Mother Machine is – technically – a shoot em up game, but it breaks or flips basically any convention of this genre. You are in control of a small spaceship or drone on its way into the innards of a strange giant cyborg being. The game is a bit mysterious and cryptic – it remains unclear what you exactly do, and you might come to ask yourself if it was right to „beat“ it the way you did when seeing the credits and if there is another way to play through it.
You can take damage and shoot, but chances are that you play through the game within 10 minutes without facing any challenge. However, you might just play it again immediate afterwards and are likely to stay trying to figure out what message (if any) is transported here.
Aesthetically, the game is great – this goes especially for the beautiful graphics – most objects aren’t animated, but the engine is put to good use to liven things up; the work put into the sprites and the colorization is great, and makes for a pretty and vivid world. SFX is good and blends well with the minimal, low key, and very fitting music.
The atmosphere is dense, and the alien world that you enter is a strange and inscrutable but uses unambiguous associations to evoke ideas that link to real world discourses. It doesn’t try answer any questions. The gameplay – while minimal – is not only a vehicle for the telling of the story but remains indirectly central to the games plot. Well worth to check this one out.
The game ways created by Ben Swinden. They seems to be primarily active in visual arts – the other game they offers on itch is a seemingly narrative-oriented table top RPG – this might be interesting as well.
The game is realized with Unity, and worked flawless using Wine/OpenSuse.