Review – Crazy Machines Elements

Crazy Machines Elements is a recently released puzzle game now available on the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live. Is it worth it’s $9.99/800 MSP price or will it just leave you mind bottled?

Read our review to find out.

Crazy Machines Elements is a puzzle based game that uses basic objects to perform objectives. Miniature monster trucks, candles, torches, rockets, and lasers to name a few. Add in the basic elements of the earth – wind, water, and fire – and you finish with what has the makings of a great little game.

The game can be played using your basic controller, and for the most part this works decent. Moving parts around, rotating them, and placing them is simple enough. The PS3 allows for the PlayStation Move to be used, and this gives the game a more precise feel that is usually only found on a PC.

There are three modes to play. You’ll have to play through and complete 60 levels in Puzzle mode before unlocking the other two. This may sound daunting, but once you realize that there really isn’t too much brain power required, you might be a little disappointed. Puzzle mode opens up with you only being required to press a single button on your controller. The introductory levels seem to be geared towards making you familiar with the different aspects of the game, but they could have at least made it a little challenging.

The puzzles are generally machines shown to you that require a few missing parts. The parts are given to you so no guess work is really needed. Puzzle mode is separated into puzzle packs, with ten levels per pack. Each level also has collectible gold nuts that add to the challenge, and a few of these required some extra thought on our part. You can finish puzzles without collecting all of the nuts, so there is some replayability there for completionists. There are 100 puzzles to work through, and some are pretty ingenious. A little more creativity on the gamer’s part should have been required though.

Challenge mode is where this game really takes off. While Puzzle mode gave you most of the assembled machine, Challenge mode just gives you a task to complete, and a handful of objects to do it with. Playing through the Puzzle mode can help you to form mental pictures of what you need to build in Challenge mode, so don’t just blow through the puzzles without taking mental notes. There are only four Challenge packs, with five puzzles each, to work through and we were left wanting for more. The game seems to be ready for downloadable content, and hopefully game packs will be cheap or free.

The last mode available is a level builder/editor. Here you can make your own puzzles for others to play locally. Sony has put quite a bit of emphasis on their ‘Play. Create. Share.’ campaign and it’s very sad to see a game like this without the ability to share your levels online. LittleBigPlanet, ModNation Racers, and inFamous 2 (to name a few) have a never ending selection of content to play through, and that would have made this title truly shine. Instead, we are left without anyway to challenge others with our mind bottling creations.

Crazy Machines Elements is a fun little game, with a low enough price tag, to keep you busy for several hours. Working through the puzzles and challenges varies from rudimentary to ingenious.

The developer, Fakt Software, did a great job on the graphics and sound but fell a little short in this age of creating and sharing. Leaderboards are available to track your scores and see how you stack up against your friends, but why not give us the ability to challenge others with our own creations online?

7