Posted by : Unknown Monday, November 4, 2013

 | 11/4/13 4:30PM |

-Review Disclaimer-

A copy of the game was provided for reviewing purposes


           Attract & Repel

Magrunner: Dark Pulse begins as a puzzle game with magnetic gameplay that is presented in a simple way. As the game progresses though, you'll find yourself using these mechanics to fight against an unknown threat as Dax Ward, one the younger Magrunner participants who volunteered to test new magnetic technology for the Magtech Corporation. 

Magrunner is a fun, challenging, and fairly interesting title that may look like Portal at first glance, but is its own game entirely and one that is actually based off of the Cthulhu Mythos by H.P. Lovecraft.

The principles of real-life Magnets serve as the key feature of the game in terms of its mechanics in the beginning of Magrunner. Your Mag Glove can make specific objects either green or red, which make them magnetize to the same color, or repel from each other if they are different. Using this feature, you'll have to solve puzzles that require combining objects and their magnetic range to gather other objects, or reach areas that need power from additional magnetic powers. 

While there are some areas in the beginning of the game that you'll quickly breeze through, later areas may have you scratching your head before moments of 'Ah-hah' pop up once you figure out key puzzles. I found that as I got further and further into the game, the difficulty began rising as any game should, but it felt too hard at certain areas. 

This isn't enough to take away from the fun of Magrunner, but it just made certain areas take longer than I wanted. If you love challenging games, Magrunner is certainly one.

Visuals in Magrunner are very nice and compliment the overall presentation of the game. Indoor environments are clean and futuristic, while also complementing the specific colors used for the levels. While the game is in first person, you'll be interacting with certain characters who communicate to Dax via his Mag Glove, and while their models are nice, they appear a bit out of place in comparison the environments in the game. 

The main person you'll see throughout the game is Gamaji, Dax's mentor and care-taker who is also a mutant scientist that gives Dax advice as he progresses through the tests. Gamaji is very interesting as both a character and visual standpoint due to his mutation, and it's presented in Magrunner differently than what you would think of a mutant's physical features in a game.

The audio is great as well, and features some nice tracks that compliment the action of the game, and the slower paced times where you're just figuring out how to complete the puzzle at hand. Voice work is also well done, and there are even a few comedic moments that happen even though the game maintains a serious tone throughout the experience.

While there isn't any multiplayer features, you'll still be plenty busy with the game. The $10 asking price gets you 40+ levels of challenging gameplay to accompany the campaign as well as a interesting storyline to follow.

It's nice to see toward the end of this current generation of gaming that downloadable titles have become more than just simple titles with simple arcade mechanics and have moved more into just another way to get great games like Magrunner.

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Overall, Magrunner: Dark Pulse may not appeal to everyone, but those who love challenging games and interesting stories will have a fun title that gives you a sense of accomplishment when overcoming the tougher areas of the game. 

$10 is a great price to ask for a game that will require some extra thinking, but gives back with the reward of knowing you used your own wits to get through.

+ Interesting story and characters
+ Magnet gameplay with unique features 
+ Clean visuals and soundtrack

- Tougher areas later in the game that slowed down the pace

Reviews on the are based out of a '1-5 controller' Scoring system. Purchased games by the reviewer contain no annotation, but review copies are always known to the reader via a review disclaimer.

Developer- Frogwares
Publishers- Focus Home Interactive
Release Date- October 25th, 2013
Price- $9.99 MSRP
Review Platform- Xbox Live Arcade

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