Everything’s better with machines
Unmechanical is a cute, side-scrolling adventure-puzzle game set in a bizarre realm of mechanical and organic machines, and if the announcement trailer is anything to go by, it could be great.
The first thing that leapt to mind as I watched the Unmechanical trailer was Machinarium, which is high praise indeed, because Machinarium was absolutely brilliant. And while Unmechanical is a side-scrolling puzzler rather than a conventional point-and-click adventure, the similarities between the lead characters and the “vibe” of the game worlds are just about impossible to ignore.
Unmechanical actually began life as a student project but has since grown into something far more sophisticated. It follows the adventures of a tiny, unnamed robot who finds himself drawn into a mysterious underworld filled with machines of all sorts, through which he (which is to say, you) must navigate and ultimately escape. Interaction with the world is accomplished by way of your powerful tractor beam, which allows you to pick up and move objects in order to solve puzzles that start off simply enough but grow increasingly difficult as the game progresses.
Some of the puzzles on display in the announcement trailer look rather time-worn – adjusting mirrors to reflect beams of light, for instance, or arranging weights on scales to create equilibrium – but the presentation appears so unique and fresh that I suspect it won’t really matter or even be noticed. The music is pretty fantastic too; mechanical, you might call it, but in a good way.
Games like this are as much about atmosphere and ambiance as they are about specific moments of gameplay, and Unmechanical looks like it will serve that up in spades. This is one game I’m really looking forward to.
The PC version of Unmechanical will arrive on Steam on August 8, while an iOS version will follow a few weeks later.