The Machine is OUT NOW! You can get your copy here:

TheMachineGame.com


Please enjoy this playable DEMO build! Controls:

GAMEBOYKEYBOARD  
AZ
BX
STARTENTER
SELECTSHIFT

The Machine is a game about a little guy named Girt. Girt lives in the machine. The machine isn't perfect but it's the only thing Girt knows. Girt can choose any career he wants... as long as he has good enough test scores! By the way, Girt forgot to study for his tests. Good luck! :)

The Machine is a non-linear adventure where you can get different jobs, meet new characters, and try to survive inside the machine. As you progress along different career paths you can learn more about the world and unlock new careers by scoring higher on the test the next time you play. Your choices affect the direction the machine's society goes. If you rise through the ranks you can change the course of the machine's history.

I am calling the genre a 'pancake adventure' because the story tree is an experimental format where it is short but very wide so that on subsequent play-throughs things can be totally different. If you play through the demo a couple of times and make different decision you will start to see the flexibility of the story!

Thanks for playing!

You can also now get the DIGITAL EDITION here: https://incube8games.com/collections/digital-editions/products/the-machine-gbc-d...


Incube8
StatusReleased
PlatformsHTML5
Publisher
Release date Feb 16, 2022
Rating
Rated 4.8 out of 5 stars
(66 total ratings)
AuthorBenJelter
GenreInteractive Fiction, Adventure
Made withClip Studio Paint, Pyxel Edit, GB Studio, Aseprite
Tags8-Bit, Game Boy, Game Boy ROM, gbstudio, Meaningful Choices, Pixel Art
Average sessionAbout an hour
LanguagesEnglish
InputsKeyboard, Xbox controller, Playstation controller
LinksHomepage

Download

Download
Machine DEMO v1_1.gb 2 MB

Install instructions

If you download the rom file you can play it in a Game Boy emulator. I suggest more accurate ones like BGB. Some ones for phones are way too saturated. I like GBC.emu on android.

Development log

Comments

Log in with itch.io to leave a comment.

Viewing most recent comments 1 to 40 of 81 · Next page · Last page
(1 edit)

In the way to the MSS there is a cop saying that i can enter in one area because is secure,we can enter in there or is like that because of the way the map is made?

Are incube8 doing another run of the carts or are they gone forever? Sadly they are all sold out

is there anywhere i can pay for this other than the machine website? shopify wont take paypal : (

Hi Mabel, do you use Discord? If you join my Discord i can try to help you figure out a way to buy it. https://discord.gg/8sqHXZBA

(+1)

I don't have a particular interest in retro gaming, so I feel extremely lucky to have stumbled upon this masterpiece. The premise of this so-called 'pancake' game is great. Each playthrough may only be an hour or two, but that is actually perfect since it gives you a chance to explore the many life paths to discover in the Machine. The amount of breadth this game has to offer constantly surprises me. Just when I think I've encountered all that a particular route has to offer, I'll do something slightly differently and it branches off into something entirely new.

That said, I do have a couple minor gripes:

1. There isn't an easy way to see which endings you've discovered. The achievement system does this to some extent, but I really wish there was some kind of Ending Gallery where I could re-watch the ending cutscenes from my previous playthroughs.

2. Although there is an astonishing level of replay value, eventually it will get boring having to repeat early sections of the game to get to a path you haven't taken before. While it is initially important to make people replay the early sections so they don't miss many of the hidden paths to discover, after a player has encountered a certain number of endings, it would be nice to unlock a way to skip certain sections like in Detroit: Become Human or visualize where there may be more to find like in Outer Wilds.

That aside, I am blown away by The Machine. It is truly a unique game which deserves to be experienced by far more than just a relatively niche retro gaming crowd. The way the story diverges feels more organic than most choice-based games. The paths and endings are not simply determined by a few dialogue options, but also by where you go, who you speak with, what you purchase, and how well or poorly you complete the many tasks you will encounter in the game.

The Machine has captured my interest in a way no game has for a long time. I hope to see further experimentation and expansion of this genre of 'pancake' games in the future.

(1 edit)

Very cool game with a great atmosphere. It's a good game to come back to every once in awhile and try different things to get different endings.


Question:

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Is it possible to win the crane game? I feel like I've tried it a million times and I can never get all the balls.

The crane game requires both luck and skill. You have to get the arm directly over the capsule and then after that the arm will often fail to pick up the capsule like a real claw machine. If you do it enough times you can definitely get it but like a real claw machine it's kind of a scam.

