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Point-and-click is alive and kicking
If proof were indeed needed that point-and-click adventures were not dead, take a closer look at Machinarium. Following in the footsteps of classics like Monkey Island and Discworld, this little gem shows just what can be done with the format and proves to be a highly entertaining experience. The story finds players entering a mechanical world and taking control of an adorable little robot who has just been kicked out of his home town. It's your job to help him make his way back inside and face down the nasty Black Cap Brotherhood who take pleasure in persecuting his kind and who also stole away his girlfriend. The game follows the traditional point-and-click formula, as you explore a series of mostly static, non-scrolling screens and click on the screen in order to interact with objects and collect items in order to solve the numerous puzzles which bar your progress. These puzzles range from the usual kind of thing where you simply have to make use of the correct item, to more complex ones such as pattern analysis. You can't actually die in this game, which makes it a nice one for genre newcomers, while other features such as hints are also available. Machinarium really is a little treat of an adventure. It's got a charming story which will keep you entertained to the end, while the puzzles are clever and challenging but never frustrating and are thus suited to both newcomers and experts alike. Throw in some highly distinctive and very appealing visuals and you have a cracking game.