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problem solving software
Crazy Machines, The Wacky Contraptions Game is an intriguing puzzle game, where the user is presented with 100s of objectives, and a collection of 3D parts with which to build machines that meets those objectives. Using parts like pumps and pipes, generators and electrical wire, and bombs and balls, the user must build "Rube Goldberg" contraptions that can move objects, drive nails, and shoot cannons.
Crazy Machines challenges the user to understand and apply many of the principles of basic physics; force and motion, action-reaction, gravity, electricity and more. With very little instruction, the user is given a place to experiment using a predefined set of parts, to try and build a device that can accomplish the objective. Along the way, the successful user will acquire a working knowledge of the principles involved, as well as processes and sequencing. Random clicking and guessing don't work here - the user must think through the problem requirements and the consider the properties and capabilities of the parts available.
Good graphics, easy to manipulate parts, and simple instructions allow the user to focus on the puzzle challenges themselves, rather than on mastering the art of game play. One challenge - what to do when you're stumped?
Crazy Machines installed without difficulty on our reviewers' test machines. After installation, the program can be run without the CD - a nice feature, especially since it doesn't gobble up a huge amount of hard drive space in the process.
All of our reviewers reported that the program is both easy to use, and challenging. Easy, in the sense that program navigation is intuitive; challenging, in that some of the puzzles and experiments can take time to figure out, and the printable manual offers no solutions.
Crazy Machines is best-suited for puzzle lovers and those that have a good sense of logic. We liked it as a great rainy-day activity, suitable for home and classroom use.
PC: Windows 98/ME/2000/XP, 800 MHz or faster cpu, 60 MB hard drive space, 32 MB RAM, DirectX 8 compatible display, 2X or faster CD-ROM, DirectX 8 compatible sound card .return to top of page
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