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Tough Love Machine

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Rating: 4.4/5 (63 votes)
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Tough Love Machine

Satori'Do you recall the first time we ever met, darling? Was it... fate that brought us together? Kismet, perhaps?' 'Nope. It was those giant mechanical novelty hands shoving us into each other.' '...How strange. I don't remember those at all!' In Andrew Morrish's new physics puzzle designed for Ludum Dare, you're just a love machine. A Tough Love Machine. Literally! Well-armed with cartoonish pair of mechanical gloved hands, your objective is to join true love in the form of two hearts by pushing and sliding them around levels that are, er, also you... to bring them both together in a wave of profoundly amorous synchronicity. Or to light up the entire level in an exciting disco-floor suffusion of color. You know. Whichever.

Tough Love MachineTwo-fisted control is provided courtesy of the [WASD] and [arrow] keys to move both the left and right hands independently, and though you can't take back a move you can always reset the level with [R]. Your arms can move into any free space they can reach, as well as retract, but you can't move through a spot that's already occupied by an arm unless you retract it first. Just as in life, your arms can only reach so far before you run out of stretch. Unlike life, you'll be able to tell how close you are to that point by a cute little noise they make each time you reach out further, which increases in pitch. It's a handy little addition (har har har) which we're nevertheless glad hasn't been implemented in what we loosely term 'real life'. The level design here is brilliant. The by-now standard trope of demoralizing commentary featured on each new level seemed a bit derivative and inconsistent with the theme, but nobody ever said machines were perfect and it's reassuring to note that when the robot takeover happens all the dispiriting, GladOS-like remarks will be a dead giveaway as to just who's human and who's mere silicon and 30% post-consumer recycled plastics. The lack of a soundtrack may feel a bit empty for some, while others may find it a refreshing aid to concentration. We were particularly impressed with the craftiness of the levels with such a simple mechanic, and we'd love to see the idea expounded on a little more with more levels and a few added gameplay elements thrown in, perhaps in a conceptual sequel. With a cunning mechanic like this it certainly seems like a natural for the smartphone medium, with sharable user-made levels. Get ready to put your hands, er, hearts together for Tough Love Machine!

Play Tough Love Machine


expired July 29, 2015 5:50 AM

I find myself unable to resist this sort of colour palette

Patreon Crew SonicLover July 29, 2015 10:55 AM

Oh wow. One of the levels is captioned "Give Up, Robot".

Kaykayenne July 29, 2015 7:42 PM

Wow, I'm already stuck at the third level...

HazelNutBalls July 29, 2015 9:01 PM

I'm stuck on the third level, too!


Most levels require you to push the hearts on the arms, or even contort the arms to to push the heart along your own arm.

For level 3, "There is no undo button",

extend the left arm as far right, then as far up as it goes. Use the right arm to push the right heart left twice, then retract the left hand. Push the right heart left until it's over the other heart, then retract the left arm to drop it and complete the level.

I'm stuck on 17 (or 16?), the level called "Ticktockticktockticktock". It seems like I need to get the right heart over the gap, but for the life of me this seems impossible.


i'm stuck on solution = 0 or something its liek 6 or 7 i think.

Neb July 30, 2015 3:07 AM replied to SirNiko

For "Ticktockticktockticktock" don't overthink it.

You don't need to get the right hand heart over the gap. Just drop it, then work on getting the top heart next to it.

Neb July 30, 2015 3:24 AM replied to Ashiel

For "Score = 0" this is how I did it.

  1. Push the right hand heart over the edge.

  2. Extend the right hand arm down into the gap, so your arm is level with the left platform.

  3. Push the left hand heart onto the right arm.

  4. Extend the left arm down and around to fill to hole next to the heart you dropped.

  5. Retract the right arm and let the heart drop next to the first heart.


Cute, but hard

jcfclark August 2, 2015 9:26 PM

Not sure what level number I'm stuck on, but it says, "The worst moment in your life is coming" -- and it has..


POP but it took quite some time.


wooo! finally finished, what a great puzzle game!

kinda confused as why the last two level names were just "..." though

uso August 3, 2015 3:44 PM replied to jcfclark

For "The worst moment in your life is coming"

1) Using just the left arm, I pushed the left heart on the left edge of the top level. To do this, I stretched the left arm one space to the left, wrapped the left arm above and under the left floating block pushing the left heart over the edge but still on top of the left arm, and retracted the left arm to push it on the left edge of the top level.

2) Push the bottom cog all the way to the right. (Left arm)

3) Using both arms, push the top cog off the edge. (Using the right arm, push the top cog off the edge but position the left arm so that it is holding the cog after the cog falls. Move the left arm up one space and move the right arm one space toward the left. Do similar motions until the cog is on top of the left floating block, and keep using both arms to push the cog off the level.

