Well back on the old review boat again. This time it’s Mechanic Master for the Nintendo DS. Back when this type of game first came out I liked games that followed this pattern such as The Incredible Machine. They were great games back in the day. So this time I put this modern head scratcher to the test.
Aliens are invading the Earth and it’s up to you to stop them and free humans from their slimy grasp. Wield your stylus as the ultimate weapon in eradicating the alien scourge. Free humans with your genius contraptions but don’t forget you have to keep the mechanics in motion in order to extinguish your extraterrestrial enemies.
The different modes in Mechanic Master start with classic mode where you use gravity shifters to change the direction of gravity, laser pistols and mirrors to cut things, a vortex to make things disappear and many more gadgets to keep the mechanics in motion and clear the level. Drawing Mode takes the Nintendo DS stylus and has you drawing your own solutions as you build platforms, walls, portals and more. Level Editor lets you test your skills solving the existing levels or use the built-in level editor to create your own levels. Lastly, Game Sharing lets you share your own levels with friends over Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection.
The gameplay in Mechanic Master was very good, but a little unimaginative with the pieces and the levels. Some of the levels were just plain too obvious and easy to solve. Some of the puzzles got a little repetitive and looked like puzzles you had already played, though the Nintendo DS did do a great job with the controls adding and removing objects in the puzzle. The game has only 55 regular levels and 50 free form ones. The bad part is it only took a little over a minute for most of the puzzles. The game times you on each puzzle so it’s easy to know. The free-form draw mode was fair at best with the puzzles being a little cookie cutter along with the portals not working right and being very annoying.
The sound and sound effects were nothing to write home about. They basically included just warping noises, and gears moving. Background music was fair at best with no standout music. That is about all I have to say about that.
Visuals in Mechanic Master were not really up to DS standards and were very flat and 2D. Things moved smooth but there was nothing that stood out. The visuals sprites look like they were drawn by a first grader with crayons. With no animation it makes everything feel like you are playing a game on a Leapster. Most of the visuals were just bad and in no way looked like the games that came before them.
Controls worked well, but you were not doing a lot, just moving things from one place to another. Things did stay where you put them and it was very accurate. In free form mode you could move things around and place them where you wanted them with much ease.
With bad visuals and too easy puzzles Mechanic Master was a shell of a game that came before it. If you do the math on time with the puzzles you can get about 3-4 hours of game time. The free form mode was nice but I think they should have spent more time on some harder puzzles. Overall I was very disappointed in Mechanic Master. If you are new to this type of game it may be great but I played this type of game on the 3DO over 15 years ago and let me tell you Mechanic Master is no The Incredible Machine. Not by a long shot.
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