Magnificent? Almost. Magnificent Gizmos and Gadgets comes pretty close to greatness, with a unique physics system that lets you build everything from catapults to go-karts with just a few wheels and pipes. A robust tutorial and hint system will have you building awkwardly-balanced widgets in no time at all. However, the game forces you to focus almost exclusively on narrow goals, which can limit your ability to try out new ideas.
The tools may seem restrictive at first, but they soon prove their versatility. Most puzzles contain a “goalon”, a pink sphere that you have to transport from one end of the stage to another. To do this, you can use rotating green and red “gowheels,” heavy black gowheels, and connectors made of three types of material: girders, pipes, and rope.
With these tools, you can create moving platforms of almost any shape, plus working catapults that will launch your goalon clear across the stage. When cannons, conveyor belts, and giant fans complicate your route, finding the exact type of transport for your goalon becomes a matter of first inventing, and then perfecting, a suitable simple machine.
Piecing one together is just a matter of tapping where you want to place your tools, and watching them automatically snap together. You can also stretch and tweak the connectors to any length or angle you choose, as long as it’s within the designated workspace. The game’s small workspaces are actually a bit of a problem, because they never let you create massive machines. Complicated machines will also slow the game down to a crawl when you set them in motion.
Magnificent Gizmos & Gadgets contains 44 puzzle-based stages. A free-play mode or level designer would have been a natural choice to stretch out the life of this game. Still, the game is a good value at 3-4 hours, or longer if you don’t take advantage of the game’s helpful hint system. You can opt for a small or big hint on each stage, or take the easy way out and have the game provide you with a nearly-working gizmo. Having the solution presented to you isn’t much of a spoiler’”it’s much more fun to play with a working machine than to struggle for too long on the wrong concept.
Magnificent Gizmos & Gadgets manages to take a simple set of tools and turn them into a very complex variety of machines. The puzzles are highly entertaining, even if you don’t want to solve them yourself. Technically-minded people will appreciate the challenge, but even if you just like making widgets move, these Gizmos can be a lot of fun.