Kelvin and the Infamous Machine
Gameplay 8
Graphics 8
Sound 9

When his boss, Dr. Edwin Lupin, invents a time machine and messes with the past it is up to Kelvin, his well-meaning research assistant to set things right. In this point-and-click adventure, players must guide Kelvin through three important periods in history to ensure that Ludwig van Beethoven, Isaac Newton, and Leonardo da Vinci complete their defining works. The game is rather short and a little on the easy side but makes up for it with entertaining dialogue, laugh-out-loud scenarios, and plenty of charm.

Gameplay: The puzzles are logical and the chapters are self-contained so players never feel overwhelmed.

Graphics: The hand-drawn 2D environments and goofy character designs lend the game a lot of charm.

Sound: The game features a good soundtrack as well as great voice acting for all the characters

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Kelvin and the Infamous Machine

Developer: Blyts | Publisher: Blyts | Release Date: 2016 | Genre: Point & Click Adventure / Indie | Website: N/A | Purchase: Steam

What do you do if you invent a time machine but it is ridiculed by the scientific community because it looks like a shower? Well, if your name is Dr. Edwin Lupin the answer is to go nuts, launch yourself into the past, and prevent some of the greatest geniuses in history from completing their defining works. Lupin’s goal is to complete these works himself and leave his mark on history, but unfortunately in doing so he he is causing the fabric of time to unravel. Fortunately for everyone involved Dr Lupin’s two research assistants, Kelvin and Lise, have teamed up to try and stop the doctor and fix history. Unfortunately, Kelvin is not very bright, but with the aid of Lisa lending some assistance over his communication device, he might just have a chance of saving the day.

What follows is three chapters of point-and-click adventuring as players join the well-meaning Kelvin on his quest. The first stop is 19th-century Vienna, where Lupin deafened Ludwig van Beethoven to prevent him from completing his fifth symphony. The other chapters see Kelvin having to help Isaac Newton write his theories on gravity instead of Harry Potter fanfiction and aiding Leonardo da Vinci in completing the Mona Lisa. Each chapter is self-contained and the game doesn’t take itself very seriously, which makes for a relatively casual and very funny adventure.

Kelvin and the Infamous Machine makes use of hand-drawn 2D environments to bring each time period to life. The game also features a massive cast of more than 50 quirky characters, each of which is animated. Thanks to the cartoony design style the characters all look unique and some of the animations, such as Robin Hood trying to shoot an arrow, are hilarious. As is almost obligatory for a time-travel adventure the developers have also crammed a ton of funny references and hidden easter eggs for players to find. Some of our favorites include a certain blue police box as well as a famous plumber who seemingly ended up as a snack for a carnivorous plant. The only downside is that the game does not have much in the way of background animations, but there are plenty of unique locations to visit.

Point-and-click adventures typically feature a lot of text and Kelvin and the Infamous Machine is no exception with over 2000 lines of dialog. Thankfully, the entire game is voiced and the cast actually does a great job. The actor who voices Kelvin does a great job of capturing his enthusiastic, but dimwitted outlook on life, and some of the minor characters are perfectly cast too. Conversations are kept brief, though, with each character only having a few lines of dialogue. The soundtrack also hits the mark with a nice selection of unique tracks along with a few classical tracks that fit the time periods.

The user interface in Kelvin and the Infamous Machine will feel familiar to anyone who has played a point-and-click adventure before and everything has been streamlined. The entire screen is used for the game, apart from a small backpack icon on the top right corner, which can be clicked to access Kelvin’s inventory. Anything on the screen that can be interacted with shows a description when hovered over with the mouse cursor or players can press a hotkey that briefly highlights every hotspot. This means that, unlike classic point-and-click adventures, there’s not a humorous description or a quip for every single item on-screen, but it does cut back on time wasting.

As far as difficulty goes Kelvin and the Infamous Machine definitely leans more toward the easier side of the spectrum. The puzzles are logical for the most part and it is impossible to do anything wrong or misuse items. Most puzzles involve figuring out how to acquire certain items or what items need to be used to proceed. We did find on occasion find ourselves figuring out some puzzles before knowing why Kelvin had to solve them and overall there’s nothing here that would stump veterans. Some of the achievements are missable though, which can provide an incentive for completionsts to replay a chapter or two. The game is also very short, but while we would have liked to see a few more chapters the ending is satisfying.

Apart from the efforts by a few committed developers, the point-and-click adventure genre has seen a lot fewer quality releases compared to its heyday. Kelvin and the Infamous Machine manages to capture the charm and humor of some of the genre classics, such as Day of the Tentacle while remaining accessible to newcomers. The adventure is a little on the short and easy side but remains entertaining throughout and is recommended for fans of the genre as well as new players.

System Requirements

  • OS: Windows 7
  • Processor: 1.7 GHz Dual Core
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260, ATI Radeon 4870 HD, or equivalent card with at least 512 MB VRAM
  • Storage: 500 MB available space
  • Additional Notes: Must have OpenGL
  • OS: Mavericks 10.9 or later
  • Processor: Intel Core Duo
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260, ATI Radeon 4870 HD, or equivalent card with at least 512 MB VRAM
  • Storage: 500 MB available space
  • Additional Notes: Must have OpenGL
  • OS: Ubuntu 12.04 LTS
  • Processor: 1.7 GHz Dual Core
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260, ATI Radeon 4870 HD, or equivalent card with at least 512 MB VRAM
  • Storage: 500 MB available space
  • Additional Notes: Must have OpenGL and Java 8+

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