To be honest, I don’t actually remember if it was The Incredible Machine that I played, or the Even More Incredible Machine, and while the archive had both, I went with The Even More Incredible Machine for two reasons: first, it ran better in the archive, and second, um hello? It’s “even more” incredible!
So for those of you who don’t recall or have never heard of The Incredible Machine games, they were originally produced by Jeff Tunnell Productions and published by Dynamix in 1992 and 1993. Later versions were also produced, but these were the O.G. that I remember. The game is basically a puzzle game, in which you need to set up a series of objects all over the screen to set off a chain reaction to accomplish the end goal as determined by that level. It was really quite adorable how everything was thought out, ranging anywhere from setting off a little mouse, hooking up the mouse’s little wheel with a strap to a conveyer belt which would send a ball rolling, etc. etc. etc. The options were endless!
Now, I remember playing this game obsessively and actually having quite some difficulty with it, but as an adult I realized that it was quite easy; that is, it was easy at first. The levels definitely get harder and harder to the point where it really did take some clever brainpower and time to figure out some of the levels. I do remember beating this game as a kid, so I now realize that I must have been either super diligent or really patient. I also realized this after I got bored and quite playing about 40 levels in, and then when I looked up how many levels there were, I discovered there were 161! If I was having some difficulty at level 40, I can only imagine how level 161 must be. Maybe that’s why I’m such a clever girl! Heh… I’m only joking, of course.
As an adult, in reflecting on this game, I actually realized that it was hilariously cruel to animals. I mean, in some levels, you have to break fishbowls so that the fish will flop around, tempting the cat over, or you have to dangle a banana in front of a monkey in order to get it to power the bicycle to rotate something, etc. At one point, you even have to help a poor little mouse escape getting eaten by cats. Some of you may not think this is hilarious but, it’s a game! I suppose my childhood moral compass was never really affected, but as an adult I did find these hilarious.
All in all, it was fun playing a game I was fond of as a kid. Some of the puzzles were surprisingly clever, and since I’ve recently been playing a ton of puzzle games, it’s definitely interesting to see how far technology has come and super fun to be able to revert back to simpler times!
Images: via author