Set in a cyberpunk reimaging of H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulu Mythos inspired World in the year 2050, Magrunner is a first person physics based puzzle game in a similar vein to Portal. But is this just a simple clone? Or does its own ideas do enough to really set it apart?
You play as a young man named Yoshi (no, not Mario's green friend) who is selected to participate in the Magtech Competition, a grand tournament set to show off the technology of the Magtech Glove. The winner receives one million credits after working their way through a series of challenge rooms.
|o..k...what do I do here then?|
Of the few levels I played, I really enjoyed coming up with different solutions to the puzzles that were presented to me. The first room was set in a facility much like Aperture Science from Portal, in the room there was an orange plate on the ground and above that was a switch on the ceiling, and a box over in the corner. After picking up the box I placed it onto the plate, and by charging the plate with a positive blue charge and the box with negative red, the oppositely charged objects repelled each other, which caused the box to be launched into the air and hit the switch for me therefore opening the exit.
|Don't look down!|
It was only in the later stages that I noticed for the first time that shooting a surface that doesn't have the telltale yellow hint, will allow you to spawn a special helper, a small dog named Newton that can also be charged with positive or negative energy. Using him as an assistant, I could lift a panel up off the ground which allowed me to access a secret area underground area, where I found a cube that was needed to complete a puzzle later on. As the demo went into the later levels of the game, and the area's changed to the alternate reality of Cthulu's Mythos, enemies were also introduced into the gameplay. They mainly just hang around to stop you progressing too quickly and make you take the long way round a level. This is when you wish you had a gun, rather than just a fancy glove but alas, having no weapons means you have to find some way of charging blocks and firing them across the environment to blast your way through.
|I don't think you belong here|
Overall it's difficult to set this game apart from Portal at an initial glance but once you get over that bump, you'll find a very challenging but ultimately rewarding experience. Magrunner is set to be released for the Xbox360, PlayStation 3 and PC as digital downloads early 2013.