Gamebytes and Bots
Gamebytes and Bots
GAMEBYTES AND BOTS
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MACHINARIUM
MACHINARIUM REVIEW
Date Played June 2011

This is just one brilliant, ingenious and delightful game. First, a bit about the nuts and bolts of the story and it is nuts and bolts as the opening scene sees our little robot character being tossed by a flying dumpster into what looks like a metal scrap yard. Landing in pieces, he needs to find and re-attach his body parts before going anywhere. This part of the game enables a short tutorial on how the gameplay works.

Machinarium is a city of machines and the entire population is made up of robots of one form or another. There is no speech or dialogue used in the game, but information is derived through pictorials. If you idle the character Josef in certain places, he will produce thought bubbles. As he makes his way back into the city and ultimately to his destination, his thoughts give us some backstory and provide us with the purpose behind his present actions. It soon becomes clear early on that his goal is to find his girlfriend and re-unite with her.


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If there is any complaint to be made, it would be that there is a lack of direction at times. Sometimes it's a little fuzzy on what you have to do next. However, because movement is very limited, part of the challenge is to dechiper what needs doing with the tools available. There are only a few things that Josef can do - he can walk, he can extend and contract his torso and he can grab things within his reach. An icon of little moving feet indicates the places he can walk to, which in turn dictates a likely place for an action.

A group of thugs known as the Black Cap Brotherhood provides the story with its antagonists. They prey on the citizens and in general are a bunch of hooligans. They have kidnapped Josef's girlfriend and have also planted a bomb on the city's central tower. Many of the puzzles revolve around Josef helping his fellow robots and restoring order.

Speaking of the puzzles, they are hard and some were a little hazy on what needed to be accomplished. For instance, if all the buttons on a panel needed to be green, you are not told that. This is not asking for how to solve the puzzle, just a little more direction on what the ultimate goal is. There are two hint systems indicated by a light bulb and a book in the top right corner. By clicking on the light bulb, you will be given one clue per level in the form of a bubble. The book, however, has to be accessed by beating a little mini game, but will give you more detailed pictorials of what you have to do. There are several other mini games you need to beat and these are really quite ingeniously integrated into the main game. The regular puzzles are variations of types of puzzles you have probably run across elsewhere and some are really quite intricate. You will probably have to resort to a walkthrough at times.

The good news is that there are no dead ends. If you do something in the wrong order, it's repairable. If you can't take an action, Josef will shake his head or shrug his shoulders.

Machinarium is a flash-based, point and click adventure game created by Amanita Design who also created the Samorost games. The first thing that will knock your socks of is the hand drawn art used for the entire game. It won the Excellence in Visual Art award at the 12th annual Independent Games Festival and the Best Soundtrack award from PC Gamer in 2009. The menu includes an option for windowed mode or full screen.

Amanita is based in the Czech Republic and the CD version of this game comes only in Russian, German and Italian. The English version must be downloaded. Unfortunately, this game was heavily pirated and hitting on independent games like this reaches a new low even for piracy. There isn't a lot of replay value, but the game is on sale often enough and is worth every penny.

By the way, I intentionally left out screens that would in anyway give a clue to solving the puzzles, so it looks like he's not doing much. Mean huh! (ha ha)

UPDATE - June 2017: Machinarium now has a remastered definitive edition freely updated to previous owners. The game has been completely re-built using DirectX engine instead of Flash, which is now outdated. In addition, controller support, new achievements, languages and cloud saving have been introduced.
Game Issues Experienced
Adobe hardware accelaration has to be off. If you cannot access a pop up on game start, do the following: open Start > Control panel > Display > Settings > Advanced > Troubleshoot > push slider to none. Click apply then OK and restart windows.

Because Machinarium uses Flash, you may experience saved games disappearing due Machinarium's saves being stored in the Flash cache and may be removed by tools such as CCleaner. Disable Flash file deletion to avoid this. You can also try right clicking on the game screen, go to settings for flash player and set the slider to its highest limit. If this doesn't work check out the official forum for this problem.

Amanita forum - about saves
Development Note
Machinarium was developed by seven Czech developers who financed it with their own savings. The game was in development for three years and had a very low budget. Their first game was Samorost, created by Jakub Dvorsk√Ĺ while he was a student at the Academy for Arts in Prague, which was a browser game released for free. This was followed by the sequel Samorest 2. Their first full-length game was Machinarium, then Botanicula, both being well-received and both earning various awards. They are now working on Samorest 3, which is scheduled to be released later in 2015.
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Other games in series: None
GAME INFORMATION
  • Genre: Graphic Adventure
  • Developer(s): Amanita Design, Daedalic Entertainment
  • Publisher(s): see where to download
  • Platforms: Windows, PS3, Mac OS X, Linux, Wii, Blackberry Playbook, iPad
  • Release: Oct 2009
  • Mode(s): Single-player
  • Media: Download, CD/DVD
  • DLC Available: No
  • OS: Windows XP / Vista / Windows 7 / Mac OS X v10.4 / Linux
  • CPU: 1.8 GHz
  • RAM: 1GB
  • Hard Drive: 380 MB free space
  • Video: Browser with Flash Player
  • Sound:
  • Shader Model:
  • Input for PC: Keyboard & Mouse
  • DRM: None
AROUND THE WEB
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Official Modding Tools
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To indicate what kind of performance you may get, compare your specs to the system this game was played on. You can also try  Can You Run It
  • Version: Steam
  • OS: Windows XP SP3
  • CPU: Athlon 64x2 4200+ 2200MHz
  • Ram: 4GB
  • Disk Drive: DVD/CD
  • Video: ATI Radeon 4830
  • Shader Model: 4.1
  • DirectX: 9.0c
  • Input: Keyboard & Mouse
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