; edited by: Michael Hartman
; updated: 5/25/2012
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Looking to find some more hand drawn 2D adventure games? Here is a list of the games that share a similar thematic or aesthetic design to Machinarium -one of the best independent releases of last year. Read on for the list...
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A List of Games Like Machinarium
Machinarium was one of the best independent releases of last year sparking a wave of cultist interest in its unique aesthetic & powerful adventure genre mechanics. With a sublime score and playful storytelling; it deserves the posthumous recognition received. It isn’t often that a game such as Machinarium is released via a AAA development source, let alone a couple of dedicated Czech enthusiasts, so it stands as a testament to small-time game makers and their inherent determination.
This article will look into games like Machinarium by detailing what platform they exist on and how they resemble it. This may be due to the overall thematic design, in a manner similar to Limbo, or for something less tangible such as the art design or mechanics. There are certainly plenty of adventure games that could be compared with Machinarium, but most would not fit within the criteria of this article, due to their derivative or classic nature. For instance The Secrets of Monkey Island may be one the most appreciated adventure games ever made, but aside from its basic point-and-click control scheme, it lacks any real convergence with Machinarium in specific terms.
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Axel & Pixel
Perhaps the best example on a list of games like Machinarium, Axel & Pixel shares a similar aesthetic and development location, being created in Brno, Czech Republic like Machinarium. Although 2K play published the title, giving it a space on the Xbox LIVE Arcade, it was created by a small team of people under the banner of Silver Wish Games. It’s both striking and amusing to think that while Machinarium was being made by a small team of 7 or so people in Brno, across the city or even perhaps close to them, was another small group working on a thematically similar game.
Although gameplay revolves around mouse scrolling (analog on Xbox) and clicking things in the environment, unlike Machinarium’s use of a radius around the robot character that is the only clickable area, it still has flashes of similarity with the way certain puzzles are structured. The artistry also heavily resembles Machinarium with hyper-realistic hand drawn details offset against strange creatures or disproportionate characters. Another facet for comparison is the soundtrack that compliments the thematic design, being well produced and expounding the bright & dreamy setting, whereas Machinarium’s score helps to further contextualize the world of robots and its washed out aesthetic.
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Beneath A Steel Sky
A classic adventure title that shares enough similarities for this list of games like Machinarium. It may require a graphical upgrade, which was released on iPhone last year surprisingly, but the design of a hub world mixed with point-and-click gameplay is definitely comparable to the 2009 Czech release. Instead of a machine city, Beneath A Steel Sky takes place in post-war future Australia, with similarity to the worlds of post-apocalyptic games like Fallout or Gears of War.
Furthermore, the ability to carry items is prevalent and sometimes insipid, with certain items holding no value during the course of the game. This compares to Machinarium and Josef’s use of items throughout the entirety of the game, picking them up & swallowing them as a means of storage. There are divergences however, which make these games both appreciable, as Beneath A Steel Sky focuses heavily on dialogue and narrative instead of silent speech bubble animations found in Machinarium.
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Want To Find Games Like Machinarium? - Try Full Pipe
Last but not least on this shortlist of games like Machinarium, Full Pipe is an aesthetically & mechanically similar adventure game, following the “Dude” as he searches for his lost slipper. Made in Russia, it shares hand drawn backgrounds and some similar interior design work with Machinarium, diverging only to entertain some Mr. Men-esque character design as opposed to living robots.
The puzzle solving elements are very similar to Machinarium with a touch more absurdist gameplay thrown in throughout. Some of them even require timing of button presses, much like some of the earlier levels in Machinarium, forcing the character to jump or dodge objects. Taking this comparison further, no dialogue is spoken and characters make noises or grunts as opposed to conversation, thematically close to Machinarium’s own predilection with no voice acting.