First impressions

This topic contains 8 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by butterburp butterburp 2 years, 9 months ago.

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  • Tijn
    Tijn
    Keymaster
    Podcaster
    #887

    So, what do you think of The Incredible Machine?

    It had been a while since I last played this game and I had completely forgotten just how many puzzles there are 😮 It’s crazy!

    I think it might be a case of quantity over quality though, as not every puzzle is as well thought out, at least that’s my first impression after trying a few. Some are quite easy to figure out, but then a bit finicky in getting the execution right.

    But then again, the enormous amount of puzzles does mean that if you encounter a crappy one, there’s always a better one just ahead 😀

    Shagittarius
    Shagittarius
    Participant
    #904

    I remember having a real blast with this game. The quirkiness is really all down to the player =). I’m sure there are elegant solutions for most of the puzzles as well =).

    Mgoddard
    Mgoddard
    Participant
    Podcaster
    #905

    I recall being a lot more frustrated originally because of the pixel-perfection required for some of the solutions. Maybe those were the less elegant ones?

    treadmikeway
    treadmikeway
    Participant
    Podcaster
    #906

    I’ve just played this game for the first time, and I’ve got to say “Poor Bob the Fish!”

    This game is really fun. I planned on just playing the first couple of levels and I got to the 8th level before I could make myself quit. Quite an addicting concept.

    Pix
    Pix
    Participant
    Podcaster
    #907

    I have played TIM a few years back so not sure if this counts as first impressions. At any rate, I had about an hour on it last night and it still a fresh experience going back. It seems like there is a single solution in mind with every puzzle which could be problematic if you don’t grasp the intention of the designer. It picks up in the later levels where things can get a bit more chaotic and I’m sure some of my solutions weren’t entirely the ones intended.

    I actually like the pixel perfect nature of some of the puzzles. None of the solutions take more than a few seconds to run and making little adjustments and setting the machine off again to see what difference it makes can be more entertaining than building them in the first place. I’m sure my PII is running the game faster than intended having said that. If I was at the original speed, I might not feel the same.

    I quite like the music as well. It’s kind of upbeat and quirky and reminds me of the Willy Beamish soundtrack a lot of the time. Can’t say I’ve checked if it’s the same composer.

    The interface could use a little refinement. I don’t like having to flick through the lists of components so much when there are loads for a given puzzle. It’s crying out for a scroll bar with mouse wheel support. Assuming it doesn’t actually remember where I’m up to when I restart the game, I could seriously live without the long level code to type in to pick up my progress. Other than that, this is holding up really well for such an old game.

    I’ve got the opposite concern that there possibly aren’t enough levels. The box says there are “over 75 levels” which means 80 if I recall correctly. I got through 41 last night so at that rate I might finish it with another go. I can’t say I remember the individual puzzles but maybe the solutions are buried in there somewhere and speeding up progress. I’m curious to know how other people are getting on. The expansion pack added another 80 levels but I don’t actually own that one.

    derphilipp
    derphilipp
    Participant
    Podcaster
    #953

    In contrast to GTA, where the series took a different turn (going full 3D instead of top-down perspective), this game does not have a popular up-to-date successor. Instead it formed a whole genre of physics/’rube goldberg device’ – puzzle games.

    So the games inheritance is very prominent up to this day – especially on mobile devices.

    The music is quite pleasant and I could at least hum 5 melodies that were used in the game. The game does not have a very ‘distinct’ music sound to me: Not going all electro or for a certain style it feels a little ‘all over the place’. The few sounds on the other hand are burned into my ear and I could identify them as being TIM games at once.

    By the way: I tried the game with my MT32 and the music is quite good, but the sound-effects obviously suffer.

    My favourite sound of the game is the “phew / sure” sound the little creature makes in the intro.

    The controls: Some stuff would be done differently nowadays and there are some low hanging fruit of things to change for the better. On the other hand there are so many things done right: No weird “left+right mouse button at the same time” etc, the dragging of planes feels nice, etc.

    The puzzle aspect: The first few levels feel boring like crazy if you already now the game and come back – on the other hand they are solvable quite fast.

    With the later levels there usually I feel that there often is an ‘par’ solution and a weird one if you just place your parts right. Loooots of trial & error involved – but that is part of the fun.

    The freeform mode was my favorite as a kid: just playing around in a sandbox where I can do stupid stuff. As with playing with (technical/motorised) lego, I loved to build machines that would do loops, example:

    Balls flying in a pattern with seesaws and trampolines constantly bouncing them up again in a symmetrical way so they – after some time – would end up in the starting position and start all over again.

    Pix
    Pix
    Participant
    Podcaster
    #973

    I’ve played my way through the rest of the 87 levels over the last few days. It got a whole lot tougher so the second half took way longer than the first. It’s not a long game but was probably about right to not outstay it’s welcome. There was nothing new really, just more of the same so there isn’t much to add to what everyone has already said.

    I wouldn’t say there was much consistency with the difficulty. Some of the later levels can be done in no time with others taking me ages to figure out. No matter how tough it got, I always found it less frustrating than Lemmings which would maybe have been the main competition at the time. It’s the fact you can quickly change things and try things out with no real penalties.

    I liked the game a lot. Not enough to put it in the classic category but close. There is a slight lack of variety and the puzzles can be hit and miss. I expect the sequels improved on both of these aspects so I’ll certainly be giving them a go at some point.

    Tijn
    Tijn
    Keymaster
    Podcaster
    #975

    Wow, you beat the whole thing! Very impressive stuff, Pix 😮

    butterburp
    butterburp
    Participant
    #980

    Now that I’m middle-aged-or-somewhat-higher, I have to say…wow! I don’t have much brain power after work, haha. But I’m playing this game for the first time and it’s a lot of fun. I don’t feel the need to solve every puzzle. Sometimes it’s fun to just push the mice and cats around and watch them fly!

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