The team that created the original Incredible Machine® is bringing all of the Rube Goldberg craziness to the modern age. Solve puzzles involving ridiculous chain reactions full of hamster motors, trampolines, alligators, cats, and so much more.
User reviews: Very Positive (667 reviews) - 93% of the 667 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Jul 7, 2014

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Recommended By Curators

"Buttons and levers and motors, oh my! The spiritual successor to The Incredible Machine, this game revives the Rube Goldberg machine for a new age. "

Recent updates View all (28)

August 27

Contraption Maker August Update

Thank you all for your patience, and enjoy our latest free Contraption Maker update! This update was very helpful to get Justin and his team up to speed on all of our systems in Contraption Maker. This will make it much easier to get future updates out more often.

Here are all of the awesome new things you can find in this update:

New Play Blocks
The Play Blocks are a fun new type of part. These blocks are like our wooden board parts on steroids. Play Blocks come in a variety of different shapes, and can all be freely rotated and sized. They also all have a number of rope attachments on them as well. Stack them up, knock them down, make elevators, gates, and more! There were some super "fun" physics problems encountered while trying to implement these blocks, but Kevin powered through them all and we are really excited to see what sort of fun things you guys do with them.

If you think of any new shapes, or something that you think these blocks really need, please let us know in the forums.

New Puzzles
This is a smaller puzzle update with just 10 new puzzles, but they are all centered around the Play Blocks. The main purpose of these puzzles is to show some ideas of how they can be used in your own contraptions.

Menu Revamp
We have changed around how the menus in the game are organized. The game is now separated into "Puzzles", "Contraptions", and the "Maker Lab". You have always been able to view player contraptions from the play menu, but they have been hidden over on the side. We wanted to make the distinction between these more clear since a puzzle is something you actually have to solve, while a contraption is just something that you watch.

Also, as we start to add new puzzle types in upcoming updates, it makes much more sense for puzzles to have their own section. You will notice if you go to the puzzle section that there is a new puzzle type called "sandbox" coming soon. More on that later!

Maker Lab Templates
Templates are a fun new feature that we added to the Maker Lab. It can be really daunting to go to the Maker Lab and start with a blank blue screen with no idea what to do first. Now if you don't want to start with a blank canvas, you can start with a template.

Templates are separated into puzzles, contraptions, backgrounds, and mods. If you know what you want to build but you don't want to worry about making your own background, start with a pre-made background and just focus on building. Templates work just like other Maker Lab contraptions, so you can copy and paste parts into your own projects. See someting you like in one of our templates? Select it, copy it, and paste it into whatever you are working on.

Are there certain types of templates that you like more than others, or types that you would like to see more of? Please head over to the forums and let your voice be heard!

Achievemnents have been added to give you some challenges to work towards. This is just our first batch, as there may or may not be some new type of achievements I'm pretty excited about that may or may not be coming out with these elusive new "sandbox puzzles". I may have already said too much. I think government agents may be coming to take me out now.

New Project
Here is a bit more (very early) concept work from our new upcoming project. It is going to be a standalone game from Contraption Maker, but it will be in what we informally call the "Contraption Maker Family".

Stay tuned for our next update in September!

10 comments Read more

July 9

Contraption Maker "State of the Union"

Hey everyone, long time no update. We've been pretty busy over here at Spotkin. Here is a quick overview of everything that we've been doing:

Farewell to Keith
After many years of game development, our friend and programmer Keith Johnston has made the tough decision to move on from Spotkin and enter a new stage of his career outside of the games industry. We are so thankful for all of the great years we got to spend with Keith at Spotkin, and we wish him the best of luck with everything in the future.

To replace Keith, we are teaming up with long time friend and original GarageGames associate Justin Mette. Justin and his team are very excited to be working with us again, and they are pumped to make Contraption Maker the best game that they can. As with any transition, there has been a bit of downtime as they are getting up to speed on all of our systems.

