Crazy Machines


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Rating: 4.5/5 (95 votes)
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Crazy Machines

JoshReleased in 2005 by German game developers FAKT Software, Crazy Machines was a cult classic that just recently began to breach the barrier to "fan-favorite" status among casual gamers. Publicized mainly by word of mouth, this unique puzzle game staked its claim as the next-generation leap from The Incredible Machine, which reached its height of popularity almost a decade earlier. The common theme in both games is the use of Rube Goldberg-inspired machines and contraptions to solve a puzzle or obstacle in each level. What's that? Rube who, you ask? If your early childhood includes memories of playing the classic board game Mouse Trap, you're already familiar with the concept that bears his namesake: accomplishing the simplest of tasks (like dropping a cage on the floor) by using complex, over-elaborate contraptions and mechanisms in a obscenely indirect, unintuitive way.

crazymachinesCrazy Machines embraces the concept in a way it can be applied to a video game, just like the classic The Incredible Machine showcased a decade earlier. Although popular among puzzle-loving gamers, The Incredible Machine series was beginning to feel somewhat dated. Crazy Machines hoped to fill that void with better graphics, emulated 3D levels and a prettier UI. Today, Crazy Machines is finally starting to get the recognition that a lot of fans feel it deserves.

Gameplay mechanics are fairly simple once you get used to them, although you might not anticipate that from glancing at the screenshots. But you'll get plenty of help from the game's Einstein-looking mascot as he guides you through the tutorial and level progression. You primarily use the mouse to interact with the puzzle area and interface, taking objects from your workspace and manipulating them in various ways to find solutions to each level's "experiment." (Armadillo Run is an excellent recent example, if you remember that gem.) With over 200 levels of experiments in all, there are lots of different toys and gadgets to play with, some of which you'll need to use in multiple ways. You've got your average variety of simple items like boxes, pipes and balls; and more advanced tools like conveyor belts, electrical sources, pulleys and wires. You'll even be offered exotic gadgets like zeppelins and robots in later levels, with many other surprises. And those surprises are part of the game's strategy; being able to use critical thinking to deduce the fastest solution in each experiment.

crazymachines_screen2In each level, you're presented with a task or goal to complete, and you're given all the necessary tools and items to work with. Time and space are frozen until you push the "Ready" button, giving you time to examine each experiment and put all your objects in place. Sometimes you'll need all of them, sometimes you'll only need a few. It's how you work with them that determines if you'll succeed or not, and the quicker you your experiment completed its task, the better you did. Many of the items you'll use and the steps you can take are open-ended, meaning there are different ways to use gadgets to accomplish your goal, and some are more efficient than others. In the quirky spirit of Rube Goldberg-like contraptions, you'll have to think ahead and predict how each step will influence the next... "Will a lighter ball have more rebound on impact, allowing it to bounce far enough to trigger the next action? If I place a magnet right here, will that make a difference in an object's trajectory?" These are the kinds of questions you'll be asking yourself as you fine-tune your experiment to accomplish each goal.

If you're a quick study, or you happen to be pretty sharp when it comes to spatial thinking and logical reasoning, you might find yourself successfully rushing though some of the levels quicker than intended. With a partially open-ended game mechanic comes the possibility beating levels with less-than-fulfilling techniques, like using only a small number of available items, or making only the smallest choices in placement. But no matter how smart you are (maybe with the exception of your occasional certified genius), there are plenty of brain-teasing levels to figure out before you reach the end. And when you do, there's a "create-your-own-experiment" mode so you can build your own levels, or download user-created experiments and load them into your game.

Crazy Machines probably won't heat up your graphics card, but the level design and animation is pretty adequate for an almost four-year-old puzzle game. Music and sound rates about the same; nothing extraordinary, but lively and fitting. If you're an old-school Incredible Machine fan or you just enjoy puzzle games in general, give the Crazy Machines demo a spin. It might just be the most fun you've had with ridiculous contraptions since Mouse Trap.

WindowsWindows:
Download the demo
Get the full version

Mac OS XMac OS X:
Not available.
Try Boot Camp or Parallels or CrossOver Games.

Walkthrough Guide


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My Crazy Walkthrough for Crazy Machines

The Inventor's Workshop

Stages 1-10

Stages 11-20

Stages 21-30

Stages 31-40

Stages 41-50

Stages 51-60

Stages 61-70

Stages 71-80

Stages 81-100

Stages 91-102

My Crazy Walkthrough for Crazy Machines

New Challenges

Stages 1-10

Stages 11-20

Stages 21-30

Stages 31-40

Stages 41-50

Stages 51-60

Stages 61-70

Stages 71-80

Stages 81-100

Stages 91-102

63 Comments

I own a slightly older version of this game that is Macintosh-compatible. I bought it from a store in the real world, though, so I don't know if it's available as an Internet download...

