The grandfather of the physics-based puzzle genre has come home to roost, as co-creator Jeff Tunnell regains the rights to The Incredible Machine, repackaging and re-releasing the classic series on GoG.com.
Designed and coded by Kevin Ryan and produced by Jeff Tunnell, The Incredible Machine took PC gaming by storm in the early '90s, winning over casual and hardcore gamers alike with its challenging, Rube Goldberg-esque physics puzzles. The convoluted path the franchise took to get back into Tunnell's hands is right in line with the convoluted nature of The incredible Machine's puzzles. The rights were lost in limbo after parent company Sierra scrapped publisher Dynamix in 2001, with Sierra then being scrapped by Vivendi Universal three years later. Now the property is squarely in the hands of PushButton Labs, a company co-founded by the game's producer, Jeff Tunnell, who couldn't be happier.
"TIM was a genre defining franchise and I could not be happier to have the property available to PushButton Labs. I'm very excited to see what we can do with it moving forward."
While we imagine what sort of greatness will come of the franchise in the future, we can explore its past today. PushButton Labs has packaged up the bulk of the series into one giant, Windows Vista and XP compatible package, available for $US9.99 today through CD Projekt's GoG.com.
I will be staying far, far away from this re-release, as I fear for my free time.