It’s often concerning how similar the presentation of many of eastasiasoft‘s simple puzzle games are. A menu screen showcasing each of the worlds in the game, and a subset offering the levels therein. Often, no requirements are present and you can play them in any order. For this Maggie the Magnet review, we completed over a hundred levels to see all the game had to offer, and despite the simplicity of the puzzling, it was certainly time well spent.
The game doesn’t weigh you down with any kind of plot or reason for the action. Nor does it give you a tutorial of any kind. Because it doesn’t need to. The action is incredibly simple. You, as Maggie, are a magnet. You can pull yourself towards another magnet within the level by pressing the A button (on Xbox Series X|S). That’s it. The only control mechanism in the game. However, while it sounds simple on paper, in practice it quickly becomes more complicated.
The idea of each level is to reach the exit through carefully managed momentum. As you attract to the level’s magnet you’ll pick up speed. Release the button, and you’ll continue to be propelled in the direction of your movement, but at a decreasing pace. From this simple explanation I’m sure you can image all sorts of challenges that can be created in a small 2D environment. As likewise, you can probably imagine that it doesn’t stop there.
As you progress through the game all manner of different items come into play to help or hinder you. Fans will kill you instantly, but can be broken by pushing a block into them. Electricity crackles on a regular, timed delay. Spikes, bouncy blocks, gravity changing devices and much more. Maggie the Magnet starts simply, but soon builds into a challenge of logic, timing and perseverence.
The closest comparison we could offer would be that of Flappy Bird. As the levels progress you’ll find that the crucial split-second timing of pressing that button means instant life or death. That’s not to say it’s as throwaway an experience as the aforementioned title. Not by any means. It’s simply the way in which your momentum is the only thing under your control.
As positive as this Maggie the Magnet review has been, there’s a few extra trimmings that we need to point to. Firstly, there are many hidden levels which can provide additional challenges or mix up the gameplay considerably. These are oneshots, so don’t expect the mechanics to bleed into the later levels. Secondly, the whole game has a number of skins that change the colour and soundtrack. These will change at seemingly random intervals, but can also be changed manually. The Game Boy inspired skin is, of course, a favourite.
Maggie the Magnet is a well crafted, thoroughly enjoyable puzzle game. It’s relative shortness means it doesn’t outstay it’s welcome, yet the secrets to find can give completionists something extra to hunt for. It’s a finely balanced affair, and for that is well worth an evening of your time.