Developer: PagodaWest Games
Price: FREE
Version Reviewed: 1.0.4
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★½
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Playtime Rating: ★★★☆☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

As Carter Dotson rightly pointed out, the original Major Magnet owed a lot to Sonic the Hedgehog. It was its own game but, well, five minutes with it would easily demonstrate that the influences were there. Major Magnet: Arcade continues that trend with a freemium-based flourish. That means it’s not all entirely smooth sailing for the game but it is still pretty fun.

majormagnet3As fast and dynamic as before, players control Major Magnet as he bounces around each level. Tapping a magnet causes the Major to leap towards it then swing around it, until the player taps again to release him. Racing through each level is key to success as various collectibles are up for the taking, assuming one is fast enough to leap between magnets. Soon enough, a swipe can help the Major glide across certain obstacles too, adding to the variety of options.

It’s a simple to learn but addictive medley of controls, ensuring that one consistently feels quite liberated in their explorations. Major Magnet: Arcade often isn’t easy though, requiring some speedy reactions and some memorization of what’s ahead. It’s not possible to get a preview of what’s coming so plotting out a route is intuitive more than carefully considered.

majormagnet5While the main structure of Major Magnet: Arcade works pretty well, it’s the freemium elements that are more annoying. Much like with an arcade machine, players are given a limited number of credits with a certain waiting period required before they’re recharged. With such a fast-paced game elsewhere and the fact that it’s easy to burn through lives when things get tricky, it’s infuriating having to wait it out or pay up $0.99 to carry on. Skipping previously completed stages is also available via an in-app purchase, again reminding one that Major Magnet: Arcade isn’t as free as it sounds.

Thanks to such things, I’d consider Major Magnet: Arcade more of a (potentially expensive) demo than the definite article. It might offer a full experience but the original Major Magnet feels the better value package in comparison.


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