Machinarium: Drop of Water in a Burning Desert

Machinarium

We live in the dark ages of 3rd person role playing games and first person shooters. The year is 2009, and I expected we’d be over this by now. What in the early days was titled revolutionary, visionary and ground-breaking is today summed up into the word “Indie”.

Machinarium is a point-and-click adventure game from the Czech studio Amanita Design. It is IGF2009 Winner and PAX10 finalist, but none of this matters really.

What really matters that it’s awesome on so many levels. In an era of burning desert, this is a precious drop of water.

Setting in a robot world, you play an honest robot that was just dumped as spared parts. Other robots are very poor, and two (robo-)bullies make the life of everybody a living hell.

What captured me about this game most, is that it brings back the most important essence of classic adventure gaming: everything takes time. After I purchased the game, I thought to myself, there’s no way to skip this walking sequence, with my ADD, I will never manage to complete it in this lifetime.

Machinarium is different.

I couldn’t stop and put it down. The puzzles were incredible, and so fun to solve! The graphics are mind blowing, the plot is awesome, and all the little animations and bits of story that make this game a perfect 10. (video)

Several other things that I just had to point out: the game has no HUD (Head-up Display), you have inventory and options, but the game goes all over the screen. There’s no speech, no text, no dialogs. Your brain makes up with imagination instead. Events are set up in a way that you are never lost, you always have a mini-game to solve or a place to go. And one last thing, robots have feelings. This story is about corruption, greed, crime and true love.

A demo is available for free download; if you loved Another World, Grim Fandango or King’s Quest 5, I guarantee you’ll fall for this as well.

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