Machinarium

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Machinarium

Developer(s) Amanita Design
Publisher(s) Amanita Design, Daedalic Entertainment[1]
Distributor(s) Amanita Design,[2] Valve Corporation,[3] GameFly,[4] GamersGate,[5] GameStop[6]
Designer(s) Jakub Dvorský
Composer(s) Tomáš Dvořák
Engine Adobe Flash
Platform(s) Windows
Windows Phone
OS X
Linux
PlayStation 3 (PSN)
PlayStation Vita
iPad 2
BlackBerry PlayBook
Android
Release date(s)
Genre(s) Graphic Adventure
Mode(s) Single-player
Distribution Download, CD-ROM, DVD

Machinarium is a puzzle point-and-click adventure game developed by Amanita Design. It was released on 16 October 2009 for Microsoft Windows, OS X, Linux,[10] on 8 September 2011 for iPad 2 on the App Store,[11][12] on 21 November 2011 for BlackBerry PlayBook,[13][14] on 10 May 2012 for Android,[15][16] on 6 September 2012 on PlayStation 3's PSN in Europe,[7] on 9 October 2012 in North America and on 18 October 2012 in Asia,[17] and was also released for PlayStation Vita on 26 March 2013 in North America, on 1 May 2013 in Europe and on 7 May 2013 in Asia. Demos for Windows, Mac and Linux were made available on 30 September 2009. A future release for the Nintendo Wii's WiiWare service was cancelled as of November 2011 due to WiiWare's 40MB limit.[18]

Microsoft Windows, OS X, Linux and Android versions of this game were released along with Humble Indie Bundle for Android 4 on 8 November 2012, to customers who paid over the average price.[19] The Windows Phone version was released on 22 March 2014.[20]

Gameplay[edit]

A screenshot from Machinarium, demonstrating the hand-drawn backgrounds and the communication of objectives through pictorial thought bubbles.

The goal of Machinarium is to solve a series of puzzles and brain teasers. The puzzles are linked together by an overworld consisting of a traditional "point and click" adventure story. The overworld's most radical departure is that only objects within the player character's reach can be clicked on.

Machinarium is notable in that it contains no dialogue, spoken or written, and apart from a few tutorial prompts on the first screen, is devoid of understandable language entirely. The game instead uses a system of animated thought bubbles. Easter egg back story scenes in the same format can only be revealed by idling in certain areas.

The game employs a two-tier hint system. Once per level, the player can receive a hint, which becomes increasingly vague as the game progresses. Machinarium also comes with a walkthrough, that can be accessed at any time by playing a minigame. As with dialogue, the walkthrough is not in written or spoken form, but instead a series of sketches describing the puzzle at hand and its solution. However, the walkthrough only reveals what must be done in that area, and not how that puzzle relates to the game chronology.

Plot summary[edit]

Machinarium opens with an overview of the eponymous city as a disposal flier launches from its highest tower. The player character, a robot called Josef (named after Josef Čapek, the creator of the word "robot" and brother to Karel Čapek)[21] is dumped on a scrapheap, where he re-assembles himself and sets off for the city. Entering the city, he discovers a plot by the Black Cap Brotherhood, his three thuggish antagonists, to blow up the city's tower. Unfortunately, he is himself discovered and locked up. After breaking out of prison, Josef aids the citizens of the city, as he discovers the mischief which the Brotherhood has been working. Shortly after flooding the bad guys' room (leaving them helpless), Josef locates his girlfriend Berta,[22] who has been locked up and forced to cook. Unable to free her, he works his way to the top of the tower. He foils the Black Cap Brotherhood's plot by disarming the bomb taped to the tower. After preventing destruction, Josef climbs to the top of the tower where he finds the room where the story began. A huge-headed robot, the head of the city, sits in the middle of the room, incapacitated and gibbering. Josef recalls how the three of them lived happily until the Black Cap Brotherhood zapped this friend, leaving him disabled, and kidnapped Berta. When a garbage sucker arrived to dispose of the Black cap thug, it gets Josef instead. After this revelation, Josef restores his friend to sanity, dumps the Brotherhood down a drain, and frees Berta. The two of them climb back to the tower, wave goodbye to their friend, and fly off into the sunset. In the final closing scene, their vehicle suffers a collision and falls, and they are seen being carried away separately by two fliers.

