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    dkirschner's Opus Magnum (PC)

    [July 11, 2020 10:52:53 AM]
    Ever since SpaceChem, which I loved, I have been afraid to try more Zachtronics games. They are so clever, yet require such mastery. I dabbled with the idea of trying Infinifactory and Shenzen I/O, but eventually decided they looked too hard. Then Opus Magnum came out. I immediately liked the interface, and it reminded me more of SpaceChem than the others. I had the experience I thought I would with it and am happy to have given it some time.

    In Opus Magnum, you play an alchemist. Finishing up your degree, you learn how to use a "transmutation engine," which lets you assemble and disassemble elements to create new alchemical products. Upon graduation, you are employed at one of the world's royal houses. You begin by making mundane items--skin creams, hangover cures (it's just water, ha), and glue--for the nobility. Then some intra-house conflict begins and the solid story moves forward. You begin producing things for the war effort, and, long story short, you eventually find yourself in hiding and plotting a coup. Somehow, this text-based story (with character portraits) was riveting, and it is neat how the alchemical puzzles fit right in.

    Gameplay (puzzle) wise, you are given reagents, various mechanisms to move reagents around the machine, and an ultimate product to synthesize. Mechanisms may be grabbers that pick up/drop things, rotate, and extend; grabbers with multiple arms; bonding or de-bonding reactions, and tracks that grabbers can move along. Your goal is to figure out how to make the end product from the reagents using the mechanisms at your disposal.

    You have to program the mechanisms to move. They can turn, rotate what they are holding, extend or retract, and move along tracks. Arranging the instructions for each mechanism is just like arranging music in editing software, if you've ever done that. Each mechanism is an "instrument" and you harmonize their instructions.

    The puzzles get difficult real fast. I made it halfway through Chapter 2 before quitting (out of 5 chapters and many bonus puzzles). I love learning the basics of Zachtronics games, and seeing how clever the puzzles are, but I never care for maximizing efficiency that is the key to completing them. I did read the rest of the story online though and watched solutions for the rest of the puzzles. These YouTube videos of players making beautiful solutions are mesmerizing to watch. Confirmed, there is no way I would have gotten much farther!

    So, as far as Zachtronics puzzle games, I think I'm done for a while, but I do want to check out Eliza, the visual novel they did about AI and therapy.
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    dkirschner's Opus Magnum (PC)

    Current Status: Stopped playing - Got frustrated

    GameLog started on: Saturday 27 June, 2020

    GameLog closed on: Saturday 11 July, 2020

    dkirschner's opinion and rating for this game

    Familiar-ish Zachtronics game. Looking forward to my brain being tested! ---------- Sufficiently tested and shorted out. Clever game!

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

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