The Incredible Machine

For: IBM PC/Compatibles

Genres

Main Genre:
Strategy
Sub-Genre:
Puzzle Solving

Overview

The Incredible Machine
The Incredible Machine
The Incredible Machine is a puzzle game developed by Dynamix and released by Sierra On-Line in 1993. In the game players need to construct a sort of Rube Goldberg machine using assorted parts in order to complete a given task. Over 75 puzzles are included and the game also features a free-form mode where players can create their own contraptions without any limitations.

Gameplay

The Incredible Machine consists of a series of puzzles to solve; each puzzles provides a goal (such as get a basketball into a hoop, make all gears on the screen turn, turn on the fan, and many more) along with a set of assorted parts that can be placed on the screen. 45 different parts are available and include different types of balls (bowling balls, basketballs, tennis balls, etc.), ropes and pulleys, scissors, guns, hamster wheels, pails, balloons, resizeable ramps, and more. Players need to select from the available parts and place them on the screen; once the player is satisfied with the machine that is built from the parts, it can be turned on. If the machine successfully completes the goal, the level is complete and players can continue to the next, more challenging puzzle. For each puzzle the parts available are limited; only a few types of parts are provided and each is limited in quantity. It's usually necessary to find creative ways of combining what's available in order to achieve the goal for each puzzle.

When the machine is turned on, the game begins simulating the physics of the machine including gravity, air pressure, and the interactions of the different parts. Parts on the screen can interact with each other or with the gravity and air pressure set for the puzzle; for example, if any balls are placed in mid air will they will fall, balloons will float upwards, conveyer belts will start running, the mouse runs towards cheese but away from the cat, and so on. If the available parts are placed correctly, a chain reaction will occur which accomplishes the requested task. If the task remains incomplete after the machine finishes running, players can turn off the machine which resets it to the initial state and again allows players to make edits and try again.

Points are awarded in the game for solving puzzles; additionally, bonus points can be earned if the machine created runs within a given time limit. Bonus counters along the bottom of the screen display the current point totals that are earned if the machine succeeds.

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