Black Magic Review
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Black Magic Review

Our Review by Chris Nitz on October 6th, 2011
Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: RETRO ADVENTURES
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Black Magic is retro adventure game that will challenge players to the bitter end.

Developer: Elite Systems
Price: $0.99
Version: 2.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone

Graphics / Sound Rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar
User Interface Rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar
Gameplay Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar

Overall Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar

Datasoft is one of those companies that continually produce games that challenge players from the moment they start, and never let up until the game is completed or the player rage-quit. Black Magic happens to be an 8-bit gem from 1987 that reminds us all of the joys that only come from beating a challenging game. Thanks to the Elite Collection, iPhone gamers will be able to take a stroll down memory lane - just be sure to have a box of tissue handy.

Black Magic is an adventure game where players will traverse through a fantasy world in hopes to save a great kingdom from the evil warlock Zahgrim. To accomplish this task, players will need to slay a variety of enemies and make their way through various obstacles and traps. This is not an easy voyage as the enemies are skilled at destroying would-be heroes. Seriously, this is a rough side-scrolling adventure.

The game comes with a few ways to control the hero, with a configurable d-pad and movable joystick being the mainstays. Portrait orientation will see the screen cut in half so the buttons are easily configurable and seen, while landscape will add in a touch of opacity so they do not block big portions of the screen. The controls are a bit sluggish, and sometimes response lag is an issue. What would have been nice is to adjust the size of the joystick, as it is a tad on the small side.

When it comes to how the game looks and sounds, this is a faithful port of the 1987 classic. That means pixelation, simple primary colors, and basic animation rule the day. The world is remarkably detailed even with this 8-Bit scheme, but don't expect to be blown away by crazy polygon counts and immense textures. Likewise, the sound is an assortment of beeps at various pitch levels, and the sound effects are the fundamental bleep and bloops. If retro is high on the entertainment list, this will get the game juices flowing.

This is an extremely faithful port of the original game, all the way down to the input lag. The game is difficult, yet rewarding thanks to each success being well deserved. This is not a game that will appeal to everyone, but any fans of games gone by will find this makes a decent addition to the collection.


iPhone Screenshots

(click to enlarge)

Black Magic screenshot 1 Black Magic screenshot 2 Black Magic screenshot 3 Black Magic screenshot 4 Black Magic screenshot 5
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