Rube Goldberg-inspired Physics Game ‘Gadgeteer’ Heads into Early Access Today, Trailer Here


Metanaut, the developer behind early VR experience MSI Electric City (2016), is releasing its first bonafide game today in Early Access, the very Rube Goldberg-inspired gadget game Gadgeteer.

Gadgeteer is a physics-based VR puzzle game that tasks players with building massive (and silly) machines to solve complex puzzles with a wide variety of parts.

You’ll set up chain reactions using dominoes of different sizes, build tracks to guide marbles, and launch them with catapults to bridge the gaps around the very unassuming apartment space.


In story mode, which includes 60 physics puzzles, you build away in hopes of uncovering the mystery behind the disappearance of a brilliant mad scientist and her daughter. There’s also set to be a sandbox mode that will let you build your wild machines unrestricted using the game’s three toolheads, letting you create, edit, and destroy pieces easily. Of course, there’s also a handy ‘undo’ button too.

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The game is said to officially support HTC Vive at its Early Access launch today, however the developers are eyeing more platforms including Rift, Index, and Quest in the future. Technically, the game can work with many PC VR headsets thanks to OpenVR’s broad support, however the developers say the controls were specifically designed for Vive controllers for now.

Metanaut says on the game’s Steam page they intend to release the full game in roughly eight months, or right around holiday season.

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  • Gamer1st

    Looks great.
    If controls and other implementation is right I’ll pick it up. I was considering buying a marble track system already so this would save money and space.

    • Jewell

      Sta­rt getting residual profit each week… This can be a great part time job opportunity for anyone… The best part about it is that you can work from comfort of your house and earn from $100-$2000 each week … Apply for the job now and get your first paycheck by the end of this week…>

  • Seems nice and original!

  • Michael Slesinski

    awesome stuff

  • Every time I see a game like this, I think of The Incredible Machine(T.I.M.). But T.I.M. had more then just balls and dominoes. It had fat cats, fans, trampolines, dynamite, all sorts of crazy things. But these T.I.M VR games (and there’s been a few now, this isn’t the first!) always have next to nothing. It’s always just the same old balls, ramps, dominoes. It’s just lazy.

    Sure, this game is early access, but just *how* early are we talking about here? I see very little past thought past the usual basic physics stuff. It doesn’t look like they are planning to get too wacky with the formula. Wackiness is what SELLS these games!

    I hope the developers are reading this. Think outside the box, or at least steal from a better box. Go play T.I.M at least. Be INVENTIVE with your physics items!

    • Gadgeteer

      Hey Walter, developer here.

      ‘The Incredible Machine’ is one of my favorite games of all time! I would love to include crazier gadgets in our game. In fact, we already have a long list of them.

      There are two things we have to consider when we add new gadgets:

      1) We’re already pushing the limits of physics simulations. Complicated gadgets may introduce performance issues which will make people sick. For example, explosions are cool but what will happen to performance when you blow up a 500-piece machine? 1000-piece machine? Unless you have a super computer, you’re not going to be able to see the explosion without feeling sick. We want to prevent that.

      2) It’s a lot harder to simulate physics for 3D objects than 2D objects. For example, 2D rope physics is pretty reliable these days, not so much for rope that can move in three dimensions.

      – BONUS: It’s a lot harder to make a believable cat in VR!

      We’re still going to add more gadgets to our game but before they make the cut they have to be: 1) Safe for performance 2) Reliable in physics

      • I was actually playing a VR puzzle-ball game and I noticed that the sphere in the game didn’t seem to have any chaos. It was very set in it’s motion. Basically, they “cheated” physics. They have set pieces that nullify existing physics (probably by destroying the ball) and then give it new physics that are always the same (probably by making a new ball).

        You can get around the chaotic limitations in the same way. You make the set-pieces have very fixed physics in their interactions. The “Cat”, for instance, will always fire off the ball to the side. The ball is destroyed when it touches the cat’s collision, and then remade with a firing animation, as if it were a cat-shaped gun.

        Of course, this is just an example. A better, more original idea, might be a plastic hippo with an open mouth that swallows the ball, then spits it out with great force, maybe straight up or forward.

        Other things you can EASILY add:

        Fan (constant force emitter)
        Trampoline (force direction changer)
        Firecracker (small explosion/less physics)
        Inflatable Balloon (pulls objects upwards when triggered, poppable)
        Cannon (one shot force in narrow cone when triggered)
        Toy Soldier, Crossbow, or actual Gun on string (see Cannon)
        Cartoon Mouse (runs in one direction when triggered, bumps things)
        Cartoon Cat (bumps like mouse, also chases mouse)

        You’re not thinking outside the box. It’s possible to do *ALOT* of stuff. If you need help making some characters, let me know. I am a commercial video game artist.