REVIEW: MagiCat

Feb
22

REVIEW: MagiCat

A solid platformer game with a lot of unique mechanics and boss fights.

Released: Steam
Type: Single-player
Genre: Platformer
Developer: Kucing Rembes
Publisher: Toge Productions,
Another Indie
Release date: 22 Aug, 2017

Intro

Have you ever wondered what will happen if you mix Fire Mario with Racoon Mario? MagiCat lets you experience the combination through its side-scroller platformer game featuring a cat that can shoot fireball and glide. It doesn’t work the same way as the one in the Mario series did, but you get the idea.

Graphics

Pixel arts with various themes fill the scenery on most levels. Instead of using a themed world that lasts for 9-10 levels, MagiCat has a themed area in every 2-3 levels, increasing the variety. Some themed areas are also paired with matching enemies to make them not stand out. It’s an amazing feat to do, especially if you notice that there are 63 levels in total – that means that there are at least 31 different looking themes in the game.

Story

The game tells its story in animal language, the ones where “meow” and “chirp” are used depends on the animal that is talking. It’s not until you finish the game and unlock the New Game+ before you can understand the story although luckily, understanding the story is not needed to finish the game. Besides, after seeing the prologue in the New Game+, the story doesn’t seem to be important anyway. Moreover, you should more or less know what was happening by the series of images that are shown in your first playthrough.

The Game

Levels

The game has a total of 63 levels with different mechanics and/or enemies. A set of basic enemies that are available in the game with its variety will be introduced before the game offers you a new mechanic to play. Despite the varying enemies, there is not much difference in the basic enemies – all enemies are just the same enemies with additional powers like laser and such. It makes it easier to find a way to kill them though since you’ll know what to expect.

The new mechanics that are exclusive to each level serves as a way to make the game not repetitive. Some mechanics will allow you to reach previously impossible places while others will lead you to do some puzzle-solving. It was fun trying out and experiencing these mechanics although sadly, the game won’t give you a helping hand if you have no idea how the mechanic works. Some mechanics, especially at the last 2 worlds, are just too confusing to learn that I had to watch some videos to understand how they work.

It was difficult to understand some mechanics. I didn’t know that you need to attack to push the bubble in this level, for example.

Collectible

Gems are introduced as some sort of currency to purchase additional powerups. Most powerups only serve as extras, although the ones like a healing ability is a must. Gems can be collected in all levels and each level has three gems to collect. The game also offers a challenge for hardcore players to collect the gems without using the dash ability, which will increase the difficulty by a lot more, especially at the later levels.

Although it was fun and challenging at the beginning, gem collecting is more of an annoyance than fun at later levels, even if you try to get them without the dash ability. Some levels require you to do an insane trick like not getting hit by all enemies or jumping to a cliff just to cast a hook. The difficulty that I experienced might be happening because I didn’t utilize the dash mechanic properly though since it was hard to get it to work like how you want most of the time.

The game treats gem collections and boss fights differently depend on how far you limit yourself.

Time Attack

A Time Attack mode will be introduced after you complete each level normally. You’ll have 100 seconds to finish the whole level minus the boss fight and checkpoints. The time is plenty enough that you can finish most levels at the beginning in 1-2 tries. It might be a bit harder at the later levels though because of the number of enemies and obstacles involved. Nevertheless, it is still a fun mode to play, especially after you’re tired of collecting those gems in the normal mode.

Bosses

The game surprisingly has 64 bosses in total, all with unique mechanics. Most bosses are just a bigger variation of the smaller enemies with more attack variety although the game will introduce a unique boss at the last level of each world, which happens every 9 levels. Defeating these bosses is easy since you can just cheese them by spamming your healing ability and even if you die, almost unlimited revives are available to exploit. Hardcore players can also do the challenge of defeating the boss without revives or taking damage since the game treats these wins differently.

Unique bosses are available at each level.

Length and Difficulty

The in-game clock states that I finished the game at 25:05:38. I reloaded the save afterward to unlock the other ending and spent the rest of my playtime trying out the New Game+. However, I soon got bored since I had to replay the same level again despite having all powerups unlocked and dialogues translated.

The game was fun and interesting at the beginning although it was become more of a chore at later levels due to the difficulty. Some enemies are placed too close to the walls while some areas are designed to encourage you to take hits to proceed. It was hard to solve the last few levels, especially the ones that require you to press a lot of buttons at once – I tend to mix up between healing and dashing since they require me to press the same button.

Specs

Intel Core i5-9300H 2.40GHz, 8GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650

Verdict

The implementation of various mechanics and themes in the game makes every level to be unique without making them feel forced. The one thing that interests me is how the game allows you to tweak the difficulty based on your preference – casual players can utilize everything that they have to finish the game while hardcore players can challenge themselves by limiting their actions – and the game rewards these feats in-game. Platformer fans will feel right at home playing this game.

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