Automaton


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Rating: 4.2/5 (25 votes)
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dancemonkeyAutomatonAdventure games are tough to get right: they generally rely on the craftiness of their puzzles and the strength of their story, and balance is key. Hard puzzles are fine, as long as they involve some sort of logic. I don't appreciate the kind of adventure game that has you put masking tape over a mouse hole so it picks up the hair off the mouse, allowing you to use the hair and some glue to make a fake mustache to sneak into the library. What kind of sense does that make?! Who sneaks into a library? It's a public building!

From ArcadeTown and Littlenorwegians comes Automaton Part 1: The Automaton, "the first episode in an epic adventure set in a futuristic kingdom." (Someone went through the trouble of writing that elegant sentence, so I thought I'd use it). You are, of course, the Automaton, MK 4, a robot with telekinetic powers that must assist your creator, Hubert Crumpet, in his efforts to cure the Spanish Flu. You see, Mr. Crumpet has a guilty conscience over creating weapons of war for The King and wants to be sure his legacy is one of life, not death. You must help him deliver a letter to a friend across Manchester that can assist him in his endeavor, but there are naturally numerous barriers along the way.

Unlike other adventures in which you are free to move from room to room, gathering objects and clues to solve puzzles, in Automaton you remain in one room until that room is solved, then you are moved onto the next via a cut-scene. This vastly simplifies all of the puzzles, since you know that everything you need should be right under your nose.

Analysis: Automaton is a very simplified adventure game and will probably be little challenge to fans of the genre, but might serve as a nice entry point for those who have found adventure games to be tedious or frustrating (mouse mustache!). The simple puzzles and lack of free movement allow you to purely engage the puzzle at hand without nagging doubts about whether you've "forgotten something." The game is very short, so those who are looking for a "Submachine" type adventure game should take their hard-puzzle-loving attitudes elsewhere.

The artwork and music are also very well done, especially the music. If it sounds familiar it's because it was composed by Ben Houge, who has numerous game industry sound and music credits, including the PS2 version of Half Life, Arcanum, and numerous classic adventure game titles. Yes, I liked it that much so I thought I'd mention him.

If you do somehow manage to get stuck, there's even a walkthrough from the game's main page at Arcadetown. And besides the online version, there is also a freely downloadable version of the game available for your convenience.

Play Automaton

Walkthrough Guide


(Please allow page to fully load for spoiler tags to be functional.)

Complete walkthrough list of Easter eggs that can be found in Automaton:

In this game you should look for the boxes which has the words
TOWER TO HEAVEN PARTS 1/3, 2/3, 3/3


Box 1

  • The first box is in the intro sequence to the right behind the water tank.

  • You must click the letters to see the egg.

Box 2

  • The second box is in the hallway.

  • "Wyrm" will get in the way of the box but don't worry.

  • If you click where the letters are even if "Wyrm" is in the way the Easter egg should still be displayed.

Box 3

  • The third box is in the library.

  • This one is a tricky one.

  • Mr. Crumpet will get in the way, but you will still be able to click where the letters are.

  • It's quite small but click random at Mr. Crumpet's body and you should be able to see the egg sooner or later.

Other stuff

  • In the library there are two readable books.

  • They are both in the bookshelf to the left. The books names are "Illuminati" and "The King".

  • Try to read some of the books labels if you can ;)

  • Some of the cables and wires in the corners are pullable.

39 Comments

This is fairly easy, but it's a nice game ^_^

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Complete walkthrough list of Easter eggs that can be found in Automaton:

In this game you should look for the boxes which has the words
TOWER TO HEAVEN PARTS 1/3, 2/3, 3/3


Box 1

  • The first box is in the intro sequence to the right behind the water tank.

  • You must click the letters to see the egg.

Box 2

  • The second box is in the hallway.

  • "Wyrm" will get in the way of the box but don't worry.

  • If you click where the letters are even if "Wyrm" is in the way the Easter egg should still be displayed.

Box 3

  • The third box is in the library.

  • This one is a tricky one.

  • Mr. Crumpet will get in the way, but you will still be able to click where the letters are.

  • It's quite small but click random at Mr. Crumpet's body and you should be able to see the egg sooner or later.

Other stuff

  • In the library there are two readable books.

  • They are both in the bookshelf to the left. The books names are "Illuminati" and "The King".

