Max and the Magic Marker
Like 5Th Cell's innovative DS title, Scribblenauts, Max and the Magic Marker's core gameplay is focused on an open-ended world where challenges can be solved through countless creative solutions.
- An innovative gaming experience with multiple brain-teasing platform puzzles
- Challenges a player's patience more than their brains, controls are fickle, gameplay is repetitive.
With complex physics and the ability to create whatever your heart desires, Max and the Magic Marker follows the same path that the charming Scribblenauts paved last year. But even solid emergent gameplay can't make up for the many faults which ruins this half-hearted platforming adventure.
Like 5Th Cell's innovative DS title, Scribblenauts, Max and the Magic Marker's core gameplay is focused on an open-ended world where challenges can be solved through countless creative solutions. Gamers are given a magic marker that transforms their drawings into tangible objects that can run the gamut from simple one-stroke bridges to far more complex mechanisms. Your creativity and the amount of ink you possess are your only real limitations.
For instance, in the second of the game's three worlds -- a pirate-laden jungle -- Max needs to scale volcanoes of various sizes. For a short volcano, a simple ramp, step-stool, or staircase may do the trick. However, a taller volcano may require a more complex drawing; say, a long vertical line with several ladder-esque rungs that Max can climb. But a towering, skyscraper-sized volcano will need a little more ingenuity -- in my case, I drew a horizontal line to act as a teeter-totter, balanced it on a triangle, and then created a boulder as a counter-weight to catapult Max up and over the volcano's peak.
Unfortunately, the game's potential is limited by the crude controls and the disappointing way in which the drawing and platforming aspects are integrated. On the PC, you use the arrow keys to move Max and the mouse to control the magic marker. Having to frequently pause the game in order to draw creates an uneven stop-and-go pace that makes high-speed chases and boss battles difficult to enjoy. To top it off, creating perfectly straight lines with the mouse can prove more than challenging. Unless you have the hands of a neuro-surgeon, your creations may not even work.
As irksome as the mouse can be, using the "Up" arrow key to jump and climb is the real deal-breaker. Having to smash two arrow keys simultaneously to jump in a given direction doesn't work more than half the time, often sending Max head-first down a chasm or into an enemy.
In the end, it often comes down to understanding the solution but not being able to feasibly execute it. Add these difficulties to a rather repetitive five-hour adventure, and the game becomes more of a chore than an adventure. It's painful to see a game with so much innovation hampered by poor execution. A better interface, improved controls and a greater sense of variety could have made Max and the Magic Marker another vivid and imaginative title on par with 5th Cell's Scribblenauts. Sadly, the game fails to reach its full potential.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Mazda MX-5 (2016) review: Absolute driving purity
- 2 Sony 75-inch UHD TV (X9400C) review: Sony and Android are a winning duo
- 3 LG 55EG960T OLED UHD TV
- 4 Panasonic Viera UHD TV review: good hardware, fragmented software
- 5 Microsoft Lumia 640 review: Honouring Nokia's legacy
Best Deals on Good Gear Guide
Latest News Articles
- Corsair's K70 RGP Rapidfire features new gaming-focused Cherry MX switches
- EVE Valkyrie's new Carrier Assault mode will fulfill your Millennium Falcon dreams
- Doom co-creator John Romero teases new PC shooter
- Microsoft kills off its Xbox 360 gaming console, but Xbox 360 games will live on thanks to Xbox One
- Google Play Games 3.7 enables new Gamer ID feature, ditches Google+ sign-in
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- FTManager; Enterprise ArchitectureNSW
- FTSecurity Accreditation - IT Security AnalystACT
- FTITSM Head of Service Desk & SwitchboardACT
- CCICT Project Manager - Contact Centre/Telephony FocusNSW
- FTService Coordinator/Scheduler | IT Managed Service ProviderVIC
- CCWindows Server EngineerNSW
- FTSystem EngineerACT
- CCSenior Project ManagerVIC
- FTTechnical Lead (Guidewire Policy Center)NSW
- CCAWS ArchitectNSW
- FTProduct OwnerNSW
- CCInfrastructure Engineer - Windows, VMWare, HyperVWA
- CCEnvironment ManagerVIC
- CCBusiness Data AnalystVIC
- CCIT Network SpecialistVIC
- CCBPM ConsultantVIC
- CCTransition Program ManagerNSW
- FTDigital Project ManagerVIC
- CCSenior AGILE Business AnalystNSW
- FTSenior DBA / Team LeadVIC
- FTProduction ConsultantVIC
- CCSenior Financial Crime AnalystVIC
- FTData AnalystNSW
- CCContract Analyst Programmer (JAVA/Oracle/Unix) 160509/AP/395Asia
- CCSolution ArchitectQLD