Machinarium: Little Fish in Little Pond

machinarium-ios

So I guess we’re trying to create a more cohesive character here at PrimitiveScrewheads.net. As a result, you, our audience will get more collaborations and group projects. I mean we haven’t quite been too successful at consistency but we are trying. One of our recent endeavors involves the game Machinarium. Derek was the first to post his review and it kind of inspired me to do the same.

I used to spend much more of my time playing video games but it’s been a while since I’ve done so with anything other than the Arkham-Batman series. But the idea was presented that we should play more App-Related games because they don’t take up too much time and some of them can be really good or have some inner-depth to them that may be worth venturing.

I bite.

First off, I’m not too fond of my phone so I tried to play it on my PlayStation console and was mostly successful. The funds in my wallet were charged, the game started installing, and I was ready to use my thumbs for a controller and not my phone. But I found out shortly after that the game was only compatible with PS Vita so there went my first five dollars. No big deal but seemingly unfortunate. So I give up on trying to make it work on my TV after a little over half an hour. After that I go to my phone and spend another few dollars because I had to, for Derek. So I start playing and eventually finish.

The game is cute. It is not without its charm.

The money thing doesn’t bother me — kind of inconvenient but — I don’t really care. As soon as I started playing, though, all I cared to do was tap every empty space on the piece of cracked glass in my hands. At the foundation of this game’s principles there is at least one certain truth: Machinarium is a way to pass the time. The fact that there are arcade games as a fundamental part of this story is proof. The only thing that drove me to finish this game were the loyalties I have to the website. And even then I didn’t care that much when I got to the end.

I like options and exploring and definitely don’t like being told what to do. As far as gameplay there wasn’t much for me to like. The pictures and backgrounds were nice and the robots are often a neat touch, as they are here. But mostly I spent my playing-time worrying about missing something the first time through and dreaded having to play again. But…you don’t miss anything. There’s nothing to miss. Everything is laid out and with enough time and tapping the screen anyone can finish the game.

iphone-vs-ps-vita

There is no hook, no real originality in the story, no love for the process. I don’t harbor ill-feelings for the game nor do I regret my purchase (either of them). But I know now like I’m sure I knew then that I didn’t really have much interest in this game. But that is more a reflection of myself and not of the work involved and end-result of Machinarium.

A game like this and, in general, video games do maintain artistic values. Those are the things I look for. Whether in storytelling, in design — graphic or otherwise — and even in gameplay. And I am very critical of artistic expression.

If you’re looking for a neat little game with some metaphorical meaning and some societal commentary: invest in Machinarium and enjoy it.

1 Comment

  1. J.K. Reply

    The Batman Arkham games are frickin’ sweet! I think you go into details about things a half dozen times but then follow with the statement “I don’t care.” Clearly you do care, whatever it was impacted you enough to write it down so even if you could only give one solo-flying-fuck less, there is still less you could have cared. So do you not care about the money because you’re rich and have a crystal ball-washer in every room or because you’re so used to getting financially screwed by the digital download system that it’s robbed your soul of monetary attachment? Did you not care when you finished the game because it turns out to all be a robot dream and that cliche is overplayed or because completing a video game simply because someone told you to do it is its own reward? There is care, and concern, and hope in your voice, just milk it. Grab that little kitty by the titty and squeeze!

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