  • Try to read some of the books labels if you can ;)

  • Some of the cables and wires in the corners are pullable.

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Kind of cute but too slow and too easy.

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I was busy today, studying all the time i was so sad but when i played this game i wanted to cry, its music make me addicted to it :) so i recorded it ;p
any way thanks dancemonkey for this game :)

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Uh? This is good game...
I'm just a bit confused about the time period it's set in! How can it be 3241 or whatever and there are still colonies...? Has the world gone backwards at some point? A supposedly omniscient (absolute?) monarch reigns?
Haha, I know it's probably supposed to be fictional, but it's just kind of weird to me.

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okay, is it just me or does it sound like the music in this game is straight out of Arcanum?

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well, after finishing the game, i answered my own question. the music was composed by Ben Houge, who also composed the music for Arcanum. Still, I could have sworn some of this music WAS the music for Arcanum. Though, I suppose if Houge retained the rights to his music he could have allowed it to be used for this as well. I dunno. Good music anyway.

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Slug800 Author Profile Page May 10, 2007 11:16 PM

Anyone else having problems loading game? I tried mozilla and IE and both crash while trying to load game

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Gosh Nabhan... your wanting to cry makes me want to cry.

I though minor, minor elements of the music reminded me of the music from Firefly/Serenity, but obviously much, much sadder.

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To me, the music and appearance of the game give off a very nice steampunk feel. Actually, the music made me think at first in the first room that Mr. Crumpet had been killed off by the falling 'Wyrm'! Then of course I noticed the lack of blood, and that the goal of the puzzle was to open up the 'Wyrm' so he could get out.

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One thing I don't like about this game, though, and one thing that a lot (and I mean A LOT) of puzzling adventure games suffer from: pixel hunting. I don't care if it's because the clickable area actually is only one pixel wide/long, or because I just plain can't see the stuff that's important to the puzzle (the latter is the problem here since everything is understandably yet problematically dark); if it's not obvious to me what I can and can't interact with in some fashion, it makes it a lot harder to solve the puzzle. I've never been a great adventure gamer anyway, but this just makes going for the walkthrough more appealing than it should be (so far it seems that if it weren't for the need to figure out where stuff is to interact with I'd be done with it already).

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Ah. Finally finished it. For the curious, I had trouble with the second and fourth rooms. I also had a little trouble with the third, but sizing the window down and adding some contrast did the trick in making the letters more legible.

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Anonymous May 11, 2007 3:06 AM

The music is indeed from Arcanum, steampunk WRPG from some of the makers of Fallout.

Awesome, but is it legal?

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Anonymous May 11, 2007 3:10 AM

I like the atmosphere, but the telekinesis thing was a thinly veiled excuse to take shortcuts in animation.

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Andreas May 11, 2007 3:45 AM

I liked the story and the music. The pixel hunting was worse than in many other adventure games, though. What threw me off the track at least once in every screen was that I clicked on the right thing, but it wouldn't register because the sensitive area was too small. Argh!

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I don't appreciate the kind of adventure game that has you put masking tape over a mouse hole so it picks up the hair off the mouse, allowing you to use the hair and some glue to make a fake mustache to sneak into the library.

How does it make much more sense to grow a giant apple to rescue the guy from the mechanical worm????

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Yep, the title music is most definitely from Arcanum; Radcliffe's Symphony. Not that I mind though, the soundtrack was indeed good enough to be owned. And it works for the game's atmoshpere.

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kirsty1688 Author Profile Page May 11, 2007 8:32 AM

I dont understand what jay calls the easter eggs, even though i managed to find 2 without knowing what they were or even if they helped! Good game, thought was a bit short and didnt like that it sort of told you how to do it cause you can only do everything in order! At least there is no chance for mess ups.

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I kinda don't like this game very much. Don't kill me.

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Sorry baba44713, the contract's already out on you.

Ben, I know exactly what you mean. If you really want to play a great adventure game that doesn't involve too much "pixel hunting" and random clicking, and which has puzzles that 99.9% of the time make perfect sense, play the original Incredible Journey.

For all I know the sequel is just as amazing, but I haven't played it.

Ms. 45: "You're right, you're right, I know you're right."

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I'm with baba4471358132. :p

Kirsty - Easter eggs are little hidden goodies or messages left by the programmer to be discovered by only the most thorough players. Read about the history of the video game Easter egg at Wikipedia.