Development[edit]

Machinarium was developed over a period of three years, by seven Czech developers, who financed the project with their own savings. The marketing budget for the game was a scant $1,000.[23]

The game was in development for the Xbox 360 platform for a period of six months; however, Microsoft, whom the developers had approached to publish the title on Xbox Live Arcade, ultimately decided not to do so. Microsoft does not allow games to be released on Xbox Live Arcade without a publisher attached to the title,[citation needed] and the developers were reluctant to approach a third party to publish the game, as this would mean that profits for the developers from sales over Xbox Live Arcade would be greatly reduced. Subsequently, Amanita Design approached Sony, whose policies do allow for self-publishing on the PlayStation Network platform, and have submitted the game to them for approval, in order to release the game on the PlayStation Network.[24]

Reception[edit]

 Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 84.3[25]
Metacritic 85[26]
Review scores
Publication Score
Edge 8/10[28]
Eurogamer 8/10[27]
GameSpot 8.0/10[29]
IGN (PS3) 8.0/10[30]
(PC) 8.1/10[31]
PC Gamer UK 73%
PC Gamer US 79%
Awards
Publication Award
IGF Excellence in Visual Art (2009)
Kotaku PC Game of the Year 2009 Runner-up
Aggie Best Independent Adventure, Best Adventure of 2009 Runner-Up, Best Graphic Design, Best Music, Best Animation
IndieCade Aesthetics (2008)

Critical response[edit]

Machinarium was well received on release; on the critic aggregate sites Game Rankings and Metacritic, the game has an average score of 84.78% and 85%, respectively.[25][26]

In 2008, it won the Aesthetics award at IndieCade (the International Festival of Independent Games).[32] It won the Excellence in Visual Art award at the 12th Annual Independent Games Festival[33] and the Best Soundtrack award from PC Gamer in 2009.[34] It was nominated for an Outstanding Achievement in Art Direction award by the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences[35] and a Milthon award in the 'Best Indie Game' category at the Paris Game Festival.[36]

Gaming site Kotaku named it a runner-up for "PC Game of the Year 2009" alongside Torchlight, losing to winner Empire: Total War.[37] Gamasutra, Gamerview and the Turkish site of Tom's Hardware all selected Machinarium as the 'Best Indie Game' of 2009.[38][39][40] AceGamez named Machinarium the 'Best Traditional Adventure Game' of 2009.[41]

Pirate amnesty[edit]

On 5 August 2010, Amanita Design announced that according to their estimates, only 5-15% of Machinarium players had actually paid for the game.[42] In an effort to increase sales, the game's price was lowered from the regular $20 to $5 until 12 August so that pirates could redeem themselves, though the offer was also available to those who hadn't illegally downloaded the game.[43] The campaign was later extended until 16 August,[44] resulting in 20,000 game copies sold over the whole amnesty period.[45]


Editions[edit]

Jakub Dvorský, designer of Machinarium.
Tomáš Dvořák (Floex), composer of the soundtrack.

The Machinarium was released in several physical and digital formats.

  • Physical:
  1. Machinarium Collector's Edition (United Kingdom) - includes DVD with game, soundtrack in digital format, CD with soundtrack, printed walkthrough, A3 poster and concept art. Systems: Windows, Mac (no Linux).[46]
  2. Mашинариум (Machinarium) (Russian Edition) - includes DVD with game and CD with soundtrack. Systems: Windows, Mac (no Linux).[47]
  3. Machinarium (German Edition) - includes game disc, CD with soundtrack, Samorost 2 and poster. Systems: Windows, Mac (no Linux).[48]
  4. Machinarium (French Edition) - includes game disc, CD with soundtrack, Samorost 2 and poster. Systems: Windows, Mac (no Linux).[49]
  5. Machinarium (Italian Edition) - includes game disc. Systems: Windows (no Mac, no Linux).[50]
  6. Machinarium (Czech Edition) - includes game disc and MP3 soundtrack. Systems: Windows, Mac (no Linux).[51]
  7. Machinarium (Slovak Edition) - includes game disc and MP3 soundtrack. Systems: Windows, Mac (no Linux).[52]
  8. Machinarium (Polish Edition) - includes DVD with game, soundtrack and an EP album in FLAC/MP3 digital formats and poster. Systems: Windows, Mac. Packed in an "exclusive", metal box.[53]
  • Digital:
  1. Amanita Design Store - includes Win, Mac and Linux versions of the game and soundtrack in FLAC/MP3 format. Was released on 16 October 2009.[54]
  2. Steam - includes Win and Mac versions of the game. Was released on 16 October 2009.[55]
  3. GOG.com - "Machinarium: Collector's Edition," recently added to the Good Old Games library, including the Win version, soundtrack, and various artwork and supplemental materials.[56]
  4. Desura - includes Win, Mac and Linux versions of the game and soundtrack. Was released on 19 December 2010 in conjunction with Humble Indie Bundle 2.[57][58]
  5. Impulse - includes Win version of the game.[59]
  6. Direct2Drive - includes Win version of the game.[60]
  7. GamersGate - includes Win and Mac versions of the game.[61]
  8. Mac App Store - includes Mac version of the game. Was released on 18 March 2011.[62]
  9. Playism (Japan) - includes Win and Mac versions of the game. Was released on 11 May 2011.[63]
  • Consoles:
  1. PlayStation 3 (PSN) (as Ultimate Version) - released on 6 September 2012 in Europe,[7] 9 October 2012 in North America and 18 October 2012 in Asia.[17]
  • Cancelled:
  1. Xbox 360 (XBLA) - the game was in development for the Xbox 360 platform for a period of six months; however, Microsoft, whom the developers had approached to publish the title on Xbox Live Arcade, ultimately decided not to do so.[24]
  2. Wii (WiiWare) - the game was being scheduled for a release for the Nintendo Wii's WiiWare service, but as of November 2011, it has been cancelled due to WiiWare's 40MB limit.[18]
  • Handheld game consoles:
  1. PlayStation Vita - released on 26 March 2013 in North America, on 1 May 2013 in Europe and on 7 May 2013 in Asia.
  • Tablets:
  1. iPad 2 - released on 8 September 2011.
  2. BlackBerry PlayBook - released on 21 November 2011.
  3. Android - released on 10 May 2012.
  4. iPad 1 - released v2.0 on 16 October 2013
  • Natively runs on another platforms:
  1. HP TouchPad - natively runs Flash-based PC version.[64]

