The Incredible Machine Rebuilt: Contraption Maker

Things will do things to other things.
Way way back in gaming’s past, I’m talking spring of ’93, there was a game released called The Incredible Machine. It was so long ago that it ran on DOS and it wasn’t in the RPS tag system. I just had to input it manually. TIM, as it’s jollily known, was a game about performing easy tasks in the most complicated fashion. A Rube Goldberg inspired game, where putting a ball in a box needed a confusing series of pulleys, and possibly a cat. There have a been a few sequels, but a new version hasn’t appeared on the PC since 2005. Despite waffling on about it, this post is not about The Incredible Machine. It is a Rube Goldberg paragraph, intended to lead you to information about a just announced spiritual successor, Contraption Maker.

Contraption Maker is the new game from Jeff Tunnell, the original designer of The Incredible Machine. It is also a game about building contraptions, which I would have hilariously named
“The Immaculate Contraption”. There’s not a lot of information, though given what it’s based on, we can guess at the content. It does look like it’s embracing people’s desire to show off their wonderful toys (another better name), with direct to Youtube uploading. And there will be sharing of all the content you make, and mods to mess with. There’s even a suggestion of Arduino integration, which is where my brain leaves the road.

Time to hop on the conveyor belt to a bucket that will lower us into a carousel that will fire us at memory lane. Here’s what The Incredible Machine used to look like.

There will be early access “soon”.


  1. Brun says:

    Oh man, I blew many hours on TIM back in elementary school.

  2. Surlywombat says:

    Hmm if I can wrench myself away from other games I may play this.

  3. Guvornator says:

    Aaaah, sweet, sweet T.I.M. Shame the re-make doesn’t appear to be in 3D, though. I’d love to follow the path my invention took from the bowling ball at the start to the rocket firing at the end.

  4. norfolk says:

    Loved this game! I took guitar lessons from one of the guys on their sound team. He was trippy.

  5. povu says:

    Oh man, nostalgia.

  6. bluenine says:

    are you kiddin? it’s way better in 2D!

  7. BooleanBob says:

    possibly a cat

    ?? As far as I’m concerned, cats are mandatory.

  8. Sardonic says:

    Bet it will be better than Bad Rats: The Rat’s Revenge at least.

  9. daphne says:

    No Kickstarter? Inconceivable!

    • darkChozo says:

      I’m hoping for a convoluted set of interconnected stretch goals and reward tiers.

  10. Raiyan 1.0 says:

    Man! I remember playing this and not being able to stop the night before my Physics GCSE exam, back in the early days of 2008!

  11. bilharzia says:

    ‘Rube Goldberg’ AGAIN? Does RPS hate Heath Robinson? Why are you contributing to the destruction of your own cultural heritage?

  12. KDR_11k says:

    To be fair there have been plenty of TIM clones over the years, I have three on my DS alone. Most of them aren’t as good though. The biggest one, Crazy Machines, tries too hard to force the player into one specific solution and once you learn how it tries to do that it becomes trivial to read the clues and just assemble everything exactly the way they want you to.

    • jontunn says:

      The clones over the years have never quite captured the original feel. They tend to focus on a lot of the wrong things, and don’t have as much life to them. This game is going to be more than just an HD remake of TIM as well. We have a lot of features planned to take it beyond being another chain reaction puzzle game.

      • Mario Figueiredo says:

        With you guys behind it, I have little doubts you’ll pull out a true successor to TIM. My only concern is the whole interconnected-machines-over-the-internet thing. Here’s my big yawn: Seems the internet is a game defining factor these days. We even call it Social… the thought alone makes my stomach churn.

        Granted, it feels like an entirely optional feature of the game. I just hope that any game design decisions that will have to go into this feature don’t end up having you rethink offline play design decisions.

        • jontunn says:

          There will be no forced social in the game. All of the official puzzles (and puzzle editor) will be playable as an entirely single player experience

          • Darth_Pingu says:

            Will there be pre-made levels that I can stare on for hours? (the mice vs trampoline level)

  13. jontunn says:

    Hi all, developer from Spotkin here. I was wondering where all of our traffic was coming from this morning, cool to see we got picked up!

  14. TheAngryMongoose says:

    Eesh, watching that video made me realise that TIM was nothing without the music…
    Unfortunately it has the same problem as most of the soundtracks I remember from my childhood, that is, it was a Midi track and I used a mac, so the only versions I can ever find are the weird-ass PC midis…

  15. Contrafibularity says:

    My mind is ready.

  16. unit 3000-21 says:

    I waguely remember playing TIM and its Tom and Jerry inspired spinoff way back in kindergarten – good times. Also I feel old.