Puzzle box game Machinika: Museum is free to keep on Steam

 A 3D puzzle box made of two rotating spheres covered in alien script.
A 3D puzzle box made of two rotating spheres covered in alien script.

A little adventure-mystery puzzle box game is currently totally free on Steam, with Littlefield Studio's 2021 release Machinika Museum available at a 100% discount "while supplies last." With the kind of detailed 3D backgrounds that might remind you of Myst, Machinika: Museum is a puzzle-box-solving adventure through machines of extraterrestrial origin.

The protagonist—that is, you—is a researcher whose job is to understand this large collection of strange and sometimes bizarre objects, figure out their stories, and even discover the fate of their previous owner. Developers Littlefield call it out as directly inspired by puzzlebox genre revival hit The Room, from back in 2014, which will probably get genre enthusiasts excited enough on its own.

"In a distant future, finding machines from alien civilizations is not unusual, especially in a museum dedicated to them. Your job is to receive these devices and to understand how to repair them. But this time, something is different. You have not been given any information and this seems to be rather urgent," reads the game description.

Most negative reviews of Machinika: Museum talk about how it feels like a port from a mobile app, with sometimes clunky controls to match. That might be a dealbreaker for you, and if so you're probably better off avoiding it—but at the price of free those who're fine with that potential could do worse. A lot worse! They could pay for something.

Machinika: The Museum takes two to four hours to complete and looks pretty good on modern hardware. In my short time with it the controls are obvious and intuitive, but a bit clunky. A sequel from developer Littlefield Studio called Machinika: Atlas will launch later this year.

You can find Machinika: Museum on Steam. It's free until May 27 or "while supplies last."