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Homo Machina review - An intriguing puzzle game with some great ideas


For: iPhone   Also on: Android, iPad

And a few not so great ones

Product: Homo Machina | Publisher: ARTE | Format: iPhone | Genre: Puzzle | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
 
There's something really rather special about Homo Machina. It's a game about the goings on inside of a human body. Albeit the body here is represented as a sort of steam-powered machine controlled by an intriguing cast of characters.

It's not perfect, but when it gets things right, it's a charming and engaging exploration of what it means to be human, to function, and to fall in love.

Body talk

The game is set around a series of compartments in the body. There's the eyes, the stomach, the heart, the lungs, and more. Each of these is essentially a level, and a puzzle that you need to try and solve.

Things are simple to begin with. You tap a few machines to get them working, and then it's on to the next challenge.

The controls change from level to level, but they involve tapping, swiping, and holding a finger on the screen. You're pulling levers, pressing buttons, and pushing on screens. The game doesn't hold your hand, so you're left to figure out what to do at every step.

Homo Machina iOS review screenshot - Adrenal Gland puzzle

Some of the puzzles are really quite brilliant. Working out what the nose is smelling is a particular highlight, and there are other standout moments throughout the game's slightly short runtime.

But there are some missteps too. A long section involving the central nervous system drags a little, and there were a few occasions during my playthrough where things stopped working and I had to head back to the title screen.

And sometimes the slightly esoteric nature of the game leaves you struggling to figure out sections that, once you've got to grips with them, are over much quicker than it took you to work out what you were supposed to be doing.

Body politic


There's no mistaking that there's a great game here, it's just a shame that the few little wobbles it has here and there keep it from true brilliance.

Still, this is an amazing and intriguing game that's unlike anything you've played before. For that alone it's well worth finding a comfy chair, making a cup of tea, and seeing this one through to the end.
 
Homo Machina review - An intriguing puzzle game with some great ideas
Reviewer photo
Harry Slater | 17 May 2018
Despite a few missteps, there's enough that Homo Machina gets right that you're going to love the time you spend with it
 
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