The Machine – A unique, challenging and visually stylish puzzle game, is a must have for Windows Phone

The Machine is a new game for Windows Phone 7.x and 8 that should make many diehard players quite pleased. The game, developed by IĮ Farstall, comes from the highly regarded AppCampus project, a joint venture between Microsoft, Nokia and Aalto University (see example titles here). That means you can expect a decidedly polished, visually exquisite title that is unique (and exclusive) to Windows Phone.

The Machine delivers in every aspect.

We’ve had a chance to play with The Machine over the weekend and have to give it a huge thumbs up. For one, it’s free (with some minor ads), which makes it a no brainer for adding to your collection. Number two, we love the visual design of the game, which relies on a monochrome, with bold and eye catching lines.

The game itself is an action-puzzler with a touch of physics. You control a blob of ink and by tapping on the screen, trying to weave the dark splotch through ‘the Machine’ to the end. The game has two modes: arcade and campaign (30 levels). The first, arcade, is described as an “endless climb” where your goal is to simply get a high score by getting your globule up as high as you can. It’s perfect for that on-the-go, quick gameplay. The second option, campaign, is similar to Angry Birds where you have various challenges throughout 30 different levels. You race against time and how much ink you use (or don’t), resulting in a higher score.

It also has some killer electro music (see the accompanying game trailer to see it all in action!)

The game starts off unassuming, but we have to admit—it gets difficult real fast. In that sense, this isn’t like your typical physics-puzzler, as this ramps up complications very quickly, resulting in a somewhat maddening gaming experience. That’s not a bad thing, it just means to get ready for some serious challenges and lots of tapping of the ‘replay’ function.

The Machine is probably one of the most distinctive and visually gorgeous action-puzzles we’ve come across. It has an impeccable design and offers dedicated gamers a fun—but difficult—challenge. For that, we have to highly recommend that you give it a try.

The Machine is a solid example of the AppCampus Project, joining the ranks of SongArc, Fling Theory, Harsh Quad, Singster and TAWKABLE. For more information on AppCampus, make sure you read our earlier reporting behind-the-scenes of the project.

Pick up The Machine here in the Store. For Windows Phone 7.x and 8. Free.

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007, when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.