Mechanaught


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Rating: 3.8/5 (80 votes)
| Comments (16) | Views (13)

DoraMechanaughtRobots! Evil, cold-hearted, emotionless tyrants who want nothing better than to rip up your flower beds and replace them with oil refineries! But what happens when they've lived out their usefulness? Do they retire to some silicon Valhalla? Not if you're a Mechanaught! In this action platform game featuring hardcore robot disobedience, avoid the scrap heap as you fight your way out of a line to be decommissioned and seek out those who would have you destroyed.

The nice thing about Mechanaught is that the controls are fully customizable via the options menu on the main key. Actions can be reassigned to whatever key you wish if the standard [WASD] controls don't do it for you. Maybe it's yet another attempt to recreate the simulation of being a robot, fully in control of one's own abilities and able to rewire your own circuitry. Or maybe it's just a pleasant attempt to make the game accessible to almost everyone.

However you customise your game, the basic premise stays the same. Progress through stages by making your way to the glowing platforms at the end of each one. Avoid or destroy enemies and security systems by picking up various types of weapons and ammunition. Keep your eyes peeled for switches to raise platforms, and for special monitors to save your progress. Also tucked sparingly throughout the levels are health and additional lives you'll need to gather if you want to see the end.

Just remember that no matter what those mean ol' monitors say about you, we think you're keen.

MechanaughtAnalysis: Usually when we talk about something having a retro style, we're generally referring to NES-era visuals. Mechanaught actually goes a step farther in that it would not have looked out of place on that great Methuselah of gaming systems, the Atari. The colour-shifting background is a bit perplexing, but the simple black design for everything works well and doesn't get in the way of playing the game itself.

Although the platforming here is going to be very basic to most of us, Mechanaught stands out both in design and mood. As you progress, the large monitors mounted to the walls begin to get increasingly irritated at your inability to lie down and give up. "Stop now and you will be dismantled painlessly!" they cry. Maybe you'd be a little more inclined to believe them if you didn't have to gun down quite so many mindless members of your extended manufactured family.

My biggest gripe with Mechanaught is actually the implementation of lives. I thought we'd covered this was an unnecessary and annoying idea for a browser game. I sent out flyers and everything. This is a flash game, not an arcade hall with a sticky floor. You're not going to get quarters out of me, just an enraged baboon-like hooting. If you run out of lives, that's it. Game over. You can go back to your most recent save, but it's still frustrating. Maybe some people will like the added difficulty, but the rest of us are going to be annoyed that dying carries such a stiff penalty instead of simply popping you back to the beginning of a stage. Maybe if health kits were a more frequent find, it wouldn't be as much of an issue.

All in all, however, Mechanaught is still a fun, odd robot romp. It's also educational! If you ever find yourself having to dispose of large quantities of deadly war machines, do yourself a favour and make sure you disarm them first. That seems like basic robot safety protocol, but, well, apparently some people need reminding.

Play Mechanaught

16 Comments

did anybody find the shotgun? I made it half way through level three, and although I saw shells and enemies with shotguns, I never found the shotgun itself.

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Gryphon78

The Shotgun

Is in a "secret" location.

To find it

take the teleport pad to the right of the one-way elevator + switch combo

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Good action game but along with lives, I don't like reloading.

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Found it extra frustrating as it kept forgetting that the walk left or right key was being held down.

What finally caused me to give up was

...picking up the Flame Thrower and returning through the portal to find the 2 turrets I'd destroyed 10 seconds before were magically restored.

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Thanks a lot for the review :). Hope everyone enjoys the game.

Ali

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I have to agree with rc.
I finally gave up when I would lose all my health after spawning..

That said, the game looks great - The level design and enemy AI let this game down a whole bunch.

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There are some TERRIBLE design choices on show here. Respawning turrets just beyond portals, limited-space trick jumps ages after the last save point, enemies who you can't see but can magically see you (Particularly annoying with turrets that usually can't see you at a certain angle but once they're shooting at you they can) - and then bits that are just evil. "Here's an extra life that you can only just see, heeheehee the only way you can get out of here is to jump in the spikes. GET BACK UNDER THE TURRETS."
I got as far as the "Enter the portal to your right to go to Level 5" when the spikejump with the low ceiling there took my last life. Taking me back to before the supremely irritating flamethrower collection sequence.

No more.

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peteyfrogboy Author Profile Page September 10, 2009 10:55 AM

I just got to the flamethrower and level 5 jump sequence, and found it irritating as well, but the levels are short enough and the gameplay fun enough that I don't mind grinding it a few times to get it right.

For the flamethrower pickup:

I made sure to equip the assault rifle before coming back through the portal, then unload on the right hand turret while walking left. Once I'm up against the left hand wall, the other turret can't see me and I can plink at it until it dies.

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I missed the flamethrower. I got as far as picking up the grenade launcher, but then got to a room with a rocket launcher and couldn't get past that point.

The ammo display was somewhat confusing. The numbers display as "xx|y", but the "|" looks like a "1". At first, this made me wonder why I always had 121 bullets in the handgun, and started with over 30,000 ammo for the machine gun but fired them 100 shots at a time.

Having said that, I never had any significant issues with level design, and kind of liked the simple AI. Once you figure out how the robots behave, it made it kind of fun to see how far I could get with just the handgun.

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Another game from the studios of "can't be played on most european keyboards".

And why is it impossible to use the keyboard arrows? No reason at all...

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Okay, I've played through the entire game now.

There are some unfortunate level design issues, yes. The room where you get to the flamethrower in Level 4 is particularly bad, as you enter directly under the two turret guns, then later in the same room face two shotgun-wielding robots. If they kill you, you respawn...right under the turret guns again.

As for that particular subroom,

if you get up against the left wall, it appears that neither gun is able to see you. You can then take out both guns with your pistol.

The biggest change I could suggest for this game is that once you kill an enemy, they shouldn't respawn when you reenter the room. That would fix the problematic room in Level 4, and improve some other rooms as well.

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CplKittenses September 10, 2009 5:23 PM

Well, I thought it was brilliant!

It's pretty unforgiving, but I managed to complete it on one play through without using saves. The nasty tricks remind me of old school games.

One tip - make sure you have the shotgun out whenever you go through a portal. It's good for taking out surprise enemies/turrets.

Also, grenade launcher works wonders on rocket turrets.

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@Toto: You can reassign keys under the "Controls" menu option.

I agree that it's silly not to be able to use the arrows, but since it's a keyboard + mouse game, with your right hand on the mouse, it's easier to use your left hand on the left side of the keyboard. Of course, if you mouse with your left hand, that also doesn't work so well, but the mouse+WASD combo is best default for right handed QWERTY users - which, to be honest, are probably the majority of the audience. A straightforward reassign keys feature takes care of the rest, assuming they don't immediately throw their hands up in frustration on seeing the WASD combo.

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I have to admit, the more I play this game, the more fun it is. Finding the safest ways through tricky rooms definitely gives this an old-school feel.

One more peeve, though: I am completely unable to get the saved games to work. If I close my browser and come back later, all the save slots are empty again. Is anyone else having this problem?

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Shotgun is easy to get. In room after you see it, walk to portal at bottom of screen rather than activating switch to take you up to the top of the screen and on to Level 3. The portal at the bottom takes you to previous room where shotgun is located.

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After playing through level 4 and getting to the part where you have to jump over to get to the level 5 teleport... I jumped and fell into the spikes. When I played all the way through level 4 again, the elevator was all the way up top and I could not go back up. Gameplay is great except for it's glitches. I was not able to complete this game. :(

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