Genre:   Puzzle Adventure

Developer & Publisher:   Amanita Design 

Released:  October 2009

PC Requirements:   Windows XP / Vista, Pentium 4 1.8GHz or Athlon XP 1800+ CPU; Geforce 6500 or Radeon HD 3400 Series graphics card, 0.5GB RAM, 0.2 GB Hard disk space, Direct X 9





by Rushes


Machinarium is the latest adventure from Czech independent studio Amanita Design, creators of the popular web games Samorost and Samorost 2.

You are responsible for a small, disarmingly cute robot, who at the game’s outset has been jettisoned to a scrapheap far beyond the city where he lives for an offence he did not commit. Your role is to help him find his way back home, rescue his robot-girlfriend and thwart the evil plans of the “Black Cap Brotherhood” who are set on destruction in their bid to take over the city.


Machinarium is a point & click adventure in third person perspective. Characters move smoothly from screen to screen, and there is no panning. In-game help is available should you need it by clicking on either of the two symbols which appear when the cursor is moved to top right of the game screen. The light bulb icon can provide you with one hint per game level. The screen icon to its right rewards you with one page of a pictorial walkthrough for your current level of play. For this you will sweat a little, as in order to unlock the walkthrough page you must first play a short, fairly easy mini-game of spider blasting.

Window size and full screen can be adjusted in-game by bringing the cursor to the options bar at the bottom of the game screen.


The graphics are unique, quirky and charming. The environments are not static: pipe steam rises and wafts, plants wave gently in the breeze, water ripples. This strange world is inhabited exclusively by robots: eccentric robots, fierce, friendly or just plain bizarre. There is no dialogue other than guttural grunts and squeaks. All communication is via the pictorial bubbles which appear over the heads of the robots, explaining their predicament or responding to a question. I enjoyed Machinarium’s music: ethereal, somewhat “New Age”, always appropriate to the scene and never intrusive.

Gameplay is initially somewhat similar to the “escape the room” games, in that our little robot must discover a way to proceed further into town, through many different areas containing various obstacles, to complete his quest. Combining and using inventory items and solving enjoyable standalone puzzles will move him forward into the next scene.

You may groan with me now when I tell you that in the latter half of the game there are sliders of various descriptions and levels of difficulty, and several arcade mini-games which are necessary to complete in order to progress. One of these arcade games involves a maze, a gun and limited lives; lose all those lives and you must start over at the beginning of the maze. There is no skip feature.  Frustrating, much? The puzzles do become increasingly challenging.


I experienced no glitches or bugs while playing this game. There are only six available save slots with capacity to over-write.


Offbeat and witty, with challenging puzzles which are particularly enjoyable in the early stages.

Appealing, beautifully drawn graphics. A simple, easy to use interface.

Proceed with a degree of caution if you cannot abide sliders or arcade mini-games - unless you have spare hair to pull and an extra set of teeth to grind.

Overall, a game for anyone with a penchant for problem pondering and a love of the unusual.

Grade:  B

Machinarium is available for download direct from the developers.

October, 2009

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