Developer: Astral Pixel
Publisher: Team 17
Genre(s): Platformer, Puzzle, Action, Adventure
Platform: Nintendo Switch (also available on Steam)
Age Rating: PEGI 3
Release Date: 22/06/2021
A code was provided for review purposes
Super Magbot is a precision platformer with one simple caveat. The main character cannot jump. Instead, he leverages the power of magnetism. Does this simple concept keep me attached the whole way through? Or was I repulsed? Find out in this Rapid Review.
Cloudy with a Chance of Meteor
To begin my adventure, I learn about a dangerous meteor that will destroy an important part of the solar system. To stop this catastrophe from taking place, I was tasked with collecting cores from various planets. The story is simple, but it serves the purpose. To supplement the story, the developers included information regarding the various biomes and their residents. This world-building was adorable. I enjoyed exploring the different planets to preface each journey. It was also engaging to see how they interacted with Magbot. Some creatures were hostile while others were glad that I had arrived. While this did not make the story meaningful, it was certainly a nice addition to the gameplay.
Learning the Basics
Even if there are supplementary story elements, Super Magbot’s strength lies in the fundamental gameplay. To be completely honest, I was apprehensive about how well the magnetic abilities would function before playing the title. When I first started playing, I underwent a detailed tutorial. I easily became familiar with the mechanic, even though Super Magbot was like nothing I had played before. Not only was it easy to pick up, but it was challenging and fun. After the first few levels, I was no longer sceptical, and I was excited to go on this magnetic journey.
The magnetic movement was tricky to master and to be fair, I am not sure that I have mastered it yet. There are two colours: blue and red. They attract to each other but repel themselves. This mechanic works like an actual magnet. Where the game differs, is that I could slide up walls, bounce off the ground, and even bounce off magnetic objects mid-air with this power. It started simple, but I quickly found myself in precarious positions.
I needed to navigate very challenging obstacles throughout my journey. While they were challenging, I had all the skills I needed to get me through the array of traps. Plus, I had unlimited lives. Trust me, they came in handy. Another thing that kept me in good spirits throughout the journey was the fast respawn speed. When I did die, I was immediately thrown back into action. This kept me engaged in the game and maintained my motivation.
Moreover, even though Super Magbot is challenging, there are multiple accessibility options for those who do not enjoy the adversity. These are very helpful. Though I did not use any, they would help any player worried they would be unable to complete the game. Also, it is possible to fight the final boss without beating every single level. I was able to skip up to three levels in each world. This meant that if a level was particularly difficult, I could avoid completing it altogether. This also helped to alleviate the frustration of attempting the same level repeatedly with seemingly no progress.
Keep It Pushing
However, I rarely found that was necessary. The developers also kept me immersed in Super Magbot by keeping the levels brief. Unlike The Snake King that made the levels challenging by increasing their length, this game features challenging brief levels. It prevented them from being overwhelming.
Even though the levels were short, they were still exciting to play because the developers continually added new assets and ideas. As soon as one idea got stale, they would introduce a new element. I bounced through clouds, evaded fiery platforms, and even harnessed portals. I was pleasantly surprised by how many elements they added to the game.
With so many things, it can be challenging to see what to do. Super Magbot encourages fast and frantic gameplay, often requiring quick reflexes. I rarely had time to breathe, especially towards the end. Though it may seem overwhelming, I enjoyed this minute-to-minute gameplay and was further incentivized to play quickly by the timer at the bottom. The developers included an online leaderboard so I could compete with other players from across the world to complete levels in the fastest time. This works perfectly in Super Magbot and offers additional value even after completing the game.
Fight for Life
Super Magbot mandates this agility and quick-thinking in the boss fights. Since Magbot does not have offensive capability, most fights simply required me to evade the enemy for an extended period. Still, I enjoyed how different these levels felt. Instead of meandering the world for fragments, I felt increased urgency. I was motivated by these levels to keep going, and finally completing them was incredibly satisfying. Plus, I was rewarded with a cutscene of my enemies falling to Magbot. They were rewarding and fun.
Unfortunately, the game crashed every time I killed the final boss. It was the worst way to end my experience with Super Magbot and left a very sour taste in my mouth. I tried it a couple of times, yet it did not work. I never got to experience the reward for saving the world.
More Good than Bad
Overall, I enjoyed the gameplay of Super Magbot. I had a great time bouncing around magnetic platforms and evading obstacles. The level design is excellent, and the developers continued to add innovative design ideas throughout. Plus, there is reason to return with collectables and time trials.
Attractions of Life
The ambience in Super Magbot was also excellent. The soundtrack was lovely. It was soothing, a stark contrast to the intense gameplay at hand. In a sense, this helped calm me throughout the challenging title. Moreover, the visuals were pleasing too. I enjoyed the bright colours used throughout. Since the colours were so vibrant, it was easy to tell exactly what was going on. Furthermore, since blue and red were only used for magnetic objects, the developers used other colours for the backgrounds, making them look unique without making them look tacky.
I enjoyed Super Magbot. It offered challenges without being overwhelming. The gameplay was fast, and I was immersed the whole way through. However, the crashing at the conclusion of the game severely hindered my experience. It diminished the satisfaction I should have earned for defeating such a prominent threat. Still, I am very glad I gave Super Magbot a chance. This innovative experience is not one to be missed.
Rapid Reviews Rating
4 out of 5
You can purchase Super Magbot from the Nintendo eShop here
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.