Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs
A Machine for Pigs is a first-person puzzle and exploration game in which a man named Oswald Mandus wakes up in his house with no memory of what happened.
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Story & Themes
As he explores the house and the grounds, Mandus finds his own old journal entries, as well as phonograph recordings and diaries from his children. It is revealed the Mandus is a wealthy butcher whose giant factory has been sabotaged. The children are trapped in “the Machine,” which Mandus needs to restart. Of course, not all is as it seems and Mandus discovers terrible truths about his past actions—he built the machine after an ill-fated trip to Mexico where he saw a horrible vision of the tragedies of the 21st century—as well as the terrible effects of colonialism on the Mexican people.
The purpose of the machine is to industrialize human sacrifice, in order to bring about a new mechanized god and save humanity from itself. The machine has already been at work creating monstrous human/pig hybrids. Later in the game, these pigmen are released and throw London into chaos as they murder people and feed their bodies to the machine. Mandus realizes what a horrible mistake he has made and sacrifices himself to destroy the machine.
The overarching theme of A Machine for Pigs is about how industrialized society treats humans workers no better than pigs. The metaphor is rather hammered home, visually and textually. AMFP critiques in turn an uncaring upper class that uses the poor like cogs in a wheel, as well as the lower class that files unthinkingly into factories.
From the dead pigs, to the pigmen, to the machine itself, the game is intended to disturb and unsettle the player. At one point, literal rivers of blood run through the factory.
There is a painting in Mandus’s house of a woman with one breast exposed. Of more concern is that she appears to be cooking someone’s leg in a pot. There are naked human corpses, and one male corpse that Mandus finds face-down in the street has visible genitalia.
- Horror games introduce us to concepts that make us very uncomfortable. Do you find the pig hybrids disturbing? What was the most disturbing part of the game for you?
- What did you think of the puzzles in this game? Did they fit in with the Victorian/Industrial aesthetic of the game? Were the puzzles easy to solve?
- What, for you, was the scariest part of this game?
Puzzle, Survival Horror
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Cannot be played online