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Is this game related to Fantastic Contraption, by any chance?

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I have this game. Its not as good as the other comtraptions games but its still pretty good.

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I've been playing this game for quite some time now, and I've enjoyed it quite well throughout the game.
I haven't played much recent 'contraption' games though, so I can't really compare.

For a while I've been stuck at level 101 ('Nailing together'), and simply can't find a way to finish it.
So if someone knows how to approach this problem, especially how you can get the fire below the lower boiler, I would be much obliged :)

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We have this game at our tech lab when we're a day away from break. It's good to see it getting reviewed, because I love the game.

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I own this game too and it's a good one. I also own almost all of the Incredible Machines series.

The graphics are much better in this game than the IM series. It's good for all the people who have an engineering type mind or just anyone who likes puzzles. It's also a great game for families to work on together.

I hope they release more.

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I seem to be having trouble with level 4, of all things. A magnet, a bucket, and a tennis ball... and the magnet does jack to the bucket. WHAI?

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Well, this was certainly one of the games I didn't expect to see on Big Fish Games. Or JIG, for that matter. Wonder when/if they'll do this with Crazy Machines 2...

For solutions to levels, go to [snip]


[Edit: We wish to encourage JIG community members to create and post their own solutions in the comment threads to our reviews, rather than link to external walkthrough sites. Thanks for understanding! :) -Jay]

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the magnet can stop the scissors from cutting. #78 has me baffled.

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#78:

hint:

you can launch the crate by getting it stuck between two conveyor belts moving in opposite direction

walkthrough:

Place your conveyor belt in between the two that are already there, but in such a way that there is a gap between yours and the leftmost belt. Then make sure the crate moves to the right towards this gap, and that the second conveyor moves in the opposite direction. If the gap between the two conveyors is just right, the crate will be launched onto the basketball, which should then fall down onto the switch (note: you may need to place the generator to the left to make sure the basketball doesn't fall too far.

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anyone finished #101 yet?

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For #101 of The Inventor's Workshop ("Nailing Together"):

You need to light one candle with another. You need to extinguish one candle by firing a crossbow at it. You need to fire one crossbow by firing the other crossbow at it. You need to rest one candle on a pipe. You need some fairly precise placement, but it isn't too bad. Actually, this is just the official solution; there are definitely ways to do it with fewer parts.

I assume you're referring to that one. Remember, there are actually four Crazy Machines games plus three collections, so include the name of the level in addition to the number lest someone think you're referring to a different level.

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ashiel:
I'm also having toruble on that level. I can't seem to get the magnet to do anything. And I don't feel like spending the entire time limit of the demo trying to figure it out.

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heh, i did mention the name earlier, but you're right i forgot the 2nd time..

thanks for the info, finished it now :)

onto the 'New Challenges'

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Any help with level 16, please? All I need help!

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For those having trouble with magnets, remember that they need to be facing in the right direction AND they can't be too close or far away.

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I need a hint or help on 20 all in all 3...yes I am still stuck in the beginning.....

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Level 20:

Try to stop the C4 from exploding.

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Can someone leave more detailed instructions for level 101 on crazy machines. I have been trying it for a couple hours now and can't get it.
Thanks

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Two things I should point out: Crazy machines does have an OS X version, though it's a PPC binary (works fine on my Macbook Pro). Also, Crazy Machines 2 is out! Love the original, and the sequel is a nice dose of the same.

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I'm stuck on "Floor'n'light" 89/103
I've blasted apart the entire floor, and lit the candle, but the puzzle is not "solved"

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For level 20, all you need to do is wedge the magnet just above the lever where the ball comes out.

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I need help with level 58. How do iI get the magnets to hold up the bucket so it doen't fall and make the scissors cut the fuse? So confused. Please help. Thanks.

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Leavel 44 help I can't get either ball to ignite the switch!!

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58: Plant rearing help please?

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Sorry.done now.

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Can anybody help me with level 8, Midday Meal.

I'm busting my brains out on it. >_>

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Level: 30 new challenges
"Tutorial Gravity 3" please?

I can't deal with the lack of gravity. :(

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Kim Worrall October 6, 2008 10:11 AM

Need some help with # 91, "Steamed Clean". Seems to be too many steam valves and not enough rope or droppable items.

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My Crazy Walkthrough for Crazy Machines

The Inventor's Workshop

Stages 1-10

Stages 11-20

Stages 21-30

Stages 31-40

Stages 41-50

Stages 51-60

Stages 61-70

Stages 71-80

Stages 81-100

Stages 91-102

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I'm stuck on 90--I can't get the dynomite to light...help please!!!!

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Thank you for the screen shots smarkies

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Level 51 new challenges:
First step.

Can't do.
*hint: smarkies are you making a walkthrough for new chalenges?*

Is there anything apart from the inventors workshop and new challenges?
It's just I'm getting bored of the same type of things.

