Submachine Zero: Ancient Adventure is a spectacularly detailed Flash point-and-click puzzle game from one of the leading designers of the genre, Mateusz Skutnik (also known as Murtaugh) of Poland. This competition entry also placed within a tight group of puzzles that resembled a photo-finish at the horse races. In other words, it was difficult to pass this entry by as a prize winner.
This latest adventure offers similar mood and mystique as the other games in the Submachine series, and Mur demonstrates his masterful ability to create engaging and compelling game play experiences, even within a game of a smaller scale as this was designed specifically with the competition in mind. The level of immersion experienced by the player is enhanced through both sight and sound making this an excellent addition to the series. The interface is especially remarkable, as it is very intuitive and does not get in the way of the game play. This is more an evolution than a revolution of styles, however, as Mur extends and refines his game-making talent.
Overall, the game is very easy; too easy, in fact, for it to have been rated highly as a puzzle game in the competition. It just doesn't offer much of a challenge as its puzzle is straight forward and easy to complete. I had figured out the solution to the puzzle before I was even half-way through, and from then on it was just rote.
Still, I would be remiss if I did not whole-heartedly recommend the game, especially if you enjoy the rare experience of a well-produced, point-and-click adventure game as this one is.
John: I was thrilled to see a Submachine-related entry from Mateusz in our competition. If you aren't familiar with these games, I'll advise you to start playing right now. Each of the installments is a shining example of style, atmosphere and simplicity rolled into a surprisingly deep casual gaming experience. Submachine Zero takes the same point-and-click pizazz from the previous games and scales things back just a bit to fit our competition theme. The game has a wonderful setting that hints at volumes of backstory. It's a little more straightforward than previous Submachine titles, but because of the depth of design you won't forget it anytime soon. Rarely do I get so engrossed in a game that I am compelled to finish it before leaving my chair, but Submachine Zero did the trick!
Noah: Mateusz surprised everyone with a new edition of his popular Submachine games, reviewed here, here, here and here. With moody graphics that would be at home in an Edward Gorey book and spooky sound by the ThumpMonks, Submachine Zero is yet another great contest entry, and just as absorbing as Mateusz's prior work.
We've been here covering the entire Submachine series since the very beginning with reviews and walkthroughs for all of them...
Outside the main storyline, and yet still another great Submachine, is a game created for the band Future Loop Foundation:
- The original Submachine
- Submachine Remix (extended version)
- Submachine Zero: Ancient Adventure
- Submachine 2: The Lighthouse
- Submachine 3: The Loop
- Submachine 4: The Lab
- Submachine 5: The Root
- Submachine 6: The Edge
- Submachine 7: The Core
- Submachine Network Exploration Experience
- Submachine: 32 Chambers
- Submachine 8: The Plan (NEW!)
- Submachine: Future Loop Foundation