Incredible Machine: Even More Contraptions Dynamix, Inc. / Sierra On-Line, Inc. 2001

This fantastic program will have your brain working as hard as a mandrill on a conveyer belt with bananas dangling in front of it. It gives players dozens of tools that perform an action: balls that bounce, cats that chase (and don't bounce), pulleys, ropes, generators, and yes, mandrill baboons on conveyer belts, bananas a-dangle in front of them. Then players are given a problem to solve with all of this crazy energy. Here's an example: in one puzzle called "Wood is Good," players must get three balls into a box, make wooden toast, and wood-smoke a hunk of gouda cheese for a mouse. Among the tools available to accomplish this task are a bike pump and an antigravity pad. And this is one of the easy puzzles. There are 250 gizmos to build here, some designed for single players and some designed for head-to-head puzzling competition. There is also a field where players can design their own Rube Goldberg Machine from scratch. The vast amount of projects and their complexity make this a program with staying power. Mercifully, there is a tutorial that takes rookies and right-brainers in hand. Players can choose four levels of difficulty: easy, which is quite challenging; to expert, which is insane. Mitigating the challenge factor is a function that turns the cursor into a question mark, and allows players to inspect gadget elements and get in-depth information about what each object and surface does. This game does a great job graphically. The well-rendered objects all perform as they ought, and form never hinders function. A thoughtful extra is a place where mad scientists can mess with their invention's appearance and background music: nice final touches for folks who want to take their custom-built games online to challenge others who are addicted to The Incredible Machine. This program's biggest strength is that it manages to put a humorous and creative spin on physics and engineering. They're not just giving you levers and weights to work with, they're giving you bottle rockets and alligators.
Screenshots
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ISO Demo 310MB (uploaded by zobraks)
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