Reliving an Impossible 1907 in Bartlow’s Dread Machine Reveal Trailer

Before there were video games there were mechanical games.  While as a rule they were, by today’s standards, fairly terrible, there’s no question they’re absolutely fascinating (and weirdly disturbing) to see.  Bartlow’s Dread Machine tells the story of the very first of these games, made in 1907 by an inventor more concerned with spectacle than the safety of the user.  Bartlow’s Machine of Wonders was a spectacle for the ages, aside from the shrapnel injuries, but eventually lost to the ages.  Now the world will get to experience the twin-stick shooting and tin-toy carnage in the safety of the digital format, setting out on a quest to Teddy Roosevelt from the Anarcho-Satanists.  Are you a fine enough gentleman to rescue the president?

Bartlow’s Dread Machine would have cost roughly $10,000,000 (or $365,795.76 in 1907 money) to create, in addition to being about the size of a football field.  Fitting all those settings, enemies, bosses, and structures into a physical contraption would be somewhat tricky at best, and the mechanics a complete nightmare.  Thankfully the digital realm is less concerned with storage space so all the tin toys fit in there just fine, but it’s fun to imagine a world in which one could reach in and touch the painted metal and intricate clockwork.  Bartlow’s Dread Machine is coming to PC and Xbox One later this summer, but for now there’s the reveal trailer below.