reviews\ Jun 23, 2010 at 8:00 pm

Max & The Magic Marker Review


Every so often there comes a game that seems so child-like in its essence, it’s almost as if you are reliving your childhood. Max & The Magic Marker is just such a game. Developed by Press Play, the player is put in control of Max, a young boy with a huge imagination and an aforementioned, magic marker. The game is a puzzle-platformer and although it looks as if it’s meant for kids, the game becomes quite difficult as you are suddenly thrust into a world that requires the player to use their imagination.

Originally developed for the Nintendo Wii, Max & The Magic Marker is best suited for its native platform. The game is passable on the PC, but the controls don’t work as well as they should. For instance, to drag objects you must use the Shift key. However, pressing shift all of the time forces awkward moments for the player while they are still trying to move Max in an effective manner.

To assist gamers with the difficulty there are an infinite number of uses for the magic marker. Gamers will be able to draw just about anything if they have enough ink bubbles (all of which are scattered around each level). However, while I understand the developer’s need to allot only a certain amount of ink, most of the time the game is too stingy as players try to draw larger items and end up running out of juice before the end.

To solve most of the game’s puzzles, you are required to draw bridges, boulders, platforms and more. The marker is also used as the weapon by drawing boxes/boulders and dropping them on top of enemies in order to eliminate them. For the most part the marker works well, but I had times where my mouse would go rogue on me; suddenly I would end up with a different shape that I intended.

The overall aesthetic of the game is great. The artistic style is exceptionally cute and bodes well with the setting. Composed by Danish hiphop band, Analogik, the music also attributed to the whimsical, child-ish tone that only gets better with time.

While it will probably only take between 4-7 hours to complete the game’s 3 worlds (with 5 levels in each), players should find plenty of extra playtime by going through the levels to collect all of the hidden and thought orbs, as well as finishing each level within the goal time.

Disappointingly enough, Max & The Magic Marker is $20 on the PC, $10 more than it's Wii brethren. While I enjoyed playing Max & The Magic Marker on the PC, the overall experience felt cheapened by the fact it controlled better on the Wii and was priced higher than it should have been.


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