Submachine: 32 Chambers
Lo, a great cry went up amidst teh intarwho on the day that JayIsGames unveiled their 8th Casual Gameplay Design Competition. "Is this a Submachine game we see before us?" And yea, it was, and forsooth, there was much rejoicing, for the renown of Mateusz Skutnik was great beyond measure. And the JIG readers did descend into Submachine: 32 Chambers, which was great with point-and-clickery, and much with puzzlement. Just as it was foretold, the JIG readers solved the sand filled labyrinth. And the comboxes did fill with discussions of the ending, and Jay saw that it was good, and yea, it was very good. And the people did vote, and the first prize was given, and a prize from Armor Games, and the Audience Award also.
The word of the game. Thanks be to Flash.
This being a point-and-click game, you point with the mouse, looking for areas where your cursor changes to indicate a hotspot. Once you find one, you click to interact with the environment—pick up an object, go to another room, etc. You've got an inventory at the bottom of the screen, and you'll be using some of these inventory items on places in the environment. For example, you might need to use a fly swatter on a fly. Pretty simple, right? Well, if you're a veteran point-and-clicker, you may find that 32 Chambers messes with your genre expectations in one crucial puzzle, so just keep your mind open, that's all I'll say. If you weren't familiar with the genre, it probably wouldn't even be considered a puzzle, because it's what you would naturally try.
Analysis: In Submachine 4, there was a note mentioning thirty-two chambers filled with sand. Somehow, you've gotten teleported into this subterranean world. Do you need to escape? Or is there some higher purpose that's summoned you here? In addition to the obvious sand, Submachine: 32 Chambers evokes the exploration mood associated with sandbox games. There's no obvious goal at first; you need to figure that out yourself.
Like the other games in the Submachine series, there is a wealth of little details here which point to a greater creative world. You really get the feeling like you're peeking into something far larger than the confines of the game. Too many games have the fake and limited feeling of a grade school diorama made in a shoebox. The Submachine and Daymare Town series, by comparison, are shoebox-sized windows into a galaxy. Even this brief foray into the world of Submachine is enough to blow most other games out of the water. Submachine: 32 Chambers was fully worthy of its prizes, and you won't want to miss it.
Jay - When the first Submachine surfaced back in late 2005 from a designer named Murtaugh (Mateusz Skutnik), it made huge waves in the small Flash gaming circles that were starting to pop up around the Web. The reason, of course, was that the game had all the right ingredients for a fantastic point-and-click escape: sharp, appealing graphics, creative, absorbing puzzles, and a moody, atmospheric soundtrack. It was more than just a game, it was an experience, and it was clear that the designer understood how to deliver on the immersion factor. Fast forward 5 years and Mateusz Skutnik is a well-known name and Submachine a well-known brand with a great following. The reason, of course, is the designer understands how to deliver on the immersion factor, time and time again. Submachine: 32 Chambers was a pleasant surprise to see entered into the competition, and its characteristic moody charm, inventive puzzles, and gorgeous, sand-filled chambers, won everyone over and swept the show. Although not a very surprising win, a well-deserved win just the same. Congratulations Murtaugh!
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