Contraption Maker Mobile
We took some time to start work on and evaluate the mobile version of Contraption Maker. We obviously all have phones and tablets, and we are all so excited to get the game into the hands and pockets of everyone in the world. The mobile version is technically up and running, but after taking a deeper look at it, we are going to be back-burnering this project for a while.

In addition to a complete overhaul of the UI to make the game more touch friendly, there is going to need to be a lot of time and resources put into deeper issues like memory, game size, etc. Becuase of this, and because of the crazy nature of the current mobile market, the mobile release is going to be pushed much farther back.

We are happy to have it running how it is, and we all really want to be able to release it, but there are just so many more importanat things (like desktop Contraption Maker) that we need to focus our resources on right now.

Contraptioneers & Schools
Deborah has been doing some some amazing work with Contraption Maker and schools. Contraption Maker is now available in over 300 schools! The Incredible Machine was a very popular game in schools back in the 90's, and it's so great to see Contraption Maker gaining so much traction all these years later.

A map of everywhere Contraption Maker is being used in education

Here are some recent highlights from our blog about Contraption Maker education:

We have started what we are calling the "Contraptioneer" program. Contraptioneers are rockstar teachers that love our game and our mission. They are helping us spread the word about the game, developing lesson plans and curriculum, and giving us feedback on how to improve the game for use in schools. There are currently 8 contraptioneers, and the list is growing quickly! Check out THIS LINK to see our list of contraptioneers.

We are also working on a project with the Hewlett Foundation, but there isn't much we can publicly talk about yet. You can expect to hear more on this soon :-)

Contraption Maker Updates
You may notice each time you launch Contraption Maker, our splash screen mentions our awesome "Winter Update". Last time I checked, it's July now which means it isn't exactly winter anymore. Updates haven't stopped, they have just taken lower priority as we have worked on everything else. We have a new "walls & structure" update that we are pretty excited about coming out fairly soon.

In addition to the upcoming update, we are going to start releasing much more regular free updates. Although we love the game, there are so many things we can continue to do to make it the best game that it can be. In an announcement next week, I will be outlining our entire future roadmap and plan. Just know that you can expect things such as new parts, puzzles, interface improvments, game modes, achievements, and more!

New Project
On top of all this, there may be something else in the works...I'm not sure though. I have no idea where this concept art came from...

9 comments Read more


“Contraption Maker is from the makers of that genre-defining classic, and it's already a recognisable heir to the throne...It's already worth your time and money.”
PC Gamer

“It's an amazing game and I love it to pieces”

“It is a from-the-ground-up modernization, with enough familiar elements to instantly excite old fans of The Incredible Machine and enough modern touches to fuel the imaginations of gamers who have never touched the original.”
Gaming Trend

Steam Workshop

Play new puzzles, contraptions, and mods made by the community members. Then make your own puzzles to stump the world, or just show off your cool creations.

About This Game

** Contraption Maker is a 2-pack. Buy it and get a copy for a friend to build together! **

Tim's sled, 50 new official puzzles, and more were just added in our winter update FREE for owners of the game!

The team that created the original Incredible Machine® is bringing all of the Rube Goldberg craziness to the modern age.

Solve puzzles involving ridiculous chain reactions full of hamster motors, trampolines, alligators, cats, and so much more. Everything you loved about the original game is back and improved with a new physics engine, high definition art, new parts, and even online multiplayer. Over 200 official puzzles, and a whole bunch of community creations.

Steam Workshop integration allows you to share your creations with the world.

Enjoy hours of puzzle solving with over 200 official puzzles and countless community submissions. Fix broken contraptions with specific parts you are given to accomplish goals like turning on lights, opening fireworks factories, and throwing birthday parties for crocodiles.

Enter the easy to use Maker Lab to make your own puzzles or random contraptions. More than 100 parts ranging from gears and dynamite to bears and cats are at your disposal. Use the layered background tool to create settings for your contraptions to exist in, and then animate them to add some life. There's no part or size limitation to what you want to make. Build as much as you can to bring your computer to its knees.

