Machinarium has been around since 2009, and was ported to iOS in the early fall of 2011.
So why am I writing a review for a game that has been around for that long already? Quite simply because Machinarium is the kind of game that oozes style, personality and quality that deserves attention. Every other iOS game related site reviewed right away. Before that it has won prizes, as indie game of the year and design awards for the PC, Mac and Linux versions. What sets the iOS version apart from the computer versions is the excellent touch controls. Other that that it is still one of the best point and click adventures for the iPad 2 and New iPad.
Machinarium tells a story about the struggle of a robot to redeem himself against his bullies, uncover an evil plot and release his robot girlfriend and basically save the world. What sets the game apart from all other point and click adventures is the complete lack of dialogue. In games like Simon the Sorcerer, and The Secret of Monkey Island the dialogue is key to solving puzzles, and laughing your socks off. Machinarium tells the story through though bubbles animating a short sequence when you approach a character. Initially this was really cool, but later on I felt a bit alone in the cold world depicted. This of course enhances the feeling of being an underdog, but at the same time it can zap some of the will to explore and solve puzzles. The robots, and robotic animals all have some cool and exaggerated animations that at times are hilarious.
The puzzles are a lot about finding objects, and then finding out where they should go. Most puzzles are logical once you find the objects needed. There are no really out there solutions. If you do get stuck the game has a walkthrough built in, but to reach it you have to play a minigames guiding a key towards a keyhole shooting spiders on the way. It is time consuming, and this limits the use of the walkthrough a great deal.
Visually Machinarium is stunning, and paints a picture of a bleak world where robots more or less behave as inhumane as humans. Hand drawn images combined with cool animations make it easy to understand why this game has won prizes. The sound is also excellent ranging from ambient drips to jazzy spacy arrangements. This is a soundtrack well worth getting as a standalone release.
Machinarium is a true highlight in the point and click adventure genre. Worth noting is that the game will not work on the original iPad, and that the game has yet to receive a retina update. These are small, but highly irritating flaws and I would like to see an update to make the graphics pop even more. If you have an iPad 2 or newer, and want to get into one of the most immersive adventure games for iOS you owe it to yourself to enter Machinarium.
Machinarium $4.99 iPad 2/New iPad only.
Seller: Amanita Design