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Magnet Ball


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#1 chance

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 11:23 AM

Magnet Ball
by AlpiumEntertainment


Direct download: http://alpium-entert.../Magnetball.zip
YoYo Games Page: http://www.yoyogames...200-magnet-ball
GMC Topic: http://gmc.yoyogames...howtopic=509766

Magnet Ball is the latest game from the folks at the Alpium Entertainment Website. I say "folks" because the website uses "we" to describe themselves. But the GMC member associated with Magnet Ball is AlpiumEntertainment, known in real life as Albert "Shady Guy" Caldarelli (according to the website). He may be fairly new to the GMC, but it's VERY clear he's been making games a while.

I strongly urge you to visit their website, by the way. It's a great site with games, utilities, and music for download.

Gameplay
Magnet Ball is a physics-based logic puzzle, where the goal is to get the ball into the cradle. As you might expect from the title, the player controls the ball using magnets. Some magnets attract the ball, while others repel it. In each level, fixed magnets are strategically placed among various obstacles, such as walls, ramps, corners, etc. The basic gameplay involves turning the magnets off and on in the right order, (and sometimes with the right timing), to move the ball to its goal. In some levels, magnets may be moved along a track, or rotated. The controls are simple and very intuitive... but like many good puzzle games, mastering it requires some degree of subtlety. ;)

The first few levels are straightforward, and their solution is fairly obvious. But that doesn't last too long, as the "correct magnet sequence" becomes more complex and less obvious. And in some levels, he player must use gravity and momentum, along with the magnet off/on timing to move the ball to the goal. The level shown below is one example:

Note: Original game window size is 800 x 600
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As in many puzzle games, there are multiple ways to complete some levels. And in some cases, seemingly extraneous tools are added. The particular level shown below is one example of having multiple solutions:

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Another interesting aspect of the game, is that new features are introduced without much explanation. The player must discover their function, and how to use them (and/or defeat them). That made subsequent levels more fun and challenging, but never frustrating. Some of these new features include electricity, bombs, portals, and gravity alteration -- in addition to the wall, ramps, and other obstacles:

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As players complete each level, a record of their progress in automatically stored in an accompanying external file. When they restart the game later, they can scroll through a menu to select the first uncompleted level -- or replay a previous level. There's also a feature that allows players to skip a level after repeated failures.

All these features are too numerous to describe here -- and besides, why spoil the surprise? But you can get a brief glimpse of them in the YouTube trailer they provided:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XhpUbr1qy7E&feature=player_embedded


Sound and Graphics
As you can see, the graphics are fairly basic, but they suit the game quite nicely. There's no background music, and the sound effects are minimal - such as to signify a magnet capturing the ball, or a level completion. But again, this seems well-suited to a logic puzzler like this. Adding more sounds and ambient music these might change the game's atmosphere, but it wouldn't improve the gameplay.

Level Editor
I've only completed about a third of the 60 levels. But to be honest, I'm in no hurry to finish because I don't want the game to end. When I do finish, however, I'll use their built-in level creator to create my own levels. The level editor allows users access to the same elements available in the game. These can be selected from intuitive menus, and then placed using an easy drag-and-drop interface. Moreover, you can share your devilishly clever creations with friends (or enemies ;) ) using the upload service provided by Alpium Entertainment on their Magnet Ball Page.


All in all, this is an excellent game. Kudos to AlpiumEntertainment for creating it. It's simple to learn, fun to play, challenging to finish, but never frustrating. Highly recommended to puzzle-games fans everywhere!
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#2 ugriffin

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 02:23 AM

Nice to see you as a reviewer, chance.

Lookin' forward to some of your other reviews! :medieval:
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#3 AlpiumEntertainment

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 03:16 AM

I say "folks" because the website uses "we" to describe themselves. But the GMC member associated with Magnet Ball is AlpiumEntertainment, known in real life as Albert "Shady Guy" Caldarelli (according to the website).


There's two of us, but my partner in crime doesn't have much experience with game development. He mainly runs the website and such (he's responsible for the template, I just had to type the content) and he's pretty handy with photoshop and other general stuff if needed.

Thanks for the great review!

I've also been collaborating with BubbaMonkey to bring Magnet Ball to our friends on Mac as a free app. Touching up a few things such as graphics beforehand.
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#4 Nocturne

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Posted 19 June 2011 - 06:38 AM

Okay, your review convinced me that this is a game to go and play... I love logic games so hopefully I won't be disappointed!
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#5 BubbaMonkeyStudios

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Posted 10 August 2011 - 12:22 AM

I just want to point out that the updated version is now available for PC here: http://gmc.yoyogames...howtopic=509766

New graphics, a professional soundtrack, and many other improvements have been added.

We're looking for beta testers of the new version so all help is appreciated.

Thanks,
Jacob - BubbaMonkey Studios
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#6 AlpiumEntertainment

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Posted 21 October 2011 - 02:59 AM

Magnet ball (now Magnetz due to naming conflicts) is now available on the Android Market, and coming soon to iOS. Be sure to check it out! :)

https://market.andro...ainment.magnetz

Edited by AlpiumEntertainment, 24 October 2011 - 10:56 PM.

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