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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What 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.
- Parents say
- Kids say
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.
Talk to your kids 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.
- Device: iPad
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: applying information, hypothesis-testing, problem solving
Emotional Development: empathy, persevering
Creativity: developing novel solutions, imagination
- Price: $4.99
- Release date: September 8, 2011
- Category: Puzzle Games
- Size: 189.00 MB
- Publisher: Amanita Design
- Version: 1.0
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 4.0 or later