Submachine Universe is a massively singleplayer online game first launched in 2010. It’s the newest addition to the developer’s long-term project called Submachine series, letting players explore rooms, read the lore, and travel between locations in this universe.
An open-ended project
You might’ve heard about the developer, Mateusz Skutnik, for his previous release called Escape from JiG. Submachine Universe is his another point-and-click creation, boasting similar realistic cartoon designs and a puzzle-packed plot.
It isn’t a standalone project. The Submachine series collection of Adobe-based adventure and escape room games generally received positive feedback, pushing Skutnik to keep creating puzzles and locations to existing ones.
This game features a freedom from linearity, letting you roam the world and investigate what’s there. You’ll start in a laboratory with a file of coordinates for six more locations. Each new place contains a list, sending you into further exploration.
The objective is to explore as many as possible. Still, even the most dedicated players won’t enter every room, since there are a thousand different locations and counting.
You find each new room through tracking clues, trying random coordinates, or following the list provided. While you do so, you’ll also locate four tiles guarded by puzzles. Solve them all, and the game sends you to the Observatory portal to escape.
While the feeling of the game’s puzzles resembles Fragments of Euclid, another indie game from itch.io, the design is much more down-to-earth. The gloomy drawings of submersed technology resemble the style of ’90s cartoons such as Futurama while staying immersive.
The soundtrack following you consists of a high-pitched tune and a series of noises adding to the room atmosphere. From creaking doors to the shingle beneath your feet, it’s best to play with headphones.
Endless player theories exist to reflect this engagement, regarding various rooms and how they interact. The developer even included some in the story, keeping the mystery alive.
Fantastic but unfinished
This game is a gripping experience with new locations to explore and puzzles to solve. Unfortunately, it’s still a work in progress, meaning that not all players can run it successfully.