Major Magnet

..Major Magnet..

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Major Magnet Box Art
System/s: Mobile
Developer: PagodaWest Games, Corona Labs
Publisher: PagodaWest Games, Iddiction
Genre: 2D Platformer
Players: 1
GD Score: 66
Press Scores
Release Date:
N. America: Feb. 21, 2013
Europe: Feb. 21, 2013
Australia: Feb. 21, 2013
Japan: Feb. 21, 2013
ESRB: Everyone

"Master of Magnets"

REVIEW |

Author: Neil Kapit  

Physics-platformers proliferate on smartphones the same way ants infest picnics. The reasons for this are sensible enough: they show off the processing power of the devices by displaying complex scientific mechanics in action, but they're simple enough to play intuitively on a touch screen and often use cartoon character iconography that's ideal for merchandising. Of course, like any genre, a physics platformer has no inherent value beyond the quality of the individual game's level design and programming. Sadly, in the case of Major Magnet, that design misses the mark despite its undeniable promise.

Major Magnet (iOS) Review Screenshots

Major Magnet casts players as the titular hero, who possesses powers similar to the X-Men's arch-nemesis Magneto. The use of magnetism is where the similarities end, as while Magneto is a frighteningly powerful and shrewd super-villain, Major Magnet is a dowdy dolt named Marv who is incapable of flight without his cape. When the evil Colonel Lastin steals that cape, Marv is forced to get around by his giant horseshoe magnet, swinging from magnetized pole to pole through various obstacle courses.

This concept could have made for a great game. Major Magnet progresses by swinging from point to point, controlled by tapping the poles to attract or repel the pudgy hero. Players have to tap with impeccable timing in order to send the Major flying in the right direction at the right time, especially if they want to get higher scores for collecting more items. Unfortunately, the timing needs to be absolute, especially in the later levels. There are split seconds between sending the Major in the right direction and flinging him to his untimely demise. Given the speeds the Major needs to swing at in order to launch himself a respectable distance, this is hardly unexpected, but it's still frustrating.

Major Magnet (iOS) Review Screenshots

Usually these mass-market games tend to veer towards being too easy, but the difficulty of Major Magnet represents the opposite problem, and for the purpose of such a game —i.e. being a quick timewaster on one's smartphone— this is counter-intuitive. Pulling out Major Magnet for a minute or two will likely not lead to any progress within the game, except for the earliest levels. The game isn't complex enough to warrant such extensive play, but it's not easy enough to get into immediately. Some people might still enjoy Major Magnet, and there is much to recommend about the game, but there are plenty of more intuitive physics-platformers on the market.

GameDynamo's Score for Major Magnet (Mobile)
Graphics
Charming visual design and nice special effects on the 2D plane.
Sound
The main theme evokes the best 16-bit soundtracks, particularly from the Sonic and Mega Man games.
Gameplay
A great idea hindered by the near-impossible precision the controls require.
Play Value
If you have the patience, there's quite a bit to acquire in the levels, such as tokens to collect and high scores to beat.
 
Final Score  66  
Major Magnet is a frustrating game to play, but it will certainly find an audience who finds the steep challenge rewarding. Unfortunately, for many, that challenge will be too steep.

Posted on 03/04/2013 | Game Played on: iPhone
Neil Kapit

Neil Kapit is a freelance writer, cartoonist, and "La Li Lu Le Lo" agent based in Los Angeles. His work can be seen on www.therubynation.com.

The views of GameDynamo's writers are not necessarily the views of the website as a whole. However, we support freedom of speech and enjoy diverse opinions about video games. Hopefully you do too!

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