I love this game, would love to have it on steam too. Ben do you think one day the machine will be on steam?

Recently, I bought this game and I really enjoy it. This game is delightful. Hard to believe that a game developed for a 25year old device is able to hold a candle to the new games developed for the recent platforms. So again a proof that story matters more than graphics and special effects. 


Unfortunately, I have to report a small bug.

Attention SPOILER:

.

.

.

Steps to reproduce:

1) fuck up at the test

2) work at the factory

3) join the union

4) decline the leadership for the union

On the day of the strike, when you step out of the factory where all holding the strike signs, talk first to the police officer. Then there is no way to continue, because the actual leader of the union thinks you were the leader but you cannot talk to the police again to negotiate.

The good thing is, the game autosaves when you were entering the yard. So turning it off and on again, you don’t loose relevant progress but can continue when you then talk to the union leader first.

Thanks so much for your kind words and your detailed bug report! This will be addressed in the next patch but unfortunately the saves don't translate between versions of the game. I'm relieved that there's a smooth workaround.

(+1)

This game is incredible, i love the flexibility of the story

I love this game, but I can't have such a good experience because of the language.

Ben do you have plans to expand language localizations like portuguese for example, the brazil community finds interesting games like yours.

Congratulations on your work, I look forward to more surprises from you.

Because of the interest I have been seriously considering it but it is a huge project so unfortunately since I am only one person if it ever does happen it might not be for some time.

I understand, thanks for the answer.

In what language was this game programmed? I'm not sure how a cartridge for GBC would run on modern languages

(+2)

It was made using a program called GB Studio which converts a visual scripting system into assembly and html 5 automatically.

What's the difference between the Demo and the full version?

In the full version the story goes further and there's a bunch more paths you can get to.

OK thanks 

(+1)

I gamered so hard on that test, I gotred 30/100 thats above the average for geussing 

(+1)

Menuda pasada la demo, me ha encantado!!

hey, does the password for yokai's secret room in the full version work in the demo?

also if anyone has a physical version and knows the mss safe code i'd appreciate if you told me. i only have a digital edition because i'm broke lol

I'm going to take all questions about my games in this discord now so I can refer people to pinned answers but I'll be happy to answer here: https://discord.gg/4Z66GCjahv

(+1)

I've looked all around the box I got the game in, and I can't find the code for the safe.

I don't want to spoil it for you but I can assure you you have the password. You might need a flashlight?...

Ive looked everywhere inside the box and the manual. Where is this damn code lol...

Using a flashlight is the first thing I thought of doing.

You find it? Im still looking...

(+1)

Email me at benjelter -at- gmail.com if you want more spoilery hints

is the download the complete or demo still?

The download is the demo. If you want the full game click themachinegame.com link.

(+2)

Have been playing the heck out of this on the Analogue Pocket, which it’s been a lovely fit for. Great style of gameplay and storytelling, and while I still have a few things to figure out, like a certain Safe and a certain locked door, it’s been great to delve into this world, and has me considering tinkering around with GB Studios to tell some stories soon.

(+1)

I'm so glad you liked it!

I little puzzle *spoiler/hint* about the safe

.

.

.

.

.

.

The safe in the MSS can only be solved with a physical copy of the game. If you have a digital copy maybe ask someone who has a physical copy if they know the answer ;)

(+1)

That was obvious since the message about the code was about requiring real "inside the box thinking".

Dang that's really cool. I never thought about that! Unfortunately I only have digital and getting physical is basically impossible where I live :(

Hey! I also just got a pocket, I wanted to ask how you have been running these games? Are you using a flash cart or an sd card? Sorry for the questions!! I couldn't find anything simple on reddit lol

The physical edition plays on the pocket but also the digital edition comes with a .pocket file that works on pocket!

(2 edits) (+1)

I played this game when it was a wee demo and finally got the full digital version a few days ago! somehow, I love it even more than the demo. I especially like the mechanic that allows you to see the right answers for the test once you uncover them.


SPOILERS








I need help with the puzzle at the job fair for the MSS job. any help anyone?

(+1)

Hey thanks for playing! Really glad you liked it!

(+1)

Also for anyone who is too stuck on the MSS puzzle I can give you a vague hint that the solution involves starting by sort of working your way from the lower right to the upper left.

i did end up figuring it out after a while, but thanks! Also, are there any playthroughs anyone has made with the full game that you know of? 

