I remember spending an inordinate amount of time infatuated with The Incredible Machine when it was on DOS. In fact, I was so addicted I got the same version in Windows and replayed it again. One might imagine I would have become an engineer if I continued playing into my late teens.
For those unfamiliar with the franchise, The Incredible Machine challenges you to figure out basic engineering problems. You are given a set of contraptions that obey the laws of physics like gravity, electricity and air pressure. From there you have an objective you have to do, like make a light go on or a balloon float to a certain place. The number of gears and gadgets you can use are restricted by the puzzle so you’re forced to use whatever you have on hand to make the “machine” work.
In this mobile game version, there are 80 puzzles with 60 contraptions you can put together to assemble. I found the display of the phone to be too limited. For larger puzzles, it takes awhile to scroll around the screen to see anything. This wasn’t an issue on the computer since you could see everything in one glance.
The first ten puzzles are really a tutorial. So with 70 levels, I was disappointed to find there’s no sandbox mode to design your own levels so replay will be going through all the puzzles again. And I’m not sure why with mobile connectivity we can’t get puzzles from a server to keep the game going.
Replay value aside, The Incredible Machine is perfect for wireless gamers. It’s got great pace and is the type of game you can take your eyes off the phone for awhile or leave it aside and come back to it without missing a beat.