4) Push the right heart on top of the right cog. Stretch the left arm along the level until it touches the left side of the right cog, and use the right arm to push the heart on top of the left arm. Lift the heart using the left arm, and push it to the left with the right arm. Do similar motions until the heart is on the leftmost block on the bottom level.

5) Retract the left arm. Stretch the left arm one space to the left, and push the heart from the top level so that it falls on top of the left arm. Complete!

Daniel B. August 26, 2015 5:43 PM

I'm stuck on the one called "Health=-1". I'm trying to make both the hearts stand on the gear, but how do I accomplish this?

silent george August 27, 2015 4:32 PM replied to SonicLover

And I'm stuck on it!

silent george August 27, 2015 4:42 PM replied to silent george


silent george August 28, 2015 10:40 AM replied to Daniel B.

For Health = 1, I

ignored the gear and just focused on getting a bubble over to the left to use as a staging ground.

Daniel B. September 29, 2015 10:48 PM replied to expired

I will try to make a walkthrough soon...


No more questions! Here is a full walkthrough of the game.

LH = Move the left hand (WASD).
RH = Move the right hand (Arrow keys).

U = Go up the amount of spaces given
D = Go down the amount of spaces given
L = Go left the amount of spaces given
R = Go right the amount of spaces given

How to use these: If the spoiler says...

LH: 3U, 6L, 4R
RH: 5D

Move the left hand 3 spaces up, 6 spaces left, then 4 spaces right.
Then move the right hand down 5 spaces.

(If you find any problems, please tell me)

"Tough Love Machine"

Wow, really? You needed help on this one? Oh, well.
LH: 1U, 5R

"Press R to reset"

LH: 2U, 1L, 2U, 4R, 1D, 2L, 2R, 1U, 4L, 2D, 1R, 2D
RH: 1U, 7L

"There is no undo button"

LH: 7R, 3U
RH: 4U, 4L
LH: 2D, 4L, 4R, 1D, 6L

"Shouldn't you be working?"

RH: 1R, 3D, 4L
LH: 1L, 2U, 3R, 1D, 1L, 1R, 1U, 3L, 2D, 1R, 1U, 1R, 1U, 1L, 1R, 1D, 1L, 1D, 2L, 5D, 1R
RH: 3R, 1D, 1L

"They will step on you to get higher"

RH: 1D, 2L, 2U, 1R, 1L, 2D, 2R, 2U, 11L
LH: 1U, 1R, 1L, 3D, 2R
RH: 1R
LH: 3U, 1L, 1U, 1R, 1L, 1D, 1R, 1D, 6R, 1L
RH: 5R, 1U, 3R

"Go to Bed"

RH: 1U, 5L
LH: 1L, 7U, 3R, 3L, 4D, 5R, 1D, 2L, 2R, 1U, 2L, 1D, 1L, 1R 1U, 3L, 3D, 2R, 2D, 2L, 1U
RH: 1U, 1L

"Score = 0"

LH: 1L, 4U, 4R, 1D, 2R
RH: 1R, 4U, 4L, 4R, 7D, 5L, 3U
LH: 2L

"That outfit makes you look ambisinistrous"

RH: 1R, 2U, 5L, 1D, 3R, 3L, 1U, 5R, 2D, 1L, 4U, 1R, 1U, 1L, 1R, 1D, 1L, 4D, 1R, 2U, 7L, 1D, 1R, 1L, 1U, 1R, 1D, 2R, 2L, 1U, 2R, 1D, 2R, 2L, 1U, 4R, 2D, 1L, 1U, 1L, 1U, 1R, 1L, 1D, 1R, 1D
LH: 1U, 9R
RH: 4U

"Score = -1000"

RH: 1L, 3D, 2R, 1D, 5L, 5R, 1U, 2L, 1D, 4L, 4R, 4U, 1R
LH: 5U, 3R, 3L, 4D, 8R, 2D, 1L

"Did you do something? I wasn't looking"

LH: 2L, 3U, 3R, 1D, 1L, 1R, 1U, 3L, 3D, 2R
RH: 1R, 3U, 4L
LH: 2L, 4D, 1R

"You might actually be getting worse"

RH: 2L, 2R
LH: 4D, 2L, 2D, 3R
RH: 1L
LH: 3L, 2U, 2R, 3U, 4L, 2D, 1R
RH: 2U, 6L, 2D, 1R

"local maxima"

RH: 2U, 1L, 4U, 4L, 4R, 4D, 1R, 1D, 5L
LH: 2U, 1L, 2U, 3R, 2L, 2R, 2L, 3R
RH: 3R, 2U
LH: 2R
RH: 1D, 2R

"Give up, robot"

RH: 6D, 5L, 1R
LH: 1R, 1U, 4R
RH: 1L, 1R
LH: 3D, 2L, 2R, 3U, 4L, 5D, 1R

"They live, we sleep"

