DaVinci's Secret Machines Review

By , on December 19, 2009

DaVinci's Secret Machines
Download on the AppStore
3 out of 5


  • Easy to play.
  • Fun facts and quotes.
  • Lots of physics objects to play with.


  • Solutions are often inelegant.
  • Free-form positioning can be a pain to work with.


There are plenty of physics sims to choose from the pure puzzle genre on the App Store. Amongst these Davinci's Secret Machines is only really a par amongst a sea of competitors. While this is still a great game that's fun to play, buying this over others is more a matter of whim than a necessity for puzzle fans.

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Davinci's Secret Machines by Aboveground Systems is another take on the physics sim puzzle set of games already in abundance on the App Store. It's a fairly simple offering for the genre, but one that still challenges players to think laterally to solve the myriad of puzzles on offer.

Puzzles in physics simulators tend to be challenging thanks to the way complex machines end up becoming chaotic and prone to wild results from tiny changes. Davinci's Secrets is no big improvement here and much of the positioning of pieces is free-form, not utilizing grids or limited rotation angles to reduce the possible outcomes. However, once an item is placed it can be fine-tuned by allowing it to collide with the world, thus making positioning easier to realistically achieve. Sadly this can also be frustrating as the items tend to stick on anything that passes by.

The devices themselves are fairly unique, attempting to make sure that the visuals retain a renaissance look and feel while also being functional. Although things like conveyor belts and electrical fans may be a stretch, they don't stand out and fit the theme and gameplay well. Many of the puzzles can be brute-forced once you understand how the objects interact, but it's still fun to see how many ways you can achieve the same outcome.

Secret Machines doesn't manage to stand out by being particularly better in any way, but it is a great, albeit simple addition to the genre and worth a look for fans.


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