I still remember playing Return of the Incredible Machine in school a decade ago, where the teacher used it to teach us logical thinking. It was a fun game and the highlight of our week when we got to go to the computer lab to play it. I’ve seen countless ripoff of the concept in the app store over the last couple of years, but on June 23rd Disney released a revamped version of the original series on the iPad. If you never played the game or any of the similar ones (often named something with contraptions), it’s basically a Rube Goldberg game where you have to perform simple task by using a variety of gadgets, creatures and items to manipulate a series of events.
Getting a mouse to go back to his mouse hole might involve cleverly palced bits of cheese and cats that encourage the mouse to do what you want. Blimps, flashlights, magnifying glasses, piping, various balls, tiny running people, alligators and electric fans have all popped up so far in the 40 or so levels I’ve played, and people who have played the old games will recognize a lot of it. It’s been “iOSified” a bit by now having 3 stars you can collect for a perfect score (where have I seen that before?) and of course the entire UI has been improved, along with graphics, sound, level design etc. It’s a great game both for old T.I.M players and new ones, and it’s likely to become the reference contraptions game very quickly. The best thing is that if you play through it, there are still all those copies around that you can dig into. The game is $2.99 in the App Store, with extra level packs being in-app purchases at $0.99 a pop. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to get a basketball into a hoop using a flashlight, rocket and an alligator.