Crazy Machines 1.5 – More Gizmos, Gadgets & Whatchamacallits
Create Your Own Zany Rube Goldberg Devices! Go crazy with over 200 brand new gizmo-twistin’ levels! Enjoy all-new elements, music, backgrounds and more. Start off in the Inventor’s Training Camp to sharpen your skills. Get ready for explosive action and building fun using 100 awesome & wacky parts — including bottle rockets, cannons, bombs, and robots. The Ultimate Brain-Teazing Puzzle Game! Continuing the fun, but not including puzzles from Crazy Machines: The Wacky Contraptions Game.
- Get ready for explosive action and building fun with this brain-teazing puzzle game
- Create zany “Rube Goldberg” devices using 100 awesome and wacky parts
- Go crazy with over 200 brand-new gizmo-twistin’ levels
- Enjoy all-new elements, music, backgrounds, and more
- Start off in the Inventor’s Training Camp to sharpen your skills
3 thoughts on “Crazy Machines 1.5 – More Gizmos, Gadgets & Whatchamacallits”
Great addition to an already fantastic game!. This version actually contains two separate games: “Inventor’s Training Camp” and “New From the Lab.” Like the original Crazy Machines, each consists of a series of puzzles (e.g., “put this ball in that box”) that you have to solve by devising Rube-Goldberg-like contraptions using various equipment at hand (e.g., belts, gears, motors, explosives, etc.). They are great fun–both for adults and children.”Inventor’s Training Camp” is exactly what it sounds like–a set of easy challenges to help beginners learn about various elements in the Crazy Machines lab. In addition to the elements from the first version, it add things like a frog that hops when you touch it, a mouse that runs when you hit its tail, a teapot, colored blocks, and a top hat. The interface has more primary colors in it than the original “Crazy Machines” and some of the icons are different. But basically it works like the original game. Overall, the “Training Camp” it is a great way to get oriented in how the game works. If you have not played the game before, this is the place to start.”New From the Lab” has the same look and feel as the original “Crazy Machines,” but it also adds several new elements (these new elements are different from the new elements in “Inventor’s Training Camp”). These include a timer switch (good for time bombs), a wheel with five paddles, an old-fashioned phonograph (that plays a funny “la la, la la, la la” tune when powered with a belt), a wrecking ball, and wheeled carts. The new devices really do add a lot to the game-play experience.Both of these games have a “My Lab” mode where you can just tinker around with the elements. More interestingly, you also can create your own puzzles for other players to solve. Thus, you can indefinitely add on to the 100 or so puzzles that come with the game. You also can export your custom-made games to disk and play them on other computers. I can see how this could be very, very fun for friends to exchange their own custom-made puzzles. My son and I already have just started doing this for each other.This is a wonderful, wonderful, family computer game–one that I wish were around when I was a boy. My five-year-old son and I have spent, literally, scores of hours playing various versions of the Crazy Machines franchise together. It really is a game where parents and children can play as equals. It does not promote violence (OK, there are lots of explosive devices, but nobody ever gets hurt–except the robot). And it is not typical children’s software pabulum. I think it really does teach problem-solving skills, too. Countless times while playing, my son declares “Oh, I have an idea!” and then tests his idea out to see whether it will solve the problem. And, in the process, he is learning things about gravity, electricity, steam, fire, light, and mechanics.As for recommended ages, 5 to 95 would be a good range. My 5-year-old son had some problems with the interface at first, but now is a pro and can–and does–work the puzzles by himself. Parents with small children should put in the time helping kids learn it, as it can be frustrating at first. Also, some of the puzzles require the ability to read instructions, which may be a challenge for beginning readers.I have some complaints about the game, however.First, it is habit-forming. I am a 36-year-old lawyer. I have a five-year-old son. I don’t know who is more addicted to the game. Each of us spend, literally, hours a week on it. We look forward to Saturday mornings when we have a long block of time in which to play it (while my wife is taking daughter to dance lessons).Second, it does not appear to come with an instruction manual or on-line help system. The game can be a bit bewildering at first. This might deter some users from pressing forward, which would be a shame. Even seasoned users can find the