Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Game Controls Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
Machinarium was a beautiful and compelling adventure game when originally released on the PC and Mac in 2009. The good news is it's still just as wonderful on the iPad. The bad news is that only iPad 2 users can discover just how great it is. So look away sadly iPad 1 owners.
Machinarium is a point and click adventure and a fine example of the genre at that. It's not easy by any means but it will charm and reside in players' memories for a while to come. There's no handholding here (although an in-app guide book is on hand to help) with Machinarium strongly focusing on logic based puzzles rather than the trial and error problems that many are accustomed to with the adventure game genre. Another fundamental difference is the lack of dialogue. Not one word is spoken, instead all communication conducted via thought bubbles. It'll no doubt provide a change of pace for iPad players more used to the brash nature of Telltale Games's titles. The sense of humor remains however, just in a frequently slapstick nature akin to silent cinema. A nod must also be given to the delightful soundtrack which adds to the experience greatly.
Players take the role of a little robot that would easily give Wall-E a run for his money in the cuteness factors. The first task to be completed is to reassemble him having been tossed aside to a scrapheap. Further encounters lead onto him saving his girlfriend and more. While no dialogue may be spoken, everything about Machinarium conveys personality and character silently.
Such original storytelling is backed up by a series of very clever puzzles. They're frequently challenging but so logical for the most part, that there's no fear of the randomness that curses many other games in the genre. The beautiful detailed landscapes of Machinarium does suffer from one curse however: it's all too easy to miss spotting something which can get irritating. Fortunately the introduction of the in-app guide dissuades that to an extent with a light bulb icon suggesting a general idea as to what needs to be done. A further solution can be provided after completion of a brief shooting based mini game.
Machinarium is a stunning game. Working just as naturally on the iPad as it did on the PC, it's the kind of flawless experience that all point and click fans should check out immediately. They won't be disappointed by any means.