If you haven’t yet heard of bizarre machines like the “Penguin Distracter” or “Theoretical Hoover” then you probably haven’t played Pi Eye Games’ System Mania, a wonderfully frantic arcade game that puts your multitasking skills to the test.
Your job is to help the spunky Fiona start her own fix-it shop, responding to calls from local businesses that need help fixing their weird machines. OK, so at first I totally thought this game was one of those Diner Dash-like time management games, where I’d be clicking on different machines while customers waited and such, but boy was I wrong. System Mania offers a completely different experience that what’s currently available in the casual gaming space.
Your goal is to turn off the machine’s warning lights before they break down in a plume of smoke. You will do this in many different ways, ranging from simply clicking on a large button when it turns orange and sliding bars up or down to pulling ripcords and plucking guitar strings. Some of the 90 machines will have you press buttons on a keypad to match a password, while others require levers, gears and switches, egg timers, and even pianos and mini-games to play to turn off that dreaded orange light.
Because each machine has multiple lights to turn off on its console, you must multitask like mad to keep the machine from breaking down. Adding to the challenge are special coins you can click on when you turn off the orange lights, adding to your points and unlocking other bonuses for chains and combos; the colored coins pop into the air and you must click on them before they leave the screen.
The game lets you play the main story mode – where you’ll get to know the six memorable hand-drawn characters, each dishing out humorous dialogue – or you can play the straightforward arcade mode that lets play individual levels, and if you reach a certain score it’ll unlock new ones to play. Finish the game already? Try to fill up your trophy room by playing well (such as successfully completing challenging levels at the local fair or zoo) or press the “Tricky” button on the main page speeds things considerably for the main game.
While this type of fast-paced and frantic game isn’t for everyone, and some levels were harder than others (instead of a steady increase in difficulty), we were pleasantly surprised with System Mania. Not only this download different than other casual games but is very fun once you get the hang of the tasks at hand. Kudos to Pi Eye Games for a job well done!