RH: 2D, 4L
LH: 1D, 2L, 3U, 3R, 3L, 3D, 2R, 1D, 3R
RH: 2R, 7U
LH: 3L, 1U, 3R, 6U, 1R
RH: 7D, 2L
LH: 1L, 6D, 5L, 3U, 3R, 3L, 3D, 2R, 1D, 3R
RH: 2R, 8U
LH: 3L, 1U, 3R, 7U, 1R

"This is the oldest you've ever been"

RH: 6L, 1U
LH: 2L, 3D, 3R
RH: 1L, 1U, 3R, 3L, 1D, 1R, 1D, 5R, 1D, 4L
LH: 3L, 5D, 2R

"The worst moment in your life is coming"

LH: 1L, 3U, 4R, 2D, 2L, 2R, 2U, 4L, 3D, 1R, 4U, 1L, 1U, 1R, 1L, 1D, 1R, 3D, 3R, 1U, 1R
RH: 1D, 7L, 7R
LH: 1L, 1U, 1L, 1R, 2D, 3L, 1D, 1L, 3U, 4R, 2D, 2L, 2R, 2U, 4L, 3D, 1R, 1U, 1R, 1U, 1L, 1R, 1D, 3R, 1D, 2R
RH: 2D, 3L, 2U
LH: 2U
RH: 1L
LH: 2D, 2L, 2U, 1L
RH: 3L, 1R
LH: 1R, 1D, 1L, 2U, 1L, 1R, 2D, 3L, 1D, 1L, 3U, 4R, 2D, 2L, 2R, 2U, 4L, 3D, 1R, 4U


LH: 1R, 3D, 5R, 5L, 7U, 3R
RH: 1L, 2U, 5L, 2R
LH: 1R
RH: 2L
LH: 4L, 7D, 3R, 1U, 1L, 1U, 1R, 1L, 1D, 1R, 1D, 1R, 1U, 1L, 1U, 1R

"Health = 0"

RH: 4U, 3R
LH: 4U, 1L, 2U, 3R, 1D, 1L, 1R, 1U, 3L, 2D, 1R, 1U, 1R, 1U, 1L, 1R, 1D, 6R, 1L
RH: 1U, 1L, 1U, 2R

"You look older"

RH: 1U, 4L, 1U
LH: 1L, 2D, 5R, 5L, 4D, 4R, 1U
RH: 1D, 5R, 3U, 4L, 4R, 3D, 5L

"Don't even bother with this one"

RH: 3U, 5L, 2D, 2U, 5R, 6D, 5L, 1U
LH: 2U, 3R, 1D, 1R, 1U, 1R, 1D, 1U, 1L, 1D, 1L, 1U, 4R, 1D, 2L

"Somebody else already beat this one"

RH: 1L, 2D, 2L, 1U, 4L
LH: 1L, 1U, 1R, 1L, 1D, 3R
RH: 4R, 1D
LH: 1D, 3R
RH: 1R, 2U, 1L, 1U, 1R

"Trying is the first step towards failure"

RH: 4D, 3L, 3R, 3U, 4L, 3D, 3U, 2R, 1D, 1L
LH: 3U, 3R
RH: 1R, 1U, 2R, 3D, 4L, 1R, 1L, 4R, 2U, 3L, 3R, 2D, 4L

"Health = -1"

RH: 5U, 3L, 1U, 1R, 1U, 1L, 1R, 1D, 1L, 1D, 4L, 4R
LH: 5U, 1L, 1U, 1R, 1L, 1D, 2R, 1U, 5R, 6L, 1U, 1R, 1L, 1D, 1R, 1D, 1R, 1U, 1L, 1U, 1R, 1L, 1D, 1R, 1D, 1R, 1U, 1L, 1U, 1R, 1L, 1D, 2R
RH: 1U, 1R, 1L, 1D, 4R, 2U, 2L, 1D, 1U, 2R, 1D, 1L, 1R, 1D, 2L, 1U, 1R, 1U, 1L, 1R, 1D, 1L, 1D, 1L, 1U, 1R, 1U, 1L, 1R, 1D, 2L

"..." (1st)

LH: 3U, 2R, 1U, 2R, 1D, 1U, 2L, 2D, 1R
RH: 2L, 3U, 1R, 2U, 2L
LH: 1U
RH: 1U, 1L, 1R, 1D, 2R, 2D, 4L
LH: 1D, 1L, 1U, 2L, 1D
RH: 1U, 1R, 1U, 1L, 1R, 1D, 1L, 1U, 1L
LH: 4U, 1L, 1U, 1R, 1L, 1D, 2R, 1U, 1L, 1U, 1R, 1L, 1D, 2R

"..." (2nd)

RH: 1L, 4U, 2L, 1D, 1L, 1R, 1U
LH: 2D, 4R, 1D, 1R, 4U, 4D, 1L
RH: 3L, 1D, 1R, 1L, 1U, 1R, 1D, 1R, 1L, 1U, 2R, 1D, 1U, 2R, 1D, 3L


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