Adventure 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.