Posts Tagged ‘adventure’

garden growing

Amanita Design‘s latest is the adventure game Machinarium. Like their earlier games it is also a point-and-click adventure with a lot of puzzles thrown in. Unlike, say, Samorost 2, the action revolves more strongly around the game’s hero, the little robot Josef, who possesses many qualities useful in an action game protagonist: He has telescopic hands and a body that can be adjusted either higher or lower, a lot of storage space and most importantly has a mission.

Josef’s adventure begins at a waste deposit outside an aged robot town. As the game progresses you find out that the city is being terrorised by a group of evil robots, who refer to themselves as the Black Hat Society. They plan to blow up a tower in the city and have taken Josef’s girlfriend as a prisoner and are using her as a cook. The plot may sound like the archetypal videogame tale of princesses with men trying to save them, but there are many details that set Machinarium apart from any other video games you might have played.

the cafe

First off the setting. All the game surroundings are handdrawn and look stunningly beautiful. Screenshots of the game, mind you, do not do the game justice: There are so many small details hidden within every area you stumble into. Instead of just static backgrounds there can be a small waterfall, or some funny character animations.

There is a surprising amount of depth to Machinarium’s robotic characters as you find out throughout the story. Instead of dialogue or text, all communication between Josef and the other robots is relayed with a bubble that plays a simple animation, which can tell the player what is needed to solve a puzzle or appease a certain character and sometimes simply tells us more of them. The animations detailing Josef’s relations to the evil robots especially come to mind.


Another thing I was taken aback by in the game was how emotional and engaging the story was. There is something very cute and moving about Machinarium’s robots. It is the heartrending imagery of the Black Hat Society committing increasingly evil deeds and also the animation and subtle sound effects that help in this. Also every new area, especially towards the end, began to create a feeling of awe.

And awe is the word best describing Machinarium.  Everyone who has played a point-and-click adventure at some time or who likes puzzles will love this game. People not fitting the earlier description should try the demo out, but keep in mind that the three first levels don’t give a good picture of the sweetness toward the mid and end-parts of the game. An instant classic. Go play it already.



Read Full Post »

At the church

Over on Offworld, a great blog on videogames, there was a feature some time ago on Machinarium. I finished the game last week and have to say that it is definitely something different. Anyone who likes their adventure games should definitely try it out. Also in the post on Offworld there are links to most of the projects of Amanita Design, the Czech indie-studio behind Machinarium. The skecthes are also interesting. I will see if I get around to posting a review here of Machinarium, but while you wait for that go check the feature out. You can also try out the first couple of levels here.

Read Full Post »

band of weirdos

Amanita design’s Robot adventure Machinarium has a release date: the 16:th of October. If you don’t know Amanita Design you’re missing out on a world of amusement, cuteness and interesting soundscapes. Also new to the Interwebs is a trailer with a bubble in it. Check it out below. You can get a grasp of what their style looks like from a learning game called Questionaut and pick up something while you’re at it as well.

Read Full Post »

At the alchemist's

That’s right, one of the greatest adventure games of all time came to Good Old Games. If you haven’t played it yet, now is the time to remedy that. April Ryan is one of my all time favorite characters in gaming. With an epic fantasy plot, characters you’ll love, amazing voice acting and a lot of laugh out-loud moments The Longest Journey will make you sad at times. The game managed to move me like no game before it. So go buy and play already. Below a taste of the prologue. Give you a good sense of April Ryan, and pangs of nostalgia if you’ve already played the game.

Read Full Post »

Thought I’d give the heads up on this interview over on a hardy developer’s journal (spotted on the Sunday Papers over on Rock, Paper, Shotgun) as I liked Downfall, a horror adventure game developed by Remigiusz Michalski and am more than interested to see some more equally sick and twisted games in the future from him. This interview dwells more on Downfall and how it came to be, but there is a small mention of a future game: Michalski says it will be even gorier than his first game. Overall an interesting peek into the head of an indie developer.

Read Full Post »

The tales of Guybrush Threepwood, mighty pirate, continue with the second episode. I rather liked the launch of the series of game so I expected a lot from Siege of Spinner Cay. In some ways it fulfilled those expectations but still fell short in many ways.

