Getting back to the gameplay; while this is a lot of fun and very involving, encouraging further play, sometimes the logic isn’t obvious and specific timing is required. In a relaxed point and click adventure, it feels like an awkward and on the rare occasion, a frustrating change of pace.
Other reasons that it feels like a real game is that it now has a proper save system (we take that feature for granted), and you can now do simple things such as being able to turn fullscreen mode on and off (again, some flash games don’t) although there’s no true screen resolution option and the “window size” simply scales uselessly from 80-100 per cent.
We've already seen complaints from netbook users on 1,024 x 600 screens that they don’t get the options at the bottom of the screen, and until Adobe rolls out GPU acceleration in flash next year, you’ll need a capable CPU as well. With that said, it’s not demanding like a normal 3D rendered game, but don’t let the simple style fool you. Amanita really needs to work out a minimum specification.
Help.. someone? Anyone? I think I pressed the wrong button!
Despite the quirks in gameplay change that we don’t think are necessarily for the better, the increasing depth of play, and the need to have our little guy get his girl the further in we go, is really why we love Machinarium. However, $20 seems like an awful lot of money to part with for a flash game: those things can be bought for a few quid on our iPhones, and you can get five episodes of Monkey Island for $35.
It does have replay factor though, because like Samorost, Braid and World of Goo, it's the kind of game that you play now, then bury in the bowels on your hard drive and come back to in six to 12 months to love all over again. It’s even available for Macs and those stranger people who run Linux too. Oh, and it’s DRM free from Amanita direct if you want to support the developer directly. For those wanting a bit more convenience though, the game is also available on Steam.
We know you’re saving your pennies for the wallet raping Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (or maybe not? - Ed.), but consider a few quid for the game you can save to play on your laptop or home theatre: the surround sound effect is fantastic (I have tried it on my home projector)!
If the demo of the first ten minutes doesn’t hook you, then don’t worry about it - well done for trying, but if it does, seriously consider parting with the cash - we think it's worth it.