Machinarium

LQ: 9.1

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Brain grade: 9.4
Fun score: 8.8

Game Type: ESRB Rating: N/A Platform/Console: , , , , LWK Recommended Age: 7+ Thinking Skills Used: , ,

iTunes / Google Play / Steam

Machinarium is a point-and-click adventure game set in a junkyard-like world inhabited with robots of all kinds. Players will solve puzzles to help the protagonist, a robot named Josef,  rescue his kidnapped girlfriend from a group of hoodlums bent on destroying the city they call home. Puzzles consist of finding objects scattered or hidden in the environment and discovering how they fit either together or with other objects in the level. Each level requires that player to perform a specific task which entails a bit of exploration and a lot of creative problem solving. The game’s beautifully hand-drawn backgrounds and unusual characters make for a fun, engaging adventure that challenges the imagination. Machinarium contains no violence or inappropriate content, and comes recommended to players ages 7 and up.

 


THIS GAME IS GOOD FOR KIDS WHO NEED HELP WITH:

Focus

Getting started and then maintaining attention and effort to tasks.

Machinarium's story unfolds through a series of difficult situations the protagonist finds himself in along his journey. Each puzzle in the game takes place in an enclosed environment where Josef has reached a dead-end. In order to proceed, players must solve situational puzzles. While the tasks players must complete are simple (reach a blocked-off area, collect a certain object in the room, sneak past a guard), accomplishing these goals requires some thought. Because the game provides no clues or instructions on how to solve these puzzles, players must concentrate and analyze their surroundings for clues or useful items. Machinarium's world is a strange, unique setting, and the solutions to it's puzzles are just as unusual. Players will need to maintain focus on the problems at hand and use a bit of imagination to piece together their solutions.

Planning

Developing a systematic approach for setting and achieving goals

After some brief introductory puzzles, the game starts to present more intricate predicaments that requires unconventional problem-solving. The more steps involved in the solution, the more players must think ahead to solve it.

In one early puzzle, for example, Josef must get into a locked room with cart tracks leading into its door. By analyzing the environment, players will notice a lever which temporarily opens the door to let in a cart. Because the door is only open for a brief moment, players must brainstorm strategies on how to get through the door before it shuts. Doing so requires players to collect and combine objects in the environment, crash one of the carts to detach its wheels, and find a way to trigger the lever from afar. By planning out a strategy and sequencing events in the game, players can eventually figure out how to help Josef procede. Each of the many, many puzzles the game offers require a specific order of actions to complete.

Flexibility

Adapting and adjusting to changing conditions and expectations. Trying new things.

Because the puzzles are tied to the storyline, no two are alike. Each situation Josef finds himself in has its own unique set of challenges and solutions. Adventure games like Machinarium do not have strict puzzle mechanics which stay consistent from level to level. Instead, each puzzle presents new problems and requires new ways of thinking in order to solve them. This aspect of the game presses players to be adapt to new situations and meet a wide variety of challenges. Players should remain open-minded when facing new a puzzle, as solutions are never straight-forward.

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