One of the most unique pieces of IF ever written, Dan "Inky" Shiovitz' Bad Machine is one of those games that are almost impossible to describe. Think Infocom's classic A Mind Forever Voyaging and Suspended played from the perspective of a robot on drugs, and you might have an idea of what Bad Machine is like. As Baf puts it in his capsule review: |
"This is one of those games that you just have to see to understand. There's nothing else quite like it, although Michael Berlyn's Suspended bears some similarities. In a vast, hivelike robotic factory, a malfunctioning machine struggles to avoid being being captured and reprogrammed. All text is in a pseudo-computery style, heavy on punctuation and mixed with error messages and line noise, and the main challenge is to figure out how to interpret the information you're given. (People using text-to-speech software might find this insurmountable.) Warehouse IV is full of activity even when you just wander around, so figuring out how things work and how to interact with them is your second challenge. Even when you have that knowledge, logistics can be sticky. Multiple paths lead to very different conclusions, all of which are somewhat anticlimactic. I'd recommend this one especially for techies, particularly if they're into Lego Mindstorms." Highly recommended -- but steer clear of this one if you never want to think or act like a robot. I had a lot of fun with the game, but not without considerable frustration.
Reviewed by: Underdogs