Magnibox review
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Magnibox review

Our Review by Campbell Bird on May 14th, 2019
Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: STICK IT OUT
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This magnetic puzzler doesn’t quite stick to everything, but it gets the basics right.

Developer: Joseph Gribbin

Price: $3.99
Version: 1.1.3
App Reviewed on: iPhone XR

Graphics/Sound Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar
User Interface Rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar
Gameplay Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
Replay Value Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar

Overall Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar

Magnibox is cute little puzzler that centers around the power of magnetism. You control a box-shaped magnet (hence the name), and you travel through worlds of various colors trying to reach an exit. There’s no overarching story here or attempts to be too clever. Magnibox is just full of fun puzzles designed around evolving mechanics, and sometimes that’s all you need to be drawn to a game.

Move that magnet

Things are simple in Magnibox. Every level is contained on one screen, and your objective is clear: Get your magnet to the exit. Traversal in Magnibox is unique though, because you can swipe on the screen to roll your magnet, or you can tap the screen to activate its magnetic properties, which can do a wide variety of things depending on the situation you’re in.

More often than not, activating your magnetic powers won’t do much. Your magnetic box needs to have its prongs pointed at special objects to actually do anything. For example, if your magnet is pointed at a block with a plus on it, your magnet will fly toward it. The first few levels of Magnibox revolve around this basic principle, but over time, the game layers in new mechanics and objects to make subsequent levels varied and challenging.

Spectrum of attraction

Magnibox consists of eight worlds broken up into twenty levels each. Each of these worlds have their own color scheme to differentiate them as well as its own set of new mechanics to discover. In order to unlock a new world, you have to complete all twenty levels of a previous world. Well… at least that’s how you’re supposed to do it. Magnibox also features a nice option in its settings that just lets you unlock all the levels from the get-go if you want, letting you just bounce around between worlds, completing levels in any order you choose.

For the most part, the way Magnibox mixes and combines its various puzzle mechanics is fun and interesting, but there are a few levels in each world that feel unnecessary. Either they play with the same concepts as other levels, don’t make good use of your magnetic powers, or are unexpectedly easy to solve. This isn’t a huge problem, but it does make getting through some worlds in Magnibox feel a bit more tedious than it should.

Repelling forces

In a lot of ways, Magnibox is built in the way most traversal puzzlers should be. It’s got a (mostly) great set of levels that gradually ramp up in difficulty. It has a nifty undo button that makes it so you never have to fully restart a puzzle if you screw up (although you can if you want). And—perhaps most importantly—Magnibox’s magnetic tricks are unique and fun to engage with.

I do wish all of this great design came along with better controls though. For a game with such simple control commands, it’s too easy to accidentally activate the magnet power when you intend to move. Given Magnibox’s slow pace and undo button, this definitely isn’t game-breaking, but it also doesn’t make playing it feel great.

The bottom line

Magnibox is a straightforward puzzler that has more than enough tricks up its sleeves to keep you occupied with it for a good long while. While some levels aren’t always amazing and the game can be fiddly in the controls department, there’s enough going on in Magnibox for it to still be an attractive package.

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