Soundtrack[edit]

Other media[edit]

Josef has been featured as a playable character in a platform game Super Meat Boy,[65] and makes a cameo in the puzzle game ilomilo.

Josef was also included in the Video Game Character alphabet, created by Fabian Gonzalez.[66]

Machinarium and its soundtrack inspired the poem The Machingeon, written by Andrew Galan and published in Establishment Magazine Issue 1.[67]

Josef is included in the "Good Friends" Character DLC pack for Runner2.

Sequel[edit]

It was mentioned that a sequel to Machinarium "is possible" but something the team has yet to fully consider. "We don't look far through the future", said Jakub Dvorský.[68]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ News: Daedalic Entertainment Signs Machinarium
  2. ^ Amanita Design Store - Fastspring
  3. ^ Steam - Machinarium
  4. ^ Direct2Drive - Machinarium
  5. ^ GamersGate - Machinarium
  6. ^ Impulse Driven - Machinarium
  7. ^ a b c "Machinarium". Retrieved 2012-09-08. 
  8. ^ Article about iPad version of Machinarium on Pocket Gamer website
  9. ^ "Machinarium Finally, Officially Cancelled - WiiWare News @ Nintendo Life". Wiiware.nintendolife.com. Retrieved 2013-08-17. 
  10. ^ "Machinarium PC, Linux, Mac game". Mod DB. Retrieved 2010-08-26. 
  11. ^ "Machinarium For iPad2 Released!". Retrieved 2011-09-10. 
  12. ^ "Machinarium". Retrieved 2011-09-10. 
  13. ^ "Machinarium For BlackBerry PlayBook Now Available!". Retrieved 2011-11-23. 
  14. ^ "Machinarium". Retrieved 2011-11-23. 
  15. ^ "Machinarium Now Available for Android Tablets". Retrieved 2012-05-22. 
  16. ^ "Machinarium". Retrieved 2012-05-22. 
  17. ^ a b "Amanita Desig Blog". Retrieved 2012-10-05. 
  18. ^ a b James Newton (2010-09-09). "XGen Studios Readying Machinarium and Super Motherload for WiiWare". Nintendo Life. Retrieved 2010-09-10. 
  19. ^ "Humble Bundle for Android 4 launches with six games". SlashGear. 2012-11-08. Retrieved 2014-04-09. 
  20. ^ "Award Winning Game, Machinarium, Comes to Windows Phone". Windows Gamers. 2014-03-24. Retrieved 2014-04-09. 
  21. ^ "Game Reviews - Machinarium (PC)". Digital Spy. Retrieved 2010-02-15. 
  22. ^ https://twitter.com/Amanita_Design/status/392355527746785280/photo/1
  23. ^ "The 12th Annual Independent Games Festival - Finalists and Winners". ThinkServices. Retrieved 2009-10-16. 
  24. ^ a b "Machinarium dev moves on to Sony after Microsoft passes on publishing its critical darling". 
  25. ^ a b "Machinarium for PC". Game Rankings. Retrieved 2010-01-02. 
  26. ^ a b "Machinarium (pc) reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2010-01-03. 
  27. ^ Whitehead, Dan (17 October 2009). "Machinarium (PC) Review". EuroGamer. p. 2. Retrieved 2009-10-16. 
  28. ^ "Machinarium (PC) Review". Edge Online. 15 October 2009. p. 1. Retrieved 2009-10-16. 
  29. ^ "Machinarium Review". Gamespot.com. 9 November 2009. p. 1. Retrieved 2010-01-03. 
  30. ^ "Machinarium Review". IGN.com. 18 September 2012. Retrieved 18 September 2012. 
  31. ^ "Machinarium Review". IGN.com. 20 October 2009. Retrieved 18 September 2012. 
