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    dkirschner's Machinarium (PC)

    [April 1, 2011 02:23:01 PM]
    I played a good deal of Machinarium yesterday. I thought it would be a clever, visually appealing little steampunk point-and-click adventure puzzle game. It is,'s really hard. I'm not a huge fan of puzzle games, but this one looked like it had character, so I picked it up a while ago for cheap from Steam. But the puzzles make me frustrated. A lot of them don't make any sense. I'm going to chronicle my play tonight just to write down how unbelievable some of the 'puzzles' are, and this idea came to me after this first one tonight...

    I loaded up the game from where I left off yesterday, in just some area of this city. There's a 3-piece band, and each member can't play his instrument due to some problem. The sax player's buttons were missing, and I had to beat another character in a game of connect 5 to get the 5 missing buttons after he gets mad that he lost and throws them all over the floor. In Machinarium, you have an inventory with items you pick up. I had some lever thing and some piece of something, looked like a hose maybe. In the bar where the connect 5 guy is is a bartender and an oil can. The oil can looks like a good drum for the drummer. The bad guys stole his drum, so he needs a new one. Talk to the bartender and he says he wants money for the drum. You don't have any money, so you figure you need to find some coins somewhere. I walked outside, noticed I could interact with this vat of green goop with flies flying around it. My robot just shook his head no, so I tried to use my items for no apparent reason other than to try. Turns out the hose thing is like tape or fly paper, and I caught a bunch of flies. What to do with some flies? I ran around the whole level and nothing looks like it needs flies. I tabbed over to my walkthrough, which I've been heavily relying on, and the walkthrough says to go into the bar and use the fly-tape on the bartender! What the hell sense does that make? He asked for coins, so why would I use some fly-tape on him? Oh well, thanks walkthrough! Use the fly-tape to distract him with flies and steal the oil bin and give to the drummer. Let's see what I get stuck on next. It'll probably take about 3 minutes before I have to look at a walkthrough again...

    Ok, I got a plant that the tenant in the building above the musicians tossed at them for making noise. What to do with a plant? Let's see...Walked two screens over, where there are two old men and a clock tower. One old man gives you a hint to set the time to something. I figured to put the handle/lever thing in this hole I saw, and I can change the time. There are two sets of instructions posted for two different times. I changed the clock to the time he wanted, and he went inside, revealing another set of instructions. I set the clock to that time and a third man came down some stairs that I couldn't previously go up because they lead to a room he was occupying. I go up and pick up a bullhorn. This could be used for scaring a cat in the screen to the left. I talked to the old man in the wheelchair, and he just wanted some oil. He gave me an oilcan, something he never did before, so I must have triggered it somehow. I walked back a ways to fill it up at an oil drip I remembered seeing. I gave him his oil, and he's happy, but now wants me to fill it up with...some gold liquid that looks like it's dripping from a flower. Haven't seen anything like this yet. On to the next screen, where there is an electrician on a ladder, some wires, a plug, a cat, an owl, and a closed door. I can climb up the ladder. If I reach for the cat, it runs and hides. I can't reach the owl. If I pull the plug out, the electrician spins (I climbed the ladder and him so I'm on his head) and I fall down. He turns back around to work on the wires. Ah, I just found a circuit board or something. Puzzle time! It's one of those 3x3 grids with one block missing, so you move all the blocks to arrange them in some pattern or make a picture. I fiddled with it and one of the blocks fell out. The owl came and took it. I've now made a picture, though I don't know what it is of. But all the lines fit, and there are some arrows, but no idea what they mean. Now the bird is following above me on the power line. Hope it doesn't poop on my head. Ah, I see. It's mimicking me, standing up and squatting, moving left and right. Maybe if I fall off the ladder, it will fall down too...