lack of instructions to be frustrating. Only recently have I happened upon shortcut keys (“x” for zooming in and out, “s” for starting/stopping the experiment, “v” for adding/removing shadows, “t” for testing the experiment in “My Lab.”) This is particularly frustrating in the My Lab area when trying to devise your own puzzle. It takes a while to learn how to establish the objectives for your experiment (hint: adding a flag to an object creates a goal for the experiment, as does dragging collision-target arrows for movable objects to a blue “target zone” box). If there were an instruction manual–even a short one–it really would add to the enjoyment of the game. (On the other hand, enterprising users can just view the absence of a manual as yet another puzzle to solve . . . )Third, it crashes with much more frequency than it should. I am running it on two Windows XP computers that have more than adequate horsepower: one is a Pentium IV and one is a Core2Duo. Both have oodles of RAM…
Why wouldn’t you buy this? Negative:- You will need a good graphics card (newer computer) to be able to run this software. My 2001 laptop doesn’t even run the program. A 2004 laptop runs it, but crashes often. Performance significantly improved after I changed the settings on the options screen to show graphics at a low quality (shadows off, bilinear, and low resolution). My 3-year old desktop with an upgraded graphics card (256 MB memory) plays it well, but the program crashes once in a while. Works much better when you run the program in a window (instead of full screen).Positives:- Uses mechanical engineering, engineering mechanics, and electrical engineering concepts in a very broad scale (not actually realistic) to solve interesting and entertaining puzzles. Really gives children (and adults) a good mental exercise.- It is much more entertaining to not solve the puzzle, but do something else to see what happens. For example, you have to put two boards together so that a robot travels on the boards. However, you should try putting some gap between the boards and see the robot crashing to the ground. It is amazing how the programmers have built this sofware.- Most annoying things (professor and background music) can be easily disabled, but other noices such as steam whistle tooting can not be disabled. So, when things are crashing around and hitting each other, it could get very noisy. Of course, you can stop all that by muting your computer.- There are 101 puzzles including 5 (or so) tests for you to solve. My 8-year old child has solved some 90 puzzles in just one day. I got to help only occationally. After every test, the player gets a certificate/degree. My child was really proud after receiving the doctorate degree. Additionally, you can create your own problem and then solve that problem and save it. So, the fun and learning never ends.- It is addictive, but in a good way. In my opinion, it is good to engage in assembling things and solving problems.- Strongly suggest buying the software as it is a good investment in overall development of a child.
An ingenious and addictive game Crazy machines 1.5 is a thinking game that kids (as well as adults) will enjoy. It challenges a person to use a variety of common everyday items (such as boards, ropes, balls, candles, gears, pipes, etc.)to accomplish a given task set before him. My son, age 8, is totally addicted to this game. We first started with the previous version called “wacky contraptions” and both my son and I were hooked. We have almost solved all the challenges within the “wacky contraptions” version and were delighted to discover the 1.5 game. It is a great learning tool teaching problem solving techniques. What’s fun about the game is how each item reacts within a given puzzle. For example, a motor drives a pulley system that rotates an electric generator that powers an array of devices that will get an item from point “A” to point “B” thereby solving the puzzle.The training section consists of simple challenges meant to teach how each tool works. My son rifled through this only because he was a veteran of the “wacky contraption” version (I think he went through most all the 100 training puzzles within roughly an hour).The “new from the lab” section offers more challenging puzzles. My son now finds himself spending a lot more time per puzzle in an effort to solve them.Oh, did I say that this is a very addictive game? We have two computers and my son and I are locked in competition to see who solves the next puzzle first My wife shutters when the signiture theme song begins to play (my favorite theme choice is a peppy one supplied as an option within the control panel).This is a great gift and a fun game that the whole family can enjoy.P.S. I found out that another version of this game is set to come out in the fall of 2007.