Crazy Machines 2 Complete PC DVD
Published by: Kalypso Media
Developed by: FAKT
Several weeks ago we looked at Crazy Machines Complete, a game which was essentially a compendium of physics-based puzzles. At the start of any level (or experiment as they are called in the game) time had been frozen and you had to use the objects and machinery that are in your supply box and arrange them in such a fashion that when time was allowed to continue, gravity and the natural behaviour of the objects and machinery you'd placed would allow the experiment to run successfully. Assuming you've completed all of the experiments in the several weeks since Crazy Machines Complete has been released, you'll want to get to grips with what Crazy Machines 2 Complete has to offer.
Crazy Machines 2 Complete challenges you, once again, with many experiments to solve. In total there are 260 of them with 10 experiments making up the tutorial and 150 experiments in the game's campaign, which is focused on you accompanying the professor on a world tour including such locales as Greece, Egypt, Alaska, Russia, China and the professor's university amongst others. In addition there are 60 experiments that make up the Back to the Shop expansion and 20 experiments each in two bonus labs that have been included with the game. There's more to this sequel than a couple of hundred new experiments however. The most noticeable differences are the 3D visuals and special effects. There's also the ability to create new labs and upload them. You can also download labs that others have created, play them and rate them which should mean you could happily be solving experiments for years if there is enough user created content.
You won't need to have played any of the previous Crazy Machines titles to get to grips with Crazy Machines 2 Complete. A ten experiment tutorial gradually introduces you to most of the game's concepts. For the most part, the tutorials are absolutely fine as you are guided step-by-step through the experiments. However, there is a problem with experiment 1.6 (entitled Fire & Steam). You are asked to place a Bunsen burner directly under the boiler but instead of this triggering the next step of the tutorial, nothing happens. I managed to figure out what needed to be done and about three steps later, it registered that I had completed the original task and continued with the tutorial messages. It's not a major problem but it's one that might prove to be somewhat frustrating.
One of the strengths of the Crazy Machines games, and Crazy Machines 2 Complete is no exception, is that there are usually numerous solutions to each experiment. The objects you take from your supply box can be rotated, flipped over and placed anywhere in the experiment. Initially the experiments are fairly straightforward and the solutions are pretty obvious but it's not long before you have a multitude of items to interact with and you really have to think about what you're doing. The game does include a form of a hint system so if things should become too punishing you can always use these. If you're a Crazy Machines veteran though you should be fine. In fact one of the disappointments with this sequel is when it feels a little too much like the original game.
The 3D graphics not only help to make the game look quite a bit better than in the original Crazy Machines, it also gives you the ability to zoom in close on an experiment which is rather useful for the more elaborate ones. You do still have a 2D view of the experiments but you can change the viewing angle to a certain degree even though this doesn't have a great deal of usefulness. The game's textures aren't that detailed but whilst this may disappoint some, it's not really surprising because the system requirements for the original Crazy Machines Complete were quite low so it would seem strange if they were quite high for this sequel.
Deaf gamers won't have any problems with Crazy Machines 2 Complete. The ten tutorial levels are all subtitled and you can read the text at your own pace and recall all of the information that's been given in that tutorial at any time by clicking the "i" button. Objectives are shown in text for each experiment and can be recalled at any time by pressing the aforementioned "i" button. There are some comments from the professor which aren't subtitled (when you're browsing the menus for instance) but thankfully none of the comments are important. There are a multitude of achievements to earn in the game and you're notified in text when you've earned one of them.
If you enjoyed what Crazy Machines Complete had to offer then it's pretty much certain that you'll enjoy Crazy Machines 2 Complete. The addition of 3D visuals is a welcome one and whilst they don't do anything to change the nature of the game, it can prove rather useful at times to be able to zoom in on certain elements of the experiment. With 260 experiments available immediately and the ability to create and share laboratories with others players via the Internet, you are going to occupied for many months to come. There's nothing here to change the opinions of those who didn't enjoy the original game but for those who did, it's great value for money especially when it can be found for significantly less than £20.