Main Assembly is actually a very tricky beast, completing the easiest tasks will make you feel like you’ve solved the Da Vinci Code. The game does combine several elements from other games that work incredibly well, taking what works for that game and putting it in a new direction.
Main Assembly combines a little bit of Portal, Banjo Kazooie Nuts & Bolts, Kerbal Space Program, and the most obvious, Tailmakers. In the tutorial you are given a brief glimpse into the surface level that Main Assembly can offer. You control a small, and customisable drone that can squeeze through gaps and attach themselves to vehicles or objects. You must flip over a car; then you’re allowed to dock to it, and then you drive it to its destination and leave for a new area. This works as a fantastic way to get you into the universe, and what the game is all about.
After the tutorial levels introduce you to how cars control and are spawned, you’re taught about some of the more complex aspects of Main Assembly. The chassis of each vehicle is entirely customizable and also is the programming – this mostly is where Main Assembly shines, because it can make you feel both incredibly smart, and oh so stupid.
You are given cars with issues and are told to fix them and while initially this just involves adding wheels or a chair, it later comes to include customizing the chassis and later more complex tasks.
Pressing “P” will open the vehicle’s programming, this is where the vehicle is given life, and certain controls can be binded to actions, like W to move forward. Going through and testing each part when there’s a mistake or intuitively figuring out why things don’t work is perhaps the most rewarding concept in the entire game, and when you figure out that the simplest issue has caused the biggest issue, you can feel like an extreme dumb-dumb.
Making mistakes is an essential part of how Main Assembly works and is fully embraced by its design. MA encourages you to build the most impressive thing you can imagine while using a wide array of joints and motors, and really rewards players for thinking outside of the box.
This is a game that will be wildly different after the first year as more minds come together and figure out how the game ticks, but it isn’t without some small flaws, such as being a physics-based adventure, sometimes your vehicle can get randomly stuck in weird ways within the terrain. However, Main Assembly looks and runs very well with minor issues, and it is extremely well put together, and gives a fantastic feeling of joy when finishing each puzzle.
Main Assembly is a fantastic title that really rewards player creativity for finishing the easiest of tasks. For a puzzler that rewards and really gives a solid feel of achieving something, then really look no further.
- Great sense of achievement when finishing a puzzle
- No performance issues
- Fantastic creativity tool
- Tutorial can feel overwhelming
- Not easy to pick up and play
- Small terrain bugs
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