Max & the Magic Marker Review
Max and the Magic Marker hops on board the 2D puzzle platformer boat with an adorable style suitable for all ages. The objective is to get Max to the end of each level while trying to capture Mustacho, a villain Max accidentally brought to life before he knew his marker possessed magical abilities. The puzzles Max faces along the way are physics based, so you'll need to use the same magical marker to create objects that will help you along your journey. Be careful though, an unwelcome visit from Mustacho or overly elaborate drawings can cause the magic marker to run out of ink, so you'll want to plan ahead and be sure to collect as many ink packets as possible.
Moving Max about is relatively simple with the standard WASD keyboard controls, and one simple feature that I absolutely love (but not always included in games of this genre) is that Max will grab and hold on to a ledge if a jump proves to be just a little bit too much. The magic marker is left to the control of your mouse, which can be moved around the screen without restriction. Drawing is as easy as holding down the left mouse button and releasing when finished. If you don't like the outcome of your drawing or would like to reclaim the ink after you have solved whatever puzzle you were working on, simply hold down the right mouse button over any line and the ink will be reclaimed back into the well for later use. One of the truly helpful features included with Max is the ability to pause time by pressing the spacebar. I initially thought this was going to be more of a gimmick that would help make the game easier for less experienced or younger players, and while this could be true to a certain extent, there are plenty of puzzles along the way where it is definitely a necessary tool.
As I've mentioned before, the visual aspects of Max and the Magic Marker are fantastically cute. The 2D engine was a good choice in emulating the cartoon style drawings that fit with Max's story. Clean lines and well executed layering look really nice and maintain that beauty even at lower resolutions. If you prefer to run everything at its maximum setting though, you'll be happy to note that I was able to achieve this on a two year old notebook without sacrificing a whole lot of frame rate. The ever important physics of the game engine shines through every time an object is created and interacted with. Even if the game doesn't win over the masses, at least Newton would be proud of the developers work.
A fun fact about the games audio bundle is that the headlining tracks come from the Danish hip-hop band Analogik. I've never heard of them before, but their contribution of entertaining mixes is worth leaving the music channel enabled. Because levels can slow down when you're stuck trying to solve the current physics riddle, the music can get repetitive at times but always remains upbeat and fits nicely with the rest of the games sound effects. When all is said and done, Max and the Magic Marker presents itself as a superbly designed and executed platformer that is definitely worth the pittance Press Play is asking for. On average the entire game should keep you busy for about four hours, plus or minus a couple depending on your experience with the genre and how many secret items you spend time hunting down. There is also a mystery prize that can be claimed on the developerís website using a code you should receive upon completion of the last level. I'm not going to spoil the fun by giving anything away, so get a move on those creative drawings and enjoy the spoils of victory.
In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 88%. Help Max draw his way out of trouble in this clever physics based platformer.