I think it might actually be too nonlinear to cleanly do a playthrough of the entire game including all branches. Sometimes you can get back to the same path from multiple starting points and end up with different results. I don't know how someone would approach trying to record everything without a ton of overlapping footage.

The way I solved it was by solving the puzzle one row at a time

Hi Ben,


Great game. I managed to cause a game-breaking bug. Mild spoilers below. The recollections below might be wrong or out of order. I'm working on nailing down the steps to reproduce.


Chapter 2, after joining the commune. I was living in the slum, had interacted with the commune a bit, ratted out Art when walking past the druggy house immediately east of the commune (police spontaneously arrived as I was walking past). I had taken Duo's pill myself and not delivered it to the arcade. I got myself hooked and kicked out of the slum. Duo _was not_ waiting outside to apologize for making me homeless. As a result, I had no home (the tent had someone else in it). No home means no bed means no advancing to the next day. Evol was blocking the commune telling me to go inside because something was about to go down.


On an earlier run I had discovered the secret behind the railway track. So naturally I experimented with assigning myself to the tent and advancing the day using the debug tools.


I couldn't get this to work, I think (perhaps in part) because no matter what I adjusted I couldn't unset the addicted flag.


I ended up throwing away my save.


Hopefully there are enough clues here for you to be able to reproduce the issue.


I've also noticed a small town/down typo elsewhere.

Thanks for the great game.

Hey thanks so much for reporting the bug! I will try to find it in the game. In case this happened I did include a failsafe mechanism to restart the game without losing your achievements. You input the Konami code on the map screen and you can jump to the start of the game without losing them.

(+1)

Ha! I should have tried that.

(1 edit) (+1)

Hi! Thanks for the most aweinspiring experience the little Game Boy has ever had! :D

But alas, I have to report a bug. And this bug wasn't resolved with the Konami code reset. It seems that despite resetting, not all variables or switches are reset. For example the railroad chains are permanently cut in my game, even after a restart. And for some reason Art won't remove the ethics chip no matter how much I tell him to do it. He gives the normal dialogue which implies that he did it if I tell him to remove the chip. But once I'm in prison he will not come to save me anymore... He is not in the prison but the news says that the police apprehended him BECAUSE he was equipped with an ethics chip. (If I tell him to keep it, he will be in the prison)

I should add that this was probably caused by me tinkering with the options found in the secret lab.

Hey thanks for the high praise! I really appreciate it! And thanks for playing! 

Basically bugs should be expected at any point in your game if you have used the computers. They're to mess around with the game but in a game breaking way. If you start a fresh playthrough from the beginning and you still find this issue it could be something for me to look into but what you are describing doesn't seem possible without using the computers. That variable definitely gets cleared. I will comb through the code though. Do you have a digital or physical copy?

If you found the secret room it is stored across playthroughs so that you can easily access it. I did that intentionally so that if you wanted to use the computers you wouldn't have to go through that process every time.

Thanks for the reply. Your avatar in the game did clearly warn me of messing up with the game, but I didn't take it seriously. :D I was time traveling a lot because I tried to win the lottery. Well, I guess I'll make a backup of the old save and start afresh. It's okay, I understand the risk involved with wantonly messing up with the settings.

I haven't encountered any bugs before using the computers, so I don't think you need to comb the code for now. I have the digital copy which I'm playing on a Super Famicom through SD2SNES flash cartridge. It has Super Game Boy functionality so I can play GB games on the TV. :D

What a cool way to play! I think my games made in the future with GB Studio 3.0 are going to have pretty nice SGB support. It's kind of somewhere in between an original Gameboy and a Gameboy Color. What palette are you using for the game?

I managed to get every achievement, except the Lottery one... Is there any trick to get it? Or it is just pure luck? Cause if that is the case, it will be something like 0.1% chance (3 random numbers, 0-9)

I don't want to spoil too much but it is mainly luck. I will say that your odds are better than 0.1% but just remember that you don't have to get all of the achievements if they're not fun for you. They're purely optional and I think you've seen most of what the game has to offer. Thanks for playing so much! I'm glad you liked it enough to see so much of the game!

(+1)

I didn't get all endings/achievements yet, but I'm amazed by this game. Great work!

Glad you liked it! Make sure to tell people about it! :)

(+1)

will there be a steam version? the currency of my country is pretty weak.

Theres's no plans at this time but maybe someday.

