About | Meet the Team | Subscribe to RSS | Follow us on Twitter | Join our Steam group | Jobs
Regulars | Articles | Previews | Reviews | Podcasts | Xbox 360 | PlayStation 3 | Wii | PC | PSP | DS | Indie | Retro

Review | Crazy Machines Complete

Format: PC | Genre: Puzzle | Publisher: Kalypso / Viva | Developer: FAKT Software | Out now: £19.99

By Ben Barrett


Potential. When it comes to games, this is a horrible word. One of the worst, in fact. There can be so much of it in dire games and so little in good games. Crazy Machines Complete has masses of two kinds of potential – so as you can imagine, it has a problem.

Let’s not beat about the bush, this is a puzzle game. Of the frankly ridiculous number of levels available, each is a physics “puzzle” that must be solved by placing a number of common science classroom items (Bunsen burners, footballs, fireworks, magnets and wooden boards among others) to complete the tasks set to you by the Professor. Who is intensely annoying. The ability to turn him off is the most important setting available.
The observant among you may have noticed the inverted commas in the above paragraph. This is due to the complete lack of challenge available for anyone who knows that if you aren’t standing on something you fall over, or that fire burns. Eventually I skipped reading the instructions and simply guessed what I had to do from the equipment available. It does not help that an incredibly slow tutorial is a large part of the game – although there is a lot to explain.

//We don’t need no education
Which brings us to our first glimpse of potential. The variety of puzzles is impressive. Every level is different, the result of a varying design that frankly outranks Peggle’s in terms of doing so much with so few variables. With the more complex levels there is also a delightful feeling of accomplishment when it all comes together in the right way. They’ve taken a dull and boring concept and made it at least enjoyable for a time. However, a maggot in a tutu is still a maggot. The potential here is to have such varied and enjoyable puzzles in a more complex game. In a better game.

The other piece of potential is that this would make a brilliant educational game. Perhaps not for the more advanced classes or even anything for over twelves – but for juniors this could be a godsend. It has all the qualities needed to create a game “fer kidz”. The team behind the Crazy Machines saga should definitely think about creating a specific version for schools. The “My Lab” mode, in which players can create anything they wish from any part available in the game, would be excellent for custom scenarios and lessons.

Sadly, one of the requirements for being an intelligent educational game designed for teaching children about the wonders of physics is that, seemingly, it has to be boring. Crazy Machines Complete fills this category better than all others. It’s a real shame too – there’s a lot of potential here.


1 Comment

    Well aparently I am not even close to being one of the smart ones in this world but I am willing to admit that. I bought the all star arcade 6pack game for my daughterr who is 7. I can not make level 37 of this game work. If you could tell me even a hint or two I would greatly appreciate it. thanks

Leave a Reply