I’ve just completed Machinarium, an indie Flash-based puzzle/strategy game, and it was absolutely excellent. I grew up playing puzzle games like this, but even this one was a bit of a challenge. Some of the puzzles in there were just really, really difficult. In one part, you play Connect Five against a computer who’s exceedingly good. And there’s a sliding block puzzle towards the end that would give any Professor Layton players a run for their money.
But beyond the puzzles, the game is gorgeous. It has this sort of hand-drawn steampunk feel with a main character that’s both sad and adorable. In the game, there are these bully robots that have more or less terrorized all the other NPCs in the game, and they demonstrate this with these crude little animations that are heartbreaking. The soundtrack, which you can also get, is also wonderful. Overall it’s dark and melancholy, but can be uplifting in some parts. It’s not unlike the soundtrack to Braid, only it’s a bit more cohesive.
It’s truly an excellent game, and well worth your money. I picked it up for $5 during their piracy sale the other week (I didn’t steal it in the first place, thank you very much) but it’s worth the $20. Plus you get the soundtrack, so all the better. Go play it.