  32. ^ "Machinarium Review". gamersdailynews.com. October 2009. Retrieved 2013-03-011.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  33. ^ "Wake up to video game sleeper hits". MSNBC. Retrieved 2009-10-18. 
  34. ^ "Machinarium Has The Best Soundtrack Of The Year (2009) According To PC Gamer". Amanita Design Blog. Retrieved 2010-08-25. 
  35. ^ "Awards Category Details: Outstanding Achievement in Art Direction". Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences. Retrieved 22 October 2010. 
  36. ^ "Milthon European Games Awards - 2010 Nominees". Retrieved 2010-08-25. 
  37. ^ "The Best PC Games Of 2009". Kotaku (Gawker Media). 21 January 2010. Retrieved 22 October 2010. 
  38. ^ "Gamasutra's Best Of 2009: Top 10 Indie Games". Gamasutra. Retrieved 2010-08-26. 
  39. ^ "Os Melhores do Ano 2009" (in Portuguese). Gamerview. Archived from the original on 2009-12-22. Retrieved 2010-08-26. 
  40. ^ "Yılın Bağımsız Yapımı" (in Turkish). tom's oyun. Retrieved 2010-08-26. 
  41. ^ "The Acegamez Awards 2009 – Winners". AceGamez. Archived from the original on 2010-01-17. Retrieved 2012-11-08. 
  42. ^ "Machinarium Pirate Amnesty". Amanita Design Blog. Retrieved 2010-08-25. 
  43. ^ "Machinarium suffers 90% piracy rate, offers $5 amnesty sale". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2010-08-25. 
  44. ^ "Machinarium Pirate Amnesty Extended, Stats Revealed". Amanita Design Blog. Retrieved 2010-08-25. 
  45. ^ "Pirate Amnesty Is Over". Amanita Design Blog. Retrieved 2010-08-25. 
  46. ^ Machinarium Collector's Edition page at Lace Mamba Global website
  47. ^ Machinarium (Russian Edition) page at Snowball Studios website
  48. ^ Machinarium (German Edition) website
  49. ^ Machinarium (French Edition) website
  50. ^ Machinarium (Italian Edition) page at Multiplayer.it website
  51. ^ Machinarium (Czech Edition) announcement at Amanita Design blog
  52. ^ Machinarium (Slovak Edition) announcement at Amanita Design blog
  53. ^ Polish publisher's website.
  54. ^ Machinarium at Amanita Design store
  55. ^ Machinarium on Steam
  56. ^ "Machinarium: Collector's Edition for download $9.99". GOG.com. Retrieved 2013-08-17. 
  57. ^ Machinarium on Desura
  58. ^ Humble Indie Bundle 2 reaches $1 million mark; games can be redeemed on Steam and Desura
  59. ^ Machinarium on Impulse
  60. ^ Machinarium on Direct2Drive
  61. ^ Machinarium on GamersGate
  62. ^ Machinarium on Mac App Store
  63. ^ Machinarium on Playism
  64. ^ "Machinarium on webOS". 
  65. ^ "Josef from Machinarium is in Super Meat Boy PC". destructoid.com. Retrieved 2010-11-13. 
  66. ^ "Video Game Character Alphabet Is a Mix of Classic and Fangasmic Characters". geekosystem.com. Retrieved 2011-05-15. 
  67. ^ "Establishment Magazine Issue 1". The Machingeon. The United Kingdom: Knives Forks and Spoons Press. August 2012. p. 50. 
  68. ^ Matthew Reynolds (2011-03-28). "Exclusive: 'Machinarium' coming to PS3, Wii in 2011". Digital Spy. Retrieved 2011-05-05. 

External links[edit]