Right now, there are too many Android games that are trying to treat our smartphones and tablets as if they're games consoles. Well, they're not. Onscreen controls are not always a lot of fun and who wants to play a low-budget version of a game when they can just play the full version on their console? That's why it's great to see games that are truly different, and take advantage of everything the Android platform has to offer. Read on to see if Crazy Machines is one of those games.
Description: Crazy Machines is a "Rube Goldberg" style puzzle game in which you must fill in the gaps to make sure the experiment runs smoothly. That means you have to choose from your Inventory wisely, making sure you have all the needed parts in the right place. You get to play up to 8 challenges in the free version and you can unlock the level editor for just $0.99. Crazy Machines offers the following:
- Up to 42 challenges.
- Use your creativity to master levels and earn 3 stars.
- Cool Physics engine with fire, wind, gravity and particle effects.
- Build and solve experiments with over 60 different Parts.
- Create and share your own puzzles with the brand new Level Editor Choose from more than 60 parts/items to build your creation
How it Works: To get started with Crazy Machines, you'll have to head over to the Play Store and download the game. After that, you'll be able to start solving problems in the lab.
What's great about Crazy Machines is that the game eases you into playing, and helps you along the way, without getting in your way too much.
Essentially, you're given a schematic of what you need to do in order to complete the challenge, and from there you need to position items from your Inventory in the right places.
Once you've got things set up how you want them to be, you can go ahead and start the machine to see if it'll succeed.
You're given a rating out of 3 stars and the better you do, the more golden gears you get. Golden Gears are what you spend to unlock more challenges, you can also buy them if you've ran out at any time. There's also the level editor, which is a big and very fun part of part of the game that you should check out once you've conquered some 10 of the challenges, so you're familiar with the game and its features. In plain English, the level editor is a fancy name for sandbox style game play and you can basically make whatever you want here.
The level editor allows you to:
- Choose from more than 60 parts/items to build your creation
- Use the same tools Viva's level designers use to create Challenge levels
- Full Tutorial allows you to master the versatility of Crazy Machines' Level Editor
- Build "real" puzzles or "self-solving" chain reactions
- Cross Platform play allows you to share puzzles across various platforms.
- Earn Golden Gears for building and uploading puzzles, which can be used to unlock more Challenge Levels
- Sort and choose community puzzles by date, rating, popularity or alphabetical
- Endless amount of content from a growing community
To gain access to the Level Editor, you can either buy the full game or, simply buy any purchase of gears as an in-app purchase, they're very well priced as well:
Honestly, it's not a lot to ask for, and when you see what's in store from the Level Editor, you'll see that you get access to a lot more to play with. When you open up the Level Editor, you'll see your puzzle slots – there are currently 500 or so levels to choose from with 100 or so being added every week!
You can go through the Tutorial to get to grips with the Level Editor (which is comprehensive and easy to follow) or you can click on an empty slot to see the latest puzzles that have been added to the Editor.
I like the look of the "Fireworks" puzzle, so I'm going to download that one. You can sort the levels by using the buttons on the side, by date, name, most downloaded, rating and "Editor's Choice". The Editor's Choice selection features the best puzzles determined weekly by the developers.
You can play the level as you would any other, and see what someone has put together, it's amazing what people will think of!
Opinion: Crazy Machines is a great game, there's no doubt about it, not only is it produced to a high-standard with a lot of polish but it's also a whole lot of fun for both old and young alike. This is what using a smartphone or tablet is all about, taking advantage of touch and the large displays to set your mind alight to solve the problem. It starts off a little slowly but, it soon heats up and you'll be find things a lot more difficult, you'll have to think about how to solve each puzzle and use items and pieces together.
- Speed (4/5) – Crazy Machines is a quick game and, if you have a Tegra device (like the Nexus 7) you'll be able to enjoy the game to its fullest.
- Features (5/5) – Far too often, game developers are content to deliver a game that looks as though it was designed for consoles or a handheld, Crazy Machines is a game that takes advantage of touch as developers should.
- Theme (4/5) – Lab equipment is represented well and physics work as you'd expect, it's a very pleasing game to look at.
- Overall (4.5/5) – This fun puzzle game is a great take on problem solving, it's easy to engage with, it looks good and it's a great way to get kids interested in science.
- The game eases you in and teaches you how to play, which is great for younger players.
- Graphics are good and items and vehicles all respond as you think they would, thanks to the use of real physics in-game.
- Crazy Machines is one of the best ways to get kids interested in science.
- Wide variety of challenges to play through.
- Those looking for something with more action will want to look elsewhere.
- If you prefer a game that has more a defined path, Crazy Machines might be a hard game to adjust to.
Conclusion: Thanks to the wide-variety of challenges on offer in Crazy Machines, the Level Editor and the realistic physics engine, it really feels like you're playing around with a mad scientist's lab. It's buckets of fun and for kids it presents one of the best ways to get into science and for big kids well, it's the kick ass lab set you never had. Not only is Crazy Machines a fully-featured game but, the level editor will help you get even more fun out of the game once you have completed all of the main challenges. As a bonus, those of you with a Tegra 3 device (hint: Nexus 7), should take a look at the THD version for even better graphics!