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The Submachine (meaning "submerged machines") games is a series of point and click, "escape from the room" puzzle games where the player must find objects and clues scattered throughout various settings, figure out what to do with them, and apply them to certain objects and circumstances to open up more areas of each game and to hopefully eventually beat the games.
Basically all the player (who is never shown) has to do is use the mouse to search for onscreen items and clues and click on them in order to place them somewhere or store them into their inventory for later use, or to press a button or move a lever, switch or other device to perform a function that will help the player solve the mysteries of the game.
For anyone who thought the original Submachine was just an "escape from the room" puzzle without a story, this quickly becomes evident that this is not the case, as during the cinematic intro it tells of the player remembering playing a game called Submachine in a dream, but they don't recall waking up from the dream (which one would wonder if any of this is really happening at all).
The player begins the game outside of a lighthouse with a Wisdom Gem (which can be found as a secret in a couple of the Extended versions) and an odd diary page from the original game (telling of how a person lost one of their arms, but gained a third "karma arm" in its place that had powers) in their inventory. A Submachine arcade cab is one of the few items outside the lighthouse, but it appears nothing can get it to work, as nothing will respond when the player manipulates the controls, as the gaming screen appears to be frozen.
Upon gathering an object and performing a couple of actions, the player starts accessing areas of the lighthouse. Rooms, staircases, crawlspaces, additional floors and other areas become available, as well as the plot unfolding, as a pamphlet for the lighthouse can be acquired and read, welcoming visitors to it, telling the story of the lighthouse's origins (it was rumored to have been built over what was originally a dungeon) and how it was open for tours. And more of a personal story opens up as well, due to several notes left behind from Mur (or "M"), the person who's diary page the player previously found. It said at first he was content for being the sole person managing the lighthouse, but then later that changed to the point of paranoia of fearing becoming buried inside of it (which the burial was started by finding several areas with mounds of debris filling a few rooms). He also mentioned a cat named Einstein who seemingly appeared out of nowhere, then disappeared, typed out letters to someone named Liz, and told of creating a portal, but it was not steady.
Submachine 2 has over four times as many rooms as it’s predecessor, along with many more puzzles, and once the player opens up all areas, gathers all objects and performs all functions to beat the game, an ending cutscene shows the player walking out of the lighthouse, but as it turned out, that was just on a video screen; so could all of this have just been a game after all? It is not clear, but the game is to be continued later.
- There are 20 secrets to be found in the form of red spheres throughout the game. However, nothing special happens if the player finds all the secrets, they are just tallied at the end of the game. Other games that have similar secrets (such as Submachine 4: The Lab) have a reward for finding them all though.
- One version of the game that is out might not be solvable. There are a few clues in regards to one of the puzzles, which is “E=MC2" (squared). The “C” is on a machine outside the lighthouse, which it’s number of 2 or 3 could be different with every game play. The other clues are on the pages that the player has to find left behind by Mur in regards to what the value of “M” is (which also changes per game). The version that does not say “E=MC2" on the one page is the version where this formula does not work. The entire game can be solved except for a device that is linked to the portal that causes it to work. It is unknown how to completely solve this version.
This article uses material from the Submachine series article and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.