Machinarium

App review by
Chris Morris, Common Sense Media
Machinarium App Poster Image
Challenging robot adventure surprises with touching story.

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 5 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

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.

Violence

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.

Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

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

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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written byluzdubos December 23, 2015

Brain tester

My 8 year old kid love it. Some puzzles are really hard, but with the hints and guide, they can be easily solved, so the kid does not get bored if his stuck.... Continue reading
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 diff... Continue reading
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 playe... Continue reading

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.

App details

For kids who love puzzles and adventure

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