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Video Game: Machinarium

Machinarium is a Point-and-Click Adventure Game by the independent Czech studio Amanita Design.

The main character is a robot named 'Josef' (named after Josef Čapek, who created the word robot) who's been thrown out with the garbage, for some reason. He must get back into the Steampunk city of Machinarium, populated entirely by a variety of robots, and stop the plans of the villainous Black Cap Brotherhood.

The game received much praise from critics, especially for its beautiful visuals and fantastic soundtrack. The official site offers a free online demo.


This video game provides examples of:

  • After the End: It's easy to infer from the polluted state of the water in the "sea" section, the dilapidated state and ornate look of many of the interiors and the vast array of discarded items of use only to humans (or indeed, directly harmful to robots) that humans were there, but aren't any more. Nothing is stated explicitly, mind, but it's quite likely it was due to an immense environmental catastrophe.
    • This game takes place somewhere in the future of the Samorost-verse, which was already an underpopulated World in the Sky.
  • Circling Birdies: Star type can be seen in Rebus Bubble cutscenes and when a bird robot falls down after wire breaks.
  • Clock Punk / Diesel Punk / Steampunk: The settings of this game definitely use these.
  • Combinatorial Explosion: Avoided. Once an item fulfills its purpose, the robot almost always tosses it (either that or it's taken from him). Some just disappear.
    • In one instance, the protagonist ties the item to a wire for no apparent purpose.
  • Continuity Nod: In the central tower, you will probably find a blocky little robot that you might recognize from Samorost 2. If you talk to him, he'll explain that guard-bots from your city found him buried on the very same island you explored in that game.
  • Distressed Damsel: And you get to briefly play as her too.

  • Easily Detachable Robot Parts: In the beginning the hero find himself disassembled and has to reassemble himself in a tutorial level.
  • Failed a Spot Check: The Black Cap Brotherhood in the later half of the game; the room where they set up the poker table has an open water pipe in the ceiling and metal trapdoor above a massive pit on the floor. No prizes for figuring out what interacting with the two does.
  • Fat and Skinny: The two prisoners.
  • Fifteen Puzzle: With the variation that one piece comes off, and Josef has to retrieve it before continuing.
    • Not fixing the puzzle until you have every other piece in place makes it much easier as you then have two free spaces to play around with.
  • Gentle Giant: The big police robot guarding the elevator just wants to play with his little teddy bear robot.
  • Imagine Spot: Given time enough without activity, Josef will start daydreaming of what he used to do with his girlfriend before the Black Cap Brotherhood came.
  • Jerkasses: The Black Cap Brotherhood, full stop.
  • Kick the Dog: The Black Cap Brotherhood appears to do nothing else but make the lives of the citizens miserable (except poker, maybe), especially the hero. Then they proceed to cross the Moral Event Horizon by attempting to bomb the leadership of the city.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: Often your main character is that.
  • Mime and Music-Only Cartoon: There is no spoken words in the whole game, and the only written words are on the title screen. The story is told in mime and robot sounds. This is, to some, not particularly successful: it is not always easy to tell, for example, whether the robot is laughing or trembling in fear.
  • No OSHA Compliance: Especially the absence of guard rails in several locations.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Save to be done in one of the early parts of the game.
  • Rebus Bubble: Here, everything that is "spoken" or thought is represented in pictures.
  • Room Full of Crazy: The walls of the prison cells are full of scribblings.
  • Set Piece Puzzle: Quite a few, including one that actually makes a lot of sense. It's on a cabinet that has a gun in it, which is itself in a locked room. Granted, it would make it hard to get to in an emergency, but who would expect to see I Just Shot Marvin in the Face averted in Machinarium, of all games?
  • Shout-Out:
    • You can play Space Invaders in this game.
    • And there are some shout outs to earlier games made by the same developer.
    • The large-head leader of the city is a shout out to the alien from Alien, according to the concept art.
    • One of the less noticeable ones, maybe not even intentional: the cleaner robot in one of the backgrounds looks like MSE-6.
  • Singing Simlish: One of the songs called Clockwise Operetta does that briefly.
  • Sliding Scale of Robot Intelligence: Can be seen in several places. There seem to be animal-like robots and human-like robots.
  • Slippery Skid: Bullets this time around. Josef slips on them too.
  • Stock Puzzle: The Block Puzzle near the arcade, and the linear peg-solitaire puzzle in the sea area.
  • Scenery Porn: Every single screen is this.
  • Schizo Tech: Man Robot-powered arcade machines among other things.
  • These Questions Three: Subverted. Answering the air conditioner's questions correctly puts it to sleep. Getting them wrong makes it mad enough to spit out its fan, letting you pass.
  • Time Bomb: The Black Cap Brotherhood seeks to blow up the central tower of the city with one.
  • Timed Mission: The bomb defusing. Take too long and the tower blows up. Fortunately, time conveniently rewinds to before your attempt at the puzzle.
  • Tin-Can Robot: Most of the humanoid cast, especially Josef. Even the animal robots have some similar characteristics.
  • Unexpected Shmup Level: How you access the walkthrough for a particular objective.
    • At one point, you have to get a certain score in Space Invaders in order to progress.
    • You also have to get through one when you plug into the head of the head of the town to reverse the damage done by the Black Cap Brotherhood.
  • Used Future: The Crapsack World of Machinarium looks extremely rusty and worn out.
  • Videogame Caring Potential: Over the course of the game, you help out your fellow robots who have been mistreated by the Black Cap Brotherhood.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The Black Cap Brotherhood is ejected from the city through a pipe, but are not explicitly shown to be disposed of.
  • Zeerust: of Soviet sci-fi flavor.

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alternative title(s): Machinarium
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