Version Reviewed: 1.1
App Reviewed on: iPad 2
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Platforming and eight-bit art styles are usually the perfect marriage of aesthetics and mechanics. Why does it work together so well? Quite frankly, it is hard to say; but it is safe to assume that it probably has a little something to do with nostalgia. iOS newcomer Magick looks to bank on those feelings while still providing an experience that will be unique. Call me crazy, but Magick has cast a spell on my heartstrings.
Set in an era where magic has been outlawed, in Magick, you're cast in the role of a budding young wizard named “Oz.” Having been confirmed as a spell-caster, Oz is imprisoned in the deepest, darkest dungeon in all the land. Using only gestural controls, it is up to you to help Oz escape before his captors carry out his death sentence.
Over the span of a healthy sixty levels, you'll be slowly introduced to new platforming and control based skills. The character on screen is always in motion, unless interacted with in some way, so the trick is to use the constant motion to navigate to the blue torch at the end of each stage. Upon completion, you earn money that can be used to purchase more lives, power-ups, or even completely new magic skills.
The charming presentation, along with the constantly shifting mechanics, provide an evolutionary experience that helps propel the action forward. Each new gameplay wrinkle makes the experience more complex while not being overwhelming. Probably the only genuine issue is that touch mechanics and timing-based puzzles don’t always cooperate. For example, to change direction, you must physically touch the character on screen. However, if they are already moving, this simple concept becomes a bit more difficult to execute than it needs to be.
Though it is far from being a revolutionary title, Magick has just the right combination of aesthetic charm and gameplay variety to deliver a gratifying retro-inspired experience. Players both young and old will be able find something relatable in Oz’s quest for survival. For only a buck, this is a bargain that is worth raiding the piggy bank to enjoy.