    Nope. I can't figure out what makes sense to do here. I can't use any of my items on anything on the screen. If I use the screen hint, it looks like I'm supposed to scare the cat. I was guessing the bullhorn would work, but nope. Looked at my walkthrough. I'm supposed to pull the electrician's plug and when he's turned around plugging it in, yank on the wire behind him. I didn't realize I could yank the wire from the ground. So I do that and he moves his ladder right behind the cat. I climb up and pull the cat's tail, causing it to run off. A minute later, it comes back. Hmm. I thought maybe I'd use the cat to get this critter (mouse maybe?) out of the third musician's oboe thing, but the cat doesn't appear anywhere else, only leaves the screen for a minute. Omg, no freaking idea! Have to walkthrough...So apparently you have to bob your head up and down, which will make the owl bob its head up and down, until the wire it's on breaks. It'll fall and drop that block for the puzzle. I guess I just didn't fiddle enough. How am I supposed to guess the wire will break? It's a freaking bird, how heavy can it be to break an electrical wire?

    So I'm looking for any kind of pattern in this picture. I can make paths, but nothing is doing anything. There are some curved arrows both on 3 pieces and 3 spaces, but they don't match and I can't discern a pattern for them. Been trying for 15 minutes or so. Walkthrough, to my aid! Okay, so I've got to make a line with the chalk on the tiles. Never would have figured that one out, but alright. Okay, so I pulled the cat's tail and apparently me doing the puzzle electrified the railing, and now the cat is being fried. But again, no idea what to do. If I touch the cat, I get shocked too, so maybe I need some rubber gloves or something, but haven't found any...Right, so I pulled that block out to cut the power and the cat fell off so I can pick it up. Now I'll take it to that musician and see what happens. Good, the cat got the mouse and now the band can play. The tenant tossed a radio at the band and I fused it with the loudspeaker. No idea what to do with the radio, but I found a manhole I can go down in front of the old man in the wheelchair.

    Down the manhole there is a wrench-shaped robot sitting on a pipe, a desk with some schematics of some sort, a giant control panel with a bunch of pipes and a wrench on a washer. The bad guys took the wrench-man's jukebox. Good, I've got a radio, and now he lets me use him to open this big pipe, which floods the room where the bad guys are playing cards. Now, something to do with the control panel...What is it for? There's a fishhook wire or something dangling in the pipes, so I took that. It looks like there is a main opening for the water to flow in the pipes, then 6 possible exits. Let's play with wrenches. I have two because the wrench-man spat one out after I used him to open the big pipe. Okay, so no luck yet. Looking at the schematic looks like I need to get water flowing through the third pipe from the left since it goes above ground. There's no indication though of any water flowing. If I play like the wrenches prevent water flow, I block it such that it must flow out of #3. Nothing. If I play like the wrenches allow water flow, I place them so they open a path from the source to #3. Nothing. Sigh. Walkthrough time. It looks like water is flowing through them all though...Ok I fiddled some more, no walkthrough, and the wrenches close off the flow because I just started putting them on washers one by one and I cut off #5, and I see that I have a wrench on the only place its water comes from. Let's try to cut off #3 again...I feel like I need more than two wrenches. I'm trying to find two entryways for the water through #3, but there are more than 2. Okay, walkthrough says I have to flip the pages on the book. This is why I don't play point-and-click games. You have to move your mouse over every little nook and cranny. That one page of the book seemed to make sense. So I flip like 10 pages and voila, there's a the back of the book. Makes perfect sense to look for a wrench in a book that you have to mouse over the edge of the page to even find. Okay, almost had it, but figured it out with walkthrough. Feel stupid for being so close.

