Major Magnet Arcade [Free] will feel awfully familiar to those who played the original Major Magnet [$1.99], as this is a free-to-play take on that title's gameplay, involving attaching to magnets, spinning and launching around levels to get to the portal at the end. But while it lacks in originality, it actually manages to make some improvements to its gameplay while not being awful with the monetization.

The big change is the structure of the game, which now involves playing acts of five short levels in a row, trying to get a minimum possible score in order to progress to the next act. The short levels mean that it's easier than it was in the more expansive levels of the original game to get the perfect combos. I emphasize the comparative aspect of "easier" because it's still rather challenging, and they're necessary for those who want to get three chevrons, this game's stars, on one level.

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What this new structure does is to emphasize speed, and because the game has always made timing to be such an important thing, it's a great fit. Levels do involve speedy completions for points, but there's aspects that require perfect timing with the mid-air boost and spinning on door-opening magnets in order to get through the levels, which also use a variety of designs, going in any and all directions. But the game does a great job at feeling like there's always that one perfect path through it.

The art is still fantastic, extremely vibrant and detailed. The game seems to not differ much from the original, but given the production values, I'm not complaining. The team at PagodaWest are known for their work a while back on Sonic 2 HD (not the Christian Whitehead remake), and their artistic talents are still on display, along with their love of the Sonic franchise, with so many elements in sound and visuals that recall the franchise's halcyon days.

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This game is free-to-play, with an energy system, where one of five credits is used to play an act. It's possible to use a credit to continue if you run out of lives. Credits refill at a rate of one per twenty minutes, with the game sending out push notifications when they're refilled, though it's also possible to send out Facebook requests for more credits. Refills cost $0.99. The economy of the game is very, very weird: the magnorbs that are used to buy boosts like mid-air freezes to boost from anywhere, and two kinds of shields, cost $0.99 to buy enough to magnorbs to get one refill. There's also a magnorb doubler, which costs $0.99 and winds up being quite worth it, because it means any act completion will earn enough magnorbs to buy another set of the super boosts, which really are the most useful powerup. So, buy that doubler right away.

I'm pretty certain that so-called 'monetization experts' never had their way with the game because of the way that it just kind of fumbles around with the free-to-play stuff. It's never all that bad, but if the magnorb doubler was $2.99 or $4.99, I'd still really recommend it. And I'd probably make the magnorb purchases worth more. At least they were smart to let players buy more boost items while playing, which helps when falling in a panic from midair.

While I would love to see more of a full-fledged sequel to Major Magnet at some point, this actually does a good job at standing on its own, and at worst, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

TouchArcade Rating

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  • Holcman

    This game looks attracting.

    • youngjoon

      I dunno about this game... Maybe we're just polar opposites.

      • shadax

        It seems it's getting mostly positive reception.

    • riChchestMat

      That's ironic

  • Corky McButterpants

    I might download this if I can pull myself away from work.

  • Stormourner

    lol!!! I ain't killing ya

  • bigrand1

    Not having played the original, which one do you think is better--the one to get?

    • bigrand1

      Anybody?

  • RamazUltra

    Loos promising

Major Magnet: Arcade Reviewed by Carter Dotson on . Rating: 4