Machinarium – 3fifths

June 22, 2021

Machinarium is not a fairy tale on the verge of abstraction, but a full-fledged and elaborated world, where there is room for deep emotional experiences of the characters, and even for heroic deeds. Machinarium City is several dozen screens and a whole troupe of colorful characters, all of the robots. There are bars where you can have a glass or two of machine oil, street robot musicians, robot old ladies on benches, robots in wheelchairs, a robot cat on the roof, and even a robot lady with a dog… The main character is a sad-eyed robot named Josef. By coincidence, he ended up in a scrap metal dump outside the city gates. Now he has to return to the Machinarium and take revenge on those who treated him so cruelly. So as not to spoil your enjoyment of the game, we won’t give away any details, we only hint that there are a lot of evil bandits and amorous stories.

In spirit, The Machinarium is very similar to the second Samorost. Before us a conceptual, a little sad, and very poetic interactive cartoon about loneliness. A work close in the atmosphere to the work of Yuri Norstein (see “Hedgehog in the Fog,” which Dvorsky, by his admission, was inspired by). But the proverbial minimalism is a thing of the past, and it’s not just because of the increased number of locations and characters – the characters communicate with each other more often and more willingly, they think, they don’t hesitate to share their experiences with us. There are still no full voice dialogues, instead, there are pictograms and whole animated stories that appear in stylized clouds over the heads of the characters. Leave Joseph alone for a while and he’ll remember, for instance, bathing with his robot friend in a vat of oil or blowing out the burning spark plugs on a cake with her. And noticing one fat robot, he will shudder to recall how he broke his sandcastle as a child…