Javascript modding is built directly into the game. Create custom game types using all of the the Contraption Maker parts and physics as a base. Or start with a published mod and use the Maker Lab to make a new level. Easily share and play other mods in the Steam Workshop.

Play online with friends to build contraptions together in the Maker Lab. Up to 8 players can build together in real time. Currently multiplayer is only in the Maker Lab, there is no cooperative puzzle solving yet.

Share your puzzles and creations with the world through the Steam Workshop. Thousands of Workshop submissions are already waiting to be played.

System Requirements

Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • OS: Windows Vista
    • Processor: 1.7Ghz or Higher
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 512MB VRAM, Pixel Shader 2.0 or higher
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Hard Drive: 300 MB available space
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • OS: OS/X 10.7
    • Processor: 1.7Ghz or Higher
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 512MB VRAM, Pixel Shader 2.0 or higher
    • Hard Drive: 300 MB available space
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • OS: Ubuntu 14.04 LTS 64-bit
    • Processor: 1.7Ghz or Higher
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 512MB VRAM, Pixel Shader 2.0 or higher
    • Hard Drive: 300 MB available space
    • Additional Notes: OpenGL: Version 2.0 or higher
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
Helpful customer reviews
49 of 51 people (96%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
2.1 hrs on record
Posted: May 8
Many years ago, PC gaming was different. Electronic Arts was still the young Anakin Skywalker of gaming, not yet the Darth Vader of corporate exploitation and greed. You had to learn DOS, to manage your EMS and XMS, and to properly set the jumpers of your sound card (if you had one) to match the IRQ settings in your config.sys. And your 150 MB hard drive had more space than you could ever fill.

In those days I played "The Incredible Machine." And it was. Incredible, that is. One of the earliest sandbox games, it gave us a canvas for infinite creativity that was loaded with personality and possibility. Then they made some more of them. Then TIM just sort of disappeared.

Now it's back. And even though the game is no longer (capital i) Incredible, it's still just as incredible. So if you loved the early 1990s original, buying this should be a given. If you're too young, or just weren't paying attention, and missed The Incredible Machine, do yourself a favor and buy Contraption Maker anyway. It's a great time to jump in. It's a puzzle game for people who don't like puzzle games, as well as those who do. It's great for young children, older children, and very, very old children (i.e. "adults"). It's an exercise in creativity without a point, just creativity for its own sake.

Here's the basic premise:
You normally [do X mundane, manual task] with [Y amount of effort] in [Z amount of time]. If C = Coolness, completing tasks the normal way would be C/100. But if you could automate [X task] by spending Y+E amount of Effort in Z*1,000 amount of time, would C go through the roof!? Yes! It WOULD! So if X = "turn on a flashlight," Y = "press a switch," Z = 0.25 seconds, and C = 0.1 (which is to say "hardly cool at all")... well, let's just say by adding a mouse, a bowling ball, a laser, some rubber bands, a hundred feet of pipe, and a boxing glove you can make turning on a flashlight the coolest thing you'll do all week.
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14 of 15 people (93%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
23.7 hrs on record
Posted: June 26
You can use water powered pulleys to release your balloons that trip the laser grid and activates rayguns to bring down the wrecking ball on your matchstick house of angry cats and dogs. Meanwhile; a mouse in antigrav well eats cheese.

10/10 would build ridiculous mouse feeding machine again.

(but mute the repetitive music or it's 8/10).
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
11 of 11 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
1.9 hrs on record
Posted: June 22
Finally a successor to the The Incredible Machine (TIM) series! If you played TIM, buy this! If you like puzzles, buy this! If you like throwing cats with deadpan faces off the screen, buy this! Even without going on sale, the game has quite a bit of content you don't have to worry about not getting your money's worth, unless you're not into this type of game at all. I got this for the equivalent of 0.50 USD during Summer Sale 2015. That is such a freaking steal that I am now a professional thief.

