Magnetic By Nature (PC) Review

By Thom Compton 14.05.2015

Review for Magnetic By Nature on PC

Kickstarter has brought about many an interesting title since its inception, almost six years ago. People's hard earned money goes towards supporting a project that aims to showcase how it is able to bring something truly special to life. Magnetic By Nature is one such game, backed by the masses that believed in it. Originally released on the Xbox Live Indie Games channel by a team of students from the University of Utah, they came together to form Tripleslash, in an effort to fully flesh out its creation. However, this may well have been a case of it being better to just leave it well alone.

The premise behind Magnetic By Nature is novel enough. Use magnetism to pull and repel around levels until the goal is reached. The physics aspect is well handled, and may actually be one of the most realistic representations in modern gaming, with flying around a level being great fun, repelling through realistic magnetic arcs. The levels are clearly inspired by the likes of Super Meat Boy and Angry Birds, being short in nature, and failure leading to an almost immediate restart. These both come in handy since failure is frequent. Death is frequent and, to be honest, very unfair. Levels aren't designed to slowly escalate in difficulty, but instead seem to flow in waves. One level's difficulty can be quite high, while the following can be rather simplistic and easy.

This lack of consistency mixes with unfair enemy placement to create a chaotic cocktail of insta-deaths and trial by fire gameplay. A lot of the deaths will come from saws or black tar that can't be seen before making a tricky jump, and this comes together to induce frustration at frequently restarting a level. With stages occasionally being fairly long, this gives way to the sighs of "Finally, it's over" rather than a sense of accomplishment.

Aside from this, however, the game almost becomes tolerable. Then the technical issues pop up and it becomes a test of patience. The game frequently crashes from the main menu, forcing a relaunch. Remember those deaths, the frequently appearing and over lording zeitgeist awaiting failure? Surprisingly not the primary cause of restarting a level. The robot likes to get stuck in the falling position, and any attempt to launch away from the spot or simply move away from it is thwarted by the absence of movement. He just falls, continuously, only stopped by the 'Restart Level' button found in the pause menu.

Screenshot for Magnetic By Nature on PC

Not everyone's cup of tea, but achievements pop up in this title, and, in that regard, this again meets the lowest of expectations. Beat the game, beat it quickly, and don't die. It's the kind of fodder that makes the achievement system look bad. Not a deal breaker and not going to affect the final score, but it's just a minor inconvenience that adds to a sub par package.

It is not even like the graphics standout in a positive way, either, instead proving to be rather boring. It's hard to believe that at least 10 examples of this art style couldn't be found elsewhere in gaming, and while innovation is not mandatory, Magnetic By Nature doesn't even seem to have its own voice. The robots look like a thousand robots before, and although the background environment is somewhat well developed, it's not necessary to play this game for the experience.

When Magnetic By Nature came out on Xbox Indie, it was a breath of fresh air. Amidst Minecraft clones and bland, or downright awful, arcade games, it was among the few original ideas that radiated truly interesting gameplay. It makes sense to bring it to other systems, and even buff it up to make a more complete product. It feels like a full release this time around, and for that it is to be commended. However, bizarre design decisions, obtuse and unfair challenges, and technical issues make this version much less than the ideal for a final release.

Screenshot for Magnetic By Nature on PC

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

Magnetic By Nature is by no means the worst game of its kind. It almost feels charming at first, but fails to deliver on any of the expectations it makes for itself. If the title could have been more fleshed out and realised, there's no doubt it would have been an excellent release with a lot of powerful moments. Unfortunately, it feels like it still needs work, and a lot of it, before it becomes the excellent work it so clearly could be.

Developer

Team Tripleslash

Publisher

Team Tripleslash

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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