Game Reviews

Opus Magnum

Have you ever played a zachtronics game? Honestly, it takes a special kind of masochism to really enjoy their games fully. But there is beauty in creation, improving and finding the perfect solution to the open ended puzzles that are part of Opus Magnum.

Not for the faint of heart

And it seems I’m one of those masochists. Opus magnum is/was part of the Humble choice April 2020 so you should be able to trade for it fairly easily still. If not, it’s worth the money even without discount.

Zachtronics has also created the 3D construction puzzle game Infinifactory, and it’s a work of art in it’s own right as well. As well as various other open ended puzzle games. Be sure to look it up.

In Opus magnum you play the role of a young alchemical engineer, fresh out of the academy and working the transmutation engine. With the above screenshot you’ll pretty much be spending most of the game. All the board pieces may be placed along 6 directions and freely moved across the board. Input atom and fuse them together with specific instructions for each handler arm to create molecules as output.

It seems simple enough, but creating gold from lead is probably one of the easier missions. Soon you’ll be taking apart large molecules, replacing bits, creating strings and moving whole chains of atoms across the board through carefully crafted instructions to each arm. Timing suddenly becomes crucial, and a slight tweak here and there,. before you know it you’ve been working a single machine for hours.

Each solution has three measurements which you may compare to the creations of your friends. Cost, number of cycles and area. Can your machine be made better than it was when you first made it?

The storyline

The game’s storyline is engaging enough, and helps explain what you’re creating and why. If you’re looking for a quick getaway from the regular machine, the game also features a solitaire mode called sigmar’s garden. (Depicted above) It functions much like a game of solitaire mahjong in that you unlock atoms by removing other atoms. The exact rules for this are explained in game. Opus Magnum is not your average puzzle game, this one requires you to actually think and plan well beyond the usual. And you can increase the difficulty as you get better at it by setting your own challenges.

Release date: 7 Dec, 2017

Minimum system requirements: Windows Vista though 10, 2 GHz CPU, 4 GB Ram, 1366×768 screen, DirectX 11, 600 MB Storage space.


  1. I played this game while on Origin Access Vault, and it is fun and then sum!
    There is something satisfying at optimizing your little circuits and arm movement to reduce the place / time used by your solution, while making sure nothing conflict with anything else (moving mater and making sure they don’t collide).

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