Year: 2009
Platform: Windows/Macintosh
Developer: Amanita
Genre: Puzzle
Review Date: 5/23/10
Rating: ***

An utterly charming tale about a robot who is trying to save his kidnapped girlfriend from a bunch of bullies. The story begins with our unassuming hero being dumped in a trash heap. Before he can make his way back to the city and mount a rescue operation, he needs to find all of his missing parts and put himself back together. The game blends old school puzzle play with beautiful hand painted artwork to create a wonderfully unique and dazzling experience. Most of the gameplay revolves around unlocking doors and running errands for the various mechanical citizens you meet. As with most puzzle games, some of the puzzles are fiendishly difficult to figure out, and often times you won't even know what objects you can interact with. What's worse is when you're given a puzzle to solve, and you don't even understand the point of the exercise. There are several puzzles that literally don't make any sense at all, and they still don't make sense even after you see the solution. Sadly, I had to refer to a walkthrough several times because the clues were either too obtuse or the puzzle design wasn't logical.

Where the game really excels is in its visual presentation. It's simply gorgeous and unlike anything I've ever seen or played. The characters are delightfully cute and our hero's innocently bumbling animations are adorably endearing. The robot city is a feast for the eyes, and every scene is full of visual splendor. I played the entire game with a sense of wonder and a huge grin on my face as I watched the little guy waddle around and interact with the environment. Except when my grin turned into a frown and I was forced to look at the walkthrough... The music is also superb and really complements the atmosphere. The only technical flaws are those inherent with the Flash environment, and many of the pop-up interfaces can't be exited unless you move your character across the screen. Using inventory items is clunky and you can't move while an item is equipped, which causes a lot of unnecessary trips to and from the inventory menu. The game is fairly short, and since it's a puzzle game it offers very little replay value. The artwork alone is worth the $20 price tag, even if the gameplay falls a little short. If nothing else, you should play the free demo and see for yourself if it's something you would enjoy.