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Retro game of the week – The Incredible Machine (PC)

This week we’re playing The Incredible Machine on the PC. This game from 1993 was all about creating a series of Rube Goldberg devices. A Rube Goldberg device is a deliberately over-engineered machine that performs a simple task in a very complex fashion. Anyone who has seen the Roadrunner cartoons knows what I’m talking about.

The aim of The Incredible Machine was seemingly simple with goals like “Get the ball in the Box.” or “Turn the Fan on.” This however wasn’t as straight forward as you might think . You were given a set number of random objects, like ropes, pulleys, generators, bowling balls, and so on. The challenge was to make these objects interact with each other in a way that resulted in a smooth running machine that could complete the objective.

There were multiple solutions to each puzzle which gave the game a tremendous amount of relay value. It was really cool to be able to use your own creativity to come up with a solution. And you really had to think hard to solve some of the later puzzles in the game.

There was also a “freeform” mode which allowed you to build your own crazy contraption without any restrictions. This mode particularly kept us busy for hours upon hours building all sorts of dumb chain reactions.

The Incredible Machine simulated not only the physical interactions between objects but also ambient effects like air pressure and gravity. Pretty cool for a game from 1993. The graphics weren’t anything special but they got the job done. And we still dig the music in this game.

Like all classic games The Incredible Machine is a truly unique experience that still holds up to this day. We absolutely loved the level of freedom this game gave us and for that it will always have a special place in our heart.

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