Machinarium - Kickin' It Old School, 2D-Robot-Style

Let's face it. Robots are adorable: 

Well, at least the ones that don't turn on their human creators with sentient rage and enslave/kill us all with cold, mathematical precision.

Luckily, you won't face any of that in Machinarium - just some plucky, junk-yard robot antics and a refreshingly Old-School puzzle adventure that will give your brain a good twist.

First of all, the game is a gorgeous work of 2D hand-drawn art, with grungy, sketchy charm throughout.  It makes trotting through this industrial dystopia a real delight.

Secondly, it's full of heart.  The nameless robotic protagonist is downright hug-tastic, and despite the complete lack of dialog or text, all the characters' intentions are whimsically conveyed via animated thought bubbles and artful signage.

But what makes this game most appealing to me is its wonderful throwback to the classic 2D puzzle-adventure gaming of my youth, a la King's Quest and others.

It is especially reminiscent of the PC game Gobliiins, where you guide your hapless heroes by solving nonsensical trial-and-error puzzles.

In Machinarium, there is no formula to follow: A painted traffic cone becomes a clever disguise because it just does.

You can play the first few levels of Machinarium right in your Flash-enabled web browser.  If you get hooked, you can purchase the full game for $20.

While I adore the game, I do think $20 is a bit steep, especially when you consider that $39.99 could easily get you 50+ hours of game play with a title like The Legend of Zelda, or Civilization IV.

Still, if you've got a bunch of puzzle solvers loafing about your house, Machinarium could be the best 20 bucks you ever spent on some family-friendly PC fun.

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1 comment:

Nick said...

I always thought the T-1000 was adorable, even with it's built-in homicidal tendencies. WHOSACUTECYBORG?? WHOSACUTECYBORG??

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