How many of you remember “Mouse Trap”, a board game that featured a Rube Goldberg device designed to capture a player’s mouse piece upon landing on a particular space? “Crazy Machines” does something similar, though it forces the user to actually design the contraption to complete the task at hand. Before we get started with “Crazy Machines”, I’d like to thank Andrew Emond from Viva Media for sending me the “Crazy Machines Complete Pack” to review. To that end, I’ll be taking a look at each of the games in that pack, in turn. You can find the other reviews (assuming they are finished) by clicking on the “Video Games” tab above.
The main menu lets you play a particular level (start experiment), continue where you left off (continue game), mess around in a sandbox mode (my lab), and adjust game options. The options menu covers a variety of things, though it has no widescreen support. Seeing as how the game was released in 2005, this is understandable. You can adjust volume and graphics settings mostly, but there are a few game settings that let involve shutting up the professor when you get tired of hearing his comments. It was cute for the first five minutes, but after that…
“Crazy Machines” takes you through a series of levels that involve using the available pieces / elements you’ve been given to design a complex, working machine that completes the goal you’ve been tasked with. One level might involve placing a spring just in the right place while another might involve rotating boards so that balls bounce into the assigned hole. They get progressively harder as time goes on, and I would have really liked some sort of hint system that pushed me in the right direction when I got stuck.
Sometimes it can be frustrating to figure out how a particular element works, as you’re not always given a clear direction as to how they function. The magnet on stage four, for example, gave me some pause. I had to attract a bucket so that it moved over enough to catch a ball falling down the environment. I wasn’t exactly sure where the magnet needed to be or how to rotate it to attract said bucket. Then again, I have a hunch that this is exactly what the game wanted me to do: think outside the box and figure it out on my own.
In the grand scheme of things, this game will provide hours of entertainment (and in some cases, frustration). There are over a hundred levels featuring over seventy different elements, and most will serve to challenge your brain. This is one of those games that promotes critical thinking and will remind you that patience is a virtue. I was worried that the antiquated graphics wouldn’t hold up, but I found that I didn’t mind them. It wasn’t like I was navigating some pretty three dimension environment. I also appreciated the fact that there was a sandbox mode that allowed me to play with all of the elements, though it’s important to play the levels in order first to fully understand their mechanics. I’m glad to say that the game still holds up after all of these years, and worth the $9.99 that it is currently priced at. If you can catch it on sale, all the better.
Final Verdict: 6/10
You can see a video play session, here:
You can learn more about and purchase “Crazy Machines” by visiting the following website: