Machinarium is a beautifully drawn, quirky game by relatively unknown company Aminita Design, and is the company’s first full-length computer game. Created and funded by the game designers themselves, this game has had its own cult success due to it’s kooky style and beautiful, hand-drawn imagery. What appealed to me most about this game is it’s haunting, yet beautifully detailed drawings in each scene. Looking at the company’s other games and artwork, there is a certain trademark style to their designs which shows a similarity in its detailed, dream-like landscapes, endearing characters and clever puzzle scenes.
The hero of Machinarium is a cute little robot called Josef, who goes on a quest to save his kidnapped girlfriend in a labyrinth maze of rooms, tunnels and unusual characters to interact with. And of course to go with all that lovely drawing is a melodious, quirky soundtrack in the back ground. The game itself is surprisingly elaborate, and well-crafted despite the fact that there is no written language in the whole game, and no speech communication, with clues being given in thought bubbles or picture images which in themselves need to be worked out. This is one game I would recommend to all, whether you are a gamer, a reader or just an observer of lovely thing; it’s great fun, and there’s numerous small details which will make you laugh or poke your tongue out in concentration.
Everything in Robotville is made of metal cogs, parts and and metal rubbish, turning the functions of many objects on their heads.
Similarly, even though the entire city’s cast is made up of robots (and mechanical animals), each have their own personality, cartoonish little figures which we can relate to. There are bullies, romantics, musicians and robots on weed, a whole society in its own world here and each discovery is something new to marvel at.
I also love the flexibility of this game, it allows you to fully explore the world without the worry of making a mistake or suddenly dying – meaning you can tryto jump off a cliff or run in front of a baddie robot without risk, as you will only get stopped by our cute hero robot in a stern little worried way to avoid real danger. In this world, the robots are just as elaborately developed as the plot and the beautiful backgrounds, and almosts everything has a function to explore.
There are several scenes which number among my favourite (the cute robot sitting on the toilet and the stoned prisoner robot are definitely among the top) and it’s these quirky little gems which keep the game interesting and draws on the imagination.
I would definitely recommend that you try out this game, or at least browse the lovely artwork by this company.
And if not for that, then certainly for the antics of our gutsy little hero who discovers this new world with us : )
All images from Machinarium, by Amanita Designs