Point and click adventures -- one of classic gaming's most revered and, until recently, most forgotten genres -- have seen a renaissance of late. That's something I'll be exploring more fully in a future column, but, for now, it's a point best proven by what will surely be one of the highest profile indie games released this month: Amanita Design
's adventure Machinarium
, due for release this Friday for PC and Mac.
Best known for their early web adventure Samorost
-- a game that swapped out pixel crafting for a photo-surreal landscape built on rusted cans and gnarled, mossy roots ('samorost', not coincidentally, being the word for 'gnarled' or 'twisted' in Amanita head Jakub Dvorský's native Czech) -- the studio quickly established themselves as the indie forerunners of the then-niche form with Samorost 2
, and promotional games for Dallas-area glee-rockers Polyphonic Spree
, and the BBC
looks to be the studio's most ambitious work, here fully hand-drawn as opposed to their former photo-shoppery, and digging deeper into the genre's past with inventory-based puzzling and exploration rather than rote hot-spot-hunting points and clicks.
Presented here, then, ahead of its imminent release, a rare hi-res look into the sketchbooks of Dvorský and fellow artist Adolf Lachman showing the conceptual origins and creation of its rusted iron steamworks world, alongside a selection of images of the completed product.
can be pre-ordered directly from Amanita
(which comes with a downloadable bonus soundtrack thank-you gift), or for via Direct2Drive
(for PCs) and GamersGate
(for the Mac), where you'll also find a demo version for each platform.