Games Gone By: The Incredible Machine

This is a feature that will run once weekly and in it we will pay homage to games that made our childhood just that much sweeter. There are no limits as to how far back we may go, it’s all about those games that instilled the gaming culture in our young hearts. All of that aside, its nice to revisit the start of what we consider digital art today, and to see just how far gaming -and the community of gamers it created – has come.

We want to cover video games in general, so you’ll be seeing a variety of games on many different systems, some successful, some complete failures, but all favourites. Enough, let’s get into our second entry:

The Incredible Machine

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Ah, The Incredible Machine. This game and I had a love/hate relationship. I mean, a person can only have so much patience when trying to get a device to work from random bits and bobs. The aim of The Incredible Machine was seemingly simple, with goals like “Get the ball in the Box.” or “Turn the Fan on.” Simple, right? Not.

To achieve these seemingly simple tasks, you were given random objects, like simple ropes, pulleys, electrical generators, bowling balls, and near the end cats, mice and humans. These items had specific reactions to specific items, which in turn would influence the running of your entire machine. Some objects in the levels were fixed in place, and you had to build around them. There was a “freeform” mode which allowed players to build their own puzzles.

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Not only were the reactions between objects simulated, but also other effects, like gravity and air pressure. The game was so successful that the series boasts nine games across multiple platforms and generations.  The developers have faced some criticism on their lack of original ideas after The Incredible Machine 2, but die-hard fans enjoyed every iteration of the game made available.

The game kept many of us busy for hours upon hours, and definitely deserves a place in out Games Gone By archive!  Did you play The Incredible Machine as a youngster?

  • Clement Newton

    I loved this game! The best was where you could make your own machine.

    • kel88

      It used to keep me busy for hours, but was a source of much frustration!

  • SSupertramp

    OH MY HAT THIS GAME WAS VERY UNIQUE AND INTERESTING WHEN IT CAME OUT, THE NAME DEFINITELY DESCRIBED IT TO A “T”

    • kellystretch

      None of the modern versions they tried were as good as the original and The Incredible Machine 2

      • SSupertramp

        WHEN YOU LOOK AT MODERN VERSIONS THEY SOMETIMES FIX THINGS THAT ACTUALLY MADE THE GAME CHALLENGING OR UNIQUE WHICH IS WHY REMAKES OR UPDATED VERSIONS SHOULD BE DEMO’D BEFORE USE