Monday, March 15, 2010

MagnetiZR Review

Futuristic laser manipulation? It doesn't get much better than this. MagnetiZR is a slick, smooth game where you use magnets to direct a laser to it's destination. It's sort of like being a futuristic traffic director, but much more difficult. As the game progresses it (obviously) gets more difficult, increasing in variety of tools and targets.

The game starts out on a 3D map, with a small upside-down triangle signaling you first level. It's all very polished, but as soon as you start the levels you'll realize it's less about the appearance, and more about the actual game.

On one side, there is a little laser. Without your direction, it will shoot directly to the end of the screen, missing your target completely. Your job is to use some of your magnetic tools to attract, repel and essentially direct the magnet to your target(s). You also have the job of making sure the laser avoids the walls, which will quickly absorb it, and block any direction the laser was going.

The beginning levels start out with a smaller number of tools and obstacles, but as you get further along the game rises in difficulty. You come across more magnets, and in time colors play a part in the levels, where certain lasers must reach certain targets of the same color, and some magnets only work for one color. Eventually it turns into the mixture of a laser direction game and a tool manager, where through trial and error you figure how little tools you can use for one laser, to have more for the other.

Pros and cons:

- Good use of brain cells
- Good difficulty progression
- Varies in tools and style of gameplay well
- Polished
- Trial and error doesn't get boring easy


- Still can get boring
- A bit repetitive

MagnitiZR may perhaps not be the most original game out there, but seldom are games. It takes a sub-genre that hasn't been expanded on too much, adds some style to it, and you've got a game that captivates you from the beginning.

My recommendation: If parts get boring or frustrating, bare through them like you do in other games. Instead of using the 'skip', figure the level out, because they're often easier than they look.

So now for the breakdown:

Gameplay - 4/5
For the most part, the gameplay does a pretty good job of keeping you interested in the game. Each new level brings something new and interesting the plate, allowing the game to stay refreshing. It forces you to use your head without being tedious, so altogether the game is pretty successful at being a solid puzzle game. My one annoyance was how confined the game felt, which I suppose is the nature of the genre, but still bugged me. After a bit of playing it felt a bit exhausting to be in the same world, but perhaps that is just me.

Visual - 5/5
This part really got me. I absolutely loved how it looked, and I think the visuals really tied the game together in a way that anything else could not have. The colors and effects they used within the menu and in the levels is very constant, yet a bit spontaneous. It really creates a futuristic mood in the game, which was needed. I think any other visual theme would have made the game feel a bit gimmicky and used up, but this was something that didn't seem like it was used before. Everything about the way the game looked was near-perfect, and I don't think there was much room left for improvement.

Sound - 3/5
They sort of dropped the ball at this point for me. Really good music and sound effects could have wrapped this game together into something perfect, but I felt that the music was sort of muffled and didn't do much for the game. Perhaps they should take a trip to the collabs section and work something out with one of the musicians there, because the music in this just didn't cut it for me.

Overall - 4/5
The game was pretty decent to me. It was far from perfect, but it's definitely worth giving a shot, because you may find you really enjoy this. This is a really strong puzzle game, and while there was a little room for improvement, I think this is one of the best games of it's kind.

Play MagnetiZR on Kongregate.

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