Codex Gamicus

Machines is a 3D real-time strategy game released for Microsoft Windows. Published by Acclaim and developed by Charybdis, Machines was one of the first 3D games of this genre. It was also one of the first to incorporate a first-person mode, in which players can personally control any Machine in their army from a first-person view.


Machines uses a 3D polygonal landscape, which players can use to their advantage, attacking from or hiding behind hilltops. The viewpoint can be switched between a default isometric, strategic 'zenith' camera, and first person perspective; the latter typically being used to explore buildings during espionage missions.

50 different machines can be researched and built, including Commandants, Flying Machines, Spies, Knights, Armored Personnel Carries, and Reapers. Battalions can be developed with specific strengths to support a personalized fighting strategy. The game also includes 25 different weapons, including Flame-throwers, Vortex Singularities, Plasma Rifles, Bolters, Ion Cannons and Nukes.

Sabotage and espionage missions allow units to deposit mines inside enemy buildings, steal research, and pass back vital information.

Machines is multiplayer over a LAN or the internet.


GameSpot awarded the game 6.5 out of 10, praising the impressive graphics and camera modes but highlighting the poor unit pathfinding and unoriginal gameplay.[1]

GameMonkeys gave it 4 out of 5, saying that the game had "great graphics, and totally in-depth gameplay".

IGN awarded the game 7.2 out of 10, with the reviewer opining, "I'm sold on the different views in the game. That alone makes it stand out enough to be noticed. In addition to that however, Machines is a pretty solid strategy game."


Machines does not natively run under Windows XP, supposedly as a result of a security issue in the main executable. A patch and various other 3rd party modifications are available at the Wired for War Fan-site.


External links[]


  • Wired For War A fansite containing a large forum. Several people who worked at Acclaim before it went in concourse in 2004 can be found here.
  • Machines The Game - the original support site, developed by the creators of the game
  • Art of Magic - contains some general information, and a walk-through
  • Stuart Hogton - Digital media Website of an animator of Machines