Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Update - 2/3 - Machinarium, Death Gate, Loom, Kid Niki, The Heroic Legend of Arslan

Machinarium was one of 2009's indie darlings, and for good reason - it's a thoroughly gorgeous little point n' click starring a funny little robot with a spinning head. The other adventure game articles include Death Gate, another one of Legend's titles, and one of their better ones, and Loom, one of Lucasarts' earlier games and one of the first (that I recall, anyway) that was criticized for featuring cutscenes over gameplay. On the realm of old Japanese games, we have Kid Niki: Radical Ninja, a brutally difficult side-scroller from Irem and a definite product of 80s marketing, which also had a few Famicom-only sequels, and The Heroic Legend of Arslan, a strategy game adaptation of the early 90s anime OVA for the Mega CD.


  1. Just letting you know, in the Machinarium review, there's a mistake. The Team that makes the game is called Amanita Design, not Amarost.

    However they did also make the Samorost series of games. Seems like something got mixed up?

  2. Er... I was late at work last night and sort of out of my head. I forgot to say something positive, but great articles as usual.

    I think you guys covered pretty much all there is to know about Loom. It certainly is a great little game. Shame Moriarty was offended by the Boom comment in Space Quest IV, since I've read in interviews with Scott Murphy that he was a big fan of the LucasArts adventures and preferred their design method as opposed to the Roberta William's standard (or least that was implied, since he seems to have a lot of pent up anger towards Roberta's possibly undeserved glory and budget). I also remember him saying he liked their way of not dying as well and concentrating on the puzzles, but at that point for him, dying in Space Quest became an essential part of the game series. It's too bad Murphy didn't go on to do much else...

    Anyways, that's sort of off track, since I think Josh Mandel probably wrote the stuff for Boom and the other PC games in the shop. He, however, may have not been so fond of Moriarty's work on Loom, but there's no way of knowing. Callahan's Crosstime Saloon, Freddy Pharkas, and Space Quest VI are certainly more wordy and drawn out than Loom ever was.

    And last, I'm glad to see Machinarium on this site. Amanita started small, but it seems they are going to keep building up, which is great. I love their unique art style. Maybe an article for the two Samarost games might appear some day?

  3. I've heard from Josh that he actually really liked Loom and the whole bit was intended more as a good-natured jab (it was a common sentiment helds towards Loom, especially by the old school, super puzzle oriented text adventure crowd), but Moriarty just took it the wrong way. (Keep an eye out for Freddy Pharkas in the near future, BTW.)

    I got Samarost 2 bundled with Machinarium in one of their holiday sales but I haven't tried it. And yeah, that little screwup came from me jumbling them together. Thanks for the heads-up.

  4. Ah, that's cool to hear Josh Mandel appreciates Loom. I had no idea. I don't think any of the PC games in the the Space Quest IV shop are supposed to be malicious since some make fun of Sierra games as well.

    I don't really see many interviews or quotes from Moriarty, but I get the feeling he may take stuff a little more seriously after reading a lot of the interviews about his work on The Dig at mixnmojo.com. It seems like he had big ideas for that game when he was working on it that either no one supported or no one shared. Too bad that's the last major thing he has worked on (I think).

  5. There's another mistake in the Machinarium review--the word "robot" was coined by the writer Karl &#268apek. Not sure where "Josef" came from.

  6. Check out here:


    Karl apparently brought it into popular usage, but his brother Josef actually coined the word,
    so that's where Amanita got it from.

  7. I stand corrected--thanks, Discoalucard.

  8. @Discoalucard

    Interesting anecdote :)

    I found this interview with the game's creators as well (http://www.activegamingmedia.com/media-center/life-after-machinarium-interview-with-amanita-designs-jakub-dvorsky). Seems these guys have a lot of interests besides games.