Gamers are always clamouring for that next big thing that they’ve never played before. I would hope that at least once in a while something new would come along, but I don’t hold my breath for it. Instead, my main concern is that developers focus on ways to take the styles of game play that we have grown to love and make them even more interesting. Personally I feel Rejected Games has done just that with An Alien with a Magnet. I find myself loading it up even when I had the intention of playing something completely different, simply because I want to take it for another spin. You might almost say it has a magnetic quality about it. But we don’t go for those bad puns around here.
You are a little alien that has crashed and just wants to get back home. Unfortunately the only thing that still works in your craft is a magnet, but it would appear that will be enough as it can work in conjunction with the gravity of various planets to slingshot you through space. Unlike most games of this type where you tap when you want to go, however, in An Alien With A Magnet you tap when you want to stay in orbit of a planet. If you get too close before tapping you’ll crash into the planet, and if you get out of the planet’s orbit, designated by a ring that glows when you’re in the right proximity, you’ll just have to wait until the next one comes along (and hope you don’t collide with the rocks in the mean time). While you’re in a planet’s orbit you’ll spin around it, and it often takes precise timing and facing the right direction while spinning to get to your next destination.
Several interesting challenges await such as planets that have no orbit until you bounce into them once or planets that don’t actually exist until you collect all of their puzzle pieces scattered about the level. Sometimes you’ll need cannons to guide your path, and in other levels you’ll have to avoid black holes that have no problem sucking you in and not spitting you back out. The one I’m not real fond of is the energy meter. On some levels you only have a certain amount of energy before you can’t use your magnet any more. Luckily that means as you’re drifting you’re fine, but while orbiting a planet you use up that precious energy. It can only be recovered when you orbit certain planets that act as rechargers, but these don’t always exist on levels that use the meter. I get that the developer was trying to be creative with the challenges, but this is the next worst thing to a timer, and to me doesn’t fit with the casual nature of the rest of the game.
Controlling the game is as simple as pressing the screen to use the magnet and letting go to retract it. It doesn’t even matter where you press on the screen, so long as you’re not pressing the pause button. Along the way you can collect up to three green orbs on each level that act like many games’ “three star” ranking. There are also tons of stars to collect to help bolster your overall score for the level. Finally you can collect gems to unlock special sub-levels that aren’t required to complete the game. How long it takes you to get through the game really depends on how much of a perfectionist you are. If you can’t get your fill from everything the main game play mode has to offer there’s also Time Attack mode which lets you race against the clock and compare your lightning fast reflexes with other Game Center members. Oh, and there are even some achievements to earn too if you need more.
Visually I could very easily see this being a Saturday morning cartoon. The backgrounds have nice details while remaining bright and colorful, and the main character is full of expression. The sound effects work well for the most part, though the sound a puzzle piece makes as it is travelling to its planet is really annoying. The music is pretty decent, but this is one of those games where you’ll honestly not really notice it unless you’re trying to.
An Alien with a Magnet is lots of fun. The first time I played it I thought it was interesting but just kind of shrugged it off, and now I’m addicted. If you’re one of those people that pride yourself on collecting every star, gem or what have you on any given level, you’ll certainly have your work cut out for you with this one. There is plenty to do, a great feeling of satisfaction when you complete certain levels, and new surprises to be discovered throughout your journey. An added benefit is that this is a game that is not only safe for kids, but one they will most likely really enjoy.
|Title:||An Alien with a Magnet||Developer:||Rejected|
|Reviewed Ver:||Min OS Req:||5.0|