Machinarium's robot world now fits in your pocket

We have a bit of a soft spot for Amanita Design around here; ever since they appeared ten years ago with an adorable little Flash game called Samorost, we've liked their style. Their thing is intricate adventures with distinctive looks, and Machinarium is one of their finest moments. We've already completed it on PC and iPad, but when we found out that it had arrived on iPhone we couldn't resist another look.

Partly because we were a little concerned about how well it would work on the iPhone's tiny screen. Machinarium's a delightful journey through a robot city, with fantastic hand-drawn looks and puzzles that are guaranteed to have you clanging your head against the nearest wall sooner or later, and we can't recommend it highly enough. The problem is that since it tells its story in an exclusively visual manner, you're often put in a position where you're expected to have spotted a tiny on-screen detail in order to progress, and that was often tricky enough on the iPad version.

The iPhone version tackles this by enabling you to zoom in on details, and you're going to have to do this quite a bit. It also tackles the relative paucity of screen space by having your inventory stashed off-screen; you need to tap in an upper corner to make it appear, and it'll disappear again a couple of seconds later. It is, basically, fiddly; possibly just a little too fiddly for our tastes.

If you have an iPad then you'd honestly be much better off playing Machinarium on that; half the fun of it is in its fabulous looks, and you just don't get the benefit on the iPhone's tiny screen. But whatever device you have to hand, you should definitely make the effort to experience Machinarium's atmospheric metal world.

Key info

  • Works with: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
  • Price: $1.99/£1.49
  • Developer: Amanita Design
  • Version: 1.0.0
  • App size: 235 MB
  • Age rating: 12+

Words: Jim McCauley

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