By Diana "DumeeGamer" Dumee on July 27, 2017
A couple of weeks ago, I visited the Indigo Event in Utrecht (NL). One of the games I played there was an upcoming and really fun puzzle game by Dutch indie developer Dreampunks, called The Automatician. I was immediately sold because of the good looking graphics and awesome puzzles! Back then I only played the demo. Now the game has finally been released, I couldn't wait the see the full version!
The full version is available on Steam and immediately comes with a nice discount. So if you're quick, you can make yourself a pretty neat deal. For only €4,95 this game can be yours, if you decide to buy it during launch week. And let me tell you why you definitely want to play this game.
In The Automatician, you play as Emma Green and you're in a nice looking Victorian house. The house is crowded with tiny characters called Whodo's. The reminded me a bit of Sackboy from Little Big Planet. The Whodo's are a bit sad because the previous Automatician of the house, Mr. Edwards has suddenly left. He took such good care of the house, but he suddenly lost his interest. And we can have a nice big house filled with automatons without an Automatician, now can we?
Emma might just be the right girl for the job, but she will have to prove it. How, I hear you ask? Well, by solving all the puzzles in this house, of course! There are different types of puzzles throughout the house, but the one you will encounter the most, and at the same time the most outstanding I may add, is the domino effect, or chain reaction, puzzle. In this type of puzzle you'll need to create a Rube Goldberg machine by connect a series of hexagonal jigsaw-like pieces. When a puzzle starts, you are presented with a playing field, that is also made up out of hexagonal spaces. You are given a starting- and an end point which you will then have to connect, using the aforementioned pieces. Each piece is different in size and has certain objects on it. Pieces can be rotated to change the course of the path you are creating, but will not always connect if they're not precisely aligned in the right way. When you manage to get all the pieces you need in place, it will trigger an animation that shows you the chain reaction of the pieces you've strung together.
The puzzles become increasingly more difficult as you progress through the game: the playground, on which you need to place the pieces, might include a height difference, or a gap in the center you will have to make your way across. The pieces come in different kinds of shapes and objects. And sometimes you don't need all the pieces which are presented to you. So try, turn, place and replace the pieces until you solve every puzzle the game had to offer and you just might become the new Automatician of the house!
There are eight different areas to explore. You'll find notes and objects and anything can be a clue to solve a quest. Yes, beside the jigsaw puzzles, there are quests for you to solve. Sometimes a Whodo will ask you for some help. If you agree to help him, a quest will be added to your inventory. These quests can drive you to madness! At the start of the game I noticed a certain item hidden in a piece of furniture, but I simply couldn't get it out. After trying every trick in the book, I decided to leave it there. Later on, I received the quest from the Whodo who needed that certain item and immediately I remembered that item. And guess what, now I was able to grab it right away!
I simply loved playing The Automatician. I actually played it together with my husband Ferry. We sat together on the couch and while one person took care of the controls, we both could think about how to solve the puzzles, quests and riddles. I can totally see parents playing this game together with their kids. The keyboard and mouse controls are easy to master. Within two and a half hours (depends on how good you are at puzzle solving) I can proudly call myself the new Automatician of the house, so try to steal that title of me, if you dare!
July 23, 2017