Exploring the human body is rather intriguing, but not a great fit on Nintendo Switch.
While the previous two ARTE published games made efforts to appeal to a console audience, Homo Machina plays it rather straight. The game, originally a mobile title, retains plenty of aspects that made the first version so unique. You would click on elements of the human body, see things unfold, and learn something new about our inner workings. It was one of the cutest yet most educational experiences I have had in a while. When I heard that it was coming to Nintendo Switch, I was pretty excited. What I got, though, was a bit underwhelming.
To be frank, I don't think the experience works on a television. Call it harsh, but playing with a pointer on a playing field designed for mobile gave me some serious issues. Homo Machina doesn't run great on the bigger screen anyway, with graphical glitches making some annoying flashes on screen. With the touchscreen though, it was somewhat pleasant to play. The UI remained a bit small, but I could easily click on stuff for a more optimal playthrough.
When I got over these woes, the game was just okay. Homo Machina sees you exploring the human body’s internal functions, which are represented as a factory with people doing the day-to-day work. The player will have to solve little puzzles to get to the next sequence of events so as to get the person who you are tinkering with trucking again. There is some trial and error here, particularly later on, but as an experience it does some neat tricks. Homo Machina thrives at being ''neat,'' but don't expect those feelings will go any deeper.
Homo Machina is a one trick pony, but one that has been tremendously cared for. The puzzles are fun, and the fact that the human body is controlled by little people is a neat touch. It helps that there is pleasant dialogue to boot, pushing you towards the next puzzle. As a game on Switch though, it is the weakest of the three Arte games. Only with the touchscreen did it feel somewhat satisfying, which is a bummer. This world could've easily been adapted to a full 16:9 display, and you wouldn't have lost anything in the process. Its mobile roots limit what the game can do, which becomes apparent rather quickly.