Opus Magnum is Zachtronics’ best game and you’ll have to extricate me from an impossible web of metal talons if you want to argue otherwise. It's both understandable and open-ended. I spent almost ten hours on a single puzzle last week, not because I couldn’t decipher a solution but because I wanted a better solution. In the end, the stain remover I invented was a terrible, hacky mess. But I was proud of it. Like all of nature’s most wondrous creations, it had 17 arms.
But this is nothing. I’ve infiltrated a den of wicked alchemists (the Opus Magnum subreddit) and have seen some truly beautiful monstrosities. Let's take a look.
Some of these are focused on speed, using a forest of arms to carry and cut elemental molecules to bits, like LPFR52’s grabby alcohol separator.
Others purify gold in a slow cascade, like Money_Fish’s hypnotic un-pyramid.
This snaking cluster of salt and metal should not even be possible. The user, biggiemac42, has used an exploit to avoid collision. It seems to transmute the metal of each “nugget” without ever dissecting it. Bugs and exploits are dark forms of alchemy and we at Rock Paper Shotgun only semi-approve of such methods.
Some machines are just pleasant to watch.
Some are willies.
And many are just ordinary machines.
But below is the smartest I've found. It's an unassuming gold purifier by peanlocket, and it takes a whopping 1000+ cycles, making it the slowest alchemical contraption I've seen. But it is all squeezed within a mere 9 hexes - and it works. This is like minting pound coins inside the barrel of a revolver. It is scarily impressive.
A recent update to Opus Magnum brought another element, quintessence, to the game, along with a fresh bit of story to introduce it. The solitaire game has also been updated to include this element. I’m keen to see if I can improve on my gorgeous mechanical terrors without resorting to the shadowy tricks of the “output bug exploit”. I'm loving this game and, judging by some of these machines, you should be too.