This little ROBOT charmer is cute. The way you drag his head up and down so that his body elongates and then shortens again until his little spindly little arms poke straight out from his shiny tin can body, immediately marks Machinarium as a labour of love.
Every pixel is painstakingly crafted to create an atmosphere similar to Wall'E and like that animated masterpiece, the lead character steals the show. Every nuance from the way he hitches up his belly to the flip-top action of his head when he stores an item is beguiling. Eventually though you have to point 'n' click and that's where the complications start Machinarium is a robot city full of contraptions and mechanical puzzles. The hint system ushers you through the first screen without any trouble.
After that your metallic meanderings get downright frustrating due to one of the genre's oldest problems - badly labelled objects and interaction points. The imperceptible wobble of the ladder rungs at the city gate takes a while to notice and by that time you're wondering whether the charm of the visuals and regular seeking of the hint icon is enough to keep you interested.
Perseverance does reveal more beautiful locations tempered with puzzling frustrations that you know could be avoided. Old hands at this genre interface wrestling will dismiss these frustrations as normal. However, a modern, mollycoddled audience may not be so forgiving.
Machinarium deserves praise for artistic flair, but when it comes to gameplay approach with caution.
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP