Crazy Machines Complete PC CD
Published by: Kalypso Media
Developed by: FAKT
Crazy Machines Complete is comprised of Crazy Machines and Crazy Machines 1.5. Essentially it's a compendium of physics-based puzzles that start off quite easy and end up being tricky to say the least. Altogether there over 400 challenges for you to undertake and they will probably take several months to complete which is excellent value for money for a product that can be had for well under £20.
In any of the game's experiments (which is what the puzzles are called as they are carried out in a professor's lab) you'll have a specific goal to complete. Initially these goals are really simple such as making sure all of the balls drop into a box or making two robots push blocks together to form a tower. Before long however, the experiments begin to increase in complexity and there are more items to interact with and more elements to take into consideration. You'll have to use all kinds of objects to solve the puzzles such as toy robots, springs, electrical cables, zeppelins, weights, buckets, magnets, pulleys, gears, rubber bands and many more things.
What makes the puzzles tricky is that once you've started an experiment, you have absolutely no control over it and you have to sit there and simply let it run its course. It's essential then that you setup the experiment exactly the way it should be. Most of the components in the experiment (at least in the early ones you'll encounter) are already in place. Your task is to add the missing components and position them correctly (with some objects you'll have to change the angle of them too). Sometimes this is as simple as simply placing a ball in midair only to start the experiment and have gravity do its stuff. Things aren't so easy as you progress however and you'll have to take into account the behaviour of the components you're placing and the position you place them in. This is actually much more enjoyable than it seems and most of the puzzles in the game are very enjoyable and satisfying when you eventually work out how to set them up correctly.
Naturally, the whole process of setting up these experiments does mean that there is a fair bit of trial and error involved, particularly with the more challenging experiments. Whilst this may seem as though the game has the potential to be frustrating, it's worth pointing out that the game is actually quite leisurely and doesn't pressurise you at all. You will lose bonus points for taking longer to complete the experiments but that's about the only penalty. Some experiments can be rather baffling as it's not always crystal clear what needs to be done and the instructions occasionally don't help that much. Thankfully such occurrences are few and far between and for the most part it's pretty obvious what you need to do to accomplish the experiments.
Graphically Crazy Machines Complete is actually quite basic but it's certainly good enough for the type of game this is. The system requirements for the game are actually quite low and I think it's fair to say that any fairly recent laptop or notebook PC would have no problem in running the game. You'd certainly have to have an extremely dated desktop computer not to be able to run the game. The puzzles are shown from a side-on 2D perspective so there's no need to be concerned with camera angles. The game can be run in a variety of resolutions and a windowed mode if you choose. I was a little disappointed to find the game doesn't support the 1280x1024 screen resolution but in all honesty running the game in a lower resolution in windowed mode was absolutely fine.
Crazy Machines Complete is mostly fine for deaf gamers. The Professor's comments are not subtitled. This isn't too much of a problem however as very few of his comments are of any value. The instructions for each of the puzzles is shown in text and you can recall these at any time. The game comes with a very basic paper manual (well it's a leaflet actually) but you will find a rather more substantial and helpful PDF manual included which should address any questions you have about the game.
As far as puzzle collections go, Crazy Machines Complete is one of the better ones I've seen in recent years. There are loads of puzzles/experiments to tackle and you can even engage in creating your own experiments and challenge your friends and family to try and solve them. As fun as this puzzle collection is, there are a few problems. There are some experiments when your objectives could have been a little clearer and it would have been good if the game could have supported more screen resolutions. Neither of these problems are serious however and Crazy Machines Complete is a very enjoyable puzzle game that puzzle fans should definitely purchase.