The Incredible Machine is a physics-based puzzle game developed by Jeff Tunnell Productions and published by Sierra On-Line for MS-DOS PCs and Macintosh computers in early 1993.
Inspired by Rube Goldberg machines, The Incredible Machine tasks players with finishing (or developing) contraptions that make use of overly-complicated chain reactions with seemingly-unrelated devices in order to fulfill a specific goal (such as putting a ball in a bucket). Players are given a limited amount of tools to work with (with some tools being useless decoys), and are timed for bonus points.
The game received an expanded re-release later that year, known as The Even More Incredible Machine, that added 73 additional puzzles (for a total of 160) and 11 new objects. The original game was later ported to FM Towns and PC-98 computers by Cybelle in 1994 exclusively in Japan. An enhanced port of the game was also released for the 3DO, released by Sierra's Dynamix brand. The 3DO version features both the original and the expansion puzzles, along with new exclusive puzzles and revamped graphics and audio. In Japan, the 3DO version was released by Sierra as Pararancho.
The game also received multiple sequels, as well as the cartoon-based spin-offs Sid & Al's Incredible Toons and The Incredible Toon Machine. In 2014, the series received a spiritual successor from the game original producer, known as Contraption Maker.
The game is comprised of 87 preset puzzles and a Free Form Machine mode which works as a puzzle editor. Each puzzle has an apparently simple objective like "put baseball on the box" or "pop 3 balloons" and players are given a specific set of objects in order to achieve this goal. Objects include ropes, pulleys, magnifying glasses, various animals and balls. Also, every level includes two physics settings: Gravity and Air Pressure. For example, balloons will go down on levels in which Gravity is set to lunar.
- Bowling Ball - Large-sized ball.
- Basketball - Large-sized ball, but bouncier and not as heavy
- Cannon Ball - Medium-sized ball.
- Baseball - Small-sized ball.
- Tennis Ball - Small-sized ball, but bouncier and not as heavy.
- Balloon - Floats upwards. Rope can be attached to it.
- Teeter Totter - Can swing back and forth, allowing it to propel objects upward. Rope can be attached to either ends.
- Bellows - Can be blown by hitting the handles from above or below, blowing a gust of air that can push Balloons, blow out Candles, or activate Windmills.
- Boxing Glove - Can be activated by pushing the button at the wrist, allowing it to punch objects in front of it.
- Trampoline - Balls and other objects can bounce on it, with each bounce increasing its velocity.
- Belt - Can permanently connect certain types of objects together, providing rotational energy.
- Gear - Requires rotational energy. Can be meshed together to adjust the power's direction, changing the direction of a connected Conveyor.
- Conveyor - Requires rotational energy. Adjustable horizontal surface that carries objects above it in the power's direction.
- Jack-in-the-Box - Requires rotational energy. Can fling upward objects above it.
- Windmill - Can be powered-up by blowing air onto it, providing rotational energy.
- Rope - Can be tied to a variety of objects to tether them together.
- Eye Hook - Rope can be attached to it, allowing it to hold whatever is on the other end up or down.
- Pulley - Can be used as a mid-point for Rope, allowing it to hold whatever is on the other end in a different angle.
- Gun - Rope can be attached to the trigger, allowing it to fire a blast that pushes objects in front of it.
- Scissors - Can be closed by hitting the handles from above or below, allowing it to cut Rope or pop Balloons.
- Light Switch - Provides electrical energy. Can be activated by hitting the switch from below, and deactivated by hitting the switch from above.
- Generator - Provides electrical energy using connected rotational energy.
- Solar Panels - Provides electrical energy. Activated whenever a nearby light source, such as a Candle or Light Bulb, is active.
- Fan - Requires an electrical outlet. Blows gusts of air continuously.
- Electric Engine - Requires an electrical outlet. Provides rotational energy.
- Magnifying Glass - Can be used with certain light sources (namely Flashlights and Light Bulbs) to ignite certain objects.
- Flashlight - Light source that can be activated by dropping an object on the button above.
- Light Bulb - Light source that can be activated by pulling down on Rope attached to its string.
- Cannon - Can be ignited, causing it to launch a Cannon Ball.
- Dynamite - Can be ignited, causing it to explode, destroy certain surfaces, and propel objects.
- Rocket - Can be ignited, causing it to launch into the air.
- Candle - Can be ignited, allowing it to ignite other objects.
- Dynamite Plunger - Attaches itself to Dynamite, detonating it once the plunger drops (from a heavy object landing on it or a connected Rope pushing it down).
- Bucket - Can be used to carry objects from above. Rope can be tied to its top to hold it up.
- Cage - Can be used to catch objects from below. Rope can be tied to its top to hold it up.
- Pokey the Cat - Runs after Mort Mouse and Bob the Fish.
- Mort Mouse - Runs away from Pokey.
- Mouse Cage - Bumping the cage startles the mouse inside, allowing her to run on the wheel and power Belt-connected objects (such as Conveyors and Generators).
- Bob the Fish - His fishbowl can be broken, attracting Pokey.
- Monkey Exercise Bike - When the shade hiding the banana is pulled down by a rope, Kelly the Monkey begins peddling to power Belt-connected objects (such as Conveyors and Generators).
- Brick Wall - Adjustable static surface.
- Pipe - Adjustable static surface. Cannot be blown up by Dynamite or launched Cannon Balls.
- Curved Pipe -
- Wood Wall - Adjustable static surface.
- Incline - Adjustable static surface that is used to roll things downward or direct things upward. Cannot be blown up by Dynamite or launched Cannon Balls.
Added in the Expansion
- Vacuum - Requires an electrical outlet. Can vacuum up most objects in front of it.
- Cheese - Can be used to attract Mort.
- Nail - Can be used to pop balloons (from below) or support Mel (from above).
- Mel Schlemming - Tiny human that continuously walks forward.
- Mel's House - A tiny house that lights up when Mel enters it.
- Super Ball - Medium-sized ball that gains more velocity with each bounce.
- Dirt Wall - Adjustable static surface. Things roll slower and bounce weaker.
- Ernie Alligator - Can launch objects from his snout and tail. Eats Mel if he gets near his snout.
- Teapot - Can be activated by lighting a candle underneath it, using steam from the spout to push things up.
- Eightball - Medium-sized ball that isn't affected by gravity.
- Pinball Bumper - Can bounce objects in different directions.