    Right on, so climb the ladder, jump into the now-empty well, climb through a pipe, find myself on some rocket-elevator, go down, peer through window, see girlfriend (aww) who has been captured by the bad guys and made to cook. Use girlfriend to make popcorn on the stove. Popcorn comes out a pipe above me and knocks down a crowbar. Found another puzzle on a platform. Some kind of star symbol with two red pieces and two gray pieces, and I need the two colors to switch places I think to go back up. Can also pull a starter that doesn't work yet, and unscrew a red cap and...bark into it. Figured out puzzle, platform still doesn't move. Gave crowbar to girlfriend through window. The hint looks like I need to siphon this oil out the window, I guess to power the elevator. step up on a pot, use the crowbar to open the heater, take out the coils. What to do with the coils...Cool, put the pot back on the stove, cook the coils, which turns it into a hose, pass it out to me, siphon oil into elevator. Start the engine, ride up, meet a ventilator fan character who wants you to solve a series of matching and this-follows-that-and-then-what puzzles, hopefully to crawl inside him and off the elevator. Oh, tricky! I 'beat' the puzzles. Each correct answer slows the fan down and each incorrect speeds it up. You'd think you want to slow it down, but it won't slow down all the way. I didn't know what to do next, so I clicked my hint button and it told me to make the fan angry. So I'll answer incorrectly and maybe get blown off the elevator. Haha, he gets so angry with me for answering wrong that his fan mouth blows off and I can crawl in. Wouldn't have guessed, but funny watching him get angry. Now I'm in a greenhouse or something.

    I can pick up two file drawers, a bonsai tree branch holder thing, there's a projector that I can aim up and down, there's a lamp I can move to one of four plants, there's some light puzzle, another lever with more lights I can activate somehow, a flower I can shrug my shoulders at, and some vent or something that I shake my head at. This would probably be a place to use my plant...Maybe in the empty pot. Yep, cool. Now, the light puzzle is the power for the lamp. I need to figure out what exactly to do here and grow my plant. Ok, there are 6 settings with preset blocks. You've got to fill the whole 5x5 grid with lights in each of the preset patterns. When you click a tile, it places a green starter with an arrow in each space next to it. Clicking on an arrow commits to that direction, and it'll fill yellow tiles to the edge. Another arrow appears at the end of the line, and you click the direction. But each preset pattern gives you different obstacles to go around. Once you run into a corner, it's over, so you've got to make the final move fill the last space on the board. Easy enough so far, 2 down...After 3, the thing waters my plant and it grows into a sunflower, and I can shake it for seeds. Got 4, 5 is hard...Did the last through with the walkthrough, yada yada...

    Oh right, so I've been on Facebook and Gmail the last 30 minutes and didn't even realize it, know why? The music in this game is excellent. Lots of soft piano tracks, very pretty and peaceful. Need to check out the soundtrack.

    Used the walkthrough to hurry up and finish that room. Figured out the next place by myself. Put the sunflower seeds in the grinder, the oilpot below it, grind up the seeds, talk to the guard, who wants a battery for his doll. Probably going to go give the oilpot to the old man, who will probably give me a coin to put in the machine to get a battery. Let's see...Oh of course it's not that easy. The old man gave me some piece of paper and a bandage. Haha, I both like and hate this game at the same time. I really don't want to sit and figure this stuff out. Walkthrouuuuugh. Ok, so the ticket (see, it was paper!) gets me into an arcade. Play Space Invaders, win a coin. Bravo. Trade coin for battery, bring guard battery for his doll...Oh what the hell. He wants a D and I got a double or triple A.

    I can't take it anymore! How do you put two double-As together with a bandage and turn it into a D battery?! Why does that work in a doll?! So close to being finished...packing it up for the night, will finish later. What a silly gamelog entry.
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    dkirschner's Machinarium (PC)

    Current Status: Stopped playing - Got frustrated

    GameLog started on: Thursday 31 March, 2011

    GameLog closed on: Sunday 3 April, 2011

    dkirschner's opinion and rating for this game

    Watched P play some, been excited to try this artsy puzzle adventure game for some time. -------------------------------- Really didn't like playing this. I'm giving it a 3 just because of the cute art and great soundtrack. Otherwise it'd be 2 because it was mostly painful for me to play. It has some cool puzzles, but mostly I was frustrated at difficulty and what I saw as solutions not making sense.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstar

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