Three years ago, a sleeper hit known as Amnesia won the approval of audiences everywhere. It was so well loved that a group of purists considered it a "true" horror game, stuck their noses in the air, and have denounced every title in the same genre ever since. As a horror game, I felt Amnesia had some awkwardly pacing, needed some better designs for some of the monsters, and had an ending too strange to be satisfying. Still, I admit that it was a very good horror game. I can't say the same thing for Machine for Pigs.
To begin with let's talk about video games as a medium. In a video the player overcomes to challenges to win the game. The fun comes from how you approach the challenge and the satisfaction you get from winning. For the first half of the game you are met with no challenges. The rooms are bright enough to see, the lantern will never run out of gas, and the puzzles are too simple for you to feel excited. Oh, and there are no monsters. A creepy atmosphere, without an underlying threat is just an unusual environment. Even when the story finally begins to pick up steam in the second half, its usually just easier to run past enemies than hide or stealthily avoid. This removes tension from the monsters as a threat.
When broken down into segments, the game is composed of 50% dark corridors and empty rooms, 30% valves and switches, 15% foreboding notes and recordings, and 5% actual gameplay. The actual scary confrontations took me so long to get to and are so sparsely implemented that I became apathetic to the settings and story in general. Its not even very entertaining to watch the game as dialogue and jump scares are broken up by long pauses of doing mundane chores. But if you love valves (the mechanical device, not the company) and conduits, you will love this game.
To sum up, the game is really boring. It has nice visuals, good audio, and the Engineer steals the show in terms of acting but the poor pacing,simplistic gameplay, and shockingly short run time will leave you disappointed by the end. People have more frequently criticized modern horror games for not being "true" but if this is how "true" horror games work, I think I will stick to more plebeian formulas.