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anybody have answer for the Su Puzzle house puzzle. I have been stuck on that for years.

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Wow, this was the biggest waste of time I've seen yet.

So, is the purpose is to deliver a letter to a friend of his (the over all goal) or to find boxes or to find pictures?

I see all the pictures, I do all the stuff in the lab, I'm in the library, I get some glue, I open two books, I get a picture of the guy as a kid, I move a gear or sextant to the desk and then I'm out of things to do.

So...that's it?

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Naz Nomad May 11, 2007 2:02 PM

To find the pixels

you can use the old "Tab" trick.

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L. Wireman May 11, 2007 11:51 PM

The game music is depressing and sad. I believe I played an into to this series on another website.
The little robot gets put in the basement. Sooooooo sad
Game creators need to understand that some people are old and do not see when the screen is dark and therefore can not play the game. It is very frustrating and I usually just quit if I see that the game creator depends on the game scene being dark as integral part of the game.

Blessed be he who refuses to touch the darkness for he shall be known as a human torch.

My two cents, for what it is worth.

old lady wireman

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You should probably mention the 'prequel' to the game, which is here http://www.gameshot.org/?id=721. It's arguably better than this one.

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L. Wireman May 12, 2007 6:48 AM

Wulfo, Wulfo,

You are right! Prequel has been made for this game. Still sad and dark.
I am getting ready to google Incredible Journey that dancemonkey mentioned in post.

HAPPY M DAY ALL YOU M'S!!!!!!

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Silly question...

Was I supposed to keep some water from the metal Wyrm page to use to make steam?

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"everything is understandably yet problematically dark"

Try downloading it rather than playing it online. I was able to solve it all myself because things were bigger and the light was better. It's only a small download.

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dancemonkey, are you really, absolutely sure you don't mean The Longest Journey? Because if so I can't seem to find it. But since I really think you mean The Longest Journey and not Incredible Journey, I'll just leave off with a "I loved that game, and though I did have to go for a walkthrough a few times I agree with you on it." I really want to play the sequel, but I need to upgrade my video card first (it'll happen one of these days!)

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Wait, you're talking about great adventure games and the only thing you come up with is "The Longest Journey"?

What about all those great LucasArts adventures, or the newer TellTale Games adventure games, or even Broken Sword series, or Sierra games? They are all soo much better then "TLJ", which is soo clicheic, drawn out, and overburdened with redundant dialogue and New Age crap it's incredible.

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I'm going to have to disagree about TLJ. That game rocks. That said, LucasArts did have some of the best adventure games. Grim Fandango and Full Throttle, especially.

But this isn't really the place for that discussion, I suppose.

I'm not even sure it's the place for the next time I'm going to say, but I'm going to say it anyway.

About the music. Don't know if it's legal, but if it were illegal, it would be really stupid of them to state outright where the music came from.
That said, if you did like the music in this game, I discovered that it is all available for free download from Sierra's website.
http://www.terra-arcanum.com/sierra/media/media-soundtrack.html

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OK, perhaps my comment about TLJ was not really in line there. I guess I'm just still holding a grudge against that game for which I had high expectations when I bought it and then realized it was just a lame Mary Sue story turned into a supereasy point-and-click adventure.

About the music, yes, it's great. Thanks for the link.

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What do you do when

your in the room when it says exit after you have filled the thing up with coal i'm confused

i like the music it doesn't make sense when you have to

fill an apple with nutrients and crap to rescue the dude, what's all that about?

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Plain, very easy, nothing special and it's painfully slow. All those speech bubble parts are sooooo unneccessary and even the only real puzzle-part, the 3-digit code is easier to guess than to calculate, i guess - thats how i beat that in like 30 seconds and im not even great at that stuff...

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Oops, I need to set the record and my reputation straight.

I absolutely did NOT mean the Longest Journey. I did mean the Incredible Journey.

Thanks to Ben for pointing that out. I have no idea if The Longest Journey even exists, but if it does then baba44713 really hates it!

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How do I get past the giant (?) metal worm?

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ho do you make the wyrm swallow the apple?

I sprayed it with toxin...

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Darth_Meatloaf- Here is how to get he apple in the wyrm's mouth...

Pick up the paint sprayer and select it in your backpack. Then, click on the spicket on the minerals barrel. Use the now mineral filled sprayer on the apple, allowing you to click on the apple so it will go in its mouth.

I hope that helps. :)

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