Machinarium: A Different Game for a Different Crowd

Machinarium, developed by Amanita Design, is a puzzle based adventure game played in the point and click format, meant for single player gaming.

The game was launched worldwide in October 2009 on almost all the possible gaming platforms like the Microsoft Windows, Linux, OS X, iPad 2 and by November 2009, it had been released for Blackberry Playbook. The huge popularity and the much loved interface led to the subsequent launch of Machinarium for the Android in 2012 and Play Station 3 and Vita by the middle of 2013. After having a presence on all the major gaming platforms, the game can successfully claim of having a worldwide reach and very recently the Windows Phone version of the same has also been released in March 2014. The great popularity of the game is because of the fact that people of all ages can play it at their leisure as there is no requirement of intensive thinking or prolonged playing for completing missions and other tasks which are generally present in graphic adventure games. Instead, the game focuses on retaining a simple yet catchy game playing system.

Game Play

The game is unique in that it is devoid of any story line, proper dialog or any spoken or written dialog per se. Also the tutorials present at the beginning of the Machinarium are just enough to take you through a few challenges, after which they cease to exist. The game instead proceeds rather smoothly by using a system of animated thought bubbles, much like the Easter eggs, which pop up when the player is idling in some particular areas of the game. The game provides a number of brain teasers and puzzles for the player to solve, and an overworld  which is based on the pick and click system. The players can only click on those objects which are within their reach and they have to do the entire thinking part themselves.

The game features a two time hint system with one hint being provided at each level. However, these hints often become vague as the levels increase and then come in the walkthroughs. These can be earned by playing some mini games simultaneously. The walkthroughs help the player by describing the puzzle at hand by means of sketches and figures, and give a rough idea of what to do and not how to do things in that particular level. This makes the player the sole one responsible for advancing forward in the game.

Awards and Achievements

Machinarium has secured many praises and accolades, most notably from critics and game ranking sites, which have rated it with an average score of about 85%. It has won the Excellence in Visual Art award at the Independent Games Festival and the Aesthetics award at the IndieCade in 2008. Besides this, it was also nominated for the award of the Best indie Game and Outstanding Achievement in Art Direction. Many sites named it ‘The game of the year’, while others had plenty of positive reviews for the game.

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