Machinarium App Poster Image


Challenging robot adventure surprises with touching story.

What parents need to know

Educational value

Kids can learn about experimenting to solve problems when playing the adventure/puzzle app Machinarium. Minimal instructions are offered, so kids need to figure out how to advance in the game on their own. Puzzles are challenging, but they all follow a very logical path. When a solution fails, kids must approach the problem from a different angle. Brainteasers stretch kids' imaginations as they work their way through a touching adventure.

Ease of play

The game offers minimal instructions, relying on users to figure out how to advance in the game themselves. One hint is offered per level, though -- and you can get a walkthrough by conquering a mini-game if you're really stuck.


The game's villains threaten to blow up the tower where the hero's girlfriend is being kept. The guards in the game have bully-like characteristics, shoving the hero to the ground.

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Drinking, drugs, & smoking

The hero makes a cigarette from dried algae and toilet paper; a robot prisoner smokes it.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Machinarium is an adventure/puzzle game that requires the user to solve brain teasers in order to advance. The game uses no dialogue and minimal instruction, but it's easy to figure out the objective, thanks to very clever animation and sound effects. The game is a major resource drain, though, and will only work on the iPad 2. While there is mild violence and the threat of more, the game is a love story at its core. The puzzles can be quite difficult at times, though, which might frustrate some players.

What's it about?

Using only clever animation and in-game sound effects, kids will have to determine exactly what the problem is and how best to solve it as they work their way through the adventure/puzzle adventure Machinarium. For players who get particularly stuck, the game offers one hint per level. In one early level, for instance, players will have to get past a guard by using scattered trash to create a fake uniform.

Is it any good?


MACHINARIUM is unlike anything you've played in the app store. Its minimalist interface and hand-drawn graphics might catch your eye, but its clever story and sly humor make it unforgettable. It's a point-and-click adventure/puzzle game -- and those puzzles can be real brain stumpers -- but it's one with heart and emotion that's communicated through subtle, understated means, a rarity in this over-the-top gaming world. The game, originally released on PC, won several awards from respected industry sites -- and it makes a wonderfully smooth transition to iOS devices.

Families can talk about...

  • When kids are stuck, offer suggestions on different ways to think about the problem.

  • Let kids know that the kind of creative thinking they're using in the game is helpful in real life, too. Remind them that when a problem seems insurmountable, there may be a creative solution.

App details

Skills:Thinking & Reasoning: applying information, hypothesis-testing, problem solving
Emotional Development: empathy, persevering
Creativity: developing novel solutions, imagination
Release date:September 8, 2011
Category:Puzzle Games
Size:189.00 MB
Publisher:Amanita Design
Minimum software requirements:iOS 4.0 or later

This review of Machinarium was written by

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Teen, 14 years old Written byLukeTheGreat May 1, 2012

A difficult, but child-safe masterpiece.

Right off the bat: Machinarium is one of the best games I've ever played. Any adult gamer needs to buy this, period. That said, this game may be a bit difficult for younger users. Although I was able to complete the game without using a walkthrough, some of the puzzles can be a bit obscure for anyone unfamiliar with such games. In addition, the villains can be somewhat threatening at times, and smoking is seen, although both of these problems are rare. Overall, this is a great game for children to just explore around and take in its beautiful environments, but if they wish to actually get anywhere, they may want to wait until they're older.
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 15 years old Written bySalsander June 21, 2013

Beautiful Game May Frustrate Some

If it were a matter of maturity, I would have given an age recommendation of 10 and up and possibly even lower. Mature content may not be an issue but the player must be old enough to truly appreciate the art and themes of Machinarium and must have the knowledge to solve these rather difficult puzzles. It's worth playing, but I'd give this an iffy rating for younger kids because they may not appreciate the level of difficulty of the puzzles. As far as mature content goes, there isn't too much to find here. There are a couple small references to violence, but it is mostly the type you would see in playground bullying. Josef, the main character, is bullied by other robots and memories are shown of him being pushed, having money stolen, having a sand castle destroyed, and other bullying acts. Residents of this city you explore have also been effected by this bullying. One person had his radio stolen while another had his drum broken, showing the negative impact on bullying. The only other violence that is depicted in the game is a bomb threat. The bullies strap a bomb onto a tower where Josef's friends are being held. An animation shows the tower being blown up from a distance, however you are able to rewind time in order to save your friends. Other than that, the only other issue parents may have is there are two scenes where drugs are used. One is in an earlier level where Josef is held in a prison cell and must make a cigarette for an inmate in order for him to help Josef. To make the cigarette, he finds a some wet weeds in a pipe, dries them on a lightbulb, and then wraps the burned weed in toilet paper. Additionaly, Josef has a a flashback of making a cigar with the end of a cattail plant, but quickly hides it when a guard comes near. Both creation processes are unrealistic, however it may give kids ideas. This is the only mature content seen in game, however I raised the age recomendation to 12 and up because the puzzles can be excruciatingly difficult. The puzzle elements can be hidden a little too well in the environments and they can really fry your brain. Fortunately there is an in game walkthrough for all the stages, but it would have been nicer if this was not necessary if the puzzle difficulty was toned down a bit. Despite the puzzles being difficult, I found it definitely worth the ride. The music and art work was amazingly done, the characters are a delight even without speaking a single word, and the game just makes you feel like a good person. Josef is not solely focused on saving his friends, but he additionaly helps others who have been affected by bullying along the way. Additionaly there is a cute love story between Josef and his girlfriend, one of his friends he is trying to save in the tower. Josef is a great rolemodel, and his character really makes up for the game's difficulty.
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 13 years old Written bydmendelsohn8 September 16, 2013

Very Good

This game is the best game ever! I am a parent of three and I definitely recommend this game to any other child of 7 years or older. All of my children love this game and it is at a wonderful price of only 5.99$!