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Homo Machina review for Nintendo Switch


Platform: Switch
Publisher: ARTE Experience
Developer: Seaven Studio/Darjeeling Production
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: E

Homo Machina is not what you’d call complicated: it’s a puzzle game where none of the puzzles are all that difficult, and you should be able to easily finish it in under an hour. If you’re looking for something you can really sink your teeth into…well, this isn’t it.

If, however, you want a quick, cute puzzle game that will leave you with a smile on your face, then Homo Machina definitely is that game. It imagines the human body as a factory, drawing inspiration from the work of Fritz Kahn, an early 20th century doctor and author who sought to explain the body using similar metaphors. It’s a world where your eye functions like a camera leading to a movie theatre, or where your ears have to match frequencies using giant tape reels, or where your limbs function using a system that, for lack of a better comparison, looks like one giant game of Operation.

As I said, none of the puzzles involved in these operations are all that difficult. In most cases, they’re just a matter of touching the screen a couple of times. There are one or two puzzles where you need to put the tiniest bit of thought into what you’re doing, but for the most part you’re just moving the action along with a bare minimum of effort or thought required on your part.

Homo Machina makes up for this lack of challenge with a fun sense of humour and fantastic art style. The latter, of course, draws heavy inspiration from Kahn’s work in Weimar Republic Germany, but you don’t have to look too hard to see a post-WWII, 1950s imagining of factory life, either. As far as the humour goes, the game is propelled along by the misadventures of the body’s absent-minded director and his highly efficient secretary, who encourage and cajole the body’s workers to get the job done, all while being occasionally baffled by what’s going on in the world outside. It’s not the funniest game I’ve ever played or anything, but it was at least humorous enough to make me crack a smile pretty frequently.

While none of this is enough to make Homo Machina a must-play, at the same time, there’s enough worthwhile stuff going on here that it’s not not a must-play, either. I mean, it’s only $3 or so, and for that price you get a fun little story that wraps up nicely and never overstays its welcome. That’s hardly GOTY material, but it’s nothing to sneeze at, either.

ARTE Experience provided us with a Homo Machina Nintendo Switch code for review purposes.

Grade: A-