Sid & Al's Incredible Toons
Sid & Al's Incredible Toons, is a puzzle video game developed by Jeff Tunnell Productions and initially published by Dynamix in 1993 for MS-DOS, and later ported to Macintosh and Windows 3, and published by Sierra On-Line with the new title, The Incredible Toon Machine. The game is part of The Incredible Machine series which requires the player to solving various puzzles by building strange Rube Goldberg devices, but this game adds cartoon characters and wacky slapstick humor into the mix.
The Sierra version adds better driver support and a slightly improved interface. It also wisely ties the game's title to the The Incredible Machine series which had grown in popularity since the DOS release.
The Windows demo version of The Incredible Toon Machine was included along with another Sierra On-Line game that my cousins had in the mid-1990s, and we had a lot of fun playing the limited and rather buggy levels. This was my first introduction in The Incredible Machine series. Many years later, knowing I had better patience for games than as a child, I sat down and tried to beat the Windows 3 port of the game. I got stuck on two puzzles and needed a hint to push me in the right direction, but, other than that, I unlocked and solved every puzzle in the game, finishing it on 2020-04-04.
I do not own the game, but I've beaten it.
Best Version: Windows 3
— This section contains spoilers! —
- The theme of the game is lots of fun and it's certainly helped by the colorful cartoon style.
- For 1993, the physics engine is very impressive. I also like that it is fully determined so that every time you replay a game with the same setup, it will play out exactly the same way every time. Modern physics engines often include rounding errors that prevent such precision.
- The graphics are well-drawn. Few other games of the time were able to capture the silliness of the Western cartoon style in a video game.
- The game does a pretty good job of holding the player's hand in the beginning stages, teaching them how to use the bulk of the devices in the game.
- The music, which uses a combination of classical, traditional, and Loony Tunes rips-offs, fits the game perfectly. The silly sound effects are also dead-on.
- Rather than require you to finish levels individually before opening the next, the game opens blocks of levels as you progress, allowing you to skip levels that you're stuck on and come back to them later.
- A lot of puzzles are less about figuring out the solution and more about getting the placement of a tool just perfect. For example, "Attack of the Pachyderms" requires you to coordinate the very specific placement of four elephants and requires a reset every time they aren't perfect. Too many of the levels are like this for my taste.
- As you reach the more complex puzzles, they become obnoxiously difficult requiring you to play with them, often for hours, to finally figure out, if you're able to at all.
- The game doesn't unlock levels evenly enough. You're expected to beat almost all of the puzzles in the later difficulty levels before the last ones are unlocked. This wouldn't be too bad, but I found that the difficulty for the later levels wasn't evenly paced. For example, I found "Bombs Away" to be one of the hardest puzzles in the game, but it's not in the hardest difficulty level. I was scratching my head on it for hours before I finally beat it and unlocked several much easier puzzles.
- There are a couple rendering glitches. Nothing horrible, but they sometimes became distracting.
|English (Dynamix)||Sid & Al's Incredible Toons|
|English (Sierra)||The Incredible Toon Machine|
- mobygames.com/game/incredible-toon-machine - MobyGames - The Incredible Toon Machine.