Video Game Crazy Machines 2 (PC) (2008)

Crazy Machines 2 (PC) (2008)

"This is an easy challenge. The two soccer balls have to be nudged by the red dominos. Use
the ballons and you can earn extra points. The left balloon has to be popped, but the right
one must stay intact."
Relevant Links:
Crazy Machines 2 (Wikipedia.org)
Crazy Machines 2 (PC) (MetaCritic.com)

Crazy Machines 2 is a game where you place a fixed set of contraptions in the playing area in order to achieve some sort of goal (e.g., popping a balloon or putting a ball into a basket).

"Oh no! The mayor's rubber ducky escaped! You'll have to catch it. I've built a trap to help,
but you'll have to activate it. Cut the rope that holds the metal cage to catch the rubber
ducky. I borrowed the bowling ball from the mayor, so please return it to the basket on the
right. If you manage to activate the trap door with a dart you'll earn some extra points for sure!"
20141129 AM Hours:
[20141218]
When I was younger, I played a game similar to Crazy Machines 2 called Incredible Machines. Having had so much fun with Incredible Machines, I was looking forward to playing Crazy Machines 2.

Unfortunately, while the tutorials were bearable and informative (though often unclear with what triggers the tutorial progression), the actual levels themselves had unnecessarily convoluted primary and secondary goals.

"Now the brewery needs your help sorting the three top barrels. Here is the challenge: bring
the barrels to the basement in the right order: first the middle one, then the top one, and
then the bottom one. To win some extra points, open the trap door with the barrel that is
lying on the right side of the big pile of barrels. After using it, bring it down to the basement
as well."
To elaborate, every level I played was preceded with a long-winded explanation of the level's goal (see the caption under each picture in this post). However, when I play a puzzle game, I don't want the goal to be difficult to comprehend. Instead, I want the goal to be easy to understand, but the solution difficult to find.

In that respect, this game lacks a bit of transparency (though not as badly as AVSEQ (2012), a shooter which I played yesterday).

"The blimp test center has a challenge for you: test the different wall textures using the three
blimps. The top one and the bottom one must be started and brought into the target zone, but
not the middle one! If, in addition to that, you manage to place the ball into the target zone,
you'll score extra points!"
Speaking of transparency, Crazy Machines 2 has busy backgrounds and creates a lot of visual noise. As such, it can be difficult to relevant objects in the foreground from irrelevant objects in the background. Again, this makes the levels difficult to play, but don't make the puzzles themselves inherently difficult.

In the end, I felt dissatisfied with the overall gameplay experience.

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