(+2)

Wow! Even as a demo, this is one of those games that makes you want to play it over and over again to get every detail. I love this unique game type with so many different branches to play. It's almost overwhelming the sheer amount of choices you seem to get constantly. The world-building is also very well done, making it effectively addictive and interesting to play. Great work! I loved it.

(+3)

Um ótimo jogo merecia até um filme , a história é muito boa, uma dica se tiver versão traduzida para português Brasil pt BR vai vender muito.

(+2)

Eu realmente quero, mas há muito texto, então, se eu conseguir fazer isso, levará algum tempo.

Esperando lançar ptbr para comprar

(+2)

I already hate terp with a passion.

Can i play the digital verion on PC?

Yes with a Gameboy emulator like bgb!

Great. Would this work on GBA though?

Yes in Gameboy Color mode. It won't work on a GB Micro because it's not backwards compatible with GBC but it should work on a regular GBA.

(1 edit)

Do you plan to translate it into Spanish in the future?

Hopefully at some point but we are not currently working on that.

Thanks

(+1)

I am an English/Portuguese interpreter and translator. I could translate this game for free if you would like. Get in touch if you are interested

(1 edit)

YES! I would really like you to translate this game. How could I get in touch?

(+1)

What language did you want to translate it to?

Portuguese

(+1)

I love the way you can litterally become a hitman

Estou bastante interessado no jogo,queria que tivesse tradução PT-BR ou até mesmo espanhol para entender melhor a história,isso poderia ser possível ?

É possível, mas é um grande projeto por causa da quantidade de texto no jogo.  Espero que possamos fazer isso em algum momento.

(+1)

I am an English/Portuguese interpreter and translator. I could translate it for free if you would like. Get in touch if you are interested. 

(+2)

wow this demo is sooo good, 25 ending you say? even the demo are this good, the full game will be awesome

Its out now if you are interested! TheMachineGame.com

will there be a pc version? just curious..

You can play it on pc using a gameboy emulator but since it can already be played with an emulator it's not a high priority to port it to pc right now.

Bruh you can't do the job fair?  If you pass the test it deducts 50 points for being on the demo, and if you get a 50 or less you can't do the job fair.

Yeah its a demo so it doesnt have the full game.

Makes sense.  Demo is awesome though cant wait for the full game :D

Thanks! The full game is actually out now. You can get it at themachinegame.com

Thanks!  Cant wait

(+3)

My favorite time is 4:20 now i guess

Can you reach the upper floor in the full game, after the “1”? Is it possible to get to the roof, where the city is?

I don't want to spoil too much but yes in the full game you can access the 1 floor.

Thank you!

OMG IT'S OUT I HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR MONTHS SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!!!

P.S. — thank you for releasing the digital version right away!

Thanks for the support! Glad we were able to do a proper digital release so the most possible people could play it.

(1 edit)

Having so much fun with this on my GBC (IPS modded; I am not a psychopath to play on the original screen). Component-wise, the box is sturdy and looks like it has quality finish on it and the sticker sheet is quite thick and looks really nice as well (not the usual cheap thin sticker sheet). The black cartridge looks really too.

The art and graphics in general are beautiful and the environment is nicely interactive. I've finished a couple different story-lines (or runs) and still feel like I have no idea about the various parts, floors and buildings of the machine. I like how Girt changes his uniform depending on the job / task he does. I also like that the perspective changes in larger areas. Needless to say this game 100% pushes the system to its limits (after all, the last GBC game was released more than 20 years ago).

The best thing about the game is to continuously revealing more about the machine while discovering where each path takes you. I feel like this could've easily been released as a PC game on Steam!

The only personal remark I have is regarding the soundtrack. It's certainly not bad and fits the theme well, but I feel like it can be overly dramatic in many cases (and so far in my playthrough it was played for the majority of the game). Also, I can see the game becoming slightly repetitive (especially at the start of each run) after you've done like 10 paths, but that seems inevitable and it's a great trade-off for having this many different endings and story-lines (25+ is what the website states).

Amazing game and I recommend it to everyone reading this comment section.                

(+1)

I have found all the answers  in the demo playthrough, do you guy want to know

I should warn you that its intended to learn the answers as you play so having them all right on your first playthrough might spoil the natural game progression.

sorry about that

No problem it's an experimental game format so approaching it like a normal game can have unintended consequences

(2 edits)

Yes please give the answers

Can you play the gameboy version on super gameboy for snes?

Yes you can but it doesnt have Super gameboy features like a border etc.

Viewing most recent comments 1 to 40 of 81 · Next page · Last page