There are certain things that instantly turn you into a seven year old child surrounded by Lego, Meccano, bits of Zoid and Airfix kits, or at least there are if you’re me and spent your childhood asking “what happens if…”.
Crazy Machines 3 is a game that evokes that feeling in spades. The concept is simple enough, build a machine out of random bits of stuff to solve a puzzle, easy eh? Yeah, easy in the same way rebuilding the engine of a Lamborghini that has sat in a damp shed in Wales for 30 years is easy. These puzzles lull you into a false sense of security by explaining all you need to know in the tutorials and then whack you in the face with hellish difficulty and the mad thing is you love the game for it! There’s a sense of “Great Egg Race” about it. The madcap machinery, the use of buckets and ladders, the ever so faint whiff of glue. True, there are a few more limitations to the gameplay than in earlier renditions of the series, gone are the steam machines, the spinning and mirroring of parts and the infinitely variable placement. Instead there is a tile based system that restricts where parts can be placed which makes the game somewhat easier to get into at the start. Fewer choices when it comes to solving the puzzles just gives you an “easy in” on the game.
The later puzzles are evil enough without having to deal with the millimeter precision required by the earlier incarnations of the game!
Visually I am reminded of 1950s TV and the pastiche of it used to such great effect in the Fallout games. Here the styling cues are used to just as great effect. The soundtrack is gentle and friendly and doesn’t jarr or detract from the gameplay.
With 80 levels of original gameplay and expansion content added since release, that include themed machines from Christmas and mini games, this is one that is going to keep you going for quite some time. Longer once you engage with the machine creation and Steam Workshop content. I for one loved the intricacies of the machines, working out what needed to spin, be hit by a ball, or zapped to make the thing work. Heath Robinson machinations that suck me in will always be close to my heart. That and I have a soft spot for the horror levels and interactive mini games made up by machines.
All in all this is a game that should you be of a slight engineering bent. The kind of child who has sat knee deep in Lego making spaceships and buildings or been found surrounded by the guts of a clock looking up at bewildered parents. Shall engage you for a long time to come, if for no other reason than so you can work out new and interesting ways to shoot pigs on skis into space!
Crazy Machines 3 (Reviewed on Windows)
Excellent. Look out for this one.
If you were the kind of child who has sat knee deep in Lego making spaceships and buildings or were found surrounded by the guts of a clock looking up at bewildered parents. Crazy Machines 3 will engage you for a long time to come, if for no other reason than so you can work out new and interesting ways to shoot pigs on skis into space!