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It has been nearly a month since my last post about independent games, but they have not died! In fact, there is a new addition which I just have to share with you.
Some of you might remember games Samorost and Samorost 2, which were created by Amanita Design (based in the Czech Republic, my home!) and showcased their artistic skill in a form of a puzzle game. Machinarium is their first "big" game and hopefully not the last!
I encourage you to watch this trailer in HD, it really is worth it. Machinarium is an adventure game based on the same principles as Samorost. It consists of puzzles in a form of rooms filled with objects you have to interact with in order to proceed further. Pretty simple rules, but don't think it can't get complicated!
You take on the role of Josef, a robot kicked out of a city ruled by machines. Throughout the game you are introduced to a pretty interesting plot (I don't want to spoil it here) and there are some minor stories told by the inhabitants of the city in a graphical way (comic bubbles with drawings). The story does a decent job of keeping your attention and giving you a reason to continue.
Even though the story is interesting, the best thing about Machinarium is how it looks. Well, I am the guy who usually says gameplay is much more important than graphics, but it really looks stunning. All locations are incredibly detailed and full of life. It is hard not to like this hand drawn piece of art. All the drawings are cleverly pieced together to form a unique style, a vision of rusty old city full of atmosphere. I would buy an artbook for Machinarium and that says a lot considering it would be the first one I bought.
No visual voyage is really complete without a soundtrack and Machinarium comes with an excellent one. Tomas Dvorak has created an outstanding score, which takes this game to another level. Played on live instruments, this mix of classical and industrial themes is the perfect companion for the graphical feast of Machinarium. There are some of the best ambient songs I have ever heard. The full version comes with the whole soundtrack neatly packed and it has already nested in my mp3 player. Great work Tomas!
This audiovisual experience is not to be missed! You can play a demo at www.machinarium.com and buy the full version for 20$ (win, mac and linux version!). I hope it sells well enough for a sequel to be born.