Apparatus App Review

Apparatus App Review

Jan 27, 2012

I will admit that I am a nerd. I’m an engineering student who grew up on the first version of The Incredible Machine and free-form puzzle games are some of my favorites. That being said, I expected a lot from Apparatus, and fortunately for me it delivered, and it was one of the few apps where I was actually amazed while playing it. The first thing I have to say about this app is that it is gorgeous and it runs smooth to boot. This was tested on my quickly aging EVO 4G, so even non-feature phones should have no problem running this app.

For those not familiar with the premise of games like The Incredible Machine, the game gives a simple objective and a set amount of materials for the player to gerry-rig up into their own special Rube Goldberg machine. Games like these thrive on the user’s creativity, and Apparatus is no different; however, I would have liked to have seen some more open-ended gameplay as some levels seemed very linear. There is also an excellent free-play mode where the player is given no restrictions and allowed to let their creativity roam.

Going well with this free mode is the fairly fleshed out community that comes with the game. Downloading user-made levels could not be easier, and it only takes a few seconds to get a level and start playing. This sense of community is a huge addition for a game like Apparatus as the game aspires to be a kind of Little Big Planet for the mobile device. As we’ve seen with games like Minecraft, Halo, and the aforementioned Little Big Planet, what the public is capable of doing has no bounds, and giving them a way to share their magnum opus with the rest of humanity is an essential feature for any game nowadays.

And by "no bounds" we mean THIS.

One gripe with Apparatus is the lack of a tutorial to explain some of the features of the game. The first few minutes here will be frustrating due to seemingly random actions that become more clear the longer the game is played. Also the controls can be a bit touchy, but like above, they too work themselves out as the player becomes familiar with them. All that aside, Apparatus is a great game that impresses both graphically and fundamentally; a definite pick up for those who long for the days of The Incredible Machine on Windows 98.

Apparatus App Review Rundown

Graphics/Sound - The graphics here are really top notch. The sense of 3-D is excellently portrayed making it almost more fun to just play with moving the board around.
Controls - The lone blemish on this game. A longtime problem with touchscreen games is the inability cannot see whats under the player's finger and that holds true here. Lining up small parts is a hassle and the lack of any tutorial exacerbates this issue.
Gameplay - Gameplay is really solid and innovative. Anyone familiar with games like The Incredible Machine or Little Big Planet will feel at home; although this is more of a grown up version of both.
Replay Value - A steep learning curve might quell the player's enthusiasm at the beginning, but if you can manage through that this game really does manage to snare one in to its charms. And like most games of its ilk, future level packs will always keep this game fresh.
Overall - Once the controls and the logic are understood, Apparatus is a beautiful and solid game for everyone.

App available on the Google Play Store »

Demo version is also available on the Google Play Store »

Joseph Bertolini
Joseph is an Mechanical Engineering student at The Ohio State University as well as an amateur photographer.
Connect with Joseph Bertolini // email // www