Kelvin and the Infamous Machine is a short adventure game created by Blyts, with the premise being that a mad scientist named Lupin is travelling through history and taking credit for various discoveries. He’s also stopping historical figures from achieving their goals, and all of this is unravelling the universe. What causes a person to be so angry that he’ll take credit where it isn’t due? Well in this case it is the fact his time machine wasn’t recognised as a great discovery – because it looks like a shower.
To stop the rampage and the destruction of the universe, Lupin’s research assistant Kelvin must follow the scientist to undo the damage, and motivate three of history’s most notable people. These geniuses are Beethoven, Leonardo da Vinci, and Isaac Newton, with all of them having been pushed off their respective paths. Kelvin isn’t a hero type but more of a lucky and bumbling idiot, and thankfully he’s the kind you can’t help but like.
As you would expect out of an adventure game most of the gameplay is comprised of solving puzzles, which have solutions that are a bit crazy but work when some logic is applied. Most of the puzzles are quite easy to work out, meaning the game is welcoming to all players. There are a few head scratchers dotted around the place though that left me no option except to click on everything until something reacted in the right way. Most of the clues are in the dialogue and while these aren’t overt you can usually get what is being hinted at.
There’s a lot of humour in Kelvin And The Infamous Machine, with much of it coming from Kelvin’s childlike innocence, despite being 26 years old. A few moments did elicit a hearty laugh due to the absurdity of what was happening. The reason most of the jokes are successful is because of the voice acting from the cast, which is very professionally done. Kelvin’s jokey nature is equally met by fellow assistant Lise’s seriousness, with the actors playing off each other well. The music also blends well with the scenes on screen, and much of it is well composed.
In the visual department the scenes are hand drawn with lots of colour and detail, and Kelvin And The Infamous Machine wouldn’t look out of place if it were to appear as a cartoon on TV or the web. The animations and movement of Kelvin are very good, as is the responsiveness when clicking on items. There are a few cutscenes in the game too that are also well drawn. There were a few moments during the Newton quest where Kelvin slowed down considerably and some of his walking became jerky, with these problems not appearing in any other chapters. You do also notice that the lip syncing doesn’t quite match with the voices.
Kelvin and The Infamous Machine is easily beaten in an afternoon, taking me a total of four hours, and that is plenty of time for the story to run its course in a concise way. The characters are well written and generate a lot of humour, while the design is also drawn really well. It’s a shame then that a movement bug in the Newton chapter does break immersion, but it is limited to that section. The puzzles are well constructed and are welcoming to all player levels, making Kelvin and The Infamous Machine a great addition to the adventure genre.