Crazy Machines 3 sets out to challenge the player to think hard, and it achieves just that. This title presents physics-based puzzles that reward players possessing strong critical thinking, an understanding of physics and an affinity to problem-solving with a genuinely fun experience. With eighty Rube-Goldberg style puzzles, a strong emphasis on personal creation and Steam community sharing, Crazy Machines 3 offers virtually unlimited replay value to the inventive mind for a reasonable price.
It becomes apparent early on that this is Fakt Software’s third bid at developing everything there is to love about Crazy Machines.
I could tell after the first machine (puzzle) that the Devs at Fakt had engineered Crazy Machines 3 with refined tools and able hands. Upon opening the menu, players have their choice of a campaign, editor mode, and the steam workshop. The campaign offers eighty machines classified as easy, medium, hard and ultra. If you were worried about these machines being too easy, fear not: much to my humility, I completed only 5 “easy” ones after two hours of gameplay.
To the A+ student in my science class whose homework I usually copied, Crazy Machines 3 may very well be an addictive experience. The “Invent” mode puts every laser shooting, cannonball-blasting, energy-producing gadget at the player’s disposal. The infinite amount of possibilities made this mode my personal favorite. I have never blown so much time on a contraption with such a menial purpose and had so much fun doing it. Access to other player’s creations through steam makes room for even more exploration!
For those unfamiliar with Rube-Goldberg machines, they are easily described as highly sophisticated machines used to complete a simple task such as flipping a switch. That being said, the physics system is squeaky clean, meaning that there are no glitches to blame for my failures. Only my poor comprehension of engineering and science. If only my physics teacher could see me now. The placement of each object, all vital to the completion of each machine was pinpoint accurate, ensuring that, once I placed the missing objects in the right places, the machine worked flawlessly.
Personally, I found some machines to be overwhelming at first sight.
Aside from a couple of small red arrows marking the start and end of each, the general flow would sometimes appear chaotic or even imperceptible. While the art is incredible, I will elaborate later, some objects and their functions are not easily identified or understood. At times, it's difficult to decipher why a gear is placed in one spot or why a handful of random items falls from the top of the machine. The overall appearance of some of these machines conveys a slight feeling of claustrophobia that does not help my plight in understanding what this “thingy” does or “why the heck that just happened.” The fact that the machines are only built vertically, meaning you can only pan up or down, only reinforced the feeling of being stuck with one view. Oh, and no hint system! What is up with that? I hate to say it folks, but if you’re stuck on a machine then tough luck! If the machines had been more spread out, with bigger items and room for lateral expansion for both camera and machine, Crazy Machine’s appearance would have been golden!
To the artists and graphic designers at Fakt Software, my hat’s off to you.
The backgrounds used not only look like someone indeed worked hard on them, but they make sense to the purpose and story of each machine. Titles in the puzzle genre usually require players to stare at the same image for extended periods of time and sadly, I think developers tend to overlook this concept. If I have to stare at the same picture for hours to solve a puzzle, give me something to enjoy looking at! Crazy Machines 3 addresses this yearn for visuals with clean, vivid colors and beautifully rendered 3D art. But don’t take my word for it! Compare Crazy Machines 3’s images to those of its previous installment and the improvements are evident.
The visual appeal of Crazy Machines 3 gets a well-deserved 10 out of 10.
Another underrated element to fostering an ideal puzzle experience is how it sounds. In this respect, I can’t praise Fakt enough! Thank you much for delivering a soundtrack with enough variety to listen to for hours on end. Crazy Machines 3’s music invokes feelings of adventure and relaxation and gets your creative juices flowing. Instead of the boring background noise heard at your local cafe, or the quirky sounds of Minecraft, Fakt found a happy medium that I thoroughly enjoyed. Not to be forgotten are the sound effects that accompany each machine. Crisp and perfectly on cue, each sound is heard at the precise moment without that annoying delay.
The folks at Fakt Software have created a winner in the puzzle genre. With 80 machines to solve, the "invent" mode of infinite possibilities, and the inclusion of community creation, boredom will not find the player easily. Plus, the art and music create an ambiance that is flat out relaxing. So whether you’re an avid puzzle player, or someone who enjoys stretching the limits of creation, Crazy Machines 3 is sure to provide an enjoyable experience and leave you wanting more!