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Time To B-b-bust A Move

Saturday, August 31st, 2013 | Author:

SM1Here’s another random title that I never expected to go absolutely anywhere, but it turned out to be a pretty awesome game. This week we’re taking a look at Supermagical.

A game where you fire balls that turn into monsters
…and make other monsters explode
…or run around like maniacs
…’till lightning strikes them.

Now I understand that might sound a bit strange, but isn’t that what makes a good game?

So as soon as I turned the game on I was presented with a lovely intro and presented with a fairly large world map, which was quite surprising. Typically I find that puzzle games lack in the area of plot, world exploration, and mini games. Honestly there’s a good reason for it…as well, it’s a puzzle game. Supermagical on the other hand is quite the well rounded experience.

Every level you land on has three hidden pots of gold to find before you leave the world map. It is a game mechanic that, sadly, is not well conveyed. Once I figured this out however, it helped me get the money I needed for the power-ups and bonus items I wanted to gather.

Massage bed? Mildly creepy, but sure.  But come on, the flying is overkill.

Massage bed? Mildly creepy, but sure. But come on, the flying is overkill.

As soon as you get into an actual puzzle however, you realize exactly what game this is. In 1994 Taito came out with a game called Puzzle Bobble, also known as Bust A Move. Which plays nearly identically except for it being tilted 90 degrees. For those who have never played the game, let me explain. You are stationed on a platform to the left, and fire to the right. Matching colors die and any monsters left “floating” (not connected) will suddenly make a large shocked-face and run around screaming. Apparently this angers some cartoon version of Zeus, as lightning will come down and merrily strike down the creatures and turn them into ChocoCoins, the games currency.

So I just fire this red dust ball into the red monsters, and they die? Odd.

So I just fire this red dust ball into the red monsters, and they die? Odd.

Now the game’s story is present, but truthfully it’s quite lackluster – which is fine. It’s there if you want it, but doesn’t take away from the main game’s playstyle. Which is perfect for me. As you move through the game’s story lines and meet other magical casters and defeat them (by answering questions to a seemingly useless conversation, without being given any information prior to what the answers could be, you unlock wizards).

Well this escalated quickly.

Well this escalated quickly.

The first wizard you get, once used, summons a very Mario-inspired chomping plant that pops out of the ground and eats three monsters of your choice. The powers vary and can bring you the decisive edge to score fabulously on a certain stage. From pushing all of the monsters back, to the one that reminds me of Doctor Who, that opens a rift in the space-time continuum and banishes all of the monsters of a certain color.

ALLONS-Y!

ALLONS-Y!

One of the nice things about Supermagical is that it breaks things up and uses well-placed breaks for something different. Each level could be one of a few different types: from a puzzle mode (where you only get a few shots), to a timed mode (where you only get a limited time to complete the level), or a standard mode. Periodically, you will come across a memory game where you flip cards to earn candies and bonus items. It just keeps the game flowing. Between busting open piñatas, sending monsters to the void, and scouring the area for pots of gold; I never feel like I’m bored or forced into the next level.

Well said.

Well said.

For those of you who enjoyed the bane of my existence, Candy Crush Saga, this game is one I would tell you to go play right now and have yourself a blast. It’s no secret that I am not the biggest puzzle-game fan (I prefer to pick up a sword and shield), but I can say I truly enjoyed this one.

Graphics:

Super colorful and everything pops, the menus are clean, and everything is placed perfectly. The hilarious side characters portrait art is also worth a giggle or two. Well done.

Gameplay:

Definitely for the puzzle-minded. Not super difficult but requires some time to get through. I don’t think I’ve even started to break through to the midpoint after playing quite a few hours.  With solid gameplay that has been tried and tested for 19 years I’d sure hope it plays well.

Audio:

Good stuff, though the banshee wails of the monsters as you separate them from the group can get a bit over powering at times, in general the game’s audio does a fair job. There are a few things that don’t have audio that I would think should and that keeps this games score a little low.

Innovation:

Sweet. You took Bust A Move and turned it on its side. Good job. The story, bonus wizards, and extra stages earned you a two instead of a zero, Supermagical.

Overall:

Well. That was fun. I actually enjoyed this. Oddly enough, I think I put more time into this one than I did Where’s My Water? The game is solid (even though it is a blatant rip off). Puzzle gamer’s rejoice, a good solid title is here.

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