Thursday, 18 November 2010

Indie Puzzle Game Review - The Machine

The Machine is a nice indie puzzle game by The Bumpkin Brothers in which you make... well, a machine.  In each level you have a particular quota of cubes to produce - in different sizes and colours - and in order to do so, you must place different machine parts in the right places.  You have to take into account the size and shape of the particular level you're playing on, as well as which (and how many) machine parts are available to you.

The whole effect is rather similar to the Wii game Rubik's Puzzle Galaxy: RUSH, but it retains its own style and has a definite charm to it.

The graphics are nice and clean, the animation smooth and the interface works very well.  It takes a little while getting used to looking at the blank landscape of a new level and working out what should go where, but before long you'll start to recognise certain patterns in how things work.  As the levels progress more machine parts are made available to you; first conveyor belts and paint sprays, then splitters, rejoiners, even cannons to throw the blocks over obstacles.  It all works really nicely; perhaps a lot of the levels are rather too easy, but every now and again the game throws a real humdinger at you that will take some serious brainpower to solve.

At the time of writing the relatively small number of levels is a slight drawback, but since both the developers are planning on releasing new levels and there's a built-in level designer, which has already resulted in some community-made levels - and no doubt more to come.  I've not really played around much with the level designer, but it seems easy enough to use.

The music track is nice and suits the game well; again more tracks will be added as the game is updated.  As the game stands now I'd rate it 7/10; however I'm giving it an overall rating of 8/10 based on the extra content that's already in development and the addition of more levels added by the community. All in all, The Machine is a fine puzzle game, and at only $7.50 it will keep your little grey cells busy for some time (more so if you become a champion level designer yourself, of course!).

The Machine is available on Impulse:

The MachineThe Machine

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