First off Launch of the Screaming Narwhal ended in very exciting circumstances with Guybrush’s throat threatened by the blade of a mysterious pirate hunter spoken of only in hushed whispers, if at all. Right off the bat the excitement I felt at finding out who Threepwood’s mysterious assailant was, got somewhat diminished by noticing that she was not only a huge fan of our pirate hero, but also poor at swordfighting and most importantly not menacing at all. Like the pirate hunter, the whole game suffers from a sense of let-down.

Another way Siege of Spinner Cay dulled my excitement was that right after the intro sequence to the game, Elaine Marley, Guybrush’s wife, appears unscathed, as if they’d never been separated. I thought Guybrush might have had some saving to do or what not, but Elaine apparently can take care of herself (unlike some videogame heroines I might mention). I’m not undermining videogame women here, but before starting to play I felt finding out what happened to Elaine was one of the exciting things to happen in the episode. By bringing her in almost right away cleaned the table for the story in a way and then had to bring up some suspense again.

Maintaining excitement is another one of my gripes with the game. I felt the plot didn’t proceed very quick and a lot of the time I felt like saying get on with it to the game. This is because of the game’s puzzles. Compared to Launch of the Screaming Narwhal there is a big leap in difficulty. Some of the puzzles required great heaps of luck like one involving a broken mast and an island containing a rubber palm tree. Said puzzle required noticing the palm tree on an earlier visit and then going to the island  later when there really wasn’t any incentive to go there. Needless to say, I kept referring to a walkthrough way too many times. Having spent so much time being stuck at times the story went on in short bursts which messed with the pacing of the game.

When I wasn’t stuck and the story was progressing I did enjoy myself a lot though. The dialogue is witty and especially the character of Le Chuck has a lot of charm, so much so that he stole the show everytime he was in a scene. Guybrush even seemed rather jealous at times to the ex-Ghost Pirate Captain and now regular good (if rather dumb) pirate.  There’s also the matter of a flower that Le Chuck handed to Elaine in episode one to consider. Perhaps Guybrush has something to worry about there?

I hope Lair of the Leviathan, the third episode, turns out to be as exciting as the ending to Siege of Spinner Cay would entail. At least we should see something different to the islands of the first two episodes, unless Leviathan has swallowed one of them. Perhaps it will be the seaside village of Jetsam that we find ourselves wandering around next time around.

And here the short teaser for the game featuring one of my favorite characters: the pyrite parrot. Such witty puns he throws.

Read Full Post »


From the small indie studio Zombie Cow comes the adventure game Time Gentlemen Please. As can be quessed from the name the game revolves around time travel. The plot continues from where it was left in Ben There, Dan That, the first game in the series. The story sums up how amusing Time Gentlemen Please is: Ben and Dan are just a normal pair of dudes until their tv-antenna stops responding and they decide to make a new one with a coathanger which they hold out of the window. For some reason said coathanger tranports them onto an alien ship, from which they then escape, only to find out that the coat-hanger was all a part of a plan by a Ben and a Dan from the future, who had become rulers of the world through a plan that Ben and Dan from the past are an important part of. This happened in the earlier game Ben There, Dan That(available free). In the beginning of Time Gentlemen Please Ben and Dan decide to stop the trouble from where it started by stopping coathangers from ever being invented. Later they find themselves in the World War II, except now the Nazis have an army of talking cloned dinosaurs at their disposal(the swastika replaced by a coathanger for some reason). The plot is bat-crazy, but hilarious. Even if I haven’t played Ben There, Dan That yet I was laughing very soon into the game.

At points amusing, sometimes having you grinning dirtily and even laugh-out-loud funny occasionally, this game is loads of fun. I haven’t played through it in its entirety but can recommend it already. Usually puzzles are a big problem for me, but in this game I haven’t been stuck longer that five minutes at a time. The solutions for the puzzles have made sense so far and one involving two rats, the other dead and the other alive (but extremely horny) even had me a bit shocked (also grinning dirtily). The story is funny and the puzzles don’t get in the way, so what’s not to like?

At professors flat

This being a small indie title low production values might annoy some. The game is very stylistic though as you can observe from the screenshots. Perhaps my biggest qualm is the lack of voice-acting, but considering the amount of text, it would have been impossible for Zombie Cow to manage. The game is very well written so reading isn’t that annoying anyway. The dialogue between Ben and Dan works great, as well as the characters I’ve met so far. I hope the game beats Hitler as a character deeper into the game. Don’t let it being indie stop you. With the very small price and heaps of praise this game has been getting it seems to me a must-buy for any adventure fan. I’ll post a longer write up once I’ve finished the game.

Read Full Post »