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Contains BMCH.GAM
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Bad Machine

by Dan Shiovitz profile

Science Fiction
1998

(based on 13 ratings)
1 review

Game Details


Awards

Nominee, Best Individual PC; Nominee, Best Use of Medium - 1998 XYZZY Awards

Editorial Reviews

Baf's Guide


This is one of those games that you just have to see to understand. There's nothing else quite like it, although Michael Berlyn's Suspended bears some similarities. In a vast, hivelike robotic factory, a malfunctioning machine struggles to avoid being being captured and reprogrammed. All text is in a pseudo-computery style, heavy on punctuation and mixed with error messages and line noise, and the main challenge is to figure out how to interpret the information you're given. (People using text-to-speech software might find this insurmounable.) Warehouse IV is full of activity even when you just wander around, so figuring out how things work and how to interact with them is your second challenge. Even when you have that knowledge, logistics can be sticky. Multiple paths lead to very different conclusions, all of which are somewhat anticlimactic. I'd recommend this one especially for techies, particularly if they're into Lego Mindstorms.

-- Carl Muckenhoupt

IF-Review
Deus Ex Machine
The robot's confusion at achieving sentience(?) is mirrored by the player's confusion at having to operate in code: the difficulty in moving and examining things add to the apparent inevitability of 005's fate: 005 has only just gained sentience(?), he is (like the player) being pursued in a bizarre place by an omniescent, omnipresent faceless enemy. The irony is that only the player gets the feeling of fear and dread: 005 is unable to express or produce it. This is indicative of the different way the player and 005 see the game: even though we are more unfamiliar with the meaning of the code, we can assess its import.
-- Sam Kabo Ashwell
See the full review

SPAG
A pseudo-inter-RE-view with Dan Shiovitz
The world of Bad Machine, this fully automated warehouse, is astounding, even overwhelming: while it doesn't take too much time to finish the game, one could spend I think at least a couple of hours exploring possibilities, gaining information, and trying to figure out how everything works. And despite its large size, you somehow managed to maintain both its consistency and a high level of detail. Danny, pal, please tell me -- was it difficult to create?
-- Valentine Kopteltsev
See the full review

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Member Reviews

5 star:
(4)
4 star:
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3 star:
(2)
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Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 1
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
A difficult parser game written in pseud-code from a machine's view, February 4, 2016

In this game, you play a machine in a sort of factory that is malfunctioning. I assume the eventual goal is to escape; even with the walkthrough, I ended up dying at the second-to-last move.

The game is written bizarrely. Here is an example of it at it's worst, when going west at the beginning:

?w
Dir ALT{ER}DDDisplace-: 2 [west -> south]
(self.travelTo(loc) = nil && m$ve(her@) FAILED

At the best, it is pretty understandable; here's LOOK's output in the first room:

?l
Reclamation Sector (2)
Cleared area amongst to-be-reforged bodies; gap(s) movement(allow) west, north; other exits apparent lacking.
To the north you see salvager-class machine.

So you see now what type of game this is. There are enemies that will harm you, there are other units whose parts you can scavenge. It's all bizarre.

A unique experience.

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