-executed games of the past year. We highly recommend it to anyone and feel it truly deserves a Must Have rating.