Opus Magnum by Zachtronics turns lead into gold in two different ways. First, it takes what could be a dull concept – building an assembly line – and turns it into a fun, challenging, and thought-provoking set of puzzles. Second, it lets you literally turn lead into gold. You can make that magic happen anytime, because it’s yours to play with Origin Access*.
You can play lots of fantastic games when you join Origin Access – and not just the latest and greatest EA titles. Origin Access is packed with over 125 games from EA and our partners around the world, and we get more every month. That’s a ton of things to play and picking just one can be a daunting task. To help out, each month we highlight some of our favorite titles, so you know why you should be playing them right this second.
Science Meets Magic
In Opus Magnum, you step into the robes of young alchemist Anataeus Vaya, who’s just started his first job as Head Alchemist at House Van Tassen (he’s very talented). His task is to transmute elements into desirable products as quickly, cheaply, and efficiently as possible – even as things around him start going awry. Your job is to build a transmutation engine that does the work automatically.
During each chapter, you’ll be given a list of assignments, each containing an order for a product and all the atoms you need to form it. To turn all that lead into gold, for instance, you’ll get that base metal and abundance of quicksilver, which can be spent to refine it into something shinier. You then arrange mechanical arms and tracks on a hexagonal board that lift and move the atoms into different configurations, creating the product you’re after. As your assignments get more complex, your machine must do the same without becoming a sprawling mess.
Making It Work
Barring a few hard and fast rules (don’t you dare let atoms and arms collide) you can make your machine cost as much, be as big, and take as long to create a product as you want. To advance through the story of Anataeus’ career and get to your next assignment, your machine just needs to function.
That gets trickier as the products get more involved, and you’ll find time vanishing before your eyes as you try to tweak your machine just the right amount to get past process-breaking bugs. The feeling when everything finally comes together and runs like a well-oiled machine is a mix between pride and unbelievable relief.
It’s that focus on efficiency, though, that makes Opus Magnum so addictive. Once you succeed at building a working engine, the game will show you how you stacked up against other builders and your own past self. Seeing some players (or even most) make do with less gives you the itch to refine your creation and not waste a single space, second, or cent. It also lets you create multiple different machines for each assignment, so you can compare your creations and see how you’ve improved as a builder.
Opus Magnum is a lot like its own machines: it transmutes unique puzzles, a building simulator, and a beautiful fantasy world into a tightly-packed game that’s bursting with creativity. Challenge yourself to build the perfect mechanism or see how many strange concoctions you can create – the why and how is up to you. You just have to make it work.
Now roll up your sleeves and check out Opus Magnum for yourself with Origin Access!
– Ashley Reed (Follow Ashley on Twitter @ashsmashreed)
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