I love physics games anyway, possibly because I am terrible at engineering and enjoy the challenge but mostly because there’s no ‘lose’ criteria, only ‘try again’. However, the thing that really sets this apart for me is the really easy community aspect to it: once you complete a level, you can browse through anybody else’s saved and submitted solution to the same problem; you can also rank these solutions and, perhaps my favourite of all, each saved solution generates its own URL so you can point people directly to check out different contraptions (this one, for instance, is very cool: http://fantasticcontraption.com/?designId=26084). This already seems to have fuelled a lot of forum discussion.
The interface and game controls aren’t perfect but I love the way it’s done that thing of considering the campaign and not just the game, as well as the fact that it makes it stupidly easy for the user (URLs you can copy and paste into browser windows) rather than the Flash/SQL developer (none of this ‘simply take this generated widget code from within the Flash window which you have to select using the ‘select’ button and then input it into the location string field for the obscure Facebook application you have to install to run this sort of thing on your profile’).
What do you think? Check out Fantastic Contraption