It's been a year since I played this game, and you know I'm still thinking about it.
Machinarium, a point-and-click, third-person adventure game made entirely in flash by a Czech game company.
It's a beautiful world full of robots and mechanical equipment. Even the decaying equipment is beautiful to look at. If you like Myst-style adventures, The Neverhood, or games to test your mind instead of your trigger finger, try this one!
The puzzles are the ideal balance between inventory, environment and logic. There is no pixel-hunting here--everything you need is out in the open, you just have to decide how to use it. As you progress, the story gradually becomes clear, and your actions have a purpose. The puzzles are fair and make perfect sense. They never feel like contrived devices to delay the player, but are part of the world. Sometimes they're even fun distractions.
As if that weren't enough, the soundtrack is kickass! It's done by a man named Tomas Dvorak, an upcoming musician in the Czech Republic. You get the soundtrack in mp3 format if you purchase the game directly from the developer, and the music alone is worth the price! It stands very well on its own. I listen to the thing in my car all the time.
The characters are memorable long after finishing the game. The simple story is fun to discover. The puzzles are challenging, but never unfair. It's the perfect balance of humor, challenge, puzzle and action. Check it out!