There are many new parts that were added in this game. Just to name a few, you now have Tinker the dog, as well as many variations of Tim (Sledding? Walking? Snowball-throwing?). The variations in Tim, in particular, makes sense as Tim used to just be the cannon fodder that you threw everywhere with boxing gloves, springs, anti-gravity pads, as well as getting him stuck on a blimp, all with the aim of getting him back to his house. This increases the number of ways you can throw cats with deadpan faces off the screen.

Many parts can now be adjusted to have their area of effect changed. For example, the scissors used to be something that can only be placed horizontally, but now it can be rotated 360 degrees. You can also choose at what angle you wish the kettle to blow an object. All these improvements combine to make the game deeper and more flexible.

You also no longer have to struggle with placement of objects. There were some puzzles where you had to adjust your objects by the pixel so that they would get contact in the exact right spot and respond to each other. That's no longer the case here. The hitbox is bigger now, which does not make the game easier, though it does make it much less frustrating. You no longer have to worry about the stupid candle not being in the exact right spot to launch the rocket.

Also on the topic of mechanics, the addition of a fast-forward button is simply genius. There have been many times in TIM where puzzles take more than 15-30 seconds to execute in its entirety. Combined with the earlier-mentioned problem of object detection, it can be extremely annoying. This solves that problem, and can also save you time if you're a veteran player wishing to blow past the easy levels.

Art and Sound:
This may just be the nostalgia speaking, but The Incredible Machine series had a very engaging soundtrack, whether it was the MIDI or the upgraded non-MIDI version. CM's do not stand out particularly as very good compositions, and there are a few pieces of music that are slightly grating (like the main theme). Having said that, I must qualify that CM's soundtrack is actually decent, just not as good as TIM's.

Next, the art style of CM is very different from TIM. While TIM goes for a clean and flat look (likely an artifact of the technological restrictions at the time), CM has a more "shaded" style of art which is very obvious on certain objects like Tinker the dog. I slightly prefer TIM's art style, but I think the departure from that art style is an attempt to distant the game from the original series, which is not a bad idea at all. What developer wishes their game to only be referred to as a clone of another game? I still find the new art style a little jarring, but I'm sure it's just a matter of getting used to it.

TIM had its own system of map sharing that was later discontinued. Now that CM is launched on a reliable platform like Steam, I think it's safe to say that custom map support won't be an issue further down the road, which will mean there's a whole lot of content out there even after you're done with the original puzzles. Community engagement is also at an all-time high.

After all that, CM does have its own shortcomings. The level editor has categorized all the objects with the aim of making it easy to find parts. However, imagine my annoyance when it took me 5 minutes to realize that the anti-gravity pad was actually not part of any of the categories, and had to be accessed by viewing all the parts.

The game has also decided to opt to include a zoom and pan feature. This is more likely an accessibility feature than anything else, however, the OCD in me is very disturbed by the fact that you can pan the level even without zooming, and you end up with black borders on the side.

In summary, despite some questionable decisions, CM has made many refinements to mechanics that TIM got wrong. Fast-forward, more consistent object interactions, and almost-assured longevity of the game due to the its community makes this an easy recommend. I give Contraption Maker a 8.5 cats with deadpan faces out of 10.

It is a pity CM was kind of an under-the-radar release. I look forward to seeing CM flourish as its own series.
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17 of 22 people (77%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
2.9 hrs on record
Posted: May 4
Much like the original game, The Incredible Machine, Contraption Maker allows players to construct all sorts of physics-based Rube Goldberg machines with hundreds of different tools and mechanisms at your disposal. The game itself has hundreds of levels to solve, and that's not even counting for workshop-created levels, which adds hours and hours of gameplay. The levels are very diverse, and present a variety of problems to solve, all of which keep the player engaged.

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Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
0.7 hrs on record
Posted: June 28
You make ♥♥♥♥♥' out of props.
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