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i just want to ask (sorry about double post)

but the top picture, there are some pieces I can't find...

the swirly things (like a cog with wood out of it)
and the flashy things that look like jukeboxes, the ones that are locked.

I just wondered where they are and what they do.

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@Cooley123

Yes I will upload it soon as possible I'm currently playing "Steamed Clean" 91/103 New Challenges.

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Thanks.

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Sorry about double post.

But smarkies, your walkthrough uses .rar

It wont open.

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emskilicious October 12, 2008 1:46 AM

@smarkies please can you upload it soon? or tonight or tomorrow?

@cooley123

Download Winrar from here http://www.download.com/WinRAR/3000-2250_4-10007677.html

So that you can extract your .rar files.

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My Crazy Walkthrough for Crazy Machines

New Challenges

Stages 1-10

Stages 11-20

Stages 21-30

Stages 31-40

Stages 41-50

Stages 51-60

Stages 61-70

Stages 71-80

Stages 81-100

Stages 91-102

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I am having serious issues with The Blinking Machine (or something with a title to that effect). Help would be wonderfully beneficial.

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I just want to know who gave this game the green light. I've played games from the Incredible Machine series & found them to be entertaining challenges, but they amped up the difficulty level so much for this one that it's unplayable!

Seriously, my demo experience amounted to failing time & again to get that stupid magnet on Experiment 4 to do squat while that jerk with the Einstein hair ridiculed my efforts even though he wouldn't give me any actual help figuring out how to make the parts work!

I mean, I hear the magnet doesn't work if it's too close or too far away from what you want it to pull, but how am I supposed to know that intuitively, much less how far apart they have to be for it to work? I'm just glad I only downloaded the demo instead of spending money on it.

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i really need help with new challenges level 92 captive balloon. have been working on it for 3 weeks....i really want to beat it but i can't.....try to look at the levels on here but it won't let me see it

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Miles - what exactly is the problem?

Can't you open the spoilers? You need Javascript enabled in your browser to see the spoiler tags.

Also, I took the images out of the .rar files and posted them separately, so you should be able to just click on the links now to see the screenshots of the solutions.

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thank you so very much for the screen shot....i had been doing it like that but couldn't get the position right....been working on that board for a month or more

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crazy machines the wacky contraptions game #94 you only show a bucket. i need more detailed picture as to what to do. stuck for several days.

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Anyone else having a problem with New Challenges 53? I've done it successfully 2 different ways, but it still doesn't accept that I've finished it. Any ideas?

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I think I'm missing something. #52, flower rearing, I have made it look like the walkthrough pic and it is just not working for me. I have also tried it several different ways, but it's just not working. Any Ideas?

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i desperate to get help for level 35.... much appreciated.

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How do I complete level 21, "Fuse"? I know what I have to do... I just don't know how to end my wick/fuse line! So, I can't start the experiment with my item placed. :( Help please?

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Anonymous May 2, 2009 5:28 AM

To VCVerse

The only way to end the fuse is to right-click

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The blinking machines: when you use the Solar Power, you must put it right next to the light that turns on first to charge it, to light the second one. The rest you probably can get.

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Anonymous November 1, 2009 8:05 PM

how do you do #76??

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I am having trouble with level 51 "first step" in New Challenges. I have arranged all the parts as close to the spoiler graphic as I can, but it seems the vacuum machine isn't strong enough to move the tennis ball. Any idea what I've done wrong? btw, thanks so much Sparkie for all the work you've done. Other than this level, it's been very helpful

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Oh dear. I just realized I misspelled your name in my previous comment, Smarkies. I apologize.

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My nephew once showed me a cheat that allows you to access the full list of experiments and start from any one you want rather than complete them in sequence, but I can't remember it...does anyone know what keys do this?

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EVEN with walkthrough, 81 is impossible for me.

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Has anyone figured out what is wrong with 52, flower rearing. I can not get it to work no matter what I do. I have looked at the picture and have done exactly like the picture shows and it still won't work. Now I can't move on unitl I solve?

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mrcubfanguy Author Profile Page July 10, 2010 11:22 AM

My Crazy Machines game is literally crazy.
Whenever I double-click on it to start it up, it gives me a BSOD (blue screen of death) that wants me to shut down or restart my computer. I don't know what is going on, but I do know that I really want to play the game. Can someone please help me?

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please give me a idea for (partical acceleration level)

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HELP please im stuck on level 20 which is i need to shoot the balloon using the right lower bow...i dont know how to do it...

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Stuck on Flower Rearing also. #52.
Very frustrating.

Any help would be verrry much appreciated.
;)

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I am having a lot of fun with this game. It appeals to the geeky kid in me. In fact I think there are several geeky kids in here.... And they are all enjoying it.
~ Pieter.

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crazy machines new from the lab: #21 how to light the canons?

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