[Review] The Incredible Machine


REVIEW # 00000000 00101010

Machines take me by surprise with great frequency (A. Turing)

Before the “brain training games” (wonderful as much as useless) there were games like The Incredible Machine so we can consider it a kind of “father”. The first encounter was in 199-idontknow and I remember it was a sort of shareware version or something like that. I never called this game with its original name but only TIM. And this became quite strange when Telecom inaugurate its mobile service known as TIM. For me TIM wasn’t a telephone company, but a mind-cracking game!

My heart says…


I always loved maths, physics and even the little stupid games related. For this reason the first time I discovered The Incredible Machine I spent a whole day trying to clear as much level as possible. Ok, it’s not a game in which real physics are the core of the gameplay, but it’s a good brain teaser and this is enough for me.


Splash screen


To be an almost amatorial game, the intro with its funny music and all the thinks moving in a perfect harmony it’s very catchy!




Being a puzzle game, the graphic aspect is not so important. Moreover we were in 1992 so the visuals were quite easy and this reflects in the aspect of the game, which is a bit meagre. But who cares, we are here to throw bowling balls and to scare cats!




There’s no plot obviously. But playing TIM you’ll be like this:



TIM forces you brain to work quite hard. But hard in a funny way, since your goal is to build literally an “incredible” machine. Do you know when in “Tom & Jerry”, Tom build those hyper-complicated useless machines using all kind of stuff? Weel this is more or less what you have to do in TIM. For example you have to pop a balloon with a scissor using a mouse, a bowling ball, a box glove and cables. So you have to think out of the box and this is the perfect game for doing this!




Apart from the merrie melody in the opening screen, the sound of the game lacks a bit



The game has a “construction set” so you can build your own machines or try the effect of gravity and pressure or just have fun with all the stuff apprearing in the game. The problem with this is that, even if it’s a good idea to improve the longevity, I think that a player won’t be so amused trying to solve his own puzzle, so this feature it’s a good one only if you have a friend who playd agaist you. However some levels could be hard enough to clear, so you’ll have to waste a lot of time on TIM.

Final Score 62/100


Year: 1992

Developer: Kevin Ryan, Dynamix

Publisher: Sierra

Genre: Puzzle

Game Mode: Single Player

Original Platform: MS-DOS, Mac, 3DO

From same editor:

  • Arcticfox (1986)
  • F-14 Tomcat (1988)
  • Deathtrack (1989)
  • Red Baron (1990) and sequels
  • Rise of the Dragon (1990)

From the same publisher:

  • Softporn Adventures (1981)
  • Space Quest I: The Sarien Encounter (1986) and sequels
  • Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards (1987) and sequels
  • Police Quest: In Pursuit of the Death Angel (1987) and sequels
  • Quest for Glory I: So You Want to Be a Hero (1989) and sequels
  • Aces of the Pacific (1992)
  • Caesar (1992) and sequels
  • Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers (1993) and sequels
  • Lord of the Realm (1994)
  • Half-Life (1998) and sequels
  • Grand Prix Legends (1998)

Inspired to:

  • Fix it (1985)

If you liked it you can also try:

  • Oils Well (1990)
  • Gear Works (1992)
  • Wowspill (1993)
  • Crazy Machine series

Other chapters of the saga:

  • The Even More Incredible Machine (1993)
  • Sid & Al’s Incredible Toons (1993)
  • The Incredible Toon Machine (1994)
  • The Incredible Machine 2 (1994)
  • The Incredible Machine 3 (1995)
  • Return of the Incredible Machine: Contraptions (2000)
  • The Incredible Machine: Even More Contraptions (2001)

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11 Comments Add yours

  1. Played a lot of this as a kid, no idea where the version of the game we had came from! I remember playing it but not many of the specifics.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. benez256 says:

      Yes, it was a great game! A bit for kids maybe, but still ccol!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. enpera says:

    Incredible game 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. benez256 says:

      Definitely yes! I think I never completed it though…


  3. Mr. Panda says:

    Wow, this takes me back. I definitely played this when I was younger. I enjoyed it quite a bit. I like Rube Goldberg type machines where one thing leads to another. Ghost Trick for the Nintendo DS was a better version of this kind of game, while telling a better mystery plot and having amazing gameplay mechanics. That’s something to look at if you want more brain teasers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. benez256 says:

      I definitely have to try out Ghost Trick!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Mr. Panda says:

        It’s great! If you’ve ever played the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney trilogy, the same guy worked on Ghost Trick so it has an excellent story too!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. benez256 says:

        Good, so it will be my next game!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve never heard of this, but I’d play a game where you could build your own Rube Goldberg contraption!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. benez256 says:

      Yes, the good thing about TIM is that you can build your own machine and fill the screen with a bunch of cats, miche, basketballs and stuff…

      Liked by 1 person

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