Today I bought Machinarium, a delightful cross-platform game by Amanita Design.  First off, I love that for 20 USD you get the Mac, Linux, and PC versions as well as the soundtrack by Tomas Dvorak.  All without DRM.  For $20!

As for the game itself, I could not be more in love.  I have never been a huge fan of point-and-click adventure games, but Machinarium is changing my mind.  The game is centered around a little robot creature that you move by mousing over and clicking on a spot in your current setting.  When you mouse over something the cursor changes to indicate that either you can interact with it or you can walk there.

The game begins when our hero is dumped, in pieces, on top of a scrap heap in a grim, dirty dieselpunk/steampunk world.  I’ve only played for about an hour or so, so I still don’t really know how he got to be there, but it appears that I shall soon find out.  The game controls are pretty basic, but that’s really all that’s needed.  The emphasis is quite clearly on the story and puzzles.

The game world is very richly detailed, and the artwork is a masterpiece.  The soundtrack is spot on in terms of tone, and it perfectly complements the visuals.  All conversation and commentary takes place in animated speech/thought bubbles, so it is easy to understand and get the hang of quickly.  Once you’ve moved beyond the first level it’s pretty easy to see where you’re going and given enough time you can solve just about any of the puzzles.  Being clever will save you some time, though…

My only quibble is that the engine it uses is Flash Player 10, which can be unstable on some platforms or older machines.

Long story short: if you haven’t already, buy this game!  It’s a great way to spend a few hours, and the company that produced it knows how to treat its customers right.

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