I came across [easyazon-link asin=”B00846FWLE” locale=”us”]Machinarium[/easyazon-link] earlier this week. How? I couldn’t tell you exactly, but thats how you tend to find things on the internet these days isn’t it? Machinarium is a wonderfully designed point-and-click game by Czech development studio Amanita Design. You play as Josef (named after Josef Čapek, who came up with the word robot), a robot cast out in the scrap heap from the robot city Machinarium. Along the way to find your girlfriend you help Machinarium’s citizens with various tasks and get caught up in the shenanigans of a group of thieves (and your former bullies), The Black Cap Brotherhood. If you’re unconvinced, try out the demo. Before you know it you’ll be punching in your iTunes password to pick Machinarium up. Its only $10 and comes on most platforms, including iOS.
As far as point-and-click games goes, Machinarium has impressed me more than any other I’ve played. These kinds of games can go either way, if I rely more on luck than actual puzzle-solving and deduction, then I quickly lose interest. Machinarium designed the environments to suggest action themselves, and also included two useful hint systems: one that gives vague but helpful hints, the other that requires one finishes a minigame to access. This way, you wont ever be stuck for longer than you should, we all know how frustrating that can be. Apart from the gameplay, I absolutely love the visual design in Machinarium. Amanita Design did a fantastic job creating the characters and environments. The design alone makes Machinarium worth your time. Tomáš Dvořák, aka Floex, composed the [easyazon-link asin=”B006P2JEJ0″ locale=”us”]original soundtrack[/easyazon-link] to the game. The music ranges from ambient, mechanical noise to wobbly bass dance tunes. Dvořák skillfully blends industrial sounds with tasteful futuristic electronics to maintain the mechanical and futuristic feel of the game. A mark of a good soundtrack is that you can enjoy it independently of the game. Thats certainly the case for Dvořák’s work. We’ll be doing a feature on Dvořák’s other music next week, as he recently signed to Denovali Records.
I don’t want to give too much of the experience away, and frankly I can only say so much. Just go play them. Along with Machinarium, Amanita Design’s are behind Botanicula and Kooky, one another great game, the other a live-action teddy-bear-centered comedy film. Botanicula is also available as a demo, so check that out as well. I Amanita has released most of their games with Humble Bundle, a great series that releases games incredibly cheaply and support charities with their “bundles”. Alright, now you’re ready to spend your weekend inside playing games. You’re welcome.