Skip to content

Review: Homo Machina puts an industrial spin on the human body

In this fun puzzler, the human body is an industrial, analog machine that needs to be controlled

Developer: ARTE Experience
Price: $3/£3
Size: 565.7 MB
Version: 1.1.0
Platform: iPhone & iPad

Get Homo Machina

In Homo Machina, exploring the human body has never been more interesting or more fun. That’s because, in this weird and wonderful puzzler, the body is one big machine, controlled by departments of workers who open eyelids, process smells, chew food, and orchestrate pretty much every bodily function you can imagine.

Different departments coordinate their efforts to perform simple bodily tasks

It’s a charming, unusual concept – unless you’re familiar with the drawings of Fritz Kahn, whose work inspired the game. Because of this, getting used to Homo Machina could take a bit of time. You start the game with the first task of the day: waking up. Your body’s director of operations and his team of workers organize everything, from opening eyelids to chewing food and even clearing mucus. That’s right: this game isn’t for the squeamish.

Here, mucus needs to be cleared from the nasal passageway. Yum.

To progress through the game, players need to tap on the appropriate worker, or control various mechanical objects (like levers and buttons) to perform individual functions. It’s not always clear exactly what needs to tapped or swiped, and so particular areas (like the Olfactory Department) can involve quite a bit of trial and error. Homo Machina is definitely a tough puzzler in places; you may find standstills like this to be charming or frustrating.

You can interact with different parts of the machine-like environment

Homo Machina feels like a huge, complex world which players can gradually explore. This exploration happens in a linear fashion, beginning with waking up and moving towards the goal of going on a date at the end of the day. The game will take you between each area of the human body before leaving players to solve the puzzle at hand.

Here, a smell needs to be processed, and so players have been sent to the Olfactory Department.

Graphically, Homo Machina is a delight for the eyes. Areas have an industrial, analog feel and are full to the brim with pulley systems, rollers, and thick copper wires. Workers in each department move around in the background and sound effects accompany different processes in the game. Players are advised to use earphones when playing Homo Machina, and this further improves the experience on offer.

Overall, Homo Machina is a game to really get lost in. There are no time limits, no external pressures, and nothing stopping you from spending hours progressing through the app at your own leisure. It would be nice to be able to seek help for those times when you become really stuck – this is something which is missing in the current release. But other than that, Homo Machine is a fine piece